|"I did NOT have sext with that woman!"|
I've been waiting all day to write that title.
So, the Twitterverse exploded today with the mostly unsurprising* news that Weinergate is indeed Weiner's wiener (okay, last time) and that he sent scandalous "sexts" to at least 6 other women:
“I am deeply regretting what I have done, and I am not resigning,” the New York Democrat told reporters in an extraordinary press conference in Manhattan on Monday afternoon. “I am deeply sorry for the pain this has caused Huma, my wife, and my family.”
I pretty much ignored Weinergate at first, but that's clearly not happening anymore. So, some thoughts.
Weiner, a congressman I respect a great deal, Tweeted, emailed, whatever, pictures of his junk to some women, and claims it was all consensual. None of the young women have come forward to claim otherwise. House Minority Leader Pelosi has called for an ethics investigation of the incident, to determine whether or not any House rules were broken. This is, of course, fine; regardless of his political leaning and whether or not I like the guy, we all deserve to know whether or not laws were broken, and whether or not we've got yet another sexually-harassing lawmaker in Congress.
Now, assuming that all of these sexually explicit were, in fact, consensual, my thoughts on this are: who gives a fuck. While I feel sorry for his wife, who is more than likely feeling quite bad about being publicly humiliated by her husband's indiscretions, I think this is a good time to sort some things out regarding the consensual, adult sex lives of our lawmakers. I'm a big believer in individuals having the freedom to determine their own sexuality, and the ways in which they express it. I'm also a big believer in honesty. Weiner, like so many married folks who commit indiscretions such as this, is guilty of being dishonest with his wife, who he only very recently married. Their marriage is presumably monogamous, because nothing has been said otherwise, and obviously, betraying a spouse's trust is awful, and most of us would probably agree. On the other hand, since this issue quite literally only affects the people who were involved-- and it must be reiterated that there is no reason as of yet to believe that a crime was committed or that any coercion was involved-- I think we all need to chill the hell out. Weiner and his wife will determine what to do about the betrayal, and they should both be given the privacy to do it. It's absurd to police the sexuality of our lawmakers, and while I may occasionally have some fun to poke at the expense of the Republican gay sex scandals, it's about the hypocrisy, and not the act(s) in and of themselves.
Ultimately, the sex lives of our lawmakers and other politicians doesn't have shit to do with their performance in office, and we Americans need to collectively chill the hell out about sex in general. Without the backdrop and dogma of religion's influence, there isn't a reason to attach morality to consensual sex acts. Everyone feels differently about sex, how to do it, when they should do it, when it's comfortable to do it, and with whom to do it. It's none of my damn business who does what with whom, nor is it anyone else's business what I do.
One thing I'm particularly interested in is the criticism of Weiner's following a "21-year-old college student." What? For what reason are we supposed to believe this is wrong? At what age does this DanaBashCNN believe it is acceptable to be followed by a politician on Twitter? Is she unaware of just how many people have an "automatic follow back" policy on Twitter? Governor Mark Dayton is following me; is the fact that I'm an occasional college student and in my twenties indicative of ill intent on his part? I highly doubt it. Furthermore, the suggestion that there is something wrong with it is incredibly patronizing to the young woman. Sex (or, more appropriately, the exchange of sexually explicit photos) between a 40-something and a 20-something shouldn't be a controversy in and of itself. The backlash about her age is just insulting. Women seem to be treated in one of two ways in regards to their sexual activity: like perpetual sluts, or perpetual victims. Can't fuckin' win.
Some other thoughts:
Weiner! You fucking idiot! Who in their right mind tweets and otherwise electronically sends sexually explicit photos to people they don't know and trust! For fuck's sake! When has this ever not backfired horribly? Stupid! I get why you lied, and I'm glad you came forward with what we all hope is the whole truth shortly after, but come on.
Also, is tweeting sexually explicit photos to someone who is not one's spouse cheating? He apparently didn't have a physical relationship with any of the women, and he claims to have not met any of them. Well, whether or not that's "cheating" can only be determined by Weiner and his wife, after they work this out between themselves. I'm sure such things vary greatly between individuals in their relationships (I, for one, would be pretty pissed if my husband were to be "sexting" other women).
Sigh. Just, sigh.
*I mostly believed him at first, and this is disappointing, but ultimately wholly unsurprising. Politicians lying?! Whoda thunk??