Yesterday morning, I woke up to the delightful Page One New York Times print headline, “Weiner’s Texts Cast a New Shadow Over Clinton Campaign.”
Of course the obvious response was, “HOW? HOW IS THAT? HOW COULD THAT POSSIBLY BE?”, which I screamed at my newspaper over breakfast. But beyond that, I found myself fuming, once again, about how we blame women for not only all of the things we perceive as personal failings (including but not limited to: working for a living, not raising perfect children, not always having perfectly smooth hair, etc.), but also for all of men’s personal failings. (Here: being literally unable to keep photos of your erection off the Internet for the course of a campaign.)
Weiner Had One Goddamn Job
For those of you not up on the details, TL;DR: Anthony Weiner, host of an unfortunate enough name that you would assume he would have spent his life studiously avoiding dick jokes, BUT NO SUCH LUCK, has now been outed in not one, not two, but THREE sexting scandals. One that took down his career as a congressman, one that took back his comeback campaign for mayor of New York (and provided us with the tell-way-too-much documentary Weiner), and a third that has now taken down his marriage to his ever-patient-with-his-mortifying-antics wife, Huma Abedin. All of this would be same old, same old: man in power who can’t seem to keep an appropriate leash on his sexuality. Except in this case, his wife is the more powerful of the duo. Huma Abedin is Hillary Clinton’s righthand woman and adviser, currently the vice-chairwoman on her presidential campaign, and we hope soon-to-be primary adviser to the president of the United States.
In short, Anthony, she’s busy. Too busy to divorce your ass right now just this second, because she’s got shit to do (don’t worry, though: she’ll get around to you when she has the time). Some of us, Anthony, have a whole country to save… while you apparently just have all the time in the world to be sexting pictures of your damn groin… this time with your son in your bed.
You’d think, of course, the only person to lay blame on in this situation would be Weiner himself. Particularly since Huma did everything women are “supposed” to do, citing religious beliefs as the reason she stayed to work on (and work on) her marriage. As for Weiner, he literally had one job between now and the election: keep his dick in his pants, and not take pictures of it. Or two, if you count the fact that according to Huma, he’s the stay-at-home dad that makes her work possible.
“Many working moms feel this way — there is a lot of guilt,” she said. “I don’t think I could do it if I didn’t have the full support system I have, if Anthony wasn’t willing to be, essentially, a full-time dad.”
So let’s make that: no more sexting, and help raise their son, ideally while not sexting anyone photos of any part of his body. (See how that all boils down to one really very simple directive?)
But no. NOOOOOOOOOO. According to the media this isn’t only Weiner’s fault. Apparently, somehow, Huma is to blame. And you know what? It’s hard to sort through all the things she’s to blame for. But let me present you this short, but by no means exhaustive, list.
A Short List Of Why It’s Really Huma’s Fault
She’s a bad mother for working, according to the Washington Post. (Notwithstanding the fact that somebody has to make a living, and Weiner can’t seem to hold down a job.)
And for the third time, his questionable decisions are ensnaring his wife, one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides, by raising questions about her decision to leave their son in a potentially dangerous situation.
Plus, Weiner’s inability to keep it in his pants “casts a shadow” on her… ethics? Or her ability to do her job? Or so hints the New York Times:
Mr. Weiner’s tawdry activities may have claimed his marriage — Ms. Abedin told him that she wanted to separate — and have cast another shadow on the adviser and confidante who has been by Mrs. Clinton’s side for the past two decades.
Add to that, Weiner (whom we must note is not in any way a Clinton staffer, but instead a stay-at-home dad for one of her staffers, and how we wish he didn’t have access to the Internet or photographic devices), is somehow causing Huma to cause spectacular drama inside the campaign, or so reports the LA Times:
The media attention erupting around Abedin right now, though, is not Breitbart’s making. It is the kind of spectacular staff drama the Clinton operation had been so good at avoiding during her presidential run over the last year and a half, the kind associated with previous campaigns of both Bill and Hillary Clinton.
And last not but not least, Trump is flat-out saying (because he never bothers to just “imply”) that somehow Huma has threatened national security, because she has a security clearance. As someone who grew up with a father with a high security clearance, I’d like to note that people assume men can manage to not share national secrets with their wives, but apparently this assumption does not work the other way around? To wit:
At a fundraiser in Massachusetts last August, Trump insisted that there was no chance that Abedin had not divulged classified information to Weiner since, he said, any woman who is “in love with” her husband would certainly do so.
All this makes me so angry I’m shaking. Not because I’m a Democrat (though I am one), or because of its political bent. It makes me livid because like many women, I live variations on this story every day of my life.
Yes, All Women
As a mother of two small children and a business owner—and, you know, as a human who has to shower and such—you’d think I’d rather clearly be at my limit on things that are actually my responsibility. But yet, society somehow manages to regularly hold me responsible for my husband’s actions as well… not to mention the very many tasks we should both be equally accountable for. Is his career progressing well? (My own career never seems particularly relevant to folks.) Is he dressed well? (Clearly I must buy him his clothing, so, on me.) Is he getting enough billable hours in at work? (If not, am I taking time off my own work to make that happen?) Are our children getting appropriate childcare and time with a loving parent? (Again, me.) Is our house clean? (Duh, me.) Is our social life well organized? (Who do you think?) Did everyone get a birthday card and a wedding gift? (Um, me.)
Don’t Hurt Yourself
All of which led me to look up from the New York Times in a cold rage, fix my eyes on my innocent husband, and say, “If you think you could ever, ever, ever get away with this crap without feeling the full brunt of my fury, think twice.”
The media seems to think that this story of yet another smart, powerful woman being taken down a peg by her husband’s sexual exploits is going to somehow remind me… to not vote for women. Here’s some bullshit via the New York Times:
Mr. Weiner’s extramarital behavior also threatens to remind voters about the troubles in the Clintons’ own marriage over the decades, including Mrs. Clinton’s much-debated decision to remain with then-President Bill Clinton after revelations of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Ms. Abedin’s choice to separate from her husband evokes the debates that erupted over Mrs. Clinton’s handling of the Lewinsky affair, a scandal her campaign wants left in the past.
In fact, this coverage leaves me wanting nothing more than for Huma to finally leave her husband (on it), take her kid, and start a daycare center next to the Oval Office. I’ve already searched the Internet for “HRC Fanfic Leaving Bill,” but thus far, no hits.
Till I find that fanfic, excuse me while I watch Beyoncé burn it down, while meditating on killing her husband at the VMAs. Or, as Ann Friedman tweeted, “Stuck on a plane on the O’Hare runway & may never breathe fresh air again but it’s ok because Huma is free and can breathe for all womankind.” Breathe, Huma. Breathe and rise.
P.S. Men? Talk to your people. Get correct. Because my distinct sense is that the future is female, starting soon with Huma and Hillary.