Weinergate: The End

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Here it goes:


Representative Anthony D. Weiner has told friends that he plans to resign his seat after coming under growing pressure from his Democratic colleagues to leave the House, said a person told of Mr. Weiner's plans... 

Mr. Weiner, a Democrat, came to the conclusion that he could no longer serve after having long discussions with his wife, Huma Abedin, when she returned home on Tuesday after traveling abroad with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Ginger Lee, an exotic dancer and former pornographic film actress who received sexually explicit messages from Mr. Weiner, stood wide-eyed and largely silent before a bank of microphones, as her lawyer, Gloria Allred, told more than 50 members of the news media that Ms. Lee wanted to "speak the truth about her relationship with Congressman Anthony Weiner and correct misconceptions about their communications..." 

"I think that Anthony Weiner should resign, because he lied to the public and to the press for more than a week," Ms. Lee said. "It might never have turned into this if he had told the truth, but he kept lying. If he lied about this, I can't have much faith in him about anything else." 

Ms. Lee said she and Mr. Weiner communicated electronically "on a fairly regular basis," but she sought to clarify her role as one of the six women with whom Mr. Weiner has said he exchanged inappropriate sexual messages. 

"However, I did not sext Anthony Weiner," Ms. Lee said. "I did not send photos to him or receive any from him. Any time that he would take our conversation in a sexual direction, I did not reciprocate." 

Ms. Allred, a celebrity lawyer, stood close to Ms. Lee's side, occasionally stopping to confer with her in muffled whispers just out of the microphones' reach. She said that while her client was interested in chatting with Mr. Weiner about politics, the New York congressman "would try to take it to another level, mentioning his 'package.' " She added that Ms. Lee had saved her e-mail exchanges -- about 100 -- with Mr. Weiner.

I get e-mails rather frequently from women (and men) who admire the writing I do, none of them romantic.  If I took those nonromantic e-mails as a chance to make an advance, perhaps one of those women would be receptive. But to that woman, and to every other woman who communicated with me, what would I be saying about my professionalism? Moreover, what would my employer think if they found out that this was a practice for me? 

Would it simply be behavior between consenting adults? Would it merely be a private matter between me and my partner? Let's also state that I wouldn't be hitting on male admirers of my writing. Is there an issue of fairness given that women who write me have to fend off my advances, but men do not?

Wouldn't the problem be far worse were I in public service, where citizens need to know that I will treat their time equally regardless of gender? 


He's a congressman. It's his job to get things done in government for people who need things done. Is the VA screwing you over on benefits? Call your congressman. Are you having trouble with your student loan servicer? Call your congressman. Etc. There's a problem here if your congressman thinks he's allowed to proposition any attractive woman who contacts him. It's a problem directly analogous to the creepy boss problem. 

Wiener isn't Ms. Cordoba's representative. But the way his "consensual" dalliances started shows a pattern: Wiener gets contacted by a female, he friends said female and sends banter that progresses into sexual banter. If that's his pattern, what female constituent would feel totally comfortable contacting him? It just isn't right for half his constituents to think they might have to exchange sexting for getting him to take seriously their problems with government agencies.

That covers it for me. I just don't see, and never have seen, what's so fuckin' feminist about supporting the "creepy boss," or better put, the "creepy employee." 
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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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