Do you find this political ad sexist?

krekesselPaul Krekorian recently mailed out a flier depicting political opponent Chris Essel as a marionette alongside text reading, “Chris Essel. Brought to you by the union bosses who are raising your DWP rates.” (original here)

Just a few days before voters Los Angeles City Council District 2 will decide which of the two will be their next Councilperson, Essel responded with a flier of her own, alleging that the image of her having her strings pulled is “sexist” and “insensitive of women.” One quote on her flier even has a Sunland resident quoted as saying, “I’d kick his butt if that was my wife.” (see it here)

Additionally, Essel’s flier reprints the image of her as a marionette, it removes the contextual text, replaces it with a headshot by Krekorian, but alleges right below the image: “Actual Krekorian Mailer.”

In addition to the weak claim of sexism and edited image, on the flip side are vague allegations that Krekorian is an anti-semite whose campaign stole documents from her… no citations or hints as to where more info on the charges can be found.

But back to the main point – do you find the image of Essel as a marionnete offensive or sexist?

15 thoughts on “Do you find this political ad sexist?”

  1. I don’t think it’s sexist, except that possibly the viewer observes the figure of a marionette in a skirt and imagines it as a sexualized situation. If it were a man, no one would cry sexism. The “if it were a man…” argument, though, is a logical fallacy, because the fact that the image is of a woman causes baggage & ideas not analogous to those caused by a male figure.

  2. Clean hit. Krekorian’s mail consultant did sloppy work using the “rope” imagery and left him open to this kind of response. You do this sort of thing to a woman candidate and you pay the price.

    Worth nothing that Lindsey Horvath, quoted in the mailer, is President of Hollywood N.O.W. and a leading advocate for women’s issues in Southern California.

  3. Geezus lady…get over yourself.

    At least he didn’t depict you in your jogging shorts.

    Dry those tears sweetheart and wear a helmet.

  4. Worth noting as well that Krekorian has a 100% rating from California NOW and from Equality California. According to his response, which I saw on this blog, he is a longtime board member of Women Against Gun Violence and has given his time to offer legal assistance to victims of domestic violence seeking restraining orders.

    But that essentially skirts the real question, which is: Will she be controlled by those who pay for her campaign, which is what his mailer was asking. She tries to distract voters by playing the sexist card. She’s playing political sleight of hand while failing to engage in a true discussion for CD2 residents.

  5. To tar and feather a committed liberal such as Krekorian with the misogynist label is a stretch.

    What Essel fails to state is that Horvath is a longtime supporter of Essel and member of the West Hollywood City Council who just might want Essel’s help in making the leap to the LA City Council a la Paul Koretz.

  6. I find it neither offensive nor sexist, rather from what I’ve read about this candidate, I find it applicable.
    I also usually associate marionettes with clowns, applicable here also.
    Essel seems to have an awful thin skin for someone who wants public office.
    And no, I don’t live in this district.

  7. It’s definitely dirty play. Makes me not like him when you see him attacking her this way. I’d tend to vote for her because of his dirty politics.

  8. Wasn’t Krekorian the guy who put out a hit piece on Essel for meeting with Turkish leaders? Didn’t he try to tar her as a holocaust denier because of it?

    Today, she fought back against his bs hits and some of the more virulent messages his people put out. Just search the Internet for some of the crap put out by the more militant factions supporting Paul Krekorian.

    There’s really ugly stuff, blaming Jews for the Armenian genocide. It’s disturbing. .

    Krekorian attacked Essel because she went to an event with certain people. OK, well look at the crowd Paul Krekorian runs with.

    An example of the filth out there:

  9. I don’t see the puppet thing at all. I see a woman tied up with ropes and one of her legs pulled up behind her trying to spread open her legs. All she’s missing is the gag and you’ve got a rape scene. So Krekorian’s either a bondage freak or a fricking idiot. Either way I wouldn’t want him anywhere near me or my daughters.

    That Armenian anti-semitic stuff is surprising. I had no idea they hated Jews.

  10. Ah, I get it now. You people have dirty minds. Unfortunately, “strings” disappear in visuals.

    But, I agree, the Armenian stuff was a weak, manipulative charge without merit.

    Very, very ugly campaign all around.

  11. Hmm…pretty stupid mailer by Krekorian. Did you see how gentle Obama and Biden dealt with Sarah Palin? That’s how professionals win. This mailer is amateur. You don’t treat women like that–it backfires.

    Male candidates need to be smooth and respectful dealing with female opponents. That’s the reality. Looks like he’ll learn that the hard way. You can feel the hate and that’s never helpful.

  12. It’s not sexist, but she is sexy. Hmm, maybe that is sexist. Nah, just because he is not sexy doesn’t negate her sexiness (yes, that’s a rare triple negative!)

  13. I don’t think it’s sexist but his team should have been sensitive to that fact before sending out the mailer.

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