This is one of those stories that I just can’t wrap my head around, because there is just so much stupid going on here. Rep. Anthony Weiner has finally resigned from his office, as a result of Weiner-gate, where his (some say large) penis became a major topic of discussion. What I think is more important here is the shift in public morals, and how the internet has allowed us to express ourselves in ways that are not always socially acceptable.
As I wrote before about Wikileaks, just because you can do something doesn’t make it right. Technical ability to do something doesn’t make it legal, doesn’t make it morally acceptable, and doesn’t mean that you can get away with it. Rep. Weiner has found this out the hard way (pun intended), as the use of social media platforms and digital cameras have left him hanging out to dry.
Yes, digital cameras allow us to take naughty pictures that we don’t have to get someone to develop for us. With cell phones and such having high mega pixel count cameras these days, it is possible to take some pretty darn good pictures of your naked body for your lovers and so on, if that is something you want to do. Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, allow us to communicate rapidly, and sometimes this combination of easy to make naughty pictures and fast internet sharing leads to these images getting sent around. It’s almost faster than you can think, and the deal is done. Once done, you cannot take it back.
Sexting, the sending of text messages on a phone with photo attachments is another avenue for this sort of thing. There have been a number of cases discussing underage nude images being shared this way, as willing girls send naughty pictures of themselves to their boyfriends, who sometimes share them around. One of the problems is that this sort thing is actually child porn, and legally unacceptable.
Sexting is also big in colleges and universitys. The scary part about that is that we have perhaps an entire generation of women who have traded naughty pictures with guys, who perhaps have archived them for later display. Maybe in 20 or 30 years when they are running for political office, an old boyfriend will pull out an image of them naked or engaged in a sex act, and run them out of politics. It has taken much less to cause a fuss in these oddly politically correct times.
My advice? Don’t take pictures of yourself naked, and don’t send them to people. Certainly don’t do it if you are a politician, married, and so on. Duh Weiner, you did it to yourself. I hope your few minutes of sexual pleasure makes up for all that you will lose. Maybe you can get a talk show on CNN.