California councilwoman says anonymous group tried to ‘slut-shame’ her into dropping reelection bid by creating website with ‘racy’ pictures of her at Burning Man

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

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

Dusty desert rats #burningman #brc #redcoat #dusty #tophat #ringmaster

A post shared by Rachel Hundley (@rachel_hundley) on

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.

#burningman #brc #playa #tophat #dusty

A post shared by Rachel Hundley (@rachel_hundley) on

“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: