When I was young, dating was fun. When other women would say things about how they couldn’t wait to get married just so they could stop dating I thought it was just about the stupidest thing I ever heard. Not quite the stupidest, though. After all, women can get pretty stupid when talking about male/female relationships. I grew up with two parents who were, in their own quiet suburban way, pretty unconventional. They never pressured me to get married or to give them grandchildren. As long as I didn’t do anything unethical, anything that hurt other people, they always said that they would support whatever kind of life I wanted to have. When I explained to my mother that I needed to show genitalia in my paintings because twisted poses to hide the obvious were starting to look affected and ridiculous to me, she said, “I’m fully behind whatever you feel you need to do artistically.” I suspect that, if I told her that I wanted a law degree to make a bundle of cash, she would have frowned. Those were the sort of values I was taught.
The dribble dribble dribble about how it was important to have a man, important to be married, still reached me, usually through the medium of friends’ mothers. They sounded to me like something out of the dark ages. It’s still out there in the ether, that a woman without a man is somehow a failure.
These days what people call feminism is all girl power girl power enabling bullshit. Maybe I’m too old. I can remember when feminists actually expected something of themselves. Now, we’re supposed to “support” other women for no better reason than the fact that we share similar genitalia, even if that “support” is nothing more than enabling self-destructive behavior. Worse, we’re supposed to support other women even if their behavior hurts women in general.
“What on earth are you driving at?” you may very well be wondering. Well, I sat down at my computer knowing that I hadn’t yet done my Thursday post. Before starting to write, I looked at a couple of tabs I had open in my browser. I thought I was going to write about Detroit. The browsing was nothing but light procrastination. The tabs are still open now, The New York Times, a couple of blogs I follow, and Salon. I don’t read Salon regularly, but I looked up something there a few days ago and somehow never closed the tab. What were the headlines on Salon? There was not one, but two, articles about Huma Abedin. One was entitled “Leave Huma Alone.” It was accompanied by a photo of Huma, gazing lovingly at and smiling at her husband, a one time congressmen best known for sending young women unwanted photos of his penis. When I saw her smiling face, an inexplicable level of anger rose up in me. I started asking myself why, why do I hate this woman? The emotion of hatred is so overwhelming that it cleared my head of what I originally meant to write.
If it was early in the morning, perhaps I’d take a jog, clear my head, and try to get myself on some sort of high road. In reality, it’s past midnight, so I’m just going to think out loud, engage in a little free association and try to figure out why I even give a shit about this woman.
Until the afternoon of the twenty-third, I barely knew who she was. A couple of years ago when Weiner was implausibly denying that the photos of the penis were his and making up an insane story about how his Facebook account had been hacked, I recall that he used his new bride as part of his alibi. I remember there was some comment about his wife having been a protegé of Hillary Clinton, the world’s most famous cuckoldess. When I heard about that, I just figured that Weiner had about zero real affection for her and probably married her for her connections. Beyond that, I was barely aware of her existence. Weiner resigned and nobody cared anymore.
So now, Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner are both running for public office in New York City. Fun time! I saw an article that said that women found Weiner more forgivable than Spitzer, which surprised me. Spitzer just visited a prostitute, a willing, well paid prostitute of legal age. Kinda boring if you ask me. Weiner is just creepy, in my opinion. It puts me in mind of a man who was lurking behind some clothing racks in a department store and took out his penis in front of me when I was about four or five years old and had temporarily wandered away from my mother.
I saw the video of Anthony Weiner’s press conference on the internet on Tuesday. I hit play and could only watch it for a few seconds. I turned it off feeling enraged, not at Weiner, but at Huma. Why? Because she smiled. She looked like a simpering idiot. Her husband it admitting to multiple affairs and she’s not just standing by his side, but she’s smiling like it’s all some wonderful joke.
When I was a young woman, I couldn’t stand seeing Hillary Clinton lying through her teeth saying that she wasn’t standing by her man “like Tammy Wynette” when she was pretty clearly doing just that. Later, when she ran for the Democratic nomination, I still felt waves of disgust every time I saw her, but I kept trying to stuff that feeling down telling myself that she came from a different, more benighted, generation. What is Huma’s excuse?
Women who have no self-esteem, who will do anything to hang onto a man disgust me for so many reasons. How many of us have friends and relatives who have been sexually abused by step-fathers and whose mothers side with the man they’re so afraid of losing? I can think of a few. What would Anthony Weiner have to do for Huma to leave him?
On the one hand, I feel it’s petty, that I shouldn’t care about their private life. On the other hand, I hate them. It’s not healthy. I hope they both go away so I never have to look at them again.Huma’s behavior hurts women because the message that women need to do anything to get and keep a man is not just given to women, it’s given to men as well. I’ve met many men who have expected me to take a shocking level of crap from them. When I tell them they’ve crossed the line and it’s over, they’re shocked. Why on earth would they be shocked? My requirements are fairly minimal and I usually make them clear. But some of them believe that all women are needy, that they need a man to give them a sense of self-esteem. They think we’re all like Hillary and Huma. We’re not.