[In response to a post saying, basically, that what Weiner did isn't that bad, and it's not fair to be so mean to him when there are lots of other sexually immoral and otherwise unethical jackasses still hanging onto their political positions and power]
No. No no no no no no NO. He did not just “lie about racy pictures”. He lied about SEXUALLY HARASSING women over the internet. Two of the women have said that the sexual tone of the interactions was not consensual, that they did nothing to indicate they were receptive to receive sexual pictures or messages. Weiner’s pattern in these interactions is fairly clear, that he used his position and his fans’ admiration for him to SEXUALLY HARASS women online.
I get that the mainstream coverage of this hasn’t really focused on the consent angle. So maybe people don’t realize this. But for the love of all the gods can we stop fucking defending a man whose offense was not just “having an internet affair and/or lying about it”, but was instead SEXUAL HARASSMENT? Can we stop fucking acting like Weiner’s the victim here?
I agree, too, that there are quite a number of other Congressional douchefucks who ought to be thrown out on their asses, and they have not been held anywhere near as accountable for their varying types of fucked-up behavior, as Weiner is being held for his. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN WEINER SHOULD GET A PASS.
I get that he was one of our heroes. I get that he did some very good shit. I loved his politics and his fiery speeches and his willingness to call Repubs out on their bullshit, with a flaming passion. THAT DOES NOT MEAN HE HAS A RIGHT TO SEXUALLY HARASS HIS FEMALE FANS. That does not mean we should defend him for doing so.
I have had to say this I can’t even count how many times in the past few days. For fuck’s sake, people. It’s not about the lies. It’s not about the “racy” pictures. It’s about his disregard for consent and boundaries, it’s about his taking advantage of his position and the goodwill of his supporters to HARASS women. It’s about holding Weiner to a standard of conduct that includes Do Not Sexually Harass People, and I see no reason why “But those other people didn’t get in enough trouble!” should be taken as a reasonable justification to NOT hold Weiner accountable.
Also, to the jackass on RH Reality Check who felt the need to mansplain to me that "that's not what sexual harassment is" when I made points similar to the above - according to Merriam-Webster online, sexual harassment is "uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate (as an employee or student)". I'd say sending unsolicited pictures of one's junk to someone with whom one was having a nonsexual conversation prior to the picture-sending counts as "uninvited" at the very least, and according to at least two of the women, it was also "unwanted". Add in that Weiner, as an elected official, was trading on political power and reputation and the admiration of his female fans who may also have been his constituents, and you have the power differential that makes it "especially" sexual harassment.
What it comes to is this: Anthony Weiner was a progressive hero. He used the power and fame and admiration that gained him to sexually harass women via the internet. No, that is not as bad as some other things politicians have done. But it is still a bad thing to do. I refuse to compromise my ethical standards around consent, simply because he who violated them was someone I really liked. And I genuinely don't understand why so many people who purport to be feminist, are willing to just brush those principles aside in order to defend Weiner. I really don't.
SO PLEASE FUCKING STOP ALREADY.