What bothers me is that in the midst of all this men-behaving-badly chatter is the lack of criticism directed at the women who knew exactly who Weiner was and did not stop the interaction. As someone who has covered sports and politics for years, I have seen how women have to delicately manage situations involving unwanted advances and inappropriate comments in the workplace. I know that sexual harassment and misogyny are still a problem.
But the Weiner scandal — and I feel somewhat silly calling it a scandal — does not appear to be an example of that. This appears to be some horny adults getting freaky over the Internet, illustrated by this e-mail exchange shared by Lisa Weiss, one of the six women Weiner was involved with:
Weiner: ridiculous bulge in my shorts now. wanna see?
Weiss: “Yea! can u send a pic? I want to sit on your …”
OK — I think we get the picture.
Doesn’t seem as if Weiss is being forced into anything. Especially when you consider on June 3 Weiss tweeted “@maddow have a juicy political story I wnt to give y!how do I contact ur show?”
It’s pretty clear she didn’t want to just clear her conscience. She wanted a national audience. She wanted a little fame.
It seems that if you didn’t want people to know you were involved with a married man before TMZ came knocking at the door, revealing explicit pictures and e-mails and text messages after the fact makes you just as questionable as the Weiners and Woodses and Edwardses.
If cheating men don’t deserve a break, why are we giving their camera-chasing mistresses one?