Friday, July 26, 2013

In Defense of the "Good Wives"

When the news came out this week about Anthony Weiner's recent indiscretions, I honestly barely gave it any thought.  What do I care?  It's another politician, running for office in another state, and it has no bearing on my life at all.  And really, if it weren't for his unfortunate last name, would this have really made headlines in the first place, some 2+ years ago?

Regardless of my interest, I am a victim of the mainstream media, and I couldn't help but notice the articles, and what those articles were focusing on.

His wife.  

One such article on CNN was titled Why Does Huma Abedin Put Up with Weiner?  In its first paragraph, it stated that: 

"Tempted as I am to write about Anthony Weiner's sexual compulsions, I think it is more important to talk about his wife, Huma Abedin.  What the hell was she doing at Weiner's press conference Tuesday, where he once again asked her and the public for forgiveness for a new set of sexual transgressions, instead of being in her attorney's office?"

"More important?"  REALLY?  

The Washington Post insinuated that Ms. Abedin's motives were political, writing that "[R]ight now it looks like Huma is putting her family's political ambition ahead of the city's needs, and perhaps her own."  

And we know that how?  

The Wall Street Journal stated that "Watching the elegant Huma Abedin stand next to her man Tuesday as he explained his latest sexually charged online exchanges was painful for a normal human being to watch."

It probably was not as painful for you as it was for her.

TMZ even created a page titled "Huma Abedin's Awkward Expressions."

No words.  

My Twitter and Facebook feeds have been riddled with comments such as "Where is Huma Abedin's self respect?" and  "What is wrong with Huma Abedin?"

Okay, remind we why we're criticizing Huma Abedin exactly?  

If I recall the story correctly, it's her husband that has the major issues.  He's a married man and engaged in the exchange of inappropriate photos, phone sex, and "sexting."  He may be a smart guy and a savvy politician, but when it comes to his wife, he's a huge selfish asshole.  Plain and simple.  And in this particular situation, his wife is a victim.  She has been screwed over, betrayed, and humiliated.  

And we're pointing the trajectory of criticism at her?  

Look, I have no idea why Ms. Abedin decided to stick with, and speak on behalf of, her husband.  It could have been an easy decision or a hard decision or, more likely, one so complicated that she could never explain it to anyone. She is probably in the midst of a personal nightmare - wondering what is up and what is down and where she goes from there.  Her life is not easy right now, that's for sure.  She's probably confused and angry and sad. Very, very sad.  

The point is, Ms. Abedin has done nothing wrong.  She has been victimized by the father of her child and the person she chose to spend her life with.  She deserves sympathy, compassion, and at the very least, a healthy dose of indifference.

Instead, she gets peppered with judgment about her character, her decisions, and her appearance, for God's sake.  

Patriarchy is alive and well.


  1. I agree. I would guess she is in a state of numbness, just trying to breathe. Social expectations would be to not make a big scene. Her absence would be commented on just as much as her presence. Either way, she does not win.

    You are also right in that she is not the story. At all.

    Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living
    Kate’s genealogical newspaper stories from Iowa in 1870s@Finding Their Stories

  2. It always surprises me when stories like this come up that nobody talks about how many married couples are not strictly monogamous -- and how both parties are OK with it. It could be that the Weiners have worked things out between them about when/where/how to step out. (Dan Savage talks a lot about being "monogamish" in his columns and podcasts and I always enjoy his discussions of the topic.)

    At the very least I do agree the media should refrain from putting H.A.'s motives/feelings in the spotlight.

  3. I think some of the criticism of Huma Abedin stems from stories like this bring out people's insecurities about their own relationships.

    And I think the criticism that it's politically calculated, is that we don't often have positive associations with the word and concept of "politicians". Many are shrewd, calculating, and even nefarious, but many are not so brazen about it. There's still a part of us that wants to believe that people run for office to help their constituents. So when we see someone we perceive as acting unapologetically "political" we become uncomfortable, and so we criticize.

  4. I'm with you. She's sticking by him for her own political gain? Now that IS threatening!

  5. I think Sarah nailed it. People feel the need to criticize because their own insecurities are screaming at them and they need to feel like their partner wouldn't do that and, regardless, they would make a different choice. Trust me, having been in an abusive relationship, you NEVER know what choices you will make and why and it is always more complex than it may appear to others, particularly those fussing at you to get the hell out.

    As an aside, she is also close to Hillary Clinton and standing by her man in the face of criticism most certainly did not hurt her political clout. Instead of being remembered as the humiliated and pitiful spouse, they moved on and now she is undoubtedly the more powerful one in that relationship. HA could be looking at how that dynamic played out.

  6. Hear, hear! He made a private decision that affects his public life by sending those photos. She made a private decision that affects her private life by speaking at that press conference. Her marriage is her business, and it's not for newspapers to report on.


Copyright ©2011 Small Bird Studios| All Rights Reserved |Free Blog Templates at Small Bird Studios