Stay Classy, American Media


I know it’s hard American Media, but still, can we refrain from slut-shaming women and concern-trolling the wives that stay with these dudes?

The New York Post cover (above), which trolls Huma Abedin, is just, you know, ick.
Buzzfeed’s super sleuth reportage does some slut shaming here by outing the alleged identity of the other texter. And! The New York Times only added more weaksauce to my least favorite thing about them too: a slapdash collection of three opinions of Huma Abedin with a quote from an ‘expert’ and now we have a news story.

This isn’t reporting as much as it’s just water cooler gossip masquerading as news.

The judgment of women in cases where men are behave badly is fraught with the classic tropes of slamming women in myth, legend, history and literature – like Jezbel and Hester Prynne. Which is to say, we love this shit. No one ever goes in on Rev. Dimmsdale, do they? (Hint: that’s the dude responsible for letting Hester being ass out for the entire book. Fuck that guy.)

Gloria Steinem’s reaction in the Times piece is equally disappointing: “I have no way of knowing whether Huma, for whom I have great respect, is responding out of new motherhood, the Stockholm syndrome or a mystery…I strongly object to holding one spouse responsible for the other’s acts.” Not helping the conversation here, and while I admire and respect Ms. Steinem, I’m not sure why she felt compelled to even comment in this latest episode. It’s kind of a backhanded voice of support that sits really strange with me. (Ms. Steinem is a public supporter of Christine Quinn, the other mayoral candidate.)

I’m not going to judge or shame Abedin or the sexter about their relationships with Weiner. That’s actually not my principle concern. Abedin’s choice to stand by her husband confounds all, but again, it’s her choice. I’m not married to Weiner. I’m not going to make judgments about what happens inside that marriage. That’s not up for a vote. It’s the New York City’s voters’ choice to determine if Weiner is fit to lead the city as Mayor. We have yet to ascertain his fitness given his past proclivities that ultimately distract from major issues. Might I give you all a reminder of what those are: this Community Safety Act recently vetoed by current mayor, ‘Stop & Frisk’, affordable housing, local economic growth, infrastructure investment and resources for public education, living wages and sick leave for minimum wage/restaurant workers. As a New Yorker (I’ve got some years here to claim that) I can tell you how many fucks I can give about Weiner’s sexting. Yet, here are my real questions: Are we prepped for future superstorms and hurricanes? Will there be resources invested in a Civilian Complaint Review Board to hold NYPD accountable for their racially biased policing? Are we modernizing the existing housing stock to reduce our carbon footprint? Can we get rent not to be too damn high? How does he plan to work with Albany on these issues?

I could go on.

The Carlos Danger sideshow is hilarious for the great water cooler of the interwebs, but it aggravates this sober thinking voter. My choices for the next great (and I use that term loosely) mayor of New York have yet to astonish me with responses those concerns.

SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

Syreeta McFadden is a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian US and an editor of Union Station Magazine.

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