The Anthony Weiner sexting saga is a wellspring of sexual nature topics. There are three balls to keep track of in this juggling act: the philandering, compulsive politician (Weiner); the easily manipulated, nubile bait (Sydney Leathers); and the ambitious, scorned wife (Huma Abedin).
At this point, I have nothing but pity for Weiner, a victim of his uncontrolled impulses and the culture’s suicidal enabling of unobstructed pleasure seeking. Supplement that with Heather Wilhelm’s thoughts:
We all know that if Anthony Weiner was not a prominent national political personality, and was instead, say, an accountant from French Lick, Ms. Leathers would be running for the exits, hiding in the bathroom, or maybe even calling the police. She was attracted to power, pure and simple. (Well, that, and, it has been reported, the brilliant idea of a Chicago “sex den” condo to call her own.)
Weiner, in the back of his mind, almost certainly knew this—and like Bruce Banner, the poor, meek physicist who transforms into the Incredible Hulk during emotional duress, he created his Internet Self: lady-killer, rascal, suave sexual maestro. Predictably, many have accused Weiner of being abusive (Lisa Bloom at CNN), “disrespectful of women” (Nancy Pelosi), or attempting to “subjugate women” (Lena Dunham). But if anything, he’s an icon of not-so-quiet desperation. The women in his life are just going along for the ride.
As for Sidney Leathers, Andrew Sullivan observes: “A flirty, horny 22-year-old who talks a great sex game is not a victim. She’s a player.” Indeed, both Weiner and his online mistress are at their peak sexual capital.
The mistress, young and beautiful, and the [former] congressman, virile and powerful, stand atop [the] sexual hierarchy. In their respective stages of life, they have more sexual capital than they have had or will have again.
Think of the suitors Sydney Leathers passed on for a relationship with a powerful former congressman/mayoral candidate. Think of the 20-something man she might have dated and married instead of wasting a year of her prime sexting Weiner. He can’t compete with Weiner, not even with a virtual Weiner. How much better off she would be married to a man who loves her rather than pining for a man who only lusts for her.
To paraphrase the Teacher, by feminists’ fruits you shall know them. Theirs are bitter, bitter fruits.
Huma Abedin is beautiful as well, but it appears in her choice of a husband she did not exercise her femininity to extract a sufficient level of commitment from him. His love for her is a hard sell, given his frantic pursuit of sexual gratification in virtual liaisons with other women.
Maybe that’s the point. Maybe in Weiner Abedin saw not a man worthy of her love, but a partner to climb the political ladder with. After all, it was she who urged him to rehab his political image and run for mayor.
Matthew J. Franck doesn’t feel sorry for her:
That [Weiner] remains a candidate today can be chalked up to his wife’s support–even if it is only non-opposition, or ineffective private opposition. A firm, and if necessary, public “No, Anthony!” on Ms. Abedin’s part would put an end to this farce, would be good for Mr. Weiner’s soul, and might even in the long run help their marriage. It would certainly be good for New York City and the rest of the country to be permanently rid of Carlos Danger, Public Servant.
Anthony Weiner is in the grip of various compulsions, it seems. One of them–a compulsive conviction that he has something positive to offer to our political life–appears to be shared by Huma Abedin. That is a sad mistake.
Daniel J. Flynn sounds off:
Abedin gives a pass on cheating and naked tweeting. But one wonders how the political stepford wife might react to broken vows on abortion rights or free birth control.
If there’s a fourth party in this seamy affair, it’s the cynical New Yorkers who would not be embarrassed to vote for such an egomaniac. The takeaway from that is liberalism is essentially buying people off. As long as a politician stays true to this, philandering is not a deal breaker.