rudy giuliani sexist story daniels trump tel aviv

Rudy Giuliani Belittles Stormy Daniels, Insults Sex Workers, Attempts to Give Us All Lessons on Feminist Ideology

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At an event earlier today in Tel Aviv, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s latest lawyer in his revolving door team, said a bunch of garbage words about Stormy Daniels and her defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump. Giuliani has chosen to take the lowest road possible and, rather than address any specifics of the case itself, simply try to tear down Daniels herself and her chosen profession.

“I respect all human beings,” he said. “I even have to respect criminals. But I’m sorry, I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.”

In Giuliani’s view, a woman who engages in the legal and consensual professional act of pornography can’t sue for defamation because she doesn’t have a reputation to damage. “If you’re going to sell your body for money, you just don’t have a reputation,” he said.

He also brought up Trump’s three wives who, as he sees it, are “beautiful women, classy women, women of substance,” insinuating that Stormy Daniels is not those things and that her claims to have had an affair with Trump are unrealistic. Because when a desperate man is all out of valid arguments, he goes for personal attacks about a woman’s appearance and her perceived moral character.

(I want to give a quick shout-out to the woman–the moderator, maybe?–who repeatedly instructs Giuliani to show some respect, saying “on this stage, we respect women.” Her message may not have gotten through to Giuliani, but it needs to be said nonetheless.)

When asked for a follow-up by CNN’s Dana Bash, Giuliani doubled down on his sex-work shaming, saying “If you’re a (feminist) and you support the porn industry, you should turn in your credentials.” As little as I care what Rudy Giuliani thinks of our feminist requisites, he’s not alone in that view. People on both sides of the political spectrum have tried to weaponize Stormy Daniels’ career for their benefit. Those on the right do it to discredit Daniels, and those on the left do it to mock or cast moral aspersions about Trump. Both sides play into the stigmatization of sex work, and neither side displays any respect at all for feminism or women’s autonomy.

Over on The View, the hosts reminded Giuliani that he probably shouldn’t be judging anyone’s choices, as they ran down the list of Giuliani’s many divorces and personal scandals, as well as reminding us that Trump himself has proudly appeared in at least one soft-core porn documentary.

Seeing Giuliani (and Trump, of all people) trying to cast moral judgments on others’ personal choices does evoke some eye-rolls, as well as some anger. But the hypocrisy keeps rising as Giuliani keeps talking.

Referring to Daniels, he told CNN, “The business you were in entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight.”

“If you’re involved in a sort of slimy business,” he continued, [that] says something about you — says something about how far you’ll go to make money.

I actually agree with Giuliani here. Personally, I don’t see porn and other forms of consensual sex work inherently “slimy,” but the career decision to defend an abhorrent man who has publicly admitted to cheating on his wives and sexually assaulting women, and to do so by belittling professionally successful women along the way? Yup, I think that sure does say something about how far a person will go to make money.

(image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.