When thinking about writing this blog I had trouble remembering Weiner’s first name. Perhaps it is the unfortunate colloquial use of his last name, but I also had the same problem remembering Eliot Spitzer’s first name. It is also that in the media lust for reducing all issues to the lowest common denominator in that the two men have become linked in having similar moral failings and having had, in the past, the trust of the public as they performed their elective duties?
I distinguish the two in that Spitzer broke the law, used public funds to procure sex across state lines (you prosecutors out there can correct me on this.) As far as I know Weiner did not. But what has he done (or is he doing?)
He was “sexting” or sending explicit images of his genitalia and other body parts, as well as, I assume explicit language to willing, of-age, recipients. Understand, I have not received any of his messages, but I have gotten them from others. I have been lead to believe that teenies and others consider sending such images as an acceptable expression of … well I’m not sure, but it is not considered lewd or immoral, though most would not want their mothers to see the posts.
Though folks over 40, an arbitrary age decidedly, might find sexting disgusting, lascivious, ridiculous, icky, or laughable, those under 30 might find it a matter of freedom of speech, freedom of personal brand management, or simply just a routine option to satisfy the mood of the moment.
We can argue whether sexting conveys poor judgment, moral lapse, a mental disorder or just stupidity. It may be normal for constituents deciding for whom to vote might ask about that candidate’s maturity level. Whatever his age one would have thought he was past the “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours” kind of encounters.
The digital world is changing our language, our reading habits, our standards of acceptable discourse. Is “sexting” one of those inevitable changes?
I’m thinking this through.
Oh, and no apologies for the pun in the title.