51 thoughts on “Dammit. (edited to make the point better)

  1. Barbara Munsey

    I don’t think it is a case of “boys will be boys” and never did, as you may recall now that you’ve breathed! lol

    I don’t see most “boys” that way, or men either.

    While I agree that whatever drove him to this habit is onanistic, simple and pathetic, there’s enough volume that it truly raises the question (for me at least) as to whether this guy had any business casting votes at the level he was.

  2. Pariahdog

    Sometimes you have to take time to breathe. I found Hendrick Hertzberg’s analysis interesting.

    Weiner’s sins, being wholly online, basically onanistic, pathetically “immature,” and totally without direct fleshly carnality, are literally ridiculous. They lack the swaggering macho that pushes more traditional, arguably crueler male transgressions – having affairs, whoring, fathering children out of wedlock – into the comparatively (though only comparatively) safer territory of “boys will be boys” and “men are like that.”

  3. Barbara Munsey

    David, IMO by choosing to jump focus to “the bigger picture” (now related to Matthew Shepard) we offer further opportunity for specifically-badly-behaving Weiner and his specifically-badly-performing media and other apologists to deflect as well.

    Perhaps Weiner wouldn’t have behaved quite so thoroughly badly for quite so long, and lied about it so brazenly, and accused others of felonies in the attempt to continue to get away with it, if a culture of “big picture” deferral from specific acts wasn’t always waiting in the wings.

  4. Epluribusunum

    This reminds me of a scene from The Laramie Project (excellent production at Broad Run, btw) in which a student is talking about how people keep saying things like “Laramie isn’t that kind of place, things like this don’t happen in Laramie.” She wants to know how it could be possible for Laramie to not be “the kind of place where these things happen” when one of these things did, in fact, happen there.

    If behavior like Weiner’s happens so consistently that it’s easy to lose count of the cases, then how could it be possible for the behavior not to be systemic? Doesn’t it tell us something about a dynamic in which many men feel entitled in interactions with less powerful women (and in one case a few years ago, less powerful underage male pages)? Unsolicited sexual advances of this sort don’t happen at random, there is a specific social relation behind them. I think Liz already pointed this out in more detail.

    The mixture of arguments was deliberate, because we are as sure to see ‘boys will be boys,’ ‘everybody does it’ and ‘this should be between him and his wife’ arguments from some quarters as we are to see ‘lying douchebag unfit for office’ arguments from others. All of them miss the bigger picture.

  5. Jonathan

    Thanks David,

    I guess I didn’t explain myself. You understand, perhaps because we attend the same Christian church and we both study the Bible together. I was referring to the story in Mark 10:1-12, particularly, the question from the Pharisees:

    “And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?”

    “Putting her away” was the husband’s prerogative. His wife was his property. Advocates of divorce cited Mosaic law. Jesus tried to put the Mosaic law into context, “For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.”

    Jesus was a true feminist. Notice the parallel construction of Mark 10:11 and 10:12. Jesus saw marriage as an equal partnership, not as a property relationship as implied by the Pharisee’s question.

    I was simply observing that Jesus tried to address this power imbalance two thousand years ago, and that the struggle between the “righteous” Pharisees, and the followers of His Word continues to this day.

  6. Eric the 1/2 troll

    “…it’s nothing more than an individual case of douchebaggery, ‘boys will be boys’, bad judgment, lying, etcetera…”

    It really IS just a case of douchebaggery – he’s a lying douchebag (which by definition gives him bad judgement). This is definitely NOT a case of “boys will be boys”, however, you have mixed your metaphors too much to make it a focus on the “system” and not on the individual. It is much better to just keep the focus on him like a laser and put him out there as an example of scum. “Unsolicited advances” of this sort from any sex or sexual orientation have no place in a decent society and people who engage in such activity should be shunned (not given a talk show on CNN).

  7. Barbara Munsey

    Okay David, we have now gone from the specific (Weiner being a weiner) to the general (how straight men are ALL raised and why that means 25% of all women are raped) to the specific (“I only said all straight men, not all straight WHITE men and I’m really only being tongue in cheek if that offends any straight men”/”I only said what’s wrong with privileged Republicans who read the Bible and destroy marriage, and what’s wrong with the Bible, I didn’t say CHRISTIANIST this time so you are making things up again”) and now back to the general (a matter of “context”, i.e. how straight men are all raised and why the rape stats are what they are?).

    A useful technique, to be sure.

    And I’m still not upset, but we’ve discussed the lack of tone in the written word before, and the tone my screen is providing for you sounds a bit waspish once again. Kind of like Eric heard a whiff of “attacks thinly veiled in sarcasm” in your TIC deflection on the straight men generalization.

    No, my point is assuredly NOT boys will be boys in an individual case of douchebaggery.

    It is that going down the familiar path of deflecting on to comfortable issues to rant about takes the focus off of this very case of douchebaggery (and possibly actionably illegal activities).

    This isn’t over yet, and the weiner probably ought to resign.

    Again, just my opinion. Not trying to challenge your Czarship! 😀

  8. Barbara Munsey

    Wow, David, thanks! I had no idea that you were the arbiter of opinion. Now, when did that happen? I honestly, truly missed the public announcement–is it a new Czarship by Executive Order? Well, anyway, mea culpa, and congratulations!

  9. Eric the 1/2 troll

    “…that heterosexual men are taught by the dominant culture is their birthright – the “entitlement” part.”

    Sorry, but I was NEVER taught that I was entitled to anything (particularly a woman’s body) simply because I am male. It was never implied, suggested, or even hinted at. In fact, quite the opposite. Now I may be the exception to the rule but somehow, I really don’t think so. That is not to say that no males were ever taught this – I am sure some were. We would consider them cretens.

  10. Epluribusunum

    Of course he’s responsible for his behavior. How many times must we say it? That’s exactly why the context is important. Without that, it’s nothing more than an individual case of douchebaggery, ‘boys will be boys’, bad judgment, lying, etcetera, and that’s where the conversation ends. Then after we’ve all forgotten about this current example, the same thing happens again, and again, and again. Is that what you want to happen? If so, why?

    There is a reason that Sullivan coined the term “Christianist,” and you already know what that is. It’s so that Christians like him can talk about their faith and what they get from scripture as distinct from those whose religious ideology segregates other people, fellow Christians, from the family of God. I don’t know if that’s exactly how he would put it, but that’s how I’m going to put it. I do recall that Jesus talked powerfully about exactly this issue. It doesn’t sound to me like Jonathan is talking about Christianism at all.

    Sorry if I annoyed you by implying you were upset. I didn’t realize that it was ok for you to do that, but not for me.

  11. Barbara Munsey

    You’re welcome David, and I am not upset, but thank you for characterizing it that way, especially in light of yours and Jonathan’s comments regarding specific words inserted. Do feel free to perceive it that way if it makes you more comfortable.

    No, Jonathan, you didn’t say the specific word “christianist” this time, you merely ranted about the Bible and how people use it, something you often complain about when using the word (which you do quite often).

    Nor did you use the word “white” david, but “straight white male” is a pretty big (often pejorative) category, so forgive me for filling in the blank, when the only apparently specific pejorative intended was “straight male” (with tongue firmly in cheek if anyone gets offended).

    We don’t need to SAY Weiner is a victim if the discussion is to be diverted from his specific acts of wrongdoing, poor judgement, and lying become a discussion of indoctrination of straight males and rape statistics. If his specific peccadilloes are insignificant in light of the larger societal ills in which he is merely another example of the greater evil, then he isn’t really responsible, is he? He’s just another unfortunate statistic. A…VICTIM, perhaps?

    Jonathan, yes, he may be pretty low on the “hypocrite” scale, unless we look at his apparent complete lack of fitness to hold any position of public trust, all the while obnoxiously pontificating on the correct things to do, but he has really transcended “hypocrite”: A hypocrite says one thing and belies it by doing another. Weiner DID something, LIED about it. Having admitted that, he is now a documented LIAR. That’s a bit bigger, maybe?

  12. Epluribusunum

    Ok, thanks. I actually agree with you on the further refinements in language. You don’t make a distinction between gender and gender identity for good reason, I think. They are the same thing. It’s unfortunate that there’s a legal necessity to make it seem otherwise.

    Weiner is personally a jerk and abuser of his power in a very specific way, a way that is specific to straight men. There’s really no way to separate his stupid and arrogant behavior from the gender context. I don’t understand why you are so upset about this being pointed out. How does it in any way “divert” the discussion? It certainly doesn’t let the guy off the hook – in fact it’s quite the opposite as far as I’m concerned.

  13. Jonathan

    Hi Folks,

    Please notice that the word “christianist” doesn’t appear in my comment. BM introduced the word. Some people call that “putting words in other peoples mouths”. Whatever you call it, it doesn’t reflect well on the character of the commenter.

  14. Epluribusunum

    No, I don’t see anyone calling Weiner a “victim.” At least no more than Vitter, or Lee, or Clinton, or Gingrich is a “victim” of having privilege and power. Nor is it “ok” for anyone to abuse power. Another ridiculous claim.

  15. Barbara Munsey

    Jonathan, aside from your usual “christianist” rumblings, the “hypocrisy” angle is debunked with a few moments of rational thought: it is “okay” for progressive Dems to do this (because, as witnessed on this thread, Weiner personally and his specific actions aren’t really the issue, he is merely another victim of an imperfect sexist and genderist society) because they are not “hypocrites”.

    Well, can you please show me where he campaigned on being perfectly okay with engaging in online affairs after marriage, with sexting possibly underage girls (since it’s only VIRTUAL anonymous sex), with accusing political opponents of felonies to hide personal crimes, and so on?

    If he has done so, then yes, he ISN”T A HYPOCRITE, because he has done EXACTLY as he promised he would.

    I have never noticed any Democratic candidate campaigning on being AGAINST “family values”, or marital fidelity, or honesty, or respecting women, or internet security, or…

    “Hypocrite” is a talking point that will not play too well on this one.

  16. Barbara Munsey

    David, personally I understood sex and gender to be the same until the divisions of perception became a growth industry, and in the process of that occurring I do see the difference between “sex”, i.e. the biological/chromosomal identifier, and “gender”, the perception of self as one relates to personal, social, societal “roles”. One may have a karyotype of XX and be classified as having the sex “female”, but the individual may identify as male. Gender identity I’m really not caught up on, as having now divided sex from gender, the further refinements are lagging in my identification. However, I did not want to NOT acknowledge it, as it appears to be the next addition to protected classes so it is obviously rising in importance in the arena of public linguistics.

    And yes, I use the words freely. They are not pejorative, at least as I understand them. If groups of people are comfortable attempting to classify me as “cisgender” (thanks for asking, language keepers! and no, that is not directed at you personally) I’m fine with at the very least acknowledging ever-more-finely parsed words that are used more and more often in awareness and rights campaigns, up to and including inclusion in the legal laundry lists of public language. When I will most likely linguisticly rebel is when I have to start identifying myself as “cisgender” on government forms.

    Other issues? Yes, the facts of what has occurred involving this individual are larger than the attempts to divert into an impersonal discussion of now rape statistics. Weiner did specific things, and because he personally is a jerk, not because of gender politics.

    I think the largest issues may turn out to be the underage girl issues if true, and the false accusations of felony.

  17. Epluribusunum

    Who could forget “Fit, Fun and Classy.” Good times.

    I think it’s just a different kind of hypocrisy, actually. AW may not have pontificated about the sanctity of marriage while demonstrating how very little he understood it, but he did make claims to being an advocate of gender equality. To be a little bit empathetic to ALL hypocrites in public service, they are mere human beings who are products of their culture. That was really my point in the first place in saying that this transcends partisan affiliation. Privilege does its corrosive work on everyone one way or another.

  18. Epluribusunum

    Barbara, please provide definitions for “sex,” “gender,” and “gender identity” as you understand them. I mean definitions that make sense to you and that you would be able to stand and defend if challenged. No “everybody knows what that means so I don’t need to define it,” and no “this is what source XYZ says it means.” I think it’s reasonable to ask you to define the words that you’ve been using so freely.

    “Is that what you two taught your sons?” This is where the messages countering the dominant one come in, duh. Let’s hope so, anyway. Maybe if we all work harder, only 1 in 3 women will be raped during her lifetime. Yippee.

    Yes, there are other issues involved here, but I don’t know in what sense they could be considered “larger.” Larger than what? The sheer stupidity (which goes directly to the sense of entitlement) is one. Then there’s the lying. I can’t imagine how not initially lying about it would make it much better. The guy’s apparently an ordinary tool. Trying to hide it seems pretty minor in comparison.

  19. Jonathan

    I don’t believe that AW ever campaigned as a “family values” candidate. On the hypocrisy scale, he’s about a 1. He can’t hold a candle to “Fit, Fun and Classy” Chris Lee, and the rest of the privileged Republicans who have done their best to destroy the institution of marriage.

    The real problem is that these powerful men think that women are put on this earth for them, just like it says in the Bible. Maybe the Bible is the problem. Jesus tried to correct it, but it appears that he failed, at least temporarily.

  20. Barbara Munsey

    Guys, (and I mean that inclusively as a sloppy catchall, not as a negation of your sex, gender, or gender identity Liz, and that disclaimer is for David’s benefit), this transferrence faux outrage has officially jumped the shark.

    That’s quite a generalization to state that all (straight) men are taught that it is okay to chase women, objectify them, etc as a “birthright”.

    Is that what you two taught your sons? I doubt it. It isn’t what I’ve taught mine either. I doubt Eric has.

    This is about Weiner, HIS bad behavior, his possibly illegal behavior, his LIES about that, and a complicit media in accusing the messenger of a felony to assist in making the LIES stick.

    I don’t often agree with Eric, but he is right on here.

  21. Epluribusunum

    “Really, do you think all straight males do nothing but chase young skirts and read Penthouse all day?” Um, do you really find it conceivable that I think this? Do you think I don’t know any straight males?

    Actually, no, I don’t. Your example is somewhere on the spectrum of behavior that heterosexual men are taught by the dominant culture is their birthright – the “entitlement” part. Men are taught that it’s acceptable to view women in that way, that it’s a choice available to them. Why do you suppose that 1 in 4 women is raped at some point during her lifetime? Being taught that one is entitled to something doesn’t mean that there aren’t also messages countering that one, or that one necessarily acts on it, or even wants to act on it. But of course there are those that do. Then we are either told that “boys will be boys,” or resignations are demanded – depending on the identity of the speaker and the perpetrator. The only reliable common variable is that any women involved will be the object of abuse and name-calling.

    Sometimes I assume that everyone knows I’m being sarcastic when I employ the same sort of sweeping defamation that gets employed against gay folks. It’s so obviously ridiculous to me that I think it’s equally obvious to others. I guess not. My apologies for making you feel attacked as a straight man. My dad is a straight man. I generally like y’all just fine.

  22. Liz Miller Post author

    From Shakesville, on this topic:

    “It matters that he sent unsolicited sexual images to women, because consent matters.

    And the lack of consent matters.”

    No, it is not only straight men who have a problem with gaining consent before making sexual overtures to others, nor is it all straight men who have this problem, but OF THOSE who do make sexual overtures to others WITHOUT CONSENT, the vast majority are straight men.

    Which probably is due to the fact that the consequences of making unsolicited sexual overtures is lower for straight men than for anyone else. AND THAT THERE? IS GENDER PRIVILEGE.

    Women who make unsolicited sexual overtures to men are considered sluts or arrested for prostitution. Gay men risk being beaten or killed.

  23. Eric the 1/2 troll

    Dude, sometimes your TIC comments come off as attacks thinly veiled in sarcasm. Your second comment did nothing to counter the impression – “straight male entitlement to women’s bodies’?? Really, do you think all straight males do nothing but chase young skirts and read Penthouse all day?

  24. Eric the 1/2 troll

    “What is the issue with these straight boys, anyway?”

    Just like you would not want generalizations thrown around about gay men based on the irresponsible actions of a few. I do not apporve of generalizations about straight men thrown around based on the irresponsible actions of a few.

  25. Barbara Munsey

    Of course there is gender involved, David! Everyone has a sex, and a gender, and a gender identity and I’m sure more classifications to come as the years “progress”, whether they interact with one another (on many levels) or not, and how they interact, and so on.

    Where we seem to disagree is that gender is the most significant aspect of Weiner’s many misconducts here.

    It really isn’t, although it makes a useful deflection in an election year.

  26. Barbara Munsey

    Huffy much, David? Okay.

    No, I don’t think I’d disagree with you on gravity, except for perhaps you somehow identifying it with yourself–it’s a physical law which applies to all objects both animate and inanimate, regardless of sex, gender, or gender identity.

    That’s the issue I have here with your seeming personalization of this issue into a gender one: if you were to tweet a penis picture it wouldn’t be quite the same–you aren’t a sitting member of congress allegedly using your tax-funded office line to have phone sex.

    If you were to get caught tweeting a penis picture, would you allege that some unnamed boogeyman had committed a felony by hacking your social media accounts? I don’t see you doing that, and again, as you aren’t a sitting member of congress, you don’t have media at your disposal for you to allow to be complicit in perpetuating that felony accusation, for so-called journalists to name a specific individual and accuse them (for several days) of being the perp of the felony.

    If you were to get caught tweeting a penis picture, I don’t see you lying about it for over a week either, but again, you aren’t a sitting member of congress.

    It is certainly your right to filter everything through a prism of gender politics, but I think there are some bigger issues going on here.

    Having to do with a sitting member of congress lying about using social media to sext, allegedly using his office phone to engage in further stupid behavior, lying about doing it, and accusing others of committing a felony to attack him as part of that elaborate lie.

  27. Epluribusunum

    Sorry, but thinking that young women want to see pictures of your penis is pretty much a straight male “trait,” if that’s the word you prefer.

    Who claimed that you said it was partisan? Why do you keep inserting language about white people?

    Never mind, you’d probably invent a way to “disagree” with gravity if it provided you with an opportunity to “disagree” with me.

  28. Barbara Munsey

    David, I never said it was partisan, and I disagree that it is privilege tied to gender.

    Arrogance, lying and abuse of power is not an exclusively white male trait, sorry.

    Claiming that I have made it partisan does not necessarily prove your claim that it is somehow “genderist”.

  29. Epluribusunum

    What a waste of time. The point is (once again) that gendered privilege (and its associated behaviors) is not partisan. That’s a pretty elemental fact, and one which anyone can easily observe.

    That’s all.

  30. Barbara Munsey

    To clarify: neither Weiner nor the supposed news media on the hard left has “made Breitbart legitimate”–his information was correct, and Weiner by his own admission lied about his actions.

    The supposed mainstream media revealed themselves as ILLEGITIMATE in their rush to judgement and accusation.

    And I can see how that would yes, make people upset.

  31. Barbara Munsey

    Liz, do some more research: Breitbart did not lie about ACORN, and he did not lie about Sherrod either.

    The lies he is accused of telling about Sherrod are the same formula used in the initial attack supporting Weiner, that he supposedly named the college coed–he did not. He did not edit the Sherrod tape, and he in his first article on her noted her change of heart later in her encounter. Which still doesn’t address the Obama administration’s rush to censure her, in the fallout over the quite obvious NAACP cheering over her early remarks about the farmer needing to get help from “one of his own”.

    Kos may be a great place for partisan opinion, but it is not an objective news source in any way shape or form..

  32. Liz Miller Post author

    To be fair to the Kos folks, Breitbart lied about Sherrod, and ACORN, and whatnot. So, it was reasonable to think that this was yet another time he was lying.

    And that’s a big reason why so many on the left are upset with Weiner. He’s made Breitbart legitimate.

    So again I say, Dammit.

  33. Barbara Munsey

    David, perhaps the “structural privilege” at play here is that he (Weiner) was awarded a media campaign by the “mainstream” to push the hacker meme, when yes, Breitbart was right all along. Quite funny, in a twisted sort of way, to see the likes of the Salon woman castigating Weiner for “making her look stupid”. Um, no, she did that on her own, by jumping on the “evil Breitbart obviously hacked this poor wonderful Congressman” bandwagon.

    I’m sorry, but I simply don’t buy the whole “this is straight white male privilege” twist.

    Any more than I buy the theory that was pushed on Kos that the REAL hackers were a Christian internet cell in Oklahoma.

  34. Liz Miller Post author

    No, no, no. You misunderstood. I was accusing myself of hypocrisy.

    And I totally agree with you that there is no way to discuss this whole situation without bringing up the obvious.

    I guess we’re just lucky that his parents didn’t name him Richard or Peter.

  35. Barbara Munsey

    I wasn’t accusing you of hypocrisy, just acknowledging that it is nearly impossible to discuss the man and his actions without some kind of double entendre.

  36. Barbara Munsey

    David, maybe some people understand it is a display of arrogance and reckless stupidity?

    That isn’t just a male trait.

    Liz, I thought the first iteration was fine, in calling the Congressman a tool. The jokes on this one really HAVE written themself.

  37. Epluribusunum

    Dear Lord. My buds at TC understand that this is about “another man in a position of power with a camera and a penis,” but don’t understand that it’s a display of male privilege? Speechless.

  38. Liz Miller Post author

    That could very well be the reason.

    As Liss at Shakesville says, “At the moment, I quite honestly can’t decide whether I’m more angry that yet another progressive male politician who was a good ally to women turns out to be having “inappropriate relationships” with women and lying about it, or the fact that he’s actually helped unethical rightwing attack dog Andrew Breitbart’s credibility.”


  39. Liz Miller Post author

    I just don’t know. All I know is that Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Anthony Weiner take their wonderful socially progressive bona fides and flush them down the toilet through having affairs that would seem tawdry by any standards, but especially so when a person holding a position of public trust is involved.

    Why the heck can’t they just keep their pants zipped, for crying out loud?

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