The XX Factor

Weiner Exits the Political Stage: Can We Now Go Back to Minding Our Own Business and Not His Marriage?

The soap opera is finally over. And it’s about time. It became crystal to everyone except Anthony Weiner that he would have to resign and, unfortunate as it is for him, I’m glad he finally did.

Rachael , yes, we can all very much “agree that his resignation is warranted if for no other reason that he is too immature to serve in Congress.” I’ll leave the other complicated and compelling question you raise about whether he is a sex offender to the legal experts. I admit I hadn’t thought along those lines at all, but I pity Weiner and especially his wife, Huma Abedin, if that’s the direction this sad and sordid story takes next. I’m already uncomfortable with all the attention she has gotten and the ridiculous amount of speculative stories written about her.

I found these comments made to the New York Times by a Weiner supporter interesting: ” ‘Human beings: they make mistakes but they learn from them,’ said Vicku Hodja, 53, who stood waiting in the press line outside the senior center where Weiner gave his resignation. ‘He hurt nobody. He only hurt himself, his wife. There’s unemployment, the country’s going down, and they have another Weiner story? C’mon!’ ”

Ms. Hodja blamed his troubles on modern technology, the Times said: ” ‘I know the computer is dangerous to everyone,’ Ms. Hodja said. ‘It brings the devil in the house.’ ”

News flash, Ms. Hodja, computers don’t ruin promising political careers, people do. This is unfortunately the same logic used by the NRA (guns don’t kill people, people do) but in this instance it’s apt. Weiner shot himself in the foot and he has been limping along for the last 20 days hoping against hope that he could survive a self-inflicted injury that festered as more embarrassing revelations about his sexting spread online. It was time to go. There was no devil at work here, only Weiner.

And Ms. Hodja’s advice for Weiner’s wife to stick with him – “She needs to take the Hillary Clinton steps. If you put your man down, you’re putting yourself down.” – were insultingly stupid and antiquated. (I’ve read and heard similar statements made by other women.) Deciding that you are worthy of more respect than shown you by your selfish and reckless husband is indeed a value statement. It says that you value yourself and are empowered enough not to feel you have to “stand by” him at any cost – if you don’t want to. Still relationships are complicated and only the people in them know what’s best for them. Weiner is now a private citizen and he and his wife will decide what’s best for them. Whether or how they work things out is none of our business.