Republican Governor Nikki Haley got called a “whore” last week by her Democrat opponent at a campaign event.
Not good, right?
Except that it honestly did seem to be a slip of the tongue. What Democrat State Senator Vincent Sheheen meant to say was “We are going to escort her out the door,” accidentally pronouncing “her” as “whore” instead.
It really could have just been a gaffe, and normally I’d be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when I haven’t heard of him making sexist statements before. (Then again, I haven’t heard of him saying anything at all before. Up to ten minutes ago, I didn’t even know he existed.)
What’s a lot more disconcerting is the reaction afterward.
The audience seems to catch his mistake before he does, with a lot of them laughing and some of them hooting. You can see the recognition dawn on Sheheen’s face too; he smiles and laughs a little, then goes right back onto the main message.
Like it’s no big deal whatsoever to call a woman a whore.
Admittedly I can’t get as upset as Ann Romney, Haley’s big-time supporter, says she did at the clip. According to her, “My nerve endings went haywire. It’s so upsetting when you know someone can say something like that about a woman, and not have any kind of reaction. It’s so unacceptable. Nikki is a great girl and has been a great governor.”
In addition, Sheheen was on stage and in the moment, which makes analyzing issues and reacting accordingly a lot more difficult than otherwise. However, calling a woman a “whore” is the kind of thing your campaign managers are supposed to catch and address appropriately, at least with a quick tweet of an apology or something.
Unless, of course, they’re so used to that kind of language – and larger mentality – flying around the campaign office that they don’t think twice when they hear it out in public.