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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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75 Responses

  1. Anon21
    Anon21 June 7, 2011 at 8:46 am |

    So it sounds like it could end up being weird behavior, based on facts which are “not clear” yet.

  2. Nahida
    Nahida June 7, 2011 at 8:55 am |

    Because I am so used to referring to Michael Savage as Michael Weiner in my head, at first I thought you were talking about that dumbass.

  3. gretel
    gretel June 7, 2011 at 8:56 am |

    I just assume that every New York politician is sexting and cheating. And I really don’t care if they’re doing it on the personal time and dime and don’t preach monogamy and hetereosexist supremacy.

    But I’m not so certain he cheated in the context of his relationship, because I have no idea if he and his wife have an open or closed marriage. The fact that they had Bill Clinton officiate their wedding makes this all the more creepy to me.

  4. ozymandias
    ozymandias June 7, 2011 at 9:01 am |

    And somehow I do not give a single fuck what Weiner is consensually doing with his own penis.

  5. gretel
    gretel June 7, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    But something we should care about this is that it has made Andrew Breitbart 1) happy 2) pretend he is a legitimate publisher.

    Not good.

  6. preying mantis
    preying mantis June 7, 2011 at 9:18 am |

    “But something we should care about this is that it has made Andrew Breitbart 1) happy 2) pretend he is a legitimate publisher.”

    Has anyone in the media ever not pretended Breitbart is a legitimate publisher? I mean, he’s gotten busted openly lying about shit how many times in the past five years, and everybody still acts like it might be a thing when he says something. He gets to pretend he’s a legitimate publisher no matter how many times he’s right or wrong because a lot of people want to buy what he wants to sell, and news is ratings-driven. What Weiner did or didn’t do really has no bearing on that.

  7. Andie
    Andie June 7, 2011 at 9:20 am |

    These kind of stories always perplex me, maybe it’s a cultural thing because here we either have very boring, or very discreet politicians or we just don’t give a shit about their personal lives. I don’t really know what a politicions personal life has to do with their ability to lead. All these scandals usually tell me is if A) they’re hypocrites (mostly in the case of social conservatives) or B) maybe they’re not too bright if they can’t tell that tweeting their junk is a bad idea when you have a political career to think about.

    I agree that without the context of his relationship with these women, it’s difficult to know the depths of the guy’s skeeviness. Solicited? Alright, whatever.. *shrug*. Unsolicited, then that poses a problem. Gretel makes a good point too, that we don’t know the context in regards to what kind of ground rules he and his wife have in their marriage.

    Why? Because it’s their private life, so why should we know?

  8. gretel
    gretel June 7, 2011 at 9:25 am |

    preying mantis: What Weiner did or didn’t do really has no bearing on that.

    Okay, but he was able to hijack Weiner’s news conference yesterday. And this: “For the revelations about the congressman, Mr. Breitbart partnered with ABC News, which interviewed Ms. Broussard and published its own account of her relationship with Mr. Weiner, a Brooklyn Democrat. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/07/nyregion/andrew-breitbart-a-blogger-looks-for-legitimacy.html

    All I’m pointing out is that he has gained traction in the media for this, which is ridiculous given the Shirley Sherrod incident.

  9. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 7, 2011 at 9:31 am |

    It strikes me as unlikely that much younger women, who had never met the man in person and followed the congressman because they admired his politics, “solicited” the photos. “Dear Congressman, great speech on C-SPAN last night! Please send me pictures of your erection”. I agree that his personal life is his business, but using his position as an elected official to harass people? Moar making fun of, please. Heaven knows that probably the most effective deterrent to super-egotists of this kind is public ridicule.

  10. samanthab
    samanthab June 7, 2011 at 9:36 am |

    Ozymandias, why the assumption it was consensual? It may have been, but I feel like that certainly what the one woman who wrote the piece in the NY Daily News seemed to suggest. That was pre-press conference so possibly she was covering for him. But the idea that we should reflexively take the word of a male politician who *has been caught in a lie* over the word of a young black female community college student is pretty disturbing.

  11. Tony
    Tony June 7, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    If it were a woman politician you would think the reaction would be even worse, but the accusations against Nikki Haley last year are the closest test case we have, and she came through that pretty well. Arguably she was hurt more by racism than anything else, as there appeared to be a “Jindal effect” on election night.

    However, I am somewhat confused with some of the defending on behalf of Representative Weiner here. While it’s certainly delicious to see some family-values thumping politician be caught betraying family values, I’ve always thought that the difference was a matter of degree, not some qualitative difference where if a Christian conservative Republican does it it’s wrong, but when a Progressive Democrat does it, it’s nothing? I mean, it’s not like Progressives are against the idea that if you get married, you should remain faithful right? We still think it’s wrong on some level, right?

  12. Lori
    Lori June 7, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    The thing that is irritating to me about this is his initial denial. Come on, dude, you didn’t tweet the pic, but you also weren’t sure if the picture was you? How many pictures of you with an erection do you have on your computer for people to hack? This whole thing striikes me as narcissitic behavior, mixed with lots of hubris. Add in stupidity and deceit. And yeah, it’s now sad and pathetic.

  13. gretel
    gretel June 7, 2011 at 9:53 am |

    Tony: I mean, it’s not like Progressives are against the idea that if you get married, you should remain faithful right? We still think it’s wrong on some level, right?

    Well, relationships are highly personal. Some people marry for love and promise to be faithful. Others marry for political/economic/other reasons and have open marriages. Others don’t marry, because they don’t choose to or aren’t able to legally. I don’t know what anyone else’s relationship is unless they tell me, so I tend not to judge unless it’s some loudmouth who preaches “traditional family values” or advocates legislation criminalizing other people’s relationships.

  14. Anon21
    Anon21 June 7, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    Kathleen:
    It strikes me as unlikely that much younger women, who had never met the man in person and followed the congressman because they admired his politics, “solicited” the photos.

    I don’t know why that would strike you as so unlikely on its face. Weiner’s a celebrity of sorts, and fame is, in itself, attractive to some people.

    Look, he certainly might have sent the photos unsolicited, in which case he’s a creep, a harasser, and worthy of far more serious condemnation than the venial sin of being somewhat unfaithful to his wife. But I don’t know why the assumption is that he’s a creep, harasser, etc., just because he lied about cheating. Should we also assume he’s lying about being politically liberal, and that he’s running some kind of elaborate con game on his constituents? Let’s wait for someone to actually dispute his version of events before we reject it, please.

  15. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 7, 2011 at 9:58 am |

    Anon21 – at least one of the recipients already has. But are we using the standard for rape cases, that men always tell the truth and women always lie?

  16. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil June 7, 2011 at 10:02 am |

    I’ve always thought that the difference was a matter of degree, not some qualitative difference where if a Christian conservative Republican does it it’s wrong, but when a Progressive Democrat does it, it’s nothing?

    I’m less bothered because a) we don’t really know what sort of relationship Weiner has with his wife and b) he’s not out there advocating for “family values!” and denying rights to women. I find hypocrisy to be far more of a problem than sexual indiscretion.

  17. Anon21
    Anon21 June 7, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    Kathleen:
    Anon21 – at least one of the recipients already has.But are we using the standard for rape cases, that men always tell the truth and women always lie?

    No, and I don’t know why you would assume so, when my comment clearly evinced a lack of awareness of any such dispute. Do you have a link to the news story or whatever?

  18. ozymandias
    ozymandias June 7, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    Ah, my apologies. I have not been following the case closely and had gathered that the dick pics in question were consensual. Obviously, sending unsolicited dick pics is certainly classless and probably harassment.

  19. Tony
    Tony June 7, 2011 at 10:11 am |

    gretel: Well, relationships are highly personal. Some people marry for love and promise to be faithful. Others marry for political/economic/other reasons and have open marriages. Others don’t marry, because they don’t choose to or aren’t able to legally. I don’t know what anyone else’s relationship is unless they tell me, so I tend not to judge unless it’s some loudmouth who preaches “traditional family values” or advocates legislation criminalizing other people’s relationships.

    If it were an open marriage, I think we would know by now. He said he apologized to Huma, so it doesn’t seem like it’s one of those things where it was understood that he would be playing around a little bit.

    It’s strange but I’m more bothered by the infidelity even than if he’d sent unsolicited photos to young women. Because in the latter case, what he’s really doing is giving these young women power over him. It’s not a case of the boss or coworker engaging in sexual harassment where you need this person, or even the case of street harassment where it’s hard or even dangerous to bite back. The moment he sends those photos, any one of those women had the power to destroy his career. They’re the ones holding the power, not him. In fact that’s what happened to Chris Lee (NY-26). On the other hand– cheating on his wife is a more serious offense because, she devoted his life to him, and is faced with more public humiliation now that this has come out. So it’s strange, I see things very differently than what seems to be the accepted view.

  20. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage June 7, 2011 at 10:11 am |

    Weiner displayed incredibly poor judgement, both in sending shots of his schlong to random people across computer networks[0], and letting people around the country try to investigate what happened and come to his defence while lying through his teeth. He managed to shoot himself in the foot while allowing a lot of people to waste time and energy trying to come to his defence, and on that basis alone there is reason to be disappointed with him. I’d like to say he should resign after such acts, but by that standard every government would be emptied out. This wouldn’t be necessarily a bad thing, though a whole assload of other actions would have to happen in order to prevent warlords and petty despots (like, say, Tea Partiers) from simply fililng the power vacuums, and I’m not up for organizing a global anarchist uprising this week. Catch me next week.

    [0] If he only told Huma yesterday, then they’d better have the openest of open relationships, because by most poly standards I’m aware of both partners should be at least aware of each other’s activities, for safety and honesty reasons if nothing else. At minimum, he should have been prepared to own his shit the moment it became public knowledge. To be clear, carrying on sexual relationships with consenting individuals is perfectly peachy; carrying on those relationships while ostensibly in a monogamous, committed relationship raises questions about his ethics and honesty, though how much goes back to how open his relationship with Abedin is/was, something that wouldn’t even be a subject of public speculation here if he’d exercised better judgement. Short version, he shot himself in the foot by being careless, and lying when he got caught. I really don’t care about what he does sex-wise, only that he acts in accordance to his own stated ethics and within the frameworks he established with his partner(s), and that he’s not acting in a predatory manner.

  21. Tony
    Tony June 7, 2011 at 10:12 am |

    @Jill: Oh I definitely don’t think it shouldn’t be a national scandal; I tried to avoid this story like the plague until it was literally staring me in the face on the front page of every outlet.

  22. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 7, 2011 at 10:17 am |

    Anon21 — sorry, that was harsh. Genette Cordova said she got a pic unsolicited. About what Jill is saying — well, yeah, there are much worse things going on in the world, for sure. But this argument gets leveled at everything feminists pay attention to (omg who cares about Dove soap ads when Bagram is full of prisoners with no rights!!!!). Here it does feel a little to me like it’s being deployed in defense of a Dem in a way that would never happen on behalf of a Repub.

  23. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 7, 2011 at 10:20 am |

    I think Tony’s comments exemplify why this story is gonna be a feminist issue whether we like it or not. The young women receiving unsolicited cock shots from a congressman “have all the power”. WE STILL LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE THIS UPSIDE DOWN PERSPECTIVE IS CASUALLY TROTTED OUT IN CONVERSATION.

  24. samanthab
    samanthab June 7, 2011 at 10:25 am |

    This is what the young woman that got the first Weiner photo to come public had to say:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2011/05/gennette-cordova-says-weinergate-is-bull
    She denies knowing Weiner but received the picture he now admits is of him. Possibly she was covering for him at the time, but we really don’t know that yet. She makes it pretty clear that her life has been thrown upside down, at least for the moment. I hope it’s a very brief moment, for her sake, but I have my doubts that will be the case.

  25. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 7, 2011 at 10:26 am |

    auditory damage — the government would not, actually, be “emptied out” if all the sexual harassers were tossed out of it. My district’s congressional representatives are fine public servants; many people in government are actually doing their jobs.

  26. Anon21
    Anon21 June 7, 2011 at 10:27 am |

    Ok. If he sent an unsolicited pic, then unless it was an accident, he’s a creep and a harasser, and he should absolutely resign.

  27. samanthab
    samanthab June 7, 2011 at 10:29 am |

    Here’s what she said Monday:
    http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/2011/06/06/seattle-woman-denies-inappropriate-interactions-with-anthony-weiner/

    She denies soliciting the photo in any fashion, and I’m not inclined to take a verified liar’s word over hers.

  28. gretel
    gretel June 7, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    Tony: If it were an open marriage, I think we woHe said he apologized to Huma, so it doesn’t seem like it’s one of those things where it was understood that he would be playing around a little bit.

    No U.S. politician could ever have a truly open relationship as far as I know. It just wouldn’t fly with the voting public. But there are politicians (I won’t name names, but I’m sure people can think of a few) who are married for political reasons. I’m just pointing out that nobody–besides Huma and Anthony–know the details of their relationship.

    You’re right–Anthony getting busted for this is completely humiliating for his wife and the rest of his family. I hope Huma can distance herself from this and not let the actions of her husband destroy her career.

  29. LC
    LC June 7, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    Kathleen:
    Anon21 — sorry, that was harsh.Genette Cordova said she got a pic unsolicited.

    Wait, I thought Cordova had said the pic was deleted before she ever saw it?

  30. gretel
    gretel June 7, 2011 at 10:33 am |

    gretel:

    Ack! Sorry! HTML fail. The first paragraph is Tony. The next two paragraphs are me. I’m sorry!

  31. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage June 7, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    Kathleen:
    auditory damage — the government would not, actually, be “emptied out” if all the sexual harassers were tossed out of it.My district’s congressional representatives are fine public servants; many people in government are actually doing their jobs.

    I was referring to all sorts of poor judgement and irrational decision-making, not limited to sexual harassment. I’ve watched a lot of people demonstrate poor analysis, bad judgement, and unethical behaviour, who then go on to be (re-)elected by voters who either don’t realize or don’t care how dangerous it is to give those individuals that much power, in just the past year alone.

    Civil servants and bureaucrats carrying out their jobs in a competent manner is not what I was targeting. I do think, however, that the legislative, decision-making ranks are full of people who shouldn’t even be allowed to run a toaster, never mind a social structure.

  32. Andie
    Andie June 7, 2011 at 10:44 am |

    auditorydamage: I’ve watched a lot of people demonstrate poor analysis, bad judgement, and unethical behaviour, who then go on to be (re-)elected by voters who either don’t realize or don’t care how dangerous it is to give those individuals that much power, in just the past year alone.

    *koff*ourlastfederalelection*koff* (sorry, still kind of bitter)

  33. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage June 7, 2011 at 10:53 am |

    Andie: *koff*ourlastfederalelection*koff*(sorry, still kind of bitter)

    And Toronto’s last municipal election. Hell, we practically have a GWB-Darth Cheney situation here, with the mayor filling the role of C-Plus Augustus and his brother playing the part of the Sith Lord.

    On top of that, we have a provincial election in Ontario this October, the present government seems to be hell-bent on shooting itself in the collective foot, and the main competition is a group of people dedicated to the same ideology, doublethink, and lack of intellectual rigour that took over on the local and federal levels.

    The problem is power and control, but if I don’t drop that subject here and now I’ll be typing and arguing for the rest of the day, and at this moment I just want to gaze at pictures of kitties and dream of a better world. At least cats don’t bomb each other…

  34. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable June 7, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    Lori: Come on, dude, you didn’t tweet the pic, but you also weren’t sure if the picture was you?

    That was my favorite part. In my head, he was genuinely confused. “I’m not sure if that’s my cock, but I SWEAR I have a pair of shorts just like that…”

  35. LC
    LC June 7, 2011 at 11:26 am |

    Ahh wait, ok, so the original was intended as an unsolicited pic to Cordova, from what I understand. So it seems while they had communicated online, she hadn’t asked for sexy pics. And if one believes the “he offered his PR people to help cover it up” story that has been reported, then even that is somewhat suspect.

  36. Tony
    Tony June 7, 2011 at 11:36 am |

    Kathleen: I think Tony’s comments exemplify why this story is gonna be a feminist issue whether we like it or not. The young women receiving unsolicited cock shots from a congressman “have all the power”. WE STILL LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE THIS UPSIDE DOWN PERSPECTIVE IS CASUALLY TROTTED OUT IN CONVERSATION.

    I’m flattered, but if I’ve missed something, I’m pretty sure it only speaks to me and not whether “this story is gonna be a feminist issue”. Ms. Cordova is definitely a victim in this case but a victim of some political hacks who passed around her information and have been harassing her and her family, not Rep. Weiner. That seems to be her take as well. Am I missing something?

  37. kwas-
    kwas- June 7, 2011 at 11:38 am |

    Tony: It’s strange but I’m more bothered by the infidelity even than if he’d sent unsolicited photos to young women. Because in the latter case, what he’s really doing is giving these young women power over him.

    So… am I missing something, or are you saying there’s nothing harassing or invasive or otherwise potentially triggering about sending unwanted genitalia pictures to people?

  38. samanthab
    samanthab June 7, 2011 at 11:56 am |

    Tony, yes, you are missing something. Weiner has admitted sending Cordova the photo. He said it was a “joke.” There’s nothing funny about having an unsolicited genitalia shot, especially when it’s from a powerful public figure. He’s ruined her life for the short term. Her morality has instantly become in question for millions of strangers based on Weiner’s imposition into her life. She doesn’t deserve that, and it’s not okay.

  39. Tony
    Tony June 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

    Of course there could be something harassing or invasive or otherwise potentially triggering about receiving such a picture unwanted, but when it’s from a Congressman, you can also strike back hard by basically destroying their career. By getting caught, he only destroyed her life by destroying his own life. It’s more of an unintentional FUBAR than an act of aggression.

    I was also going off of what happened in the Chris Lee incident, in that case the recipient chose to go public, and then contacted Gawker, which published the photo. The reactions this time [to the recipients] seem to be more extreme. But it’s more based on what third parties are saying about these women, and the overall dynamics of how these stories tend to blow up in the media.

  40. anna
    anna June 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm |

    Gennette Cordova has maintained all along that she had no prior sexual dealings with Weiner, which would mean that he was sending her an unsolicited penis picture, which would be sexual harassment (a serious ethical violaion and illegal). Yesterday, Cordova tweeted, “He has had six inappropriate relationships with women online in the last three years. If it wasn’t clear, I was not one of them.” Just for the record. Weiner could be telling the truth about it being consensual, but we don’t know that for a fact. His word is pretty much worthless at this point. If that did happen, he should be charged with sexual harassment, and I won’t be voting for him. I’m sick of people defending and excusing politicians who treat women like shit just because they vote the “right” way.

  41. gretel
    gretel June 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

    anna: Gennette Cordova has maintained all along that she had no prior sexual dealings with Weiner, which would mean that he was sending her an unsolicited penis picture, which would be sexual harassment (a serious ethical violaion and illegal).

    I’m very hazy on the particulars of the law when it comes to this sort of thing. Is what he did illegal? It’s creepy and disgusting in my opinion, but what laws does it violate? I’m ignorant. Back in the AOL days when I was a teen I would have grown men send me all sorts of photos I didn’t want. I wish I had known more then.

  42. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage June 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm |

    anna: I’m sick of people defending and excusing politicians who treat women like shit just because they vote the “right” way.

    *applause*

    A choice between fascists who abuse others, and crooks who abuse others while pretending to be otherwise, is not much of a choice at all; in the end, they will all find a way to use, abuse, and profit off the backs of the rest of us, regardless of whether the policies they wish to implement inspire or terrify us. Frankly, someone who makes pretty noises about social justice one moment, and harasses and abuses people the next, has enough of a problem with honesty and ethics that hir dedication to the pretty noises should be called into question anyway.

  43. smmo
    smmo June 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

    Do these idiots ever get over not getting laid in high school? It’s infuriating.

    A choice between fascists who abuse others, and crooks who abuse others while pretending to be otherwise, is not much of a choice at all; in the end, they will all find a way to use, abuse, and profit off the backs of the rest of us, regardless of whether the policies they wish to implement inspire or terrify us.

    It’s true. But at least there is a choice? I don’t even know any more. I really don’t. If nearly all of them cheat/send pictures of the pee pees about, then I guess I’d rather have the nominally pro-choice ones. But it’s a horrible thing to have to accept.

    I swear, if I find out Bernie Sanders does this I’m going off the grid.

  44. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos June 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm |

    I’m sick of people defending and excusing politicians who treat women like shit just because they vote the “right” way.

    This cannot be QFT enough.

    I’m also sick of finding out that those who call themselves allies treat women exactly the same way as the rest. Just once, I’d like to not be completely let down.

  45. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm |

    smmo — for me it is helpful to think, okay, this is a better choice in the world in which we live (the pro-choice guy with the uninvited weenie photos vs., say, the anti-choice homophobe with the secret boyfriend). BUT. The fun part of being a feminist is not in being pragmatic (that’s the hard part) but in also holding things to the standard of the world in which we oughta live. And there, hoo boy, making fun of Congressman Sproingy Surprise is fair game and I’m not gonna be scolded for enjoying it.

    Tony — what you don’t get has been explained to you quite cogently, above, by samanthab and anna. If you still don’t get it, it’s because you don’t want to.

  46. Azalea
    Azalea June 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm |

    So it’s cheating for anyone other than the one you’re with to see you nearly nude? Or photos of you nude? I don’t buy that. I get that it could upset your significant other but that is only speculation if you do not know the inner workings of his relationship. I’d say cheating would have to entail physical sexual contact and/or serious emotional intimacy and involvement. But that’s just my personal opinion. I don’t think there can be a unilateral decision that *this* is cheating. Whatever it is, it’s obviously not too smart and something he should not have been doing since there are accusations of harassments (I havent followed this I just know Weiner= dude who follows young women on twitter and has sent out “Sexting” pics.)

  47. Azalea
    Azalea June 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm |

    So it’s cheating for anyone other than the one you’re with to see you nearly nude? Or photos of you nude? I don’t buy that. I get that it could upset your significant other but that is only speculation if you do not know the inner workings of his relationship. I’d say cheating would have to entail physical sexual contact and/or serious emotional intimacy and involvement. But that’s just my personal opinion. I don’t think there can be a unilateral decision that *this* is cheating. Whatever it is, it’s obviously not too smart and something he should not have been doing since there are accusations of harassments (I havent followed this I just know Weiner= dude who follows young women on twitter and has sent out “Sexting” pics.)

  48. groggette
    groggette June 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm |

    Tony: If it were an open marriage, I think we would know by now.

    Really? I seriously doubt that. How many famous people/couples do you know that are open about having an open relationship? And I’m not talking about people famous for having an “open” relationship (Re: that Sister Wives show).

  49. groggette
    groggette June 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm |

    Azalea: I don’t think there can be a unilateral decision that *this* is cheating.

    I agree. Cheating always depends on the context of the relationship, so for some people what Weiner did would absolutely be cheating. For others, it’s not cheating unless you fail to inform your partner before going home with that hot guy or girl from the bar.

  50. Daisy
    Daisy June 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

    Eh, CNN was already doing that.

    gretel:
    But something we should care about this is that it has made Andrew Breitbart 1) happy 2) pretend he is a legitimate publisher.

    Not good.

  51. Daisy
    Daisy June 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm |

    Tony: If it were an open marriage, I think we would know by now. He said he apologized to Huma, so it doesn’t seem like it’s one of those things where it was understood that he would be playing around a little bit.

    —-snip—-

    I don’t believe for one second we’d know if they had an open relationship. I believe it’s very arguable that disclosing you are in an open marriage would be more harmful to your political career than the disclosure that you cheated. After all, half of Americans have been unfaithful to their spouses…but how many are in legit open marriages? Far less common, and therefore considered far more “peculiar”.

  52. smmo
    smmo June 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm |

    Kathleen: for me it is helpful to think, okay, this is a better choice in the world in which we live (the pro-choice guy with the uninvited weenie photos vs., say, the anti-choice homophobe with the secret boyfriend). BUT. The fun part of being a feminist is not in being pragmatic (that’s the hard part) but in also holding things to the standard of the world in which we oughta live. And there, hoo boy, making fun of Congressman Sproingy Surprise is fair game and I’m not gonna be scolded for enjoying i

    That is a great, smart thought process. And it is fun. You have to laugh, because it is much better than weeping.

  53. anonmouse
    anonmouse June 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm |

    I’ve been following a blog that suggests (conspiracy theory alert!) that the picture sent to Cordova was, in fact, a frame-up, and that Weiner (falsely) admitted to it to get the whole media circus over with & prevent Breitbart from releasing further pictures.

    It doesn’t mean that the interactions Weiner had with other women were necessarily consensual, though.

    Here’s the post–be aware there is a discussion of the author’s “unintentional” cyber-sex with an underage women at the end.

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2011/06/im-going-to-outrage-all-of-you-i-dont.html

  54. Tony
    Tony June 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm |

    Hmmm, this has been very eye opening for me. I don’t disagree that he treated women horribly, but I did think it was pretty obvious that the one with the most possible legitimate grievance here is his wife.

    On one end of the scale, you receive a Tweet from someone, who lives thousands of miles away, in another state, despite being a Congressman doesn’t really have any power over you, and who you can easily block with your Twitter in one second and never receive another Tweet from him again. Oh and by the way, should you choose to do so you can destroy the career that he’s worked for decades to build up.

    On the other end of the scale, you’ve married this guy, committed your life to him in front of family and friends, probably had a lot of good memories together and what you thought was a strong emotional bond, and then find out in the most public way possible that he’s been having these explicit exchanges with multiple women. Your marriage may be over. You may never be able to trust this person again.

    To me, instinctively, I’d much rather be the first woman. Much better to receive an internet message that can be deleted in 1 second than to have someone who you may love and are a purported lifelong partner with publicly betray you. This may be the family values ninny coming out here but I find it interesting that there’s a lot of indignation over the first but a lot of excuses being made over the second.

  55. kwas-
    kwas- June 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm |

    Tony:
    Much better to receive an internet message that can be deleted in 1 second than to have someone who you may love and are a purported lifelong partner with publicly betray you. This may be the family values ninny coming out here but I find it interesting that there’s a lot of indignation over the first but a lot of excuses being made over the second.

    I think people who are “making excuses” are just acknowledging that what might be unacceptable and/or hurtful in one relationship is not necessarily so in another. We don’t know that Abedin is looking for the public to be indignant on her behalf… There have, on the contrary, been hints that at least one of the recipients did not welcome Weiner’s messages.

  56. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos June 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

    interesting that there’s a lot of indignation over the first but a lot of excuses being made over the second.

    IOW, we’re not following the script, ladies! We’re supposed to be screeching for blood, not rationally examining the situation. It’s “a lot of excuses” to do anything else!

    I lost my Approved Performance of Feminity script, can someone lend me theirs?

    LOL

  57. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

    Tweeting a photo of yourself nude or nearly nude is much like sexually harassing a stranger on the street of “flashing” your genitals on the subway. Weiner is a predator, imo. And if he had an “open” relationship with his wife, why did he get all teary and choked up and apologize to her?

    And if people want sexual privacy, I’d advise NOT sending naked photos of yourself out into the ether.

  58. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos June 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |

    Weiner is a predator, imo.

    Though my earlier comment pokes fun at this, I have to be clear here: You’re 100% right. Its looking now like this wasn’t just some cheeky fun, but potentially harrassment. That means he’s not one of the good guys. That means that this whole thing is no longer in the “not even interesting” category.

  59. Tony
    Tony June 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

    kwas-: I think people who are “making excuses” are just acknowledging that what might be unacceptable and/or hurtful in one relationship is not necessarily so in another. We don’t know that Abedin is looking for the public to be indignant on her behalf… There have, on the contrary, been hints that at least one of the recipients did not welcome Weiner’s messages.

    They’re still playing guessing games emphasizing the most innocent possible scenario (open marriage) and going from there. With the photos recipients they’re assuming the worst possible scenario (unwanted photo) and going from there.

    Look, my point is not that I Am Right and You Are Wrong, it is Right to be Indignant about This and Wrong to be Indignant about That. You can be indignant (or not) about whatever you want. I just note that my reaction is different from most people (including most people on other sites; I free admit my reaction is the “abnormal” one here, from what I’ve seen), and I explained why someone might feel as I do in reaction to this circus. It’s more a matter of curiosity than anything else.

  60. samanthab
    samanthab June 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm |

    Tony, you are full of shit. He *did* have power over the woman who got the photo; she’s had her morality called into question all over the country because she dared follow a putative “progressive” congressman on Twitter. If what she says is correct, she’s been harassed on a national level for days now because of what Weiner did, without any action on her part. How is that not power, that he can inflict that kind of trauma on a total stranger?

  61. Joseph Cannon
    Joseph Cannon June 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm |

    anonmouse, if you wish to cast any aspersions on my behavior in 1995, please have the courage to write to me directly. I did nothing wrong, and it is reprehensible of you to put the word unintentional in quotes. If I felt that anyone would misinterpret the story as you have, I would not have told it.

    My point in telling it was simple. The national media wanted to open a national discussion based on the fact that neither Weiner nor anyone else really knows the person on the other side of an online romance. And this is true: One really cannot know. Not until a meeting has occurred.

    But what is the alternative? Do we ban all online romance? Good luck with THAT.

    In 1995, I honestly thought I was talking to a woman older than I. (If you really want to know, I didn’t like 17 year old girls even when I was 17, and I’ve never in my life had a romantic interlude of any kind with any woman under the age of 25.) For all I know, she really WAS 44. The picture she sent me two years later may have been from her youth. (It was black and white and the hairstyle seemed out of date.) Hell, I cannot even be sure that she was a she.

    All I know is that she was lying on one occasion or the other. And she was one of the most brilliant individuals I’ve ever encountered. Do you recall “Eve 6″ from that old “X-Files” episode? Like that. Except, you know, more pleasant.

  62. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm |

    Tony, your logic is the one behind guys hooting at women on the street: wow baby you are so hot I can’t help myself! You oughta be flattered! It’s a bunch of poo, as samanthab says. Being subjected to an unwanted sexual interaction isn’t power.

    Amanda Marcotte has an argument up at Pandagon with various parts, some of which I agree with, but which also is intended to argue that the reaction to the Wiener case is all prudery. To buy what she’s saying, you’d have to believe that some portion of Wiener’s actions were about female pleasure. Sure, images of male genitalia can be a source of female pleasure. But Wiener sending photos of his own personal penis to women he didn’t know well, so whose preferences in that regard he couldn’t anticipate: yeah, that’s not about female pleasure. That’s using others, willing or no, for the sake of one’s own gratification and saying so has nothing to do with prudery.

  63. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 7, 2011 at 10:33 pm |

    Thank you, Kathleen. Very well put.

    And thanks for this post, Jill. It’s the first progressive blog I’ve read that didn’t just brush this aside as “boys will be boys.”

  64. David
    David June 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm |

    tinfoil hattie:
    Tweeting a photo of yourself nude or nearly nude is much like sexually harassing a stranger on the street of “flashing” your genitals on the subway.Weiner is a predator, imo.And if he had an “open” relationship with his wife, why did he get all teary and choked up and apologize to her?

    And if people want sexual privacy, I’d advise NOT sending naked photos of yourself out into the ether.

    Oh. My. God. Weiner is such a slut. Let’s make fun of him.

    and to top it all off, he violated his MARRIAGE oath. What a bad bad man.

  65. zuzu
    zuzu June 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm |

    It’s three-legged stool time!

    You know the three-legged stool. It’s the one where you kick any of the legs out, and the whole thing falls down.

    Here are the three legs of the We Shouldn’t Care About What Anthony Does With His Weiner stool:

    1. Private
    2. Consensual
    3. Between adults.

    If any one of those is knocked out, we then have a broken Universal New Yorker Cartoon Caption (“Christ, what an asshole”) stool.

    1. Private: one of the women has said that she received calls from Weiner which he said were on a private line, but when she called the number once, she heard a message saying it was an outgoing-calls-only Congressional line.

    2. Consenting: Gennette Cordova has said she did not solicit photos of his junk, and that the junk picture which was sent to her and withdrawn (apparently it was intended to be put in a DM) was sent without her knowledge, and presumably, her consent.

    3. Between Adults: Were all the women he sent photos to adults?

    If the stool is standing, it really isn’t anyone’s fucking business. If the stool is knocked over, then we have at least a breach of House ethics, if not a misuse of public resources and FSM knows what else.

  66. groggette
    groggette June 8, 2011 at 10:30 am |

    zuzu: Weiner stool

    I sense a crafting project in my future.

  67. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub June 8, 2011 at 10:39 am |

    It’s creepy and violating to get “communications” like that from someone that you did not specifically ask for. It’s fucking harassment. That people are brushing this off as boys will be boys is really fucking sickening to me. At least one woman has been pretty clear in her insistence that she did not know Weiner, she did not have any sort of a relationship with him, and she did not ask for such photos to be sent to her.

    Oh, wait, I’m sorry! It’s just teh sex, and I’m a big old Puritan meanie-butt for suggesting that sending dick pics to women who have not asked you for them is actually wrong. That’s why we were put on this Earth, so that lefty and righty d00dbros can flash their junk IRL and on the net. My bad.

  68. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub June 8, 2011 at 10:46 am |

    Oh and by the way, should you choose to do so you can destroy the career that he’s worked for decades to build up.

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

    Look, that woman has been harassed endlessly since this happened. She’s had her personal history combed through and her name dragged through the mud. She wants to be left the fuck alone. How is that power?

    And you know? I don’t want the power to take a Congressman down. I want the power to know that men don’t feel entitled to harass me. Women have to live with this shit everyday. Cis men don’t. So pardon me if I don’t feel powerful.

    FFS.

  69. samanthab
    samanthab June 8, 2011 at 11:33 am |

    Sheelzebub, yeah, by the dude’s logic, it’s power when a woman is raped. She has the oh so delightful option of turning him in! That could really mess up his life!

    I wish I could say this is the only time I’d heard that particularly inane analysis of what makes up “power,” but no, no I can’t. Nevermind that Weiner still has a career, and the boys will be boys excuse seems to be going pretty far for him.

  70. Tony
    Tony June 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm |

    I have to retract my analysis about unwanted texts and ‘power’ overall, and as it relates to the Genette Cordova situation in particular. In retrospect, there were many things I was not considering. I was not considering the potential unwanted costs in terms of attention and harassment of ‘outing’/being tied to an ‘outed’ a Congressperson, which was/is being experienced by Genette Cordova. I was not taking into account (explicitly) the fact that the ability to strike back or gain leverage against the offender does not detract from the harassment nature of the act. And I was not taking into account how this kind of behavior is part of a larger culture of the entitlement of some privileged people to push their sexual urges onto others. When it is not consensual, this is certainly something that needs to be discussed and condemned.

  71. maggie
    maggie June 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

    auditorydamage: *applause*

    A choice between fascists who abuse others, and crooks who abuse others while pretending to be otherwise, is not much of a choice at all; in the end, they will all find a way to use, abuse, and profit off the backs of the rest of us, regardless of whether the policies they wish to implement inspire or terrify us.Frankly, someone who makes pretty noises about social justice one moment, and harasses and abuses people the next, has enough of a problem with honesty and ethics that hir dedication to the pretty noises should be called into question anyway.

    Double applause.

    There is a moral obligation to serve the public and to make decisions for the good. His behaviour was abhorrent and calls into serious doubt his seat in public office. And yes, if a woman who held an office of power was caught texting her enlarged (but clothed) clitoris to men much younger than her I have to say there would be an almighty outrage – she would have to go just like the (female) Northern Irish politician Iris Robinson, who at 60 was having an affair with a nineteen year old man. I call double standards on this. He should go.

  72. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |

    David, you’re having trouble with reading comprehension. Re-read what I said and instead of claiming I said Weiner is a slut, respond to what I really said.

    As far as people speculating “well maybe they have an open marriage,” I was merely responding with my own speculation that if it were “open,” why should he have to apolgize? Also, some people take marriage vows of faithfulness seriously. When/if you get married, you certainly don’t have to. That some of us do is not a failure of our character.

  73. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

    You know, “turning in” men of power for their sexual misbehavior and/or crimes works so well for women, doesn’t it? We’re so lucky.

  74. David
    David June 9, 2011 at 12:08 am |

    tinfoil hattie:
    David, you’re having trouble with reading comprehension.Re-read what I said and instead of claiming I said Weiner is a slut, respond to what I really said.

    As far as people speculating “well maybe they have an open marriage,” I was merely responding with my own speculation that if it were “open,” why should he have to apolgize? Also, some people take marriage vows of faithfulness seriously.When/if you get married, you certainly don’t have to. That some of us do is not a failure of our character.

    Yeah, sorry hattie. Sometimes all the blood flows to my penis and there is nothing left over in my brain for reading. It’s a real problem.

    and I totally agree. You weren’t saying anything about sluts. You were just pointing out the totally obvious fact that sexting is also sexual harassment. Self evident. Also, your defense of marriage is admirable. Truly.

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