Ah, don’t we all feel so very much better now that Anthony Weiner has finally admitted to being not only the subject of the crude twitpic, but also the sender? I know I’ll be sleeping better tonight. This whole story is so predictable, stupid, annoying, tired. Why can’t these men figure it out? No, I will refrain from adding to the 4,273,899 Weiner jokes that have made the rounds lately. I do hope, however, that Weiner has learned to keep his mouse in its house and spare the rest of us.
But there are two things this story is making me think. Plenty of people are calling for Weiner to resign. Plenty of others are saying resignation would be the second mistake of this whole pathetic episode (really the third: sending the picture and lying about sending the picture would seem to hold the first two slots). I’m on both sides. Do I think a man shouldn’t hold public office if he can’t keep his pants on? Not really. But do I think someone who is foolish enough to send crotch shots of himself over Twitter should hold public office? I’m thinking maybe not. He couldn’t figure out what a stupid move that was?
This next bit isn’t just for Anthony Weiner. It’s more of a public service announcement for men in general.¹ Women really and truly don’t want to see your penises. We don’t want them flashed at us on the subway or in the park. We don’t want to open an email and find photos of them. Know this, men: your penis isn’t pretty. If we are wildly attracted to you, madly in love with you … then your penis would have some appeal (and even then that’s really only true some of the time, often it will just make us chuckle because it’s such a strange little appendage). But even if we’re in love with you, we still don’t want to see your little congressman without prior invitation. Trust me.
Men don’t seem to know this. It’s something I realized during the craziness of e-dating. I wish I had five dollars and a memory eraser for every time some man sent me a photo of his penis after one email exchange, after one phone call. What is that supposed to do for me? Is there really a woman somewhere who gets excited by the sight of a penis? Sure, we might look at the guys in Playgirl, but we are looking at the whole guy, not just one little bit of him (though I have to say: for me, a naked guy reclining under a willow tree or hanging out of a police cruiser looks more comical than come-hither).
I know that men can’t help the fact that they think like men. They know how thrilled they would be if the women they liked — or perhaps just any woman — sent them unsolicited topless photos. But you know what? Women aren’t men. And breasts are a lot prettier than penises anyway. Penises are a private matter. No one is ever going to love them as much as you do, so you need to keep them to yourselves. When we want to see them, we’ll let you know.
¹ And yes, I know all men aren’t the same. I know and appreciate that fact. Still, sometimes a little generalizing more appropriately fits the bill.