We’ve seen the broad principle applied in feminism a thousand times, especially when it comes to the Kennedy rutters. Feminism allows certain women to gain power in the world. The price they pay for this power is the liberation of men from the traditional expectations of faithfulness and self-restraint. The other price (though I don’t see much evidence that they realize this is costing them) is to defend an ideology of men as sexual conquerors without consequences in the form of wives or children.
The latest most public version of this phenomenon is Huma Abedin, the self-imprisoned wife of Anthony Weiner. Huma acts all forgiving and shy, claiming that no one is more surprise than she is that she is now campaigning for and with her husband to win him the office of New York City mayor.
To which Elspeth Reeve responded in the Atlantic:
“No one? That’s hard to believe if you’ve followed Weiner’s public rehabilitation, reportedly carefully managed by Abedin. First they gave their baby photos to People. (Weiner was still sexting back then.) Then they gave a confessional interview to The New York Times Magazine. Then Abedin recorded a campaign ad with Weiner, then she gave an interview to New York that resulted in a glowing profile. And of course, yesterday, she literally stood by her man at a difficult-to-watch press conference, her first, and, basically, said there’s nothing to see here. ‘We discussed all of this before Anthony decided he would run for mayor, so really what I want to say is, I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him,’ she said. What many saw, though, was a wonderful performance by Abedin herself, adding to the chorus of people urging Abedin to run for office herself.”
Of course, this method for self-exaltation by cultivating a hypersexualized man-child with masculinity issues, has already been pioneered by Abedin’s mentor and long-time former boss, Hilary Clinton—as Reeve points out by the title of her article, “What Did Huma Abedin Learn From Hilary Clinton.”
Frankly, if accommodating the needs of Weiner’s id is the pre-requisite, then Abedin must want political power really badly. I don’t think the prize is worth the price.
And it doesn’t do the people of New York City any favors. Abedin is basically campaigning to have New York City ruled by Weiner’s self-infatuated libido. Augustine, the bishop of Hippo in North Africa during late antiquity, had it right:
“…the bad man, even if he reigns, is a slave, and that not of one man, but, what is far more grievous, of as many masters as he has vices; of which vices when the divine Scripture treats, it says, ‘For of whom any man is overcome, to the same he is also the bond-slave’ (2 Peter 2:19).”
All those vices are campaigning to become as many mayors of New York City, with Abedin standing by them for her own reasons.