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Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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25 Responses

  1. Nicholas
    Nicholas April 12, 2013 at 11:31 am |

    Fair points, all.

    If I were in her position, however, I think I’d take my very good odds of being Chief of Staff to the 45th President of the United States over campaigning (seriously, campaigns are awful) for a job that, it turns out, doesn’t even have the power to ban over-sized sugary beverages.

  2. Cynthia
    Cynthia April 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

    Jenny Sanford didn’t appear as the wronged wife and didn’t put on the conciliatory act — she dropped his ass like a bag of stinky dog shit. She also didn’t get called crazy or hysterical. She’s a cool customer.

    1. BHuesca
      BHuesca April 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

      I was just going to say that!

  3. robotile
    robotile April 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm |

    I never really thought Weiner’s behavior was that bad. I mean, creepy and weird but not eject-worthy.
    But that NYT article just made me wonder why Abedin even liked him in the first place, inappropriate tweets or no. She seems pretty kick-ass and he sounds like an annoying douche in person — even his brother describes him that way! And their “meet cute” story was more like a “uh, how exactly did these two people wind up together” story.
    As for running for mayor, I’m guessing Abedin has bigger national fish to fry but would be stoked if she chose to pursue political office.

    1. Emolee
      Emolee April 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

      I never really thought Weiner’s behavior was that bad. I mean, creepy and weird but not eject-worthy.

      It is my understanding that he sent pictures of his dick to women who did not solicit them; some of these were young women who were his followers online because they were interested in politics.

      That is pretty damn bad.

      1. EG
        EG April 12, 2013 at 9:04 pm |

        I agree that it’s bad, but the other thing I think is this: politicians do worse things every day and don’t resign or throw in the towel. For pete’s sake, while the Weiner scandal was ongoing, a piece of shit Republican fucked a sixteen-year-old and still saw no reason to resign.

        I don’t think that by getting rid of Weiner we get somebody who doesn’t sexually harass women. I think that by getting rid of Weiner we get somebody considerably less radical who hasn’t been caught.

        Yes, I do know that I have very low expectations for my politicians. I expect them to be corrupt, selfish, amoral, sexist, arrogant scum. All I ask of them is that they use their corruption, amorality, and arrogance to advance my side. And that they refrain from out-and-out physically attacking anybody while in office, because surely if they were at all good at their jobs, they could call in a favor and have somebody else do it for them.

        1. Dave W.
          Dave W. April 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm |

          Are you sure that this was while the Weiner scandal was ongoing? The date on that article is 1989, consistent with other dates in the article.

        2. EG
          EG April 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm |

          That’s very odd. I’m certain that I read the article during the Weiner scandal, and that I got to it from a headline link on the NYT, either the front page, or the US/Politics headings, because, well, I remember it, but also that’s the only way I would have found it. But I just looked the dude up on Wikipedia, and yeah, 1989. Let me look into WTF was going on.

          Thanks for pointing this out.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L April 13, 2013 at 10:34 pm |

          Maybe there was another, very similar occurrence more recently? It’s not like these things — middle-aged male politicians behaving badly — are exactly uncommon, unfortunately.

      2. robotile
        robotile April 15, 2013 at 11:08 am |

        Maybe it’s because my standards for “acceptable online behavior” are just way way lower than in real life, but\I have somehow accepted unsolicited dick pictures are par for the course if you are online. Sad, huh? Also, to be fair, it wasn’t a completely naked shot, which somehow seems marginally less creepy (but equally pathetic).

    2. Athenia
      Athenia April 15, 2013 at 10:02 am |

      I felt the same way too after reading the article. Why is she with this dude?

  4. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar April 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm |

    So here’s the thing about politicians and monogamy:

    If they are running for office, I don’t care if they are monogamous. I do care if they are too self-serving to keep a promise they made to the person closest to them.

    That’s complicated, because nobody in politics can say, “it’s okay, our marriage is more flexible than strict monogamy.” Some are, some are not, but everyone has to pretend.

    But for the most part, I don’t suspect these cheating assholes of being in open relationships and unable to disclose it. I think they’re just selfish cheating assholes, who get self-indulgent when they are powerful and famous and have lots of opportunities. And that’s exactly the sort of person who can’t be trusted with political power.

    1. LC
      LC April 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

      I think they’re just selfish cheating assholes, who get self-indulgent when they are powerful and famous and have lots of opportunities. And that’s exactly the sort of person who can’t be trusted with political power.

      That’s pretty much how I feel about it, too.

    2. EG
      EG April 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm |

      I think they’re just selfish cheating assholes, who get self-indulgent when they are powerful and famous and have lots of opportunities. And that’s exactly the sort of person who can’t be trusted with political power.

      I don’t know; I kind of expect this. It’s practically the definition of what happens when somebody acquires power. I can’t imagine how or why somebody who wasn’t selfish, self-indulgent, untrustworthy, and/or arrogant (just to throw in another one) to a near-pathological degree would be successful in the US political system.

      I just assume that the majority of them haven’t been caught. Yet.

  5. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date April 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm |

    I’m all for columns explaining the reasons why the script involving a wife standing by supportively while her husband confesses his misdeeds and asks for forgiveness is awful. Or why there are lots of competent women who don’t run for public office and lots of sorry-excuse-for-a-human-being men who do.

    But I’m not all for columns speculating about why Huma Abedin stayed with Anthony Weiner, or Hillary Clinton stayed with Bill Clinton, or Jenny Sanford didn’t stay with Mark Sanford. It’s none of my business. Even if Abedin and Weiner want to make it my business (I guess?) by talking about it in the NYT Magazine, it’s still none of my business.

    1. Drahill
      Drahill April 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |

      I felt like this was a bit assumptive. Because, frankly, we don’t even know if Huma actually was cheated on, or if she feels that way. her husband did a lot of stuff online, but I don’t think anyone ever alleged that he had physical contact with anyone other than his wife. I personally have friends who permit their husbands to have online “fantasy lives” that include cyber-sex or stuff like that, and they don’t think of it as cheating. Huma has never publicly discussed anything relating to her marriage, so I think it’s a bit odd to speculate on “why she stays” when frankly, we don’t even know if he wronged her. It’s safer to assume that Jenny Sanford or Dina Matos were wronged because they divorced. But there is something speculative about it.

      1. Sid
        Sid April 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm |

        If you read the NYTimes piece, i think its fairly safe to say she felt wronged.

        1. Drahill
          Drahill April 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm |

          Eh, the impression I got from the piece was that she felt wronged that he initially lied to her. Which is perfectly understandable. I’m more addressing whether she was wronged by his initial actions.

  6. Sid
    Sid April 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm |

    I think what you’re suggesting is fabulous. When Weiner stepped down, some were in fact suggesting that it be Abedin to take his place as rep. I think this certainly would have been tenable had she been more of a policy wonk and not Muslim, but as it is, she probably needs time and experience.

    Incidentally, the “Goodbye, pervert!” send-off has to be all time most hilarious moment in televised political shame.

  7. hotpot
    hotpot April 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

    Ok, here’s a question… How much does being a woman weigh in terms of supporting a candidate for public office? I’m not talking about supporting a Thatcher or a Palin just because she’s a woman. But on the other hand I think we can confidently say that women don’t really have an equal shot at getting elected for public office whether it’s Congress or mayor or President/PM. I also believe the studies that find that women lawmakers st least, priorities issues differently even when you control for ideology or party. Just as we believe in social justice that privileged groups should be allies but not speak for the underprivileged, so does it take representative women, POC, trans, lawmakers and other kinds of diversity among our public officials…. Not just bc of the different priorities they bring but because simply having and seeing them in power helps change the political culture, which I think is another way to bring our issues to a higher priority. Class is another element here because of how expensive it is to run for office.

    So I guess what I’m saying here is that I think there are a lot of contests, such as the current L.A. mayoral race, where I as an observer can’t see to much difference between the candidates but one of them would just happen to be, if elected, the woman mayor of the largest city yet, surpassing the record set in 1979 in Chicago. I feel that’s as good a reason to support that candidate, Wendy Greuel, as any

    1. EG
      EG April 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm |

      All else being equal, I tend to vote for the candidate who’s a member of a subjugated group. Obviously, if there’s a significant policy difference, then I don’t, but if there isn’t, well, why not?

      1. Calioak
        Calioak April 14, 2013 at 6:44 pm |

        Because people are people are people. The last time I voted for someone BECAUSE he was a member of an oppressed group, I ended up voting for a guy who used his position with a volunteer youth group to mess with teenage girls. That’s what I get for stereotyping and now creepy pervert is our mayor and I get to take credit for contributing to it. Gah.

        1. EG
          EG April 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm |

          Yes, and if one candidate is a creepy asshole to teenage girls and the other is not, I would advise giving your vote to the one who is note. However, if they’re both creepy assholes to teenage girls, or neither is, or their creepy asshole status is unknown, then you have a situation in which the “all other things being equal” clause applies.

          As mac says.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm |

        Well…EG does say “All else being equal”. I’d consider creepy perviness to be a highly significant de-equaliser, wouldn’t you?

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 14, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

          Urgh, that was supposed to be a reply to Calioak. (I’m really sorry that happened to you, btw; it sucks.)

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