Last night I was watching Bill Maher’s latest edition of Real Time and during his interview with special guest, Anthony Weiner
Maher made a valiant effort to turn the conversation to what he sees as the real issue that sexually repressed Americans need to focus on, but the thread died, primarily because Weiner was clearly unwilling to participate. Maher made reference to a “Who’s Who” of sexually scandalized politicians including Elliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Weiner and others who were either marginalized or destroyed by their libidos.
I was sorry Maher’s efforts failed, because I found the topic interesting. As a matter of fact, as I lay in bed last night I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.
Anthony Weiner was the person who actually caused the wheels in my brain to start turning. My first impression of Weiner was that he was a Bernie Sanders in waiting. A champion of liberal causes. A brilliant mind, a powerful debater, a politician with full command of the facts in every issue, a strong supporter of women’s issues, the middle-class, and economic fairness. Watching him again on Real Time, I was once again taken with his brilliance.
But Weiner had a sexual fetish. He got aroused in online talks with young women, sent pictures of his penis to said women, and likely masturbated in the process. Period.
Now I know this will come as a surprise to many, but real human beings actually do have sexual thoughts and fantasies. Men, women, politicians, preachers, doctors, movie stars, and war heroes aren’t immune to this sort of thing. Your mother had sexual thoughts and probably, some weird fantasies. You, the person reading this right now, KNOW you have those thoughts and you also know you have found ways to incorporate your sexual proclivities, into your own life. You and Anthony Weiner are two peas in the same perverted pod. The only difference is, Weiner was a public figure and he was “outed” by the national media. (See more examples here.)
Maher’s point (and mine) is simple. When will Americans stop being so damned prudish and sexually repressed and start acting like adults? When will we stop pretending that people like Weiner, Spitzer, David Vitter, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Clarence Thomas, and Barney Frank are morally beneath the rest of us? Why do we automatically assume the homecoming queen is a better human being than the slut?
Yes, we do have a hidden shameful sex scandal in the United States. It is pervasive and menacing. It needs to be exposed and shamed and forever banned from the American landscape. And that sex scandal is that we’ve allowed religious fundamentalists to turn our inherent sexual nature into something filthy. Something to be ashamed of. Something to hide.
Newsflash, sex is natural and fun (if you do it right). So to the Christian right, I proudly stand and say, “Anthony Weiner for President!”