Oh, hey, some actual feminism here

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 · 41 Comments »

It’s from Kirsten Powers, writing for the Daily Beast. She briefly dated Weiner years ago, remained friends afterwards, and was hoodwinked into defending him last week. Now she’s fed up:

But even if I could see past the lying and extreme narcissism that is noteworthy even by Washington standards, there is the issue of his attitude toward women. What has emerged is a picture of a predator trolling the Internet for women—some half his age—with which to engage in cybersex. We know only about the women who were responsive to his overtures. The odds are very high that he struck out with many, and other women were victim to his unsolicited sex talk. Women should be able to “friend” a married—or unmarried—congressman on Facebook or follow him on Twitter without fear of being the recipient of lewd talk or behavior. Just because a woman “likes” your video on Facebook doesn’t mean you can send her a picture of your penis. This is textbook sexual harassment. It may not be illegal, but it’s definitely unethical. He is in a position of influence, and many women—especially a 21-year-old—would be afraid to report a congressman doing that to them because he holds so much power. Also, he claims none of the women he contacted were underage, but how could he possibly know that?

By far the most disturbing information that we have been privy to—there is, no doubt, more out there that we don’t know—is the transcript of a nine-month “sexting” relationship Weiner had with a Las Vegas blackjack dealer. Radar Online posted the transcript, and it is rife with misogyny and distorted views about women. In referring to oral sex, Wiener tells her, “You will gag on me before you c** with me in you” and “[I’m] thinking about gagging your hot mouth with my c***.” This is not about sex. It’s about dominating and inflicting physical pain on a woman, a fantasy the hard-core porn industry makes billions of dollars on selling to men. You don’t want to gag a woman with your penis unless you have some serious issues with the way you see women.

It’s amazing! Actual feminist analysis, the kind of thing that MoDo said the other day would never happen (no link, who cares, find it in the Times if you must).

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41 Responses to “Oh, hey, some actual feminism here”

  1. Ugsome says:

    Will wonders never cease?

    In the wake of the whole DSK/Ahnuld/Wienergate intergalatic clusterfuck, I am wondering if a major motivation of their actions is to humiliate their wives, as if to say (clean family version) “You may be an educated, accomplished, famous, beautiful person in your own right but I can replace you in a heartbeat with a 19-year-old and DON’T YOU FORGET IT, Anne/Maria/Huma!”

  2. Violet Socks says:

    I don’t know. But in the wake of the news—which I’m still emotionally grokking—that Huma is pregnant, Weiner’s behavior is seeming more and more to me like acts of extreme hostility to his wife. I can’t help it; I put myself in her shoes. Newly married, pregnant for the first time, carrying his child, and he does this? He does this?

    I am conceiving a deep, cold hatred for Anthony Weiner.

  3. Toonces says:

    I agree, this all seems very hostile towards Huma. It’s not so much the “weirdness” of what he did or the fact that it was sexual to me — it’s that it’s almost like finding out your husband sneaks out of the house in the middle of the night to pee on the neighbors’ lawns. It’s so immature, so pathetic, and in this case, it seems to be AT Huma in many ways. Maybe a dominance thing.

  4. angie says:

    Hatred of women in general and the desire to humiliate the women who married them seems to fit the pathology. Some men chase women who they know down deep are “too good” for them (Ahnold & Weiner) and once the “get” them lose all respect for them ala Groucho Marx “not wanting to belong to a club who would have me as a member.”

  5. tinfoil hattie says:

    I’ll be you a dollar this is not something he started doing since he married Huma. My guess is, this is sick, predatory behavior that he’s been getting away with for years.

    And having said that, it is definitely hostile and hateful toward his wife. But why wouldn’t it be? He’s a misogynist. Remember, feminists: Just because you claim to be a progressive man does NOT mean you do not participate in good ol’ fun misogyny.

  6. tinfoil hattie says:

    And I know y’all already know that. I’m being quite sarcastic.

  7. Sameol says:

    This is pathological, the guy seemed to spend most of the day trolling his pages and some of these women were supposedly contacted within minutes of recommending his videos or whatever. Frankly, what are the chances that he confined his creepiness to the net? I want to know a lot more than I know now about his office practices and his record of retaining female aides.

  8. Unree says:

    Anthony Weiner lost me with that transcript Powers quoted; I too had defended him. I wasn’t one of those who said that Weiner and his wife might have had an arrangement that allowed him to flirt and sext, but I was willing to accept it.

    But that content he typed? Too hard to believe that standard-issue misogynous porn talk didn’t humiliate his wife. And I agree with upthread that humiliating Huma Abedin was at least part of the point.

  9. Sameol says:

    Rep. Schwartz of PA becomes first Dem to call for Weiner’s resignation, incredibly courageous and countdown to her becoming the newest hate object in 3-2-1.

  10. Adrienne in CA says:

    Rep. Schwartz is close to Nancy Pelosi, so the writing is on the wall. Weiner’s gotta go. The more details come out, the dirtier I feel for having cheered his YouTube rants.

  11. Three Wickets says:

    Amanda Marcotte is a menace to feminism and the progressive blogosphere. Even Joan Walsh (yes that Joan Walsh) finally woke up today to the fact that Weiner is not the victim here. I don’t understand Amanda. She continues to intensely and aggressively defend Weiner, even through the latest news on Huma’s pregnancy. It’s what men do, she says…everyone’s being such a prude about people’s sexual peccadillos. She has issues. No idea how or why she calls herself a feminist.

  12. Carmonn says:

    He is in a position of influence, and many women—especially a 21-year-old—would be afraid to report a congressman doing that to them because he holds so much power.

    Yes, and chances are a 21-year-old Weiner supporter would also be subject to pressure from her peer group to not be so prudish and to protect the great but flawed man. With the strong possibility that some of her more political friends might share irrelevant anecdotes about her if she “attacked” him.

    I must say, Weiner’s defenders don’t surprise me but they are making me depressed. Forget “extreme hostility to his wife,” many have convinced themselves that the pregnancy announcement somehow makes him a more, not less, sympathetic figure. And they’re still banging on about the Puritanical sex police conspiracy from Breitbart and Obama. I dislike Breitbart and Obama as much as anyone, but the fact that some of the 21-year-old followers Weiner was bombarding with photos of his penis possibly turned out to be Republican operatives or conservative Democrats posing as 21-year-old supporters? Does not make him the victim here.

  13. anne says:

    I follow Anthony Weiner on Twitter. I kind of wish he’d tried to sext me so I could have forwarded it straight to his wife. Then the U.S. could deal with real issues right not.

  14. anne says:

    “right now,” that is.

  15. lorac says:

    I’m not sure I agree that humiliating Huma was part of the motivation. Weiner said that he did this same behavior for 3 years before he met Huma, and told her about it. The idea was he was supposed to now stop. When he got caught (by the media), he didn’t fess up to Huma until the morning of the day he admitted it in a press conference.

    He seems to interact with his colleagues in a rather loud, combative manner. He may be a somewhat depressed, doldrum person in general, independent of a recent marriage to a young beautiful woman. The combativeness on the one hand, and the risky sexting and photo exchanges for mastubatory aids may be behaviors that help him feel alive, lift him out of his doldrums.

    Matter of fact, he married rather old, so maybe even his marriage was a last ditch attempt to make him feel alive. Not making excuses for him, just a theory.

  16. blackcherrypa says:

    Woo that transcript. This guy…this guy does not like women. I could name three things he said that are just flat-out hateful, but really the whole thing is disgusting.

    Major kudos to Kirsten Powers. She helped me to see things a lot more clearly. Amazing she could be so level-headed and perceptive when a long-time friend is involved. He used her too. Oh he’s a slimeball.

    Incidentally, I was reading the Powers article and right in the middle of it I came to Reclusive Leftist because I hadn’t seen it on any other feminist sites, but somehow I knew, KNEW, it would be here. And lo and behold…

  17. ugsome says:

    Powers writes: “It’s about having some sort of standard for what the Democratic Party stands for—especially regarding treating women with dignity and respect…” I’m afraid in the Democratic Party respecting women went out the window three years ago and has not been seen since.

  18. Sameol says:

    Supposedly Alec Baldwin is now getting into the Mayor’s race, so treating women with dignity and respect will probably not be a priority anytime soon.

  19. Carmonn says:

    Oh and the Congresswoman may be the hate object at some point, but right now it’s all Kirsten Powers. She’s appeared on Fox, so she’s practically Palin (or practically the #1 rightist warmonger of the Democratic Party), so anything goes. She’s a bitter scorned who wants to destroy his life for dumping her, she’s a narcissist who thinks he should give up his career because he told her a lie, she’s in league with Breitbart framing him in her role as head of the Tea Party, she’s an angry, disappointed man-hating prude.

  20. Datechguy says:

    Simple question:

    How many of Democrats calling for Weiner’s resignation supported or defended Bill Clinton?

    It’s just the Obama stuff. The reason why they want Weiner out is they don’t see a political benefit for keeping him while they did for Clinton

  21. votermom says:

    Allyson Schwartz is ok – she’s old-school dem who supported Hillary in 2008 so she’s not obot. I think she is probably as repulsed by this as we are.

  22. votermom says:

    I accidentally posted this in the previous thread, meant for it to go here (Violet, you can delete the other one if you want):

    I kind of see where the “humiliate the wife behavior” comes from. Over-large frail ego is threatened by wife’s personhood as separate from him, and therefore wife must be cut down until she is no longer a threat.
    Not far from the mentality of any abusive spouse, actually.

  23. Unree says:

    Datechguy, I’m not calling for Weiner’s resignation, but one difference between Weiner and Bill Clinton is Clinton didn’t type porn-script drivel to cyberspace recipients he didn’t know, talking about how he’d like to gag them during sex. So it’s not just recklessness, which Clinton shared, but also a view of women as meatsock receptacles.

  24. lambert strether says:

    I keep hearing the word “predator” and then realizing the word is really “creditor.”

    That both/and goes for most everything in Versailles, these days, I guess. For example, Breitbart is a slime and got the story right, Ds are slime and should get rid of him, Allyson Schwartz thinks it’s up to party apparat to toss Weiner and not his constituents but voted for Stupak, the press is a freakshow but the press is a freakshow, Weiner supported single payer… But emitted that appalling transcript. Dear Lord.

  25. Violet Socks says:

    It’s actually the whole absurdist aspect of this thing that prompted me to emerge from my hidey hole and post in the first place. I’m profoundly pessimistic these days about our political and economic prospects, and currently working on something that requires me to keep my mood good, so dealing with the news is not terribly productive. But this Weiener story was just—agh. Last straw. The one Democrat who actually fights turns out to be a fucking twit. A ludicrous destructive twit.

  26. Mary Tracy says:

    Those last lines are so radical, for a moment there I thought I was reading Dworkin.

    The question begs… why can’t feminist writers see this?

  27. cgeye says:

    I wondered why he was allowed to be so progressive without falling victim to a small plane somewhere — it seems now that being a borderline sociopath’s now a job requirement for successful Congressman of any political persuasion….

  28. Sameol says:

    votermom, don’t you understand that it Just. Isn’t. Possible that Schwartz might actually be repelled by Weiner’s behavior? She’s Obama’s henchman, she is./snark

  29. Teresainpa says:

    is Obama now the bad guy? He is trying to get rid of Weiner? I am so behind the curve.

  30. Violet Socks says:

    one difference between Weiner and Bill Clinton is Clinton didn’t type porn-script drivel to cyberspace recipients he didn’t know, talking about how he’d like to gag them during sex. So it’s not just recklessness, which Clinton shared, but also a view of women as meatsock receptacles.

    I don’t think Clinton was nearly as reckless as Weiner. He was having an affair with his intern, but it took the Republicans a billion dollars, a special prosecutor, and a wiretap to dig it up.

  31. Sameol says:

    Yeah, Obama is part of the conspiracy, he and his evil henchmen like Schwartz hate and are out to get Weiner because he’s the world’s most amazing principled liberal spokesperson. The right-wing is also out to get Weiner, same reason.

    I don’t doubt that Weiner isn’t Obama’s most favorite guy and sure, Obama is a Republican, but I really don’t think Weiner and his groundbreaking visits to The Daily Show make him a big enough threat to the established order to make him Obama’s Public Enemy Number One.

  32. Unree says:

    Violet, you’re right that Clinton was much less reckless than Weiner. Clinton didn’t know Monica Lewinsky that well but she was pretty safe. And if she revealed the encounters she could–of course, like any other woman–be attacked as delusional or the stooge of his enemies. The only reckless thing Bill Clinton did was shoot a DNA specimen onto her clothes.

  33. cgeye says:

    A needed corrective from a proud socialist: Weiner was a sheepdog, to keep leftists in the party, and humping the herd, visually or textually, was a perc:

    http://sherrytalksback.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/a-radicals-view-of-the-weiner-scandal/

  34. Violet Socks says:

    cgeye, that is an awesome post. Thanks for linking it. Christ, I had almost that exact same experience in college.

  35. anne says:

    People say crazy shit when they’re in the throes, especially when they’re engaging in a sexual activity that relies almost exclusively on verbal stimulation.

  36. Monchichipox says:

    Though it obviously does humiliate the wife I don’t think that was his intent. I really don’t. With men like him it really is “all about ME”. I don’t think he gave his wife a second thought. He really believes that a huge penis gagging a woman’s throat is just what she wants!!!! People like Wiener just never take anyone’s feelings into account. I would bet my bottom dollar Huma didn’t get a second thought in any of this. Subconscious or otherwise. And not for nothing I’ve seen the pictures. Who does he think he’s really going to gag with that? Sorry I had to go there.

  37. Monchichipox says:

    And to add…being very familiar with Weiner through work related issues. Any of you who admired his rants should do a little research on what he did to win his seat. He really is a disgusting little man.

  38. Sameol says:

    Can you give us a hint about what to look for? Pretty much all Weiner related searches are just going to articles about the scandal. I found the names of a couple of his opponents, but no details on the race.

  39. Violet Socks says:

    Salon last week: The dirty trick that launched Anthony Weiner’s career. That’s about his first city council seat; not sure if Monchichipox is referring to something else about his election to Congress.

  40. Sameol says:

    Thank you, Dr. Socks. Inspirational politics at its finest. Yechhh.

  41. Carmonn says:

    Here’s another piece on it, an interview with the woman who got hit with the dirty trick:

    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/06/10/anthony_weiner_mailer/

    She sounds absolutely fantastic and I want to marry her. Ever wonder how much lovelier the world would be if it belonged to the Adele Cohens instead of the Anthony Weiners and Barack Obamas?