This morning I woke up to check my Twitter feed and learned the name of the conservative right's newest target: Katherine Fenton.
For those of you who watched the second presidential debate this past week, you may remember Fenton as the young women who brought up the sad truth that women, today, make 72 percent of what their male counterparts make. This made a lot of people mad -- a lot of conservative people.
Yesterday afternoon, the Washington Free Beacon released what they have termed a 'study' of Katherine Fenton's alleged personal Twitter account, which, from the evidence, shows some tweets that have been presented out of context, presumably in hopes of damaging her credibility in the public eye. From this study of Fenton's Twitter account, the Washington Free Beacon has named her a certifiable 'party girl' who likes to drink, dislikes law enforcement and disagrees with women who watch sports. Raw Story has more:
The article, published anonymously, alleged that Katherine Fenton's Twitter account "reveals that purple Joose is her choice to get blackout drunk and she has a history of getting wet at happy hour." The article also highlights sexually suggestive messages Fenton allegedly sent from her Twitter account.
The Twitter account cited in the article no longer exists.
Groundbreaking stuff, right? So what if she likes 'joose' or talks about sex on Twitter? She can do that, hell, I can do that. In conclusion: Fenton has done nothing wrong.
But before we move on, I have some questions: Where is the 'study' of the other people that asked questions to the candidates? Where is the publishing of their social media accounts? Where are the articles insinuating that they are sluts, that they drink too much and that they should be proverbially beaten up in the media for asking a question that affects more than 50% of America?
Only Fenton has had this done. She has been made a reminder to us all that a woman should never, ever ask why they are being discriminated against in our society in a public forum. Ever.
This is sexist and we all need to come together and recognize that. No matter what Fenton may have said on her alleged personal Twitter account, she still deserves the right to ask a candidate why her work isn't being considered as equal to that of men's work. And in the same note, she and all women deserve equal pay, no matter what.
In this case of "Fenton v. Conservative Right," we see that the Internet has once again absorbed the idea that there is a public/private divide between men and women. And that a woman should be quiet and at home, complacent, while a man can be public and allowed to do whatever they want. (If this had been a man I think things would be quite different.)
At the end of the day, Twitter is considered another form of 'the public' and a woman being in public and talking openly with other people about sex, drinking and having fun is just not OK for a lot of people, because we still live in a world that thinks women should be stuck in the 1950s, raising their kids and cooking dinner.
I mean, isn't that what Mitt Romney's whole binder babble was about? That he was so gracious to hire women AND let them go home at certain hours of the day to be a good wife, mother and caretaker of everything?
God bless that Romney, he sure does care about those women.
And God bless the conservative right for another round of their favorite past time: the public shaming of women.
Follow Zach Stafford on Twitter: www.twitter.com/zachstafford