Among the potential candidates to take on Chris Dodd for his senate seat in 2010 is Linda McMahon. She is the wife of Vince McMahon, but that title doesn’t hint to her abilities to lead. The WWE (formerly WWF) has been a family business since the early days. Linda McMahon was, until this recent bid, the CEO of the publicly traded company. She could almost certainly hold her own in capital hill with the day to day business.

Today, her Democratic opponents are actually bringing up the nature of her career against her. And considering the business she is in, there is more than enough to dig up.  A spokeperson for the Connecticut Democrats said:

“As WWE Chief Operating Officer, Linda McMahon presided over programming that showed simulated rape, public sex and necrophilia, and now she wants to be our U.S. Senator? People across this state, not to mention the millions of women who are the victims of sexual violence every year, would be horrified and embarrassed to know that the person who seeks to represent them condones this kind of behavior. That kind of programming has no place in our society, and Linda McMahon has no place in the U.S. Senate.”

I don’t know about the simulated rape they talk about (Talking Points Memo links to this), but I do remember hearing of the public sex and the necrophilia storyline.

About a decade ago, the WWE was experiencing it’s biggest boom since the 1980s. The attitude era  as it was called upped the ante with wrestling porn stars, sex appeal, raunchiness, and more violent than usual wrestling. I guess I had forgotten about that aspect of professional wrestling. I say this because upon McMahon announcing her senate run, I viewed wrestling as more of a circus than a zeitgeist of shallowness.

Back in the late 1990s, the new direction WWE was taking was exciting, risque and tasteless. That edginess at the time overshadowed what has pretty much become evident in wrestling, it’s circus like nature. Thats not to say what the WWE did then and does now was and is always first class. I think the WWE has objectified women in a lot of ways since the attitude era. Some might argue that it has empowered women to participate in something rough. But women in the WWE are labeled as divas instead of wrestlers and are portrayed a lot as sex objects.

Now I also don’t believe these attacks carry much weight to them. Specifically the necrophilia storyline. Necrophilia is bit exploitative to individuals, but I feel it’s rather more as repulsive activity and a joke to most. And the storyline from what I remember (yes, despite my objections, I watch wrestling) came off as a tasteless fiasco and I believe the majority of this nation sees it as such. The storyline involving public sex involved two heels (bad guys) and those involved in the sex were not meant to come of as looking completely good. The “simulated rape” video does come off as demeaning and somewhat exploitative, but, and this what will make this whole attack worthless, the current economy trumps anything involving “mora”l issues. And the social issue of disrespecting women is undercut by the economy and sadly, that a social issue like this is treated as a “moral” issue.