I am not much of a Great Debates person, but just for the sake of discussion, if a female member of Congress was caught doing the exact same thing that A. Weiner has admitted to, is it even remotely possible she would not be hounded out of office within a day or two?
(I realize that unless a crime has been committed, there is almost nothing that can be done legally/Constitutionally to actually forcibly remove a sitting “member” of Congress, but I am just talking about the greater Court of Public Opinion here.)
As I see it, a Congresswoman caught sending raww cooch pix to a bunch of random young men would be damn near burned at the stake on the DC Mall, but I suppose she could get a lucrative film deal from a porn company if she survived the Righteous Outrage.
As far as double standards go, I wasn’t talking about our most recent Congressional scandal. He can do whatever he wants with his junk - I don’t give a shit, he isn’t my Congressperson.
However, I can say that I firmly believe that if a woman tried HALF the sleezy crap that men get away with in Congress, in the high-level business world, or as a pastor/minister/priest, she would get royally trounced by society, in a way that men do not.
Mary Kay Letourneau was sentenced to 6 months for raping a 13 year old, she didn’t get the seven years until she broke her parole by continuing to see him. Now they are married and host “Hot for teacher” nights at dance clubs.
Not quite the same as my OP hypothetical, but in response to your mention of Ms. Letourneau, I agree there is clearly a double standard when it comes to how men and women are treated in cases regarding sexual misconduct, a double standard that is not always consistent.
About a year ago, here in Utah (a smaller rural town, not Salt Lake City) a female teacher was caught having sex with one of her 14 year-old male students.
She reached a plea-deal with the county DA, but she was still facing up to 20 years in prison, when the judge said to her, from the bench, right out in open court “If you were a man, and had been caught having sex with a 14 year-old girl, I would send you prison for the maximum sentence of 20 years, but as it stands, well, no real harm done.” as he let her off with 6 months unsupervised probation.
Obviously I am paraphrasing here, but this wise judge unapologetically said that he would have sent a man to prison for a significant chunk of his life for doing the exact same thing that he let a woman off with a slap on the wrist for.
When the story was published in the local SLC newspapers, one or two people wrote in to decry the blatant double standard shown, but by-in-large, I get the feeling that a great many people felt about the same way that the judge obviously did.
(I still say a female member of Congress who was caught sending explicit photos of her vagina to random young men would virtually be driven out of the country by the outpouring of public outrage and demonization)
So you think a Congresswoman who emailed a boob shot to a male Twitter buddy would be given LESS leeway then Weiner, not more?
I think you are delusional. Operationally women may be held to higher standard on a behavioral expectation basis, but when they actually transgress there is far more forgiveness from the media.
Journalists and politicians are ready to burn Weiner in effigy. If a woman did this there would be a lot of articles about how she was acting out because of self esteem issues, how women are bullied into exposing themselves, and wanting to be loved drove her to it, etc. etc. etc.
She might not be re-elected but there would not be party hacks and journalists with pitchforks after her the way they are after Weiner trying to force him out.
It’s kind of hard to say what would happen, since we haven’t seen a female politician try to get away with a crotch shot.
I suspect that a woman would resign rather than go through the embarrassment of being called a whore/slut/skank/bimbo/freak on a 24 hr news cycle. A man can recover from jokes about his sexual escapades (Elliot Spitzer), but I don’t think a woman can do that half as easily. It is hard enough as it is for a woman to be taken seriously in high power positions; if she’s attractive, it’s even harder. If her boobies get plastered in the media, how could she ever expect people (men) to look her in the eyes again? Everyone (men) will always be thinking about her chest. A man doesn’t have to worry about that as much as because heterosexual men don’t sexualize other men, and heterosexual men are in power.
I agree that a woman who did this would be ridiculed to the point she couldn’t continue in public life. That doesn’t mean we should lower the standard for female politicians. Instead, everyone should be pointing and laughing at Tony Weiner and a number of his colleagues whenever they appear in public.