Stormy Daniels has endured seemingly endless abuse from Trump supporters for speaking out against the president (Image via CNN)
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Stormy Daniels, the adult film star embroiled in a sex scandal with President Trump, should not be dismissed due to her profession.

Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump scandal. For those that don’t know, Daniels is an award-winning adult film star. She has starred in and directed hundreds of films and even appeared in a couple Judd Apatow movies such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up.”

Basically, Daniels had a short affair with Trump in 2006 after he offered her a spot on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” This occurred during his marriage to his wife, Melania, who had just given birth to their son, Barron.

Trump and his legal team allegedly paid Daniels $130,000 to stay silent on the matter in October 2016, shortly before the presidential election. Trump’s lawyer denied the affair, yet admitted to paying Daniels the hush money.

Daniels also claims to have been forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Back in 2011, Daniels says that she was threatened in Las Vegas after trying to sell her story on the affair.

“A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,'” Daniels said. “And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone.”

This is all admittedly very problematic. What’s even more problematic, however, is the fact that many people are not taking this situation seriously. This is most likely due to Daniels being a porn star. Since publicly coming forward with her story, Daniels has been extremely slut-shamed.

To most, she doesn’t matter and they use minimizing language in order to discredit her. Twitter users, especially, have been demeaning toward Daniels, with many calling her an attention whore, third-rate porn star, prostitute, slut and many other derogatory words.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg in an article for Flare says that she’s tired of seeing demeaning stereotypes used against Daniels. Yes, you read that right, even a Jewish Rabbi wants you to stop slut shaming Stormy Daniels.

“She’s a human being with inherent dignity, and the nature of her work doesn’t have any real bearing on the merits of her case,” Ruttenberg said. “In an age when we should be so much more aware — this post-MeToo era, when we are ostensibly more woke — we shouldn’t be using the same tired tropes to talk about her.”

Ruttenberg says that the problematic language about Daniels transcends beyond social media, with many on TV discussing the adult film star in a way that “erases some of her humanity.” Without a doubt, there has been an emphasis on Daniels’s profession instead of the fact that our president bribed a woman he had an affair with.

Because of Daniels being a porn star, she is automatically regarded as a “nasty” woman who shouldn’t be respected, nor believed. Despite being in this “post-MeToo era,” people still feel obliged to use a woman’s sexuality to shame them.

This Stormy Daniels fiasco isn’t the first sex scandal involving a current president, however. The year was 1998 and then-President Bill Clinton was embroiled in a huge sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky, a young White House intern. Though 20 years have passed, the slut-shaming was eerily similar back then.

Lewinsky faced damaging public slut-shaming and was even dubbed “America’s blow-job queen” while Clinton’s reputation stayed intact, for the most part. Lewinsky faced most of the backlash instead of the man who used his power to take advantage of a young woman.

This, too, is similar to the Daniels-Trump scandal since Trump used his power as the decision-maker behind “The Celebrity Apprentice” to persuade a woman to have sex with him.

Also similar are the words used to describe Lewinsky in the media. Jessica Bennett, in an article titled “The Shaming of Monica: Why We Owe Her an Apology” discussed the media’s demeaning words toward Lewinsky.

Notably, The Wall Street Journal called her a “little tart” and New York Magazine felt compelled to note that Lewinsky spent two summers at fat camp and that she “paid particular attention to the boys.”

Furthermore, in her coverage on Lewinsky, Maureen Dowd called her a “ditzy, predatory White House intern.” Fox News even released a poll on whether the public thought Lewinsky was an “average girl” or a “young tramp looking for thrills.”

“It was a different time back then. There was no consciousness raised about slut-shaming. Bullying wasn’t even in the vernacular,” Leora Tanenbaum, the author of “Slut!,” said. “People who were decision makers and influential writers were making comments about her hair and body. It was a textbook case of the sexual double standard.”

Recently, Tanenbaum tweeted that Daniels overturns the “slut” stereotype and said, “She is intelligent, credible, ‘purposeful, controlled, maternal, and professional in appearance. She demonstrates that ‘slut’ is an empty, meaningless term.”

Though Trump himself has stayed silent about the Stormy Daniels matter, he is no stranger to slut shaming. Last year, Trump was accused of slut-shaming a female senator who wanted him to quit over his sexual misconduct claims.

Trump claimed that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had come begging to him for donations and that she would do anything for cash. Senator Elizabeth Warren said that Trump was “trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame” Senator Gillibrand. Seeing that Trump insists on slut-shaming women, it’s no surprise that his supporters continue to bash Daniels due to her career.

Pornstars and sex workers have long been shamed for their sexualities. Even those who consider themselves feminists constantly demean these women and see their professions as “dirty.” Although sex work obviously has some dangerous downsides, women who choose to engage in the profession should be respected just as much as women in other professions.

People constantly defend a woman’s right to say no, so why not defend a woman’s right to say yes? As Tanenbaum noted, Daniels is smart and, credible, and many other things so meaningless words like “slut” and “whore” shouldn’t be used to describe her. Her being sexual (newsflash: most people are) and showcasing her sexuality does not give anyone the right to demean or disregard her.

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