Tuesday, 7 June 2011

You Had Me Fooled, Anthony

Well, it's official. United States Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner has admitted to sending lewd photos and text messages to any number of young women. Women who are too young for him. College age women. While he's married. His wife is an aide for Hillary "Kick-Ass" Clinton, by the way. 

I'm saddened by the admission, but not terribly surprised. It's just that I had expected better of congressman Weiner. He had always struck me as an ally, a staunch defender of the rights of women, LGBT people and other minorities. He seemed to be something of a pro-feminist congressman, a rarity to be sure. I had in the past hoped that someone the like of him would emerge in our own government. His witty, brash and unapologetic style of debate, coupled with a seemingly unending belief in human fucking rights made him a favorite of mine, one of the few U.S. congresspeople I knew on sight, by name. He was a defender of abortion, of womens' right to choose. He rallied against obscene 'art' placed on view in public places. Every cause he took up seemed to resonate within me as a cause that I was behind here, in my own hometown.

But, this revelation has cast doubt on all of it. How can Weiner be an ally after this? He has painted himself an adulterer, perhaps a closet porn addict as these things never happen in a vacuum. He's also painted himself a hypocrite, which may be the most damaging thing of all, as it takes weight away from all the arguments over important issues he's ever waged. How can one claim to be a champion of womens' rights if one doesn't even respect ones' wife? Or the boundaries pertaining to those young women he was communicating with that should not have been crossed? How can anything he said be trusted now?

Anthony Weiner now appears to me at least to be if any kind of feminist, a fun-fem. Had this story not broken, we may have well seen him marching in a Slutwalk in his town. I don't know if he was ever a feminist, if he ever really believed in what he was fighting for or if the platform he took and the issues he chose to stand for were just footholds he used to facilitate these illicit and perverse relationships with young women. Yeah, I'm saying it. Maybe he was just one of those dudes who says he's a feminist and gives a shit about womens' issues to get laid. Maybe. I don't know. But I DO know that he's let a lot of people down. I do know that a lot of people looked to him for hope and change, and now they've received more of the same disappointment that they get from others.

I feel sorry for his wife. I feel sorry for the young women he was corresponding with, as their privacy will be taken from them by the United States media in their pursuit of the story. I feel sorry for all those who championed and put their trust in Anthony Weiner for a better tomorrow.

Well, there's still Hillary, right?

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