In defense of S.E. Cupp

Via Wikipedia

S.E. Cupp is a conservative pundit and writer who I don’t agree with ever.  Her politics are the opposite of mine, and her columns for the New York Daily News generally make my skin crawl or my brain ache or some combination of the two.

But today #IStandWithSECupp, because Hustler Magazine has crossed a vile line, even by Hustler standards).  In their latest issue, they published a picture of Cupp with a penis in her mouth with the caption, “What would S.E. Cupp look like with a penis in her mouth?”

Under the image the disclaimer reads:

No such picture of S.E. Cupp actually exists. This composite fantasy is altered from the original for our imagination, does not depict reality, and is not to be taken seriously for any purpose.

Gee, thanks guys.  That sure makes it less despicable, doesn’t it? No!

While Hustler claims the picture is intended to be funny “satire,” it simply is not funny.  It’s out of line, it’s sexist, and it’s an unacceptable form of misogyny.  Women are under attack from all sides and no matter what political party you are in, I’m going to defend you from sexist attacks.  I will not stand by in silence when a woman, any woman, is attacked in this way and belittled as nothing more than a sexual object.  It’s about disagreement over ideas; smearing and demeaning women should not part of the equation.

When pictures of Michele Bachmann at the Iowa State fair began to circulate with her eating a corndog to the glee of everyone with a twitter account, I tweeted, “Imagine that picture is of Michelle Obama and not of Michele Bachmann.  It immediately becomes unfunny.”

Women deserve respect no matter their politics.  And for that I’m raising my fist in solidarity with S.E. Cupp even though I disagree with her on basically everything except her awesome taste in glasses.  She doesn’t deserve this violation by Hustler and I send positive vibes to both her and her family.

Sign the Women’s Media Center petition in support of S.E. Cupp here.

Join the Conversation

  • Dan

    Seriously, why is this legal? This isn’t publication of a consensual model, it stands directly on the line of libel and crosses the line of copyright. Unless ‘what would [politician] look like in [compromising position]‘ photos are in general legal.

    In that case, I support ‘What would the hustler editors look like if they were arrested’ photos. In mainstream newspapers. Above the fold.

    • Sam Lindsay-Levine

      There is in fact a U.S. Supreme Court ruling dating to 1988 that the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee extends to the protection of intentional infliction of emotional distress on public figures, actually again relating to Hustler magazine, in which they printed a parodic ad stating that Jerry Falwell had sex with his mother in an outhouse.

  • Alison Park

    Thanks for reinforcing the lines when the lines are all being crossed. This sh*t is crazy, unsurprising as as usual, enraging.

  • Adrienne

    In a sex-positive society, it shouldn’t matter what people do with their bodies. Much like rape survivors are re-victimized by the stigma surrounding anything sex-related, I think we should focus more on the nature of the speech and less on whether it’s degrading for women to perform oral sex on men.

    • aLynn

      I don’t think much of the criticism is focused on thinking it’s degrading to preform oral sex, it’s about how S.E. did NOT consent to this situation. This isn’t a picture of a woman partaking in a sexual activity. This is an image created without her knowledge, specifically designed to demean her. It’s not sex negative to think that these things shouldn’t be done to women.

      • honeybee

        I agree except that they clearly stated it wasn’t a real pic and made it clear they didn’t have her consent.

        Given that’s is a SEX magazine, and they clearly said it was joke, and I’m very sex-positive, I’m very surprised at the outrage over this. I’ve seen Hustler do similar things with men before so the sexist card doesn’t fully fly with me – especially given the point of the magazine.

  • aLynn

    I totally agree w/ you, Zerlina. This is truly disgusting and highly offensive.

    But it’s really frustrating because S.E. is denying that we’re standing up for her. She’s ignoring us. For example, she said, “It seems that feminism has devolved into an institution that has picked losers and winners and has decided that some women qualify for respect and other women do not.”

    I wrote more about it here:

  • Mark Kernes

    I respectfully disagree. Ms. Cupp has shown, through her writings and her TV appearances, that she is an enemy of women’s rights to, among other things, obtain birth control and abortions. Though she is a woman herself, she allies herself with the forces that seek to subjugate women everywhere and, perhaps just as importantly, control their sexuality. While it may seem juvenile to alter her photograph to make it appear as though she has a penis in her mouth, billions of women all over the world willingly have penises in their mouths every day, and there’s nothing “wrong” or “degrading” about that fact; it’s simply a fact of human sexuality. Former Rep. Anthony Wiener had a photo of himself in his underwear with an apparently erect penis plastered all over the internet, yet virtually no one made an argument that the photo was “degrading” to Wiener. Aside from this seeming like a tempest in a teapot and a juvenile way to express what I believe was trying to be a political statement, I think this is an opportunity for people to reassess their own views of sexuality and ask themselves why they think such a photo is “bad” or in some way “hurtful to women in general.”

    • Teesa

      There certainly isn’t anything degrading about it inherently; it becomes degrading because of the intent of the person who made that picture. THEY think it’s degrading, and are taking full advantage of the fact that society thinks it’s degrading, and it perpetuates ideas like the way to shut up a woman is to stick a penis in her mouth, or that women are much more pleasant when they’re taking a man’s dick, etc.

      • Teesa

        (Sorry if I’m not allowed to use that word, mods, you can censor if needed!)

  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Remembering a lot of underground comics I made in the late 90’s, I think I better make an #istandwithgiuliani hashtag…