If you weren’t lucky enough to see the circus that was the Anthony Weiner press conference yesterday, do yourself a favor and watch the video. As I sat listening while I worked, I was more shocked and disappointed as awkward moment after awkward moment dragged on.
The US media really made an ass of itself yesterday. Between inane and too-personal questions, no one bothered to care that Weiner’s personal life has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he can legislate.
In situations like these, I think feminists are in a bit of a hard place. As women, we’re sort of grossed out and annoyed by the fact that he would send anyone a (hopefully solicited) picture of his junk, but ultimately, I think we realize that it’s just another part of the role that patriarchy has created for men.
The penis is obviously a source of pride for men, and Weiner is no exception. They’re supposed to be strong, virile, and take great pride in their reproductive organs. Have you been around a man lately? They can’t keep their hands off of it – from infancy on!
This translates into the “hound dog” stereotype that many men seem to want to fill, and Weiner is no exception. He was participating in a little safe, easy dalliance – something I’d say more men and women participate in than we’d like to think do.
There is the bigger issue at hand, here. (Y’all, you have no idea how difficult it is to avoid all of the dick jokes in this post. Share and comment IF ONLY FOR MY MATURITY.) Anthony Weiner is a progressive beacon in a House of Representatives full of a bunch of Tea Party wackos – we need him there.
Weiner has a 100% pro-choice rating from NARAL, a history of voting for women’s issues, LGBT issues, and just progressive politics in general. Again, progressives and women need Rep. Weiner in the House. I can understand, though, how it would be some difficult for a woman to support a man that has hurt his family and (possibly/allegedly/whatever) committed something we ourselves wouldn’t stand for – adultery.
But people cheat. That’s just a fact. Women, feminists, men – people from every demographic and walk of life screw around on their significant others. If we were handing out scarlet letters to everyone in the U.S. that has cheated, government official or not, we’d run out of letters pretty quickly.
I’m not trying to justify Weiner’s actions, or condone them in any way. Believe me, if he were my spouse, I’d be kicking his ass (maybe not literally) all over the place and really reevaluating my relationship – but as the American public, that’s not our job to do.
We don’t have to reevaluate our relationship with Rep. Weiner because he didn’t betray us. He didn’t go out and vote in favor of bans on abortion and gay marriage. Weiner’s only contract with the public is to get bills passed – nothing more.
Yes, Weiner is a representative in New York and I live in Texas. Why does this matter to me? Because progressive votes in the House matter to everyone. In an era where Republicans see being in charge of 1/3 of 1/3 of government a mandate from the damn heavens, we need people in the Congress that will tell them to shove it, and Weiner has demonstrated that he’s the dude.
Plus, with Russ Feingold gone, all we have left is Dennis Kucinich by way of super-progressive dudes, and he plays too nice.
I’ll leave you with this video example of Anthony Weiner’s badassery:
Amy is a social media strategist living in Dallas, Texas. She likes music, trashy TV, and ladybiz. tweet: @aemccarthy