I don’t know what’s more pathetic about this whole Anthony Weiner fiasco. Help me choose: Is it because he’s just the latest dude in a position of power and notoriety to submerge himself in controversy for the oldest, most tired reason ever? (He can expect a “thank you for taking the heat off me” note from Arnold Schwarzenegger any day now, huh?)
Is it because we’re really wondering who in the h-e-double hockey sticks wanted to see his man parts in the first place?
Or is it because he first adamantly denied doing it, insisted his account had been hacked, and then proceeded to poke (sorry) stab (dangit!) make (there we go) fun at his incredibly appropriate last name, essentially proving him not only a colossal fibber but a cheater, too?
Folks on both sides of the political fence are calling for the latest poster child of American scandal to call it quits, bag it up, and scuttle from his position. To do what, I don’t know. Kinda hard to get another job when you’ve got a real memorable name plus a whole lotta brouhaha attached to it. Like Monica Lewinsky. She’s not just sliding her resume across anybody’s desk and expecting not to get a rise out of the person on the receiving end.
Weiner, of course, has refused to step aside and decided instead that a little downtime with a professional who helps sexual deviants stop being sexual deviants will hopefully rescue his career. I personally don’t think the man should resign. Heck, if all the politicians, major decision-makers, and movers and shakers who had been caught up in some hanky panky were to relinquish their posts, we’d have to shave the House down to like 7 members and hold elections every 15 years just to wrangle together some qualified candidates. And let’s not even talk about what a ghosttown Hollywood and professional sports arenas would be.
(Oh, and the golf course. Hey Tiger!)
Though he should be 50 times too smart to fall into the same trap as so many who have been smited before him, Weiner was sucked into that cyberspace buffer zone that seems to give folks the feeling that what they’re saying and doing will stay anonymous, that overarching invincibility of being online that makes a lot of men seem to think that sexting and other forms of digital courtship don’t qualify as inappropriate because there’s no actual physical contact. A little ego-boosting flirtation can get amped up to a full-out smut fest so long as there’s no flesh-on-flesh contact.
Let me make this Tiffany crystal clear in case my boyfriend ever reads this post (and I’m pretty sure he will since I’m going to send it to him as soon as I’m done): sexting is as bad as unfurling your you tube and sharing your bounty with another chick in a motel room. Same goes for phone sex, email porn, and Skyping little strip teases to one another. If it’s not a conversation that you’d want me to hear, if it’s not a message that you’d be cool with me opening, if it’s not a chat that you’d want me to sit in on, it is c-h-e-a-t-i-n-g.
If you have to hide anything? Cheating. Erasing messages to cover your virtual footsteps? Cheating. Closing your laptop or flipping to another page when I walk in the room? Cheating. And certainly password-protecting everything and generally treating your cell phone like it’s been issued by the Secret Service, which includes taking the joint to the bathroom with you because you’re just that afraid that your little afternoon delight with Candy from Tuscaloosa could seep out.
Weiner got sucked into the false sense of comfort that not knowing the chicks in his little e-harem personally meant he was sidestepping the scarlet letter of infidelity. But just as a rule of thumb — any time a bulging crotch shot and a bare chest make an appearance, things have probably gone a bit too far.
In Janelleville, a dude actually doesn’t have any business texting another gal in the first place unless he’s talking to the woman who birthed him, asking for directions, or confirming my surprise birthday plans. Anything more than that with anybody other than his mama or his sister is askin’ for a big Weiner moment.
So is sexting the same as cheating? Is it a harmless way to fulfill a "need" for attention from other people?
Image via David Boyle/Flickr