I intensely dislike Anthony Weier, for reasons previously made public. See here. Beyond that, Weier's tweeting sexually suggestive and sexually explicit photographs, and then lying about it, suggests a dishonesty and an immaturity that is troubling.
But what's far more troubling, and what's far more dishonest, is the blatant double-standard practiced in this country when it comes to what's deemed inappropriate.
The slightest expression of inappropriate male sexuality is a national crisis while real national crises are ignored.
A semi-aroused penis has become more dangerous in this society than a fully loaded handgun.
It wasn't at all surprising that Weiner would be forced to resign for the pictures (and make no mistake, he was hounded out of office because of the pictures, not the lying). After all, a Republican congressman recently felt compelled to resign after he posted a shirtless photo of himself on Craigslist. Heaven forbid.
You don't think there's a double standard here? We're a society that yawned and then excused the gross ethical violations of Charles Rangel -- ethical missteps that were far more damaging to the Republic than anything Anthony Wiener ever dreamed of doing. If you don't know who Rangel is, this is actually a decent little primer on him with links to good source material. Rangel was given a slap on the wrist by his colleagues in the House of Representatives, and was then overwhelmingly reelected by his electorate.
We have a Secretary of Treasury who fail to pay self-employment taxes for four years. He's just fine, but Anthony Weiner has to go because he offended some women with his pictures of his penis.
The crucifixion of Anthony Weiner was born of the same mentality that all but destroyed Tiger Woods, not to mention a host of politicians, including Gary Hart, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, and Larry Craig. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been at least badly scarred if not destroyed.
Women can pack up, grab the kids and demand a divorce because they aren't feeling fulfilled (70% percent of all divorces are initiated by women), and that's not deemed to be breaking their marriage vows. That's considered empowering, and its applauded. But let a guy send a few foolish pictures of his dick to women and he's a cheater and a disgrace who deserves to have his life destroyed.
We, as a society, are intent on controlling any display of male sexuality, and we've adopted a zero tolerance attitude toward anything that even hints at impropriety in the male sex department.
For several decades the emphasis was on controlling allegedly offensive male conduct directed to particular women. Sexual harassment became a growth field in the law as new laws cropped up like weeds.
Now the zero-tolerance hysteria over male sexuality has spread to conduct that doesn't hurt anyone. It includes thought "crimes."
It's the same hysteria that lands drunk college boys on sex offenders registers for peeing in the alley.
A lawyer friend across the state tells me that a client of his was fired from a big company because he was adjusting his pants in a storage room, and a female co-worker -- who didn't like him to begin with -- happened to walk in and was offended because she actually saw his shorts under his pants.
Men are forbidden from wearing Speedos at some water parks because the bulges offend women.
High school boys running shirtless on the track team are told to cover up because their bare torsos offend the girls' team.
A college football player was recently tossed off a plane, then arrested, for showing too much underwear and then putting up a fight about it.
At some school sporting events, chest painting has been outlawed because the sight of topless boys with painted letters on their chests offends some women and girls.
No more nude weigh-ins for collegiate and high school wrestlers because women want to be present, and, of course, they'd be offended at the sight of male genitalia. (I have no doubt that wrestlers at those schools that are lucky enough to still have their programs in the wake of Title IX will soon be told to wear shorts during wrestling matches so that female spectators won't be subjected to offensive bulges.)
And men charged with a sex crime, or convicted of one, stand a good chance of being subjected to the "peter meter," which punishes thoughts. Shackled and handcuffed, these males are forced to sit for hours in a small room with a state-of-the-art plethysmograph firmly attached around their penises while they are subjected to pornographic visual and audio stimulation to test whether they have "deviant responses." If they do, they are kept in custody.
If the above sounds like we're a nation of prudes, just remember it only applies to men. I've seen photos of women at some "slut walks" that are downright shocking. And make no mistake, this prudery directed at men isn't driven by men, it's driven by women. And it's only going to get worse and worse.
What Anthony Weiner did was childish. But he didn't deserve to be driven from office because of it. And I say that as someone who can't stand him.