The Christine O'Donnell "one night stand" story : Exploitative misogyny or political fair-game?

Yesterday, at 2:00pm eastern standard time, the ever-snarky gotcha! website Gawker published a story titled: "I Had a One-Night Stand With Christine O'Donnell."

The post, written by an anonymous man (who's since been outed as 28-year-old Philadelphian Dustin Dominiak), revealed the intimate details from a romantic night Dominiak says the two shared three years ago. It included a raunchy play-by-play of the evening (including what happened once the duo entered his bedroom) and it ran alongside photos of O'Donnell vamping in a ladybug costume (it was Halloween) while appearing rather tipsy in a bar. Despite the provocative headline, what it did not include was any account of actual sex. Still, it was shocking, disturbing, a wee humorous (a slutty ladybug costume? Forgive me, but that's kind of funny), and nearly impossible not to read.

Not surprisingly, the story sparked controversy nearly immediately. The National Organization for Women released a statement explaining, "Sexist, misogynist attacks against women have no place in the electoral process, regardless of a particular candidate's political ideology."

And the O'Donnell camp responded to the Gawker post with a resounding: "This story is just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with."

However vulgar the Gawker story may be, there's an argument to be made that revelations about O'Donnell's sex life are fair game this political season, because they expose the hypocrisy of a candidate who publicly advocates abstinence-from all sexual acts-outside of a heterosexual marriage. O'Donnell has been absolute about this point and her political positions include pushing legislation that would promote "sexual purity" and conservative values (she famously compared co-ed dorms to "orgy dorms," claimed masturbation is a form of adultery, and believes homosexuality is an "identity disorder.")

Still, Dominiak's cowardly tell-all (for which he was reportedly paid a sum in the four figures) goes too far for our liking, it's gross and violating and, ultimately, no matter how much of a jerk O'Donnell may be about issues that are important for women and women's rights, we still can't stand behind this kind of abuse. Lowering our political discourse to this level, is not only bad for women, it's bad for everyone.

What do you guys think?