Is it right that I feel bad for Weiner?

A couple of days ago, I saw the clip of Bill Maher and Jane Lynch reading Anthony Wiener's texts. I thought it would be hilarious because I love Bill Maher but I found myself feeling sad and embarrassed for Weiner.

I have conflicted feelings about this. Winer is a public figure and he should really know better than to do the things he did. You can't broadcast stuff through twitter and facebook and expect that no one will notice. Of course someone's going to pass that along and the great thing about the internet is that you have concrete permanent evidence of it. So yeah, what he did was very stupid. And it's compounded by the fact that he's married and although I haven't heard the details on this, and I don't think he and his wife have shared the details on this, I'm guessing his wife is not happy about this behavior. It's conceivable that this is an acceptable thing between them but since that's not the case for most couples, I'm guessing it's not the case for them. So the betrayal/infidelity/sending dirty pictures and texts to women who aren't your wife thing is not really cool. I've also heard rumblings that these pictures and comments were unsolicited - that he just sent them to young women that were following him on twitter without anything that might even be construed as an invitation. If that's the case, that's not cool either and he kind of deserves to be outed.

The texts that Maher read on his show sounded pretty consensual. It was a conversation in which both parties were exchanging explicit comments. And yes, Weiner should know better. When you're a public figure in our culture, you have to know that it will be next to impossible to keep this kind of thing a secret. And yet, listening to that, I felt bad for him. The texts were very graphic and when you read them on stage in front of a live audience in that way, they do sound crazy and salacious because we're just not used to hearing that kind of thing. BUT most of us have done something like that in our lives because, guess what, it's pretty normal human behavior. We are sexual people and we talk that way to people that we are having sex with or are interested in having sex with. That's what adults do. But we do it privately and it's very rare that anyone else would ever even hear us do it, much less read it aloud on a national television.

So even if I shouldn't, I feel bad for him. How would I feel if that happened to me? I would be mortified. Believe me, there are all kinds of things I've said, done, written about, texted, took pictures of, that I feel fine about having done because it was intended for a certain person in a certain context. But if anyone were to broadcast those things I would be deathly embarrassed. And I'm even more of an open book about sex than most people. But it would embarrass me because it's private. It's not meant for the world, it's meant for me and the person I shared it with. That's part of why it's hot - it's only for certain eyes.

It's odd to watch the smug smirks on Maher and Lynch's faces as they read this, when you know full well they've probably done pretty much the same thing. Why are they laughing at him when these are things most people do? They act like grade-schoolers taunting a classmate - it's only fun because you're not the one on the receiving end.

I get it, Weiner should not have done what he did because it probably violated his marriage agreement, because it may have been unsolicited, and because it makes him, as a previously well-respected public figure look like a doofus. But I do think it's sad that he had to resign over it because we are all such children that we can't stop making dick jokes every time he tries to open his mouth. Adults do this kind of stuff. Why not just get over it? He's obviously learned a lesson about keeping his private stuff private. Let's move on to more important things.

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