Seeing that Anthony Weiner has announced that he will run for mayor of New York city, I decided to re-publish this post, which I wrote back in 2011 with my then writing partner, at the height of the Weiner scandal. I had a lot of fun coming up with the idea for the post and even more writing it. I hope you enjoy it.
Does Infidelity Come In Degrees?
Although we’re totally “Weinered” out, and thought we were not going to write one more single sentence about Weiner’s sordid scandal, we have to confess to having a bit of a Weiner obsession (and let’s be clear we’re talking about being obsessed with Weiner as a blogging topic and not about being obsessed with wieners, or photos of them). This whole messy tale has gotten us thinking about the definition of infidelity and about whether we as women can accept that it might come in different degrees.
According to the dictionary, infidelity is: “the action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner.” Okay, so what does it mean to be unfaithful? Unfaithful is defined as:”engaging in sexual relations with a person other than one’s regular partner in contravention of a previous promise or understanding.” How are “sexual relations” defined? Was Anthony Weiner engaged in sexual relations when he was tweeting out his wiener pics to various women? Has he been unfaithful to his wife? And if yes, what is the “degree” of his infidelity in comparison to, let’s say, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s or Eliot Spitzer’s?
Maybe an easier way to get to our question is to see how we may answer the following hypothetical situation:
Imagine that you have to marry one of these three men: either Weiner, Schwarzenegger or Spitzer. We know it’s hard, but think of an end-of-the-world scenario where you are the only woman left alive, and you have to marry one of these three men in order to save all of mankind (yes, you must marry; you cannot simply screw one of them and make him the next generation’s baby daddy). Let’s say you are equally attracted to all three of them (mentally and physically), and that they are each being extremely charming and considerate towards you (remember you are the only female available). Knowing what you do about each of their infamous histories, which of these limelight womanizers would you pick to be your mate? Let’s briefly examine each of their profiles.
Philanderer Number One: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Schwarzenegger had an ongoing affair with a member of his household staff and fathered an illegitimate son as a result of this illicit relationship. This staff member remained in his employment for twenty years. During this time, Arnold’s housekeeper-come-paramour reportedly accompanied the Schwarzenegger family on holidays, with their illegitimate son in tow. It is also reported that Schwarzenegger is the godfather to his lover’s oldest son (fathered by her actual husband). Based on all of this, it seems that we cannot rule out the possibility that Arnold was actually in love with his mistress, Mildred Baena, and that he “committed” to her in some sort of pathetic way. Could it be that under all of Arnold’s layers of “scumbagginess,” there is actually a sentimental heart that had “true” feelings for his employee/mistress and their son?
Philanderer Number Two: Eliot Spitzer
Let’s turn to the Eliot Spitzer scandal. In a six-month period Spitzer contracted 7 or 8 high-class prostitutes, spending more than $15,000 for their services. It was later revealed that he had spent up to $80,000 on prostitutes during a period of several years, all while he was New York’s Attorney General and, subsequently, Governor. We could be wrong, but it seems less likely that Spitzer had much of an emotional attachment to his paid lovers. Does this make him more or less of a scumbag than Schwarzenegger? Is it possible that he loved and respected his wife (in a decidedly twisted way) so much, that he “took care” of his uncontrollable sex drive by the more emotionally-sterilized means of paid sex?
Philanderer Number Three: Anthony Weiner
And that brings us to Weiner. As far as we know, this fellow hasn’t actually laid hands on any of the women to whom he sent his explicit pics. Is it possible his “point-and-shoot” behavior is just a titillating fetish that allows him to get off? Is he really no different from the men who go to strip clubs, and “who look but don’t touch?” For all we know, Weiner may have used sexting to seduce his lovely wife. Clearly he has demonstrated poor judgement, but is this truly infidelity, and if it is, is it maybe infidelity of a “lesser” degree?
Wiener Winner Is…
C’mon ladies, who would you choose to be your post-apocalypse man? We two are split on this one. One* of us would go for Weiner, explaining: “It’s true that Weiner is all over the place, but at least his wiener hasn’t been inside all of those places. If you know what I mean.” The other would go for Schwarzenegger. She says: “Weiner is a sicko and I don’t have time to be his shrink. Spitzer likely has an STD. And Arnold? Yeah, he’s a pig, but at least he took care of his kid.”
What about you? Who would you pick and why?
Note: In case you’re wondering, I was the one who chose Weiner.