If you've been keeping up with political gossip this week you are probably aware of the fact that the Elliot Spitzer scandal may have overlaps with the infamous Washingtonienne debacle of several years ago.
To rehash old gossip, Cutler was a low-level Hill staffer who traded sexual favors for cash and lame clothing with DC mucky-mucks. She recorded her experiences on her personal blog, was outed by Wonkette.com, earned her 15 minutes of fame by posing for Playboy and penning a novel based on her experiences, then spent the next several years enmeshed in a defamation suit brought on by one of her former paramours.
Now it seems that Cutler may have been working as an escort at the very same service that Spitzer frequented.
Juicy stuff indeed, and the website Jezebel has been all over it. In a recent news round-up, Jezebel labels Cutler a "the biggest whore in Washington" and seems to be having a good gloat at Cutler's expense.
Jezebel, which is run by the same Internet media empire that spawned Wonkette, bills itself as a women's magazine that women would actually want to read. Its manifesto includes an assault on the lies perpetuated my mainstream glossies aims towards women, railing against the "alpha girls [who] are entitled to act cruel and inhuman towards their subordinates."
In other words, it framed itself as alt-publication for progressively-minded women in the Third Wave Feminist tradition of Bust and others of its ilk.
By in large, I very much enjoy reading Jezebel. I find its pop culture commentary an amusing escape from reality. But I'm having a difficult time swallowing the whole Cutler-is-a-whore pill. To date, Jezebel has been somewhat sympathetic towards sex workers. They praised a recent art show illuminating the experiences of said women, and on one occasion published a missive praising Heidi Fleiss as "wise."
So Fleiss, who ran an infamous prostitution ring is "wise" whereas Cutler, who accepted money and gifts from powerful men in exchange for sex is simply a "whore?" Huh?
By in large, the media has been quite cruel to Jessica Cutler. I admit that I met her once before the whole Washingtonienne thing went down and I wasn't a huge fan. It had nothing to do with her lifestyle, as that was something I was unaware of. I simply didn't care for her personality. She didn't seem especially impressed with me either, and we both went our separate ways. No biggie, not everyone is destined to be BFFs.
I didn't give her another moment's thought until the Washingtoninne thing broke. I admit that I experienced a bit of holier-than-thou smugness at her travails. I mean, here's a brash, attractive woman getting a little bit of karmic retribution for being somewhat annoying in real life. And I will fully admit to feeling a bit jealous that she managed to rake in a book deal as a result of her experiences. I mean, what mediocre blogger doesn't dream of someday hitting it big with their own novel?
But since then my attitude towards Cutler has shifted. I can't imagine what it must be like for complete strangers to malign you every chance they get for poor decisions you made in your mid-twenties. It's gotta suck, but people all over the world love to have a good laugh at Cutler's expense.
And now Jezebel, the Queen Bee of the so-called feminist blogs is calling Cutler out for being a "whore," a word loaded will a myriad of degrading social connotations.
Come on ladies, what happened to standing up for the rights of sex workers? Personal opinions of Cutler aside, you can't ride the hip pro-sex worker rights bandwagon while perpetuating negative stereotypes of other sex workers. It simply makes you look petty and underhanded.
What good is a pro-woman blog if at the end of the day, it stoops to the same rhetoric of the channels of communication it was invented to subvert?