Stinging Stormy: Stupid Petty Revenge

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What happens when a woman — a porn star, a stripper, a “whore”embarrasses a man she once fucked? A powerful man? A powerful white man? A powerful rich white man, a Republican man, the President of the freakin’ United States?

I’ll tell you what happens. You gotta punish the bitch. When you’re rich, they let you do it. You can do whatever you want. Why not send cops to her workplace, have her arrested and hauled out in handcuffs for breaking a law that’s never been enforced before?

stormy daniels charging documents stephanie clifford

So that’s just what happened. According to the Washington Post, Stormy Daniels was in Columbus Ohio to dance at a strip club for two nights. This is a substantial portion of how she makes her living.

But Ohio is a state with a Republican governor. And powerful white Republican men stick together. Some phone calls got made. The fix went in. The City of Columbus sent four undercover cops to the club, supposedly in response to “complaints about alleged drug activity and prostitution.”

Did they actually make any arrests for drug activity and prostitution? You know they didn’t.

Instead, they sent three different undercover cops up to the tipline to enjoy Daniels’ work, which they characterized as “smacking {one of the detective’s} face with her bare breasts and holding her face between her breasts against her chest.”

This is the sort of thing that happens every night at the Siren, and at every other strip club in Ohio. Is there a law against it? Apparently, but it’s never been enforced, not until there was an out-of-town stripper hated by the President of The United States. And then, boom, arrest that dirty whore:

stormy daniels in handcuffs on her way to jail after being arrested in Columbus Ohio

It turns out (and this is still straight out of the Washington Post, citing another story in the Columbus Dispatch) that a conservative Christian group got an anti-stripper bill passed back in 2007. That’s the law Stormy supposedly violated by touching the customers while stripping and by being an uppity whore that the president hates. But guess what? A spokesman for the Franklin County sheriff’s office (that’s the county that Columbus Ohio is in, which is where Stormy got arrested) is on record as saying they have no record of anybody ever being arrested for violating this law before. Nope, they saved it just for Stormy. It’s just for strippers that some powerful man hates. Nobody else ever gets arrested under this law. It’s apparently never happened. Not even once.

What makes this powerfully stupid is that it’s just harassment. Stormy has a good lawyer. She got arrested at 3:30 in the morning and posted bail before sunrise. She had to cancel her second appearance in Ohio (obviously) and she’ll probably have a court appearance (if Michael Avenatti doesn’t get her three misdeanor charges dismissed, which is a very good possibility.) Jail time for these misdemeanors is not on the table. They are just fucking with her, in the pettiest possible way. Putting her in her place. Reminding her that they are powerful men. Showing off their power. Being dicks, because they can.

Update: Literally while I was proofreading this post, and less than twelve hours after Stormy was arrested, CNN is reporting that the charges are already dismissed because the District Attorney determined that “these crimes were not committed.” Michael Avenatti, it turns out, got the charges dropped, just as I predicted above, because the law in question only applies to dancers who regularly appear. Stormy was only in town for two days; the law doesn’t apply to her. This is what having a good lawyer looks like. We should all be so lucky!

stormy daniels motion to dismiss touching a patron charges

So the arrest and charges were petty harassment for revenge on Stormy Daniels, but why did I use the word “stupid” in the headline? Two reasons. First is the Machiavellian principle that one should never do an enemy a small injury. This won’t hurt Stormy, it will just annoy her. And since she clearly still has stories to tell, what possible good does it do to fuck with her? Stupid!

But the second reason is political, and it’s much more important. The feminism of the mainstream political left in the United States is hostile to sex workers. When someone like Stormy Daniels embarrasses someone like Donald Trump, it is easy for his defenders to tar her with the negative stereotypes that usually get flung at sex workers: lack of agency, lack of intelligence, greed for money, attention-seeking, and so forth. And to the extent that she is seen as an aggressor, those character assassinations have some chance of undermining her credibility.

But the moment that Trump and his surrogates use their hugely disproportionate power of the state (cops, handcuffs, judges, jails, bullshit laws never-before enforced) to attack her, she becomes the victim. All that leftwing whorephobia-and-disdain instantly evaporates, burned away by the much-more-powerful phenomenon of sympathy-for-the-underdog. Precipitating that shift in leftwing political sympathies — for no good reason, for no strong gain — is very deeply stupid.

Arresting Stormy Daniels for stripping in Columbus? Stupid. Stupid petty revenge.

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