Just What We Needed: The Naked Congresswoman Principle

Rep. Hill? Is that really you? AND WHAT THE HELL IS THAT GUY DOING?”

There have been many variations on the Naked Teacher Principle since I began tracking the issue, back in the halcyon days of the Ethics Scoreboard (still trapped in website host limbo). Some of the more interesting versions that have been explored on Ethics Alarms include The Female Bodybuilder Firefighter Principle, The Drag Queen Principal Principle, The Online Porn Star Teacher Principle, Naked Naval War College Professor Principle, and many others that one can explore here.

All involve the basic concept that when one has a job that requires respect, an image of dignity, the perception of good judgment and role model status, allowing naked, semi-naked, sexually provocative or otherwise compromising photos to be created, and they eventually find themselves online and available to those the individual thus exposed is responsible for leading, teaching, or guiding, the individual  cannot reasonably protest if this results in their losing their job. This is true even if the Naked Teacher or equivalent has been betrayed, victimized, or wronged. The Naked Teacher Principle involves strict liability. The lesson: if you intend to have a career requiring the public trust, don’t get photos made of yourself that you would not want to show to your mother or have appear on the front page of USA Today.

Now Democrats, feminists and progressives are defending Democratic Rep. Katie Hill  elected in 2018 as the first openly bisexual congresswoman from California. In connection with allegations that Hill had extramarital affairs with a female campaign staffer and a male congressional aide,  RedState, a conservative news website, and The Daily Mail, a British tabloid site,   published sexually explicit photos of Hill engaged in various versions of flagrante delicto. These are now viral. Some are porn mag-graphic; I’m not even going to discuss the bong she appears to be using in one of them. (And who was taking those photos?)

The House Committee on Ethics has begun an investigation, since it is against House rules for representatives to have sexual relationships with congressional staff.

Here is the Huffington Post  running interference for Hill, because God forbid a Democrat ever lose her House seat to an evil Republican:

“Hill is not accused of committing a crime by dating her campaign staffer, but she may be a victim of one. In most states, including California, it is illegal to share sexually explicit photos of a person without his or her consent. That’s commonly called revenge porn ― and in Hill’s home state, that could be punished by up to six months in jail. It is unclear how the news outlets acquired the photos of Hill. In a statement released Wednesday, Hill said, “I am going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me. I am disgusted that my opponents would seek to exploit such a private matter for political gain.” Hill did not elaborate further or offer evidence linking her estranged husband to the leaked photos. He did not immediately respond

This is all irrelevant. The Naked Teacher Principle, Naked Congresswoman Variation, rules. The fact that these photos became public undermines trust in Hill’s judgement, competence, and trustworthiness, if not her physical fitness. It doesn’t matter how or why they got online. The person ultimately responsible is Hill. If you want to have a career based on respect and trust, don’t pose for naked pictures, sex photos, or pictures that make you look like you’re employed by an escort service. That shouldn’t be so hard.

Sorry, Rep. Hill.

You should have read Ethics Alarms.

[I decided not to include any of the photos in question. I feel sympathy for Hill; what was done to her by whoever leaked the photos was a terrible betrayal.  However, actions have consequences. Most people do not want to think of their elected representatives a porn stars, and minimal care and forethought is required to make certain they don’t.]

5 thoughts on “Just What We Needed: The Naked Congresswoman Principle

  1. Boy, the quote from the Huffington Post article sure sounds like a press release generated by the Democratic Congressional Committee’s outside counsel’s office. That’s not journalism school stuff.

    Jack, I think you’re going to have to acknowledge the Democrat elected official exception to the Naked whatever principle.

  2. If she’s bisexual, well you know, they just can’t help themselves. It would be bigoted to expect her to keep her hands off the interns.

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