"My name is Anthony Weiner and I stand for women!"
That's not just a tailor-made caption for the indiscreet photo sent from the New York congressman's Twitter account. Weiner proudly delivered that line twice during a rah-rah sisterhood speech to adoring fans at Planned Parenthood's Stand Up for Women's Health Rally in February. The only thing missing from his feminist cheerleading was a set of speculum-handled pom-poms.
But Weiner's feminist rhetoric is far more tumid than the underwear-clad package he "can't say with certitude" isn't his -- and just as susceptible to shrinkage. So here's the cold water:
While the intended recipient of the lewd photo, 21-year-old Gennette Cordova, drowns in a raging media maelstrom, Anthony Weiner is using the only life preserver in sight as a hula hoop. Instead of ending the speculation about their relationship by asking law enforcement to investigate the alleged hacking of his Twitter account, Weiner spent the week tossing cagey Clintonian statements and erection puns to an increasingly suspicious press.
This is how Anthony Weiner stands for women.
Cordova and her family have been subjected to the kind of scrutiny, mockery, and even harassment normally reserved for public figures (and private citizens who vote Republican). Her candid party photos and off-the-cuff tweets are now front page news as bloggers and reporters rifle through cached social media accounts, hoping to shake out the single breadcrumb that might lead to a scoop on the young woman who denies "any inappropriate exchanges" with Weiner.
In a statement released shortly after the Weinergate scandal broke, Cordova wrote:
The last 36 hours have been the most confusing, anxiety-ridden hours of my life. I've watched in sheer disbelief as my name, age, location, links to any social networking site I've ever used, my old phone numbers and pictures have been passed along from stranger to stranger.
My friends have received phone calls from people claiming to be old friends of mine, attempting to obtain my contact information. My siblings have received tweets that are similar in nature.
In the hours following the obscene tweet from Weiner's account, Cordova attempted to scrub all traces of herself from the Internet, including her social networking accounts and college newspaper bylines. But efforts to protect her friends and family from media vultures by erasing her virtual identity were unsuccessful, and now Anthony Weiner is the only person who can help Cordova recapture some semblance of privacy.
If Weiner's Twitter account was truly hacked, calling for an official investigation would clear his name, make this "distraction" go away, and allow Cordova to drift back into relative obscurity. And yet, this feminist hero, this supposed champion of women's privacy rights, refuses to involve the Capitol Police, FBI, or any other law enforcement agency.
How easily a woman's sacred right to privacy is forgotten when a sexting misfire puts a Democrat's political career on the line.
When will Weiner stand for this woman?
When will he stand for the other women and underage girls whose names and photos were published by the New York Post, Gateway Pundit, and The Daily Kos simply because Weiner followed some of them on Twitter?
He won't. And neither will the so-called feminists willing to sacrifice these women's privacy in the defense of an outspoken leftist ally.
Feminist blogger Amanda Marcotte and her far left brethren at The Daily Kos defended Weiner's honor by dreaming up a vast right-wing conspiracy theory involving Andrew Breitbart, Photoshop chicanery, and nostalgia for those "heady" days when a semen-encrusted blue dress dominated the news. (Ah, yes, those were the days.)
Another feminist writer at Slate's XX Factor makes "the case for tolerating left-wing Lotharios" like Weiner. As far as she’s concerned, a reliably liberal voting record is as good as a Get Out Of Jail Free card:
For those on the left, like Rep. Weiner, it’s easier to disregard their potential sexual missteps as a character flaw limited to the home life. In his career as a lawmaker, he has been an emphatic advocate for women. (NARAL gave him a 100 percent rating.)
This echoes feminist sentiment during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, most notably summarized by former White House correspondent Nina Burleigh:
I would be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.
Instead of pressing Anthony Weiner to explain his lies and evasions, the feminist Left is strapping on their kneepads (metaphorically, one hopes) just as they did in the 1990s. The women and girls traumatized by his Twitter scandal are acceptable casualties because rallying to the defense of an ideological bedfellow supersedes any pretense of caring about the lives of individual women.
If Anthony Weiner and his feminist supporters truly stood for women, they would listen to the words of Gennette Cordova's mother:
I'm really upset. I feel like he's a person of power and influence, who can make a statement and make all this go away.
But why would he bother to use his power and influence to help the recipient of his dirty pic get on with her life? The Kneepad Brigade will stand by him either way.