This congressional candidate’s resume includes a degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a White House gig — and a Maxim photo spread.
But Alejandra Campoverdi, who is running for California’s 34th district, has a powerful message for any critics of the latter. She pushes back against sexism she has faced for the photos in an essay for Cosmopolitan titled “I Posed For Maxim and I’m Running for Congress. It Shouldn’t Be That Shocking.”
Campoverdi opens up in the essay about the “double standard” on the campaign trail, saying many of her experiences are not unique.
“Sexism and misogyny are nothing new in politics. Female political staffers and politicians have been facing off-color comments and leering glances and have been excluded from ‘at capacity’ meetings for decades,” she writes.
Campoverdi, 38, says her first major episode with misogyny came in 2009 after she accepted a job to work in the White House after President Barack Obama was elected.
“One week into the job, photos from an old shoot for Maxim surfaced and spread like an arsonist’s fire. Right behind the photos followed the hotter, more humiliating blaze of unveiled snark that pointedly implied that I didn’t deserve what I’d accomplished and had been overambitious for even trying in the first place,” she writes.
She defends the 2004 men’s magazine photo shoot, explaining that she jumped at the opportunity because she had been working as an unpaid intern on Obama’s Senate campaign.
Campoverdi says she persevered and worked “even harder” for the next years in the Obama administration, but has found herself forced to confront questions about the men’s magazine shoot yet again.
“Now, eight years later, as I run for Congress, I understand a lot more about the systemic sexism in politics than the young woman who beat herself up and took all the shaming so personally. Yet when I recently found myself…