A Steward of Our Interests, Cont.

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Please excuse the second post, on this but I really think I need to double-down on one aspect of this story. Many of those defending Weiner are describing this as an invasion of privacy, and a lack of basic respect for sexual behavior between two consenting adults.

I think it's extremely important that what happened between Weiner and Cordova was not consensual sexual activity, but a man sending an unsolicited explicit picture of himself to a woman:

Ms. Cordova said that after Mr. Weiner began following her, critics of the congressman started sending her harassing messages. She said she then began communicating, always electronically, with the congressman about their shared annoyance with those critics. 

Ms. Cordova provided a portion of her communications with Mr. Weiner to The Times, in which they messaged back and forth about the online detractors and their tactics. But Ms. Cordova would not make all of her interaction with him available for review. "I have not sent him any suggestive messages," Ms. Cordova said.

She said she was, however, surprised by his informal tone. "He was just very casual," she said. "It wasn't like talking to a U.S. congressman." A spokeswoman for Mr. Weiner did not dispute Ms. Cordova's account.

Mr. Weiner, at his news conference on Monday, said he had sent Ms. Cordova the underwear photo "as part of a joke." But Ms. Cordova said the image was not in keeping with the tenor of their previous interactions.

I really don't see how this qualifies as action between two consenting adults. And the notion that only prudes and people interested in sex-shaming would see it otherwise is deeply problematic. As I said in comments, I find it rather insupportable that if John Boener did this a bunch of us would be talking about privacy rights.

There's nothing about being a liberal that says I have to defend a dude's right to randomly disseminate unsolicited pictures of his dick. That just ain't my fight.

No more Anthony Weiner, guys. Forgive the overload.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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