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Politician says she was “slut-shamed” for Burning Man photos

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rachel hundley
Sonoma,
California councilwoman Rachel Hundley recorded a video last week
after she received a threatening email.



YouTube/Re-elect Rachel Hundley



  • Rachel Hundley is running for reelection to the Sonoma,
    California, city council.
  • The 35-year-old says she received an email earlier this
    month, threatening to publicize a website that included “racy”
    pictures of her at Burning Man if she didn’t drop out of the
    race.
  • She recorded a video in response to the group’s
    threats, saying she would not be “slut-shamed” for “celebrating
    my body” at an “internationally renowned”
    festival. 

A California city councilwoman is hitting out at a group that
allegedly tried to “slut shame” her into dropping her bid for
reelection by creating a website full of pictures in which she is
dressed provocatively while attending Burning Man. 

In a video posted to
YouTube
last week, Rachel Hundley, who is currently serving
on the Sonoma City Council, said that she received an email
earlier this month from an anonymous group called Citizens for
Peace and Cooperation.  

The group said they found the 35-year-old’s behavior “immoral and
unethical” and threatened that her candidacy would be “full of
disclosures” if she didn’t end her campaign. The email also
included a link to a website which Hundley said contained a mix
of “outright lies” and “racy” photos of herself at Burning Man
that she freely shared on her social media. 

Hundley told the
San Francisco Chronicle
she never considered dropping out of
the race. While her advisers told her to ignore the email, she
decided to record a video message as a response to what she
called the “anonymous coward” who tried to “slut-shame”
her. 

“Instead of challenging me on my votes this website relies solely
on unfounded accusations and slut-shaming,” she said in the
video. “Its purpose is to make me afraid. To silence another
strong female voice.” 

She explained that for the last several years, she has
voluntarily managed a “well-known wine bar” that is associated
with a “consent-focused, sex-positive” camp at the
“internationally renowned” Nevada festival. The work — which
includes talking about Sonoma Valley wine —  is something
she is proud of.

As for the photos of her at the festival, she says she “proudly”
posted them on social media and won’t be made to feel ashamed
when she was just “celebrating” her body. The photos she posted
to Instagram show her in just a bra or underwear at times,

which appear to be in line with the costumes many Burning Man
attendees wear.

“For too long, it has been seen as OK to control women by
dictating what is acceptable for us to wear, say and do. Strong
women have been fighting these double standards and hypocrisy for
years — fighting a culture that says that our bodies and our
lives are meant only for the consumption of men. 

“The attempt at blackmail assumes I buy into these lies, but I am
here today to tell my faceless bullies that I cannot be shamed
into quitting because I am not ashamed,” she said. 

Hundley told The
Washington Post
she was so anxious after publishing her video
response that she threw up. 

“I wasn’t sure if this was going to blow up in my face,” she
said. 

Hundley has been serving on the city council since 2014, and
served as mayor of the same town in 2017. The upcoming election
will be held in November, and she thinks that she’s only gained
more supporters since receiving the email. 

Watch the full video below: 

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