Opinion

Sonoma councilwoman fights against ‘slut-shaming’

September 4, 2018

Sonoma councilwoman fights against ‘slut-shaming’

Anonymous threats were made to Sonoma councilwoman Rachel Hundley, who was bullied into potentially dropping out of her campaign for re-election. Why, you may ask? For posting pictures of herself at the well known art and culture festival Burning Man.

On Aug. 13, Hundley received an email by a group known as Sonoma Citizens for Peace and Cooperation who referred to her as a “cruel and demented person” and called her a “cancer” to Sonoma community. 

They went as far to create a website named Rachel Hundley Exposed, which has now been taken down. It seems ironic that these people are calling her cruel and demented even though they are the ones harassing her anonymously over the Internet.

The claims that Hundley is not someone that children or the community can look up to because she was wearing a small amount of clothes at a festival in the middle of the desert is ridiculous. We are living in an era where women should be taught to be proud of who they are — this includes their mind and body. 

Hundley was at the festival managing a wine bar promoting wine from Sonoma. She was also working a consent-focused, sex-positive theme camp that she has participated in for years.

If anything, Hundley is making a point that women don’t have to fit into one certain mold, and is shunning unrealistic expectations. 

It is detrimental to teach anyone that in order to be admired or respected you have to fit a rigid stereotype. Attending a festival in no way makes her an unfit role model or bad person. The anonymous attackers also accused her of “drug-addled behavior.” 

Although this is an assumption, Hundley would not be the first person elected that has participated in controversial extra-curricular activities.

Our former president Barack Obama has admitted to smoking weed frequently in the past, and he is phenomenal — in and out of the White House. Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California twice, even though he’s shared his fondness for marijuana. 

And the current president was voted into office after bragging about grabbing women by the genitals and saying “you can do anything” when referring to women. But somehow it is still acceptable for him to run our country. This is the definition of a double standard. Male politicians are given much more leniency by the public, and this needs to change.

Hundley should be praised for showing men and women to be proud of who they are and not being afraid to stand up and express themselves. We live in a society where there is constant pressure to look or act a certain way. She refused to give in to the threats, and has spoken out about standing up to slut-shaming.

Hundley posted a YouTube video titled “Sonoma Councilwoman Says No to Slut-Shaming” in response to the threats and is using it as an opportunity to speak out for women all over the country.

I’m not sure how this makes her a “cancer” to a community. Hundley’s opponents said nothing about her political views or what she stands for, but instead attacked her for what she wore. 

These threats are uneducated and show that this group fears a strong woman in power. Hundley should be used as an example that women politicians can be proud of who they are and should not be shamed into conforming to someone else’s standards.