Lies, Misogyny, and the Carrie Prejean Nude Photo Scandal

Miss California pageant winner Carrie Prejean is gorgeous, opinionated, passionate, and conservative.

It’s that last quality that really sticks in the craws of her liberal detractors.

And so, they set out to destroy her.  Belittling her for her views on marriage didn’t work.  Calling her filthy names didn’t do the trick.  And mocking her decision to get breast implants, and gasp, have someone else foot the bill, seems to have fallen flat, so to speak.

It was only a matter of time before they tried to shame her into oblivion for her loose morals and unholy, sinful ways.  Enter the mildest nudie pic never to grace the pages of a men’s magazine.

The photo, which I won’t embed here as she may have been underage when it was taken, is of Carrie Prejean striking the ubiquitous lingerie model pose found throughout the Victoria’s Secret catalog.  She is wearing panties and her arms are strategically placed over her breasts as she bares her naked back and side to the camera.  This is the sort of innocuous cheesecake-lite shot found on bus shelter ads and Abercrombie shopping bags everywhere.

It’s also fodder for an all out assault on Carrie Prejean based on some manufactured inconsistency between her opposition to gay marriage and her participation in a questionably racy modeling shoot at age seventeen.  Here’s my distillation of this ever-so-feminist logic at work:

Homophobia is totally wrong. Let’s see how MissJugs4Jesus likes the taste of a little misogyny!

And yes, “MissJugs4Jesus” was a slur lifted from the blog of a feminist lesbian.

Pam Spaulding, proprietor of Pam’s House Blend and contributor to the liberal feminist blog Pandagon, is absolutely delighted that these photos have surfaced “and the devoted ‘Christian’ is forced to explain herself.”  Most of her commenters are equally giddy.

Gay activist John Aravosis also indulged in a bit of slut-baiting:

holier-than-thou religious fundamentalist Bible-thumpers don’t get to flash their breasts for profit and shrug it off as just another youthful indiscretion. You don’t get to lecture me about my morality when your morality is the equivalent of a Playboy centerfold.

Who are the real hypocrites, young Christian women who embrace their sexuality and fight for what they believe, or liberal feminists who brand Carrie Prejean as a slut while they pat themselves on the backs for their progressive stances and evolved views?

Maybe they could hold her down and sew a big ol’ scarlet letter to her scandalously naked back.  They could even invite Michael Musto, Keith Olbermann, and Perez Hilton to sling vitriol and vulgarity as they gleefully rub salt in her wounds.  That’ll show her!

Matt Lauer, always too enthralled with his own cunning in shaping the news to care about objectivity, attempted to secure the complicity of conservatives in demonizing Carrie Prejean.  He used his Today Show report to viciously smear Miss California in the apparent belief that her own supporters would step right up to bat her out of the public sphere.  A few excerpts from that report:

Racy photos of the runner up have surfaced, and some say they’ve gone too far.  Too far for NBC news to broadcast.

A lie.

I can assure you they were quite inappropriate and certainly not photos befitting a beauty queen.

An unsubstantiated accusation, assuming there really are photos that remain to be seen.

controversial pictures may not sit well with conservative groups

Another blatant attempt to shape the reaction of conservatives without actually interviewing any.

Los Angeles based KTLA went a step further with this fabrication:

The newly surfaced photos are not sitting well with her conservative Christian supporters.

Unsurprisingly, the reporter failed to quote any of these conservative Christians.

Christian social conservative Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organziation for Marriage, has come to the defense of Carrie Prejean, who appeared in one of the group’s anti-gay marriage ads.  She strongly condemned the attacks:

The level of hatred directed at her is astonishing. Even more astonishing is her personal courage and strength of character in the midst of these attacks. Of course Carrie is not perfect. On a personal note, as a former unwed mother, I want to say to Americans: you don’t have to be a perfect person to have the right to stand up for marriage.

Carrie Prejean also defended herself, focusing on the attacks on her faith:

I am a Christian and I am a model.  Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos. The photos of me taken as a teenager have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid website that openly mocks me for me for my Christian faith. I am not perfect and I will never claim to be perfect.  But the attacks on me and others who speak in defense of marriage are precisely the kind of intolerant, offensive attacks that I hear some in the gay community say are hurled at them for their opinions.  No one should have their opinion silenced through vicious and mean-spirited attacks on one’s character and integrity.

I will continue to support and defend marriage as the honorable institution it is. I will continue to stand with the overwhelming majority of the American people.  If this whole experience has taught me anything it is how precious our right to speak freely is, and how we as Americans can never allow anyone or any group to intimidate or threaten us to keep silent.

I happen to disagree with Carrie Prejean on the issue of marriage.  I support gay marriage, am against federal marriage amendments, and would like to see the Defense of Marriage Act repealed as long as there are unimpeachable protections in place for religious Americans.

But even though she is my ideological opponent, I won’t lend my implicit support to the idea that Carrie Prejean is a paper doll the angry left can crumple up and discard if they don’t like the way she’s decorated.  I can believe that she’s wrong without vomiting forth misogynist insults.  I can find her opinions in total disagreement with my own without pretending that a little semi-nude modeling invalidates her moral standing.

Carrie Prejean is being savaged by the left in an effort to discredit her before conservatives.  Those disparaging her can’t rattle her on the strength of her convictions, so they hope to undermine her credibility with conservative supporters.  But attempts to shame women for flashing a bit of skin are really over the top these days.  Most conservatives won’t abandon a professional model who shares their beliefs just because she was caught baring less side boob than I see at the beach.  I expect they’ll stick by her even if racier pictures exist.

In other news, with the liberal smear machine targeting another conservative woman, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is enjoying a much needed break this week.

And in breaking news: topless photos of another gay marriage opponent leaked!


3 Responses to “Lies, Misogyny, and the Carrie Prejean Nude Photo Scandal”

  1. Alma on May 7th, 2009 12:00 am

    In Luke 17 in the New Testament, Jesus said that one of the big “signs” that will happen shortly before His return to earth as Judge will be a repeat of the “days of Lot” (see Genesis 19 for details). So gays are actually helping to fulfill this same worldwide “sign” (and making the Bible even more believable!) and thus hurrying up the return of the Judge! They are accomplishing what all of the Bible-thumpers couldn’t accomplish! Gays couldn’t have accomplished this by just coming out of closets into bedrooms. Instead, they invented new architecture – you know, closets opening on to Main Streets where little kids would be able to watch naked men having sex with each other at festivals in places like San Francisco (where their underground saint – San Andreas – may soon get a big jolt out of what’s going on over his head!). Thanks, gays, for figuring out how to bring back our resurrected Saviour even quicker!

  2. Eclectic Radical on May 8th, 2009 12:00 pm

    I am bothered by the degree of attention Carrie Prejean is getting at all. I think those on the right who are embracing, defending, or brandishing her like a weapon and those on the left who are attacking her share a failure of proper priorities.

    I do have a problem with the way the left is portrayed by even many in the center when it makes pointed statements about individuals expressing right wing views. When a woman claims religious motivations for attacking gay marriage, it might not be nice to drag out a nude photo of her as a seventeen year old girl, but that does not mean the fact that her family’s religious values did not draw the line at a seventeen year old girl posing for Victoria’s Secret should not give us pause for consideration of the religious basis for her argument. The photo isn’t ‘that bad’, no, but the horrifying nature of the photo isn’t the point. The question of whether or not Carrie Prejean is ‘a slut’ isn’t the point either.

    The point is that her moral grounding finds it unacceptable to allow consenting adults to marry while finding it entirely acceptable for a minor child to pose semi-nude for a lingerie catalog. Regardless of one’s position on either of these moral questions, it is legitimate to make note that the latter is not compatible with the moral/religious grounding for the former. When people proclaim their moral superiority, which is what religious fundamentalists who attack homosexuality on religious grounds are doing, they invite scrutiny into their own moral life.

    When the right attacks individuals on the left for their supposed moral turpitude, they proclaim themselves to be the guardians of public morality. When the left questions the legitimacy of their credentials in this area, it is ‘liberal sleaze.’

    I don’t have a problem with women posing nude if they so choose, nor do most liberals. The point is that social conservatives supposedly do. Except when they consider said person to be a champion of moral values. Then the nude photo is beyond the pale and making note of the inconsistent embrace of Christian values is a horrible misogynist attack.

    Where was Maggie Gallagher when CNN anchor Andrea Thompson was the target of a ‘horrible misogynist attack’ over her nude glamor shots early in her career? Oh, I remember now…

    She was attacking Ms. Thompson for being a slut.

  3. Jenn Q. Public on May 9th, 2009 3:42 am

    Re: the attention Carrie Prejean is getting, I think many on the left are unintentionally feeding her balloon a steady supply of hot air, and it’s far more detrimental to them than it is to her. On the other hand, you’ve got anti-gay marriage advocates who think a hot chick can bring the sexy to their movement and (they hope) stop it from circling the drain in some parts of the country. My guess is that this round is either zero-sum or slight advantage to social conservatives.

    Eclectic Radical wrote:

    The point is that her moral grounding finds it unacceptable to allow consenting adults to marry while finding it entirely acceptable for a minor child to pose semi-nude for a lingerie catalog.

    How does a decision she made at 17 (or even a year ago) have anything to do with her religious values today? We don’t have any idea what her spiritual leanings were at that point in her life, so how could we possibly know that they’re inconsistent with her current moral/religious beliefs?

    But even if her relationship with God and religion is the same today as it was four years ago, I don’t see why a Christian conservative who defends “opposite marriage” must automatically classify implied nudity as immoral. What does one have to do with the other? Why can’t this woman believe that the human body is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of ~and~ that God wants marriage limited to hetero couples? Would you condemn pro-gay marriage Catholics for inconsistently embracing Catholic values, or would you praise them because they happen to be on the same page as you?

    As for social cons believing that women shouldn’t have the choice to pose nude, that was certainly the hope of the people trying to embarrass Carrie Prejean. Now they’re riled up because the social cons didn’t live up to their stereotypes by condemning Prejean for showing the world her back.

    I’m no fan of Maggie Gallagher, and I don’t know anything about her attacking Andrea Thompson. But for a lot of people there’s a big difference between someone who appeared nude in an erotic film anchoring the news and an underwear model bringing a little attention to a conservative organization. Neither one makes a difference to me and I would defend both women from being shamed for their respective pasts, and come down on anyone who attacked them.

    This would all be a non-issue if some liberals weren’t trying so hard to discredit Prejean. Her 15 minutes would already be up.

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