The hot political gossip today is that Republican congressional ghoul Lauren Boebert maybe had two abortions in her late teens and early 20s and did sex work, primarily through sugar daddy dating websites. It’s probably not true — save for the written allegations from a PAC called American Muckrackers and some possible photos of Boebert in a bikini, we don’t have much else to confirm or deny the claims.
Either way, yawn.
Seriously, nobody cares. The leftists who were already pro-sex work and pro-abortion don’t care. Her constituents who believe it and trust that she’s changed — or feel confident it’s a hoax — don’t care. Not even the liberals who you’d expect to take the bait seem to care. All the Twitter accounts who made careers off their milquetoast critical replies to every Trump tweet are falling all over themselves to state that they think sex work is work and that abortions are a human right. Publications like the Daily Beast are reporting that liberals are “rushing to spread bogus rumors” about Boebert, but it’s just not true. Everyone, it seems, has approached this story with some level-headedness.
Jezebel, for example, wrote, “Of course, no one should care that Boebert allegedly had two abortions — people of all political leanings have abortions!” Mother Jones called the rumors “deeply misogynistic.” Nowhere do people seem to wholeheartedly accept these theories as fact. All the tweets from those aforementioned Trump reply guys call the details of the story “irrelevant” and say they “don’t care.”
Why is it that this story is just barely kicking up dust? Because, frankly, sex work is just not that salacious anymore. Maybe this would have made a much bigger splash a decade ago, but today, there are over 170 million people who use OnlyFans, 1.5 million of whom are making content. There’s good odds that you or someone you know have “skeletons” in your closet that are similar to Boebert’s alleged sugar daddy dating profile. In fact, it’s more surprising that we haven’t yet been told of more people in the political sphere engaging in sex work (though there are a few notable exceptions).
This isn’t to say that all sex workers can now freely out themselves without consequence, or that politicians with sex work backgrounds wouldn’t be lambasted by somebody, somewhere. Sex workers still experience multifaceted discrimination in housing, employment and medical care, and few of the sex workers who’ve run for office have been elected. But in the broader sphere of political discourse, it’s not the automatic disqualifier it used to be, particularly when framed as something someone did in the past.
Of course, even with their caveats about how sex work is totally fine and abortions are good, the people who do disagree with Boebert want to use the story to highlight her conservative hypocrisy, namely her anti-abortion stance and far-right “family values.” The problem here, however, is that this is just another example of things nobody gives a fuck about. You mean to say an American politician is a hypocrite? No duh. At this point, there’s truly no more shock and dismay left to feel about elected officials.
Just like abortions and sex work, lying and deceiptful politicians are a part of everyday life, and we should treat them as such.