Weiner Watch 2011: a Feministing headline contest

pic of Rep Anthony Weiner smiling

Announcing Weiner Watch 2011, the Feministing #Weinergate headline contest!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with #Weinergate, it can be summed up thusly: Anthony Weiner is a Democratic congressman from New York who until now was a Mayoral hopeful and generally likable guy. Earlier this week, a “crotch pic” was sent from his Twitter account to one of his followers, a college student who lives in Seattle. Then, when everyone found out and got upset about it, he said his Twitter account was “hacked” and that he didn’t send the picture, but that he couldn’t say “with certitude” that it wasn’t him in the picture. Then he said he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. This article has some more background for the curiosity inclined.

As you can imagine, the combination of confusion and dickpics and funny last names that populate this story has made the media’s brain ‘xplode. Which brings us to our contest.

Here’s how it will work. In comments, point out all the ridiculous headlines you see about #Weinergate and where you see them. Or make up your own.

We’ll pick our three favorites and feature them- and you- in a post next week. The winners will receive their very own Feministing titpic mug!

A few examples from the crew to get you going:
“Weiner’s Junk Defense”
“Weiner’s Weiner In A Pickle”
“Breitbart bratwurst vs Weiner-Schnitzel” (Original: Samhita)
“Pantsing with the Stars” (Original: Chloe)

Good luck!

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

Read more about Lori

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  • http://feministing.com/members/kaitlynwithak/ Kaitlyn

    Weiner Here Nor There: Congressman’s Lack of ‘Certitude’ Leaves him Looking Like a Putz

    • http://feministing.com/members/kaitlynwithak/ Kaitlyn

      PS That’s an original =)

  • http://feministing.com/members/annysam/ Anny

    “That’s my Weiner you’re looking at!” (Original) :)

  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Not a headline, but his apology for how he’s handled the controversy thus far involved Weiner being sorry for being “a little stiff”.


  • http://feministing.com/members/txthespianfem/ Matt

    Weiner’s Leak Causes a Bulge of Outcry

  • http://feministing.com/members/tonya/ Tonya
  • http://feministing.com/members/say0anything9/ Amanda

    Twitter photo leads to media Weiner roast
    Photo proves Weiner not such a “stand-up” guy
    (both originals)

  • http://feministing.com/members/hellotwin/ Ami

    Weiner Finds Himself in a Predic(k)ament After Reports of Inappropriate Photo Circulate

  • http://feministing.com/members/steveo/ Steven Olson

    “Weiner’s sausage scandal”
    “Weiner screws himself with own weiner”
    (both originals)

  • http://feministing.com/members/nicky/ Nicky

    “Dick’s gate overshadowed by Weiner’s gate” (original)

  • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

    Even though he has this particular scandal serving as a trigger, isn’t it kind of petty to organize an activity to make fun of someone’s last name? If there’s fresh criticism to make against him, that’s one thing, but it seems a little imbalanced/unfair to spend more time drawing attention to someone because his name isn’t something more plain like Jeff Merkley or Patrick Toomey.

    • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

      Maybe it is, but on the other hand I can’t count the number of protest signs at that Planned Parenthood rally (including my sign) goofing on John Boehner’s name. And they were all funny!!!! I can’t help it!!!! They’re funny!!!! (plus I really don’t like John Boehner.)

      Oh yeah, I also had a sign at the David Wojnarowicz anti-censorship rally with wordplay on Boehner.

      I do find Weiner a more sympathetic political figure, honestly, in that he’s more likely to say things I agree with.I’d hoped he’d be the 2005 dem mayoral candidate over Ferrer, but that didn’t happen. Still, a guy named Weiner saying “sorry I was a little stiff”–it is funny.

      • davenj

        Oh, I get it. He was asking for it. Got it.

        • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

          I’d take this more seriously if it didn’t come from someone who spent countless comments defending the guy who raped that cheerleader.

        • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

          Of course there’s also the fact that you’re attempting to equate a little snickering over a name to rape , which only highlights how little you understand about the impact of the latter whatsoever.

  • http://feministing.com/members/queencityskeeze/ chris

    Leftist politician leans to the right

    the only candidate with balls

    a brief lapse of judgemnet

    divulge the bulge

  • http://feministing.com/members/redux46/ Red

    This seems very wrong to me. If a female congresswoman had her twitter account hacked and racy photos of her breast were leaked, would we be piling on mocking her?

    • davenj

      Nope. And that’s the problem with all of this. It’s fundamentally a series of hurtful jokes about a sensitive part of a person’s anatomy.

      Plus, this isn’t some jerk conservative politician, it’s a guy with a 100% NARAL record and a strong advocate for healthcare rights who is getting dragged over the coals to the point of fearing for reelection.

      So yeah, we get it, it was a crotch photo and his last name is Weiner, but frankly if the “hacked” story is true, this is all incredibly insensitive, and it’s also woefully unproductive, unless this site wants Weiner replaced, and I don’t see why they would.

  • http://feministing.com/members/sexoutofwedlock/ nicole mercier

    It might be kinda wrong if the guy himself didn’t make a ridiculous and shocking/offensive erection pun himself. He totally greenlighted this when he made similar jokes.

    Also, if the congresswoman were named Ms. Nipps or Ms. Brestwurth, and she made a boob joke during her media-covered defense, I think it is possible we would be making similar jokes.

    But it is totally childish and might be a waste of time.

  • davenj

    “Weiner Watch 2011: a Feministing headline contest”

    Pretty ridiculous headline, considering the fact that the site the title comes from defended Christine O’Donnell, a notorious anti-choice personage when her pictures were divulged against her will, and claimed to be against shaming people about their bodies, yet resorts to such a petty attention grab when the candidate is male and pro-choice.

    • http://feministing.com/members/desigirl/ desigirl

      I agree. If this were a woman whose photos were leaked, I highly doubt feministing would be making fun of her and shaming her for something as stupid as her name.

      • davenj

        I mean, we’ve seen the other side of this with Christine O’Donnell, and Feministing was outraged, even though those photos were:

        a. Not O’Donnell’s


        b. Showcased blatant hypocrisy in her political positions vis a vis her personal life

        If those are unacceptable then this must be unacceptable. The only difference here is that Weiner’s photo meets neither criteria a nor b, making it worse, if anything, and showing that the fact that he’s a man seems to mean something to this site insofar as he’s an allowable target for shaming.

    • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

      I started to read this article and I had heard nothing of this story beforehand. I’m in disbelief right now as to why Feministing would post this. This is completely inappropriate and if it were a female politician it never would have happened. It’s wrong and a double standard, and I’m really bothered by this.

  • http://feministing.com/members/thedoctor06/ thedoctor06

    This is a ridiculous double standard.

    If a woman did this, and a men’s rights site was asking for boob joke headlines, there’d be outrage in the feminist community. Good for the goose; good for the gander. As a male feminist, I find this despicable

    • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

      I’m a woman and a feminist and totally agree with you. I’m very frustrated by this article, because I feel this is giving more evidence that most feminists don’t want totally equal treatment for people of every gender. I believe in striving for true equality and this article, or attitudes like this, set that progress back.

  • http://feministing.com/members/zeenacheda/ Dan C


    Is Feministing gonna be happy if this man is defeated in the next election?

    9 times out of 10, when this sort of thing happens, I would almost automatically assume the politician is lying. However, considering that most politicians don’t operate their own Twitter accounts, it seems very possible that this was some sort of unfortunate mixup.

  • http://feministing.com/members/fredoverheels/ Fred

    Wow. I am surprised to see this sort of thing on here. Not only is this post immature and at the very least wasting precious time and space on this site, But the poster is ignoring a lot of issues related to it. Like how shaming this guy not only encourages objectification and body shaming in general. But also, a thick presence of scandal around him can hurt his chances at anything politically in the future. And that means that women’s rights loses a vocal supporter which is always bad. It’s for the same reason we didn’t have a contest for who could think up the funniest way to tell Hillary Clinton to get in the kitchen. Having anyone speak out for women’s rights is something very needed and if we’re going to attack them for no good reason (like mocking their names) we’re doing no one any good.

  • http://feministing.com/members/1ah11/ 1ah11

    People, let’s be real for a second: There’s a whole lotta serious in the news, on this site, and within feminism in general. While I understand the points made about Weiner being a male and how we would probably be against this same joke if the politician were female, can’t we maybe laugh at some dick jokes once in a while? Is it really that much of a “waste of time” (as if 100% of our time should be spent on serious issues…?) to, you know, giggle?

    • davenj

      “can’t we maybe laugh at some dick jokes once in a while?”

      Replace “dick” with “rape” in that sentence.

      The main issue isn’t that this is a waste of time (it is), but rather that it’s an example of a hypocritical double-standard from this site in regard to body-shaming.

      If it’s fair game to make fun of this congressman’s genitalia then should we be allowed to make jokes about Hillary Clinton’s vagina? Why is this okay, but my example is not?

      This gives anti-feminists tons of fodder in claiming that feminists aren’t interested in real equality, but rather the promotion of the rights and position of women at the expense of men. That’s the big problem here.

      The other issue is that this site is actively promoting a campaign of ridicule against one of the staunchest defenders of a woman’s right to choose in the House of Representatives. This is the same guy who called out the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, who fought for a public option tooth and nail, and who has been against the rising tide of anti-abortion sentiment for as long as he’s been in office.

      What do feminists here get by shooting themselves in the foot like that? A minor laugh at the expense of someone else’s anatomy?

      Well done, Feministing. I expect the apology to show up at a quarter past never gonna happen.

      • http://feministing.com/members/maya/ Maya

        No. Rape jokes are in no way comparable to dick jokes.

        Also, re: your previous reply “Oh, I get it. He was asking for it. Got it.” So the implication here is that Weiner is being victim-blamed for having a funny last name? Which is similar to rape survivors being victim-blamed? Except having the media make stupid dick puns about your name? Not really the same thing as being raped. At all. Please make your points without minimizing the seriousness of actual sexual assault.

        • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

          I don’t think davenj was saying dick jokes are comparable to rape jokes, or that these jokes being made are comparable to being raped. I think what davenj was getting at was 1ah11’s argument (can’t we laugh at some dick jokes once in a while?) was reminiscent of the way people will defend rape jokes, like when they say feminists have a problem with rape jokes because we take things too seriously, don’t have a sense of humor, and we should just lighten up. Being raped is clearly more serious than people making jokes about your dick, but the defense of the jokes in the previous comment by 1ah11 sounded similar to the defense of rape jokes.

        • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz


          • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

            And for that matter, re-reading, I didn’t even make a dick joke about Anthony Weiner. I repeated the one the HE HIMSELF made.

            However, I stand by every bit of snark I ever made towards Boehner. And will probably make in the future. And actually, for all the claims that feminists would never joke this way about vaginas, I stand by that pro-choice rally sign I made in the early 2000’s that said “Get Bush Outta My Bush!” (For that matter I also remember seeing t-shirts for sale that said “My Bush Would Make A Better President”)

    • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

      It’s one thing for a person to be spontaneous with a pun or two in conjunction with an actual story or argument. It’s quite another to call for other people to come up with their own jokes, especially when plenty of other sources are already making these kinds of remarks (enough that most of us would be bored of them by now).

  • http://feministing.com/members/jorgemacd/ Jorge MacDougal

    This hypocrisy is disturbing, but unsurprising.

  • http://feministing.com/members/internetloser/ Internet Loser

    Okay, so there is what may be a picture of his penis in existence and someone published it. Is there any proof he did anything illegal or immoral though? Maybe he or his wife took a picture of his dick just for fun. Is that really something we need to concern ourselves with?

    • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

      Well, in light of the fact that as of this afternoon Weiner has admitted to sending the photos (interestingly enough, he stated it was part of a “joke” between he and a correspondent, though he didn’t clarify what the joke was supposed to be–might it have been some sort of DICK joke, that some here wag their fingers at???) I guess I’d have to say:

      No, as far as I know, it is not illegal (unless maybe it were part of a campaign of ongoing harassment of someone, which it doesn’t seem to be.) As for immoral? Well, to me, the fact that he sent the photos not so much. The fact that he lied, both to his wife, whom he said he had discontinued these online relationships with, and to his constituency, by telling them his account had been hacked—well, those things aren’t cool. He also stated in the conference that his wife (who so far hasn’t made a public statement herself), was “angry and hurt”. So, I gotta say I feel for her. I still agree with many of Weiner’s stances on different issues, but I am disappointed that it turns out he did do it.

  • http://feministing.com/members/maya/ Maya

    Who knew this silly contest would cause such controversy. I’m surprised that so many commenters seem to think that the OP was intended to “body-shame” Rep. Weiner.

    Lori summarized the facts of so-called #weinergate and then wrote:

    As you can imagine, the combination of confusion and dickpics and funny last names that populate this story has made the media’s brain ‘xplode. Which brings us to our contest.

    Here’s how it will work. In comments, point out all the ridiculous headlines you see about #Weinergate and where you see them. Or make up your own.

    This, to me, reads as a pretty clear critique of the inevitable media storm surrounding this story. Those “ridiculous” headlines? Yes, they are ridiculous. And sure, immature. But since Rep. Weiner himself has been making weiner jokes, they don’t seem to be particularly “hurtful.” As he said after making the crack to reporters about being stiff, “The jokes kind of write themselves.”

    It also seems like some folks think that by making fun of the scandal and media response to it, we were making fun of Rep. Weiner or even implying that he did something wrong. Internet Loser asks: “Is that really something we need to concern ourselves with?” Well, no–and that was kinda supposed to be the whole point. We held a penis pun contest instead of writing an actual post about #weinergate because basically we couldn’t care less about this scandal.

    I’ll only speak for myself, but I believe Rep. Weiner was pranked and wouldn’t actually care that much if he had sent the picture. I think this became a story because right-wingers worked to make it one and because the media loves a salacious headline. I can’t wait for it to be over so that Rep. Weiner can go back to giving scathing speeches on the House floor, being the hilarious tweeter that he is, and hopefully becoming my Mayor someday.

    But in the meantime, I’m going to join him in making some dick jokes. Because I think there’s power in using humor to dissipate a ridiculous non-story. And because they are funny.

  • http://feministing.com/members/abigailrose/ Abigail

    A lot of people are calling this a double standard but that’s not really fair. As long as there’s inequality between men and women we can’t be held to the same standards. The same rules don’t apply to both sexes. It’s like if there was a group formed for African american rights that was exclusively black it would be way more legitimate than a group of exclusively white people. It’s just not the same.
    Plus come on some of these are hilarious…