Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Especially a smart, savvy woman who works in politics, giving all your love to just one man whom everyone wants you to up and leave. In the wake of Huma Abedin’s appearance alongside her contrite, mayoral-hopeful husband last week, there have been calls from every corner for her to do the opposite of what her mentor Hillary Clinton did when she first found herself in a similar situation during the 1992 presidential campaign: Just divorce him already.
When the Clintons appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss allegations that Bill had been having an affair with Gennifer Flowers, Hillary said, “You know, I’m not sitting here — some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette. I’m sitting here because I love him, and I respect him, and I honor what he’s been through and what we’ve been through together.” Wynette — who released her ode to marital resignation in 1968, the same year that Hillary became a Democrat — declared the future First Lady’s statement offensive to every woman willing to stick around after her man does things she doesn’t understand.
While these aren’t exactly good times for Anthony Weiner — he did confess he’s less happy since running for office, and his poll numbers are dropping faster than his pants — they are undeniably bad times for Huma. She’s been pitied. She’s been scorned. She’s been called frumpy and wan. Even her friends are “slapping-my-forehead astounded” that she’s chosen a stand-by-your-man response that seems almost paleolithically pre-feminist.
Huma’s declaration that she loves him and she forgives him is being met with far more confusion than Hillary’s was 21 years ago, partly because, over the past several decades, Americans have become way more relaxed about divorce. A recent Gallup poll says only 24 percent think it’s wrong. Even as splitting up grows more acceptable, a full 91 percent of Americans morally object to infidelity — that’s more than say they’re opposed to polygamy. This is an increase from previous decades. If that number seems out of alignment with Americans’ general trend toward more sexual freedom, perhaps it’s because, as Heather Havrilesky wrote recently in her advice column at the Awl, “Cheating is called cheating for a reason. The issue on the table is honesty, not sex.”
We’re also baffled by Huma’s choice because women no longer need to be professionally affixed to a man to make inroads in business or politics — especially when they’ve got a résumé like hers. Two decades ago, Hillary needed Bill, that much we could understand. But looking at Huma and Anthony together on the dais, it was clear who was holding the other back. This was no 60 Minutes interview from 1992. (Bill, even when mired in scandal, was never such a hapless laughingstock.) Huma, it seemed, should be doing what Hillary was never able to.
I have a confession. I have a penis. I have had one all my life. Yeah, I know, I was shocked too when I first learned about it.
Me and my penis are very close. You could say we’re inseparable, even though technically that’s not true. We have spent a lot of time playing together over the years. But those of you who don’t have a penis probably don’t realize how much trouble they can be. There is a very good reason they call a penis a “dick”.
More than once my penis has embarrassed me by showing up unannounced at inconvenient times. But thankfully he has never failed to show up when I needed him. (Okay, maybe a couple times when I was really drunk, but that’s it.)
The real problem with penii is that they aren’t very bright and are completely lacking in moral fiber. But at the same time they can be very persuasive. (Especially if you have been drinking.) You just can’t trust the little fuckers.
I am not a prude but I do love salacious gossip. While I can honestly say I never cheated on one of my wives I cannot say I was never unfaithful to a girlfriend. But just because I have done something doesn’t mean I think it was okay to do. Guilt, shame and regret are old friends of mine.
I can tell you from personal experience that it is possible to love and respect your wife and still feel a strong desire to have wild, sweaty pig-sex with another woman. There are some men that cheat and there are some men that are cheating dogs. I also know what it’s like to fall out of love with someone.
It should not surprise anyone who, like me, came of age in the Sixties and Seventies that not all married couples are fanatical about monogamy. Some people see monogamy as essential. Others see it as an option. Some see it as an obstacle to happiness.
I never wanted to know the intimate details of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s private lives but it is pretty well established that Bill has not been 100% completely monogamous during their marriage. We knew he was a horndog when we first elected him.
Having watched the Clintons over the past 20+ years I can say with confidence that they both feel affection for each other. Theirs is not a loveless marriage of political convenience. I have never once seen Hillary as a powerless victim. She is a big girl and she makes her own choices.
I find it difficult to believe that Hillary would be totally unaware of Bill’s proclivities and activities. And yet she has stayed with him. That indicates to me that either she does not care very much about it or that he has her consent if not her approval. It’s not cheating if you have permission.
If true that sure would explain a lot. Hillary would certainly not be the first wife who was happy to delegate the sexual aspects of marriage to one or more other women. Personally, it never made sense to me for a woman who refuses to have sex with her husband to expect him to remain celibate.
On the other hand, character matters. But then again so does timing. If you learn about a candidate’s affair before an election it might change how you vote. But if you find out about it after he is in office that in and of itself is not grounds for resignation, recall or impeachment.
By the time the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke into the headlines Bill was already in his second and final term in office. The way it was revealed (via Ken Starr, Linda Tripp and the Paula Jones lawyers) made it clear that it was politically motivated. Monica Lewinsky had nothing to do with the Paula Jones lawsuit or Whitewater.
If the scandal had exploded during Bill’s first term he might not have been reelected. Or maybe he would have been reelected anyway. We’ll never know.
I do not know much about Anthony and Huma. Frankly I don’t want to know. I don’t know how their relationship compares to Bill and Hillary’s. But I do know that Anthony Weiner pales in comparison to Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton had an affair with a woman less than half his age. By all accounts it was consensual and she was an eager participant. But for Bill’s political enemies the story would have remained secret.
Anthony was sending pictures of his Weiner to strange women, at least one of whom was under age. He accidentally posted one to his main Twitter account where it was seen by Andrew Brietbart who publicized it.
Weiner initially denied posting the picture and claimed his Twitter account had been hacked, insinuating that Andrew Breitbart was involved. Weiner paid a private detective $40,000 to prove he was framed, then after several days he confessed that he lied and admitted he really did send the picture. But even after he confessed and “worked things out” with Huma he was still doing it.
I don’t know about you but I find Weiner to be kinda creepy. I would not vote for him. I thought he should resign from Congress because he was hurting the Democratic party. Originally he did resign, but had he stayed in office it would have been up to his constituents whether to reelect him.
As of this moment he remains a candidate for mayor of NYC. If the voters want him they can have him. On the other hand I think he will soon realize that his position is untenable and drop out.
What Huma does is up to her. But she does have options. So does Hillary. I’ll save my concern for women who aren’t so lucky.