Bristol Palin took a bold step toward exposing those responsible for sexually harassing women: she named all of the celebrities who have harassed the girls in her family. Simultaneously, the daughter of former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin pointed out one major problem.
The Palin women are no strangers to being targeted by celebrities who have used sexually explicit attacks to shame them. After watching as recent accusations of sexual misconduct ended the careers of high-profile figures in media, entertainment, and politics, Bristol Palin finally decided to speak out.
Bristol kept up with the #MeToo movement, wherein countless women took to social media to reveal that they, too, are victims of sexual harassment, assault, and even rape. While Bristol wrote on Friday that she is “truly amazed by the unity that has been brought on by these courageous women (and men),” she noted that there is one thing “wrong” with the #MeToo campaign.
The media, Bristol claimed, employs a double-standard when it comes to reporting on allegations of sexual harassment. “What we need to look at is a real TRUE standard that needs to be set,” she wrote.
“But here’s a question. How do we pick and choose whom to hold accountable? Why aren’t we looking at all of the sexual harassment? Why are some things ‘just a joke’ for some, and serious offenses for others?” Bristol questioned.
Bristol went on to say that it’s time “to come together and treat sexual harassment the same, no matter what side of the aisle you may be on,” according to The Western Journal. She also lent credibility to her argument by sharing several personal stories surrounding the sexual harassment women in the Palin family have endured for years.
Bristol claimed that at least seven well-known celebrities have harassed her or her family in the past, yet the media did nothing. “Are you ready to hold these people accountable?” she asked.
The first name Bristol put forth was that of Fox News host Chris Wallace. In 2010, radio host Don Imus asked Wallace, who was preparing to interview her, “When you interview her, will she be sitting on your lap?” Wallace replied that “one can only hope.”
“Did Wallace receive any consequences for this kind of sexual harassment?” Bristol asked. “None. No one at Fox Radio batted an eye with his violent misogynist rant — in fact he’s still celebrated.”
Bristol then noted the comments of late night talk show host David Letterman. In 2009, Letterman joked that one of Sarah Palin’s daughters got “knocked up” by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez at a Yankees game. Letterman claimed he was talking about Bristol, who was 18 at the time. However, Sarah Palin pointed out that then-14-year-old Willow had been the one who actually attended the game.
The next name on Bristol’s list was rapper Azeala Banks. In 2016, the entertainer notoriously advocated for Palin to be raped. “Sarah Palin needs to have her hair shaved off to a buzz cut, get headf—ed by a big veiny, ashy, black d— then be locked in a cupboard,” Banks tweeted. She later added, “Honestly… Let’s find the burliest blackest n—-s and let them run a train on her. Film it and put it on worldstar.”
Bristol noted that Banks received no consequences whatsoever for her tweets. Twitter even allowed her to keep her account open.
As graphic and violent as Banks’ remarks were, sadly, they were not unique. Bristol revealed that former boxer Mike Tyson made similar comments about the former governor of Alaska, as well, back in 2011.
Then, there was former Fox & Friends host and current CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, who asked Sarah Palin about her breasts.
“Harassing lines of questioning like that is to sexualize the female guest, thus discrediting the important issues she’s there to discuss,” Bristol wrote in a blog post for Patheos. “Gee, I wonder why voters have a hard time taking female politicians seriously when a news organization is more interested in the size of their bra than their brain?”
Finally, Bristol called out two rappers, Macklemore and Eminem, for making sexual references to her mother in their songs.
Bristol concluded that she is trying to “point out a very real issue – as a society, we cannot have double standards on sexual issues. We won’t fix it until victims of all political stripes are treated with respect and dignity!” And, she’s right.
“Sexual harassment will never change when we have the double standards that we do today,” she wrote. “This isn’t about me or my family. Though the comments that have been made about us are horrible, this movement is way bigger than that.”
Bristol’s harrowing account of the harassment women in her family have endured for years is enough to turn your stomach. Perhaps even more disturbing, though, is the fact that the media has turned a blind eye to every single instance of sexual harassment, despite the fact that they were all public knowledge.
Nothing was done to protect Bristol Palin, her sisters, or her mother when they were victimized. On the contrary, many seem to have enjoyed watching them be harassed in sickening fashion. Take, for example, all of the Twitter users who retweeted Azeala Banks’ message that Sarah Palin deserves to be raped. Where were all of the feminists then?
Could it be that no one cared when celebrities harassed the Palin women because they are some of the most prominent and well-known conservatives in the country? Have we really gotten to the point where harassment is only viewed as a crime if a left-leaning victim has been targeted?
It is important that we share Bristol Palin’s story wherever we possibly can so that the media cannot bury it as they have done for years. She and the women in her family deserve justice just as much as the accusers who have come forward from the other side of the aisle, particularly because there can be no doubt as to the severity or validity of her claims; there is hard evidence to corroborate each and every one.