6.07.2011

Congressman Anthony Weiner – Cyber Space Voyeurism, Sexual Addiction, Lacking In Common Sense or All Three?



By Lawrence W. Daly

            Last week when the story broke about Congressman Anthony Weiner’s computer system being hacked, reporters were aggressively pursuing the Congressman and asking him if in fact he had sent several half-nude and fully-nude photographs. Instead he attempted to tell everyone to relax, that the hacking of his account wasn’t that big of a deal and that he had more important things to worry about.  In his rebuttal to the news, he continued to get hammered by media personnel who obviously had figured him out.  By Sunday, June 5th, the leak about some of the photographs being X-rated came out as well. The Congressman was in trouble and he decided to hold a press conference to tell the truth about the many photographs he had been sending to woman across the United States.


Were Congressman Weiner’s Action Seen as Evil?
There are several aspects to examine, evaluate and analyze when dealing with the good and evil of the acts of someone. In this evaluation process individuals use their critical thinking skills in an attempt to figure out if life is moving in the direction they want it to be. Asking questions such as, “Am I happy; Am I in the relationship with the right woman; Does my job and future employment options make me want to be a permanent fixture where I am; Do I influence others at home and at work; how do people perceive me; and do I have any problems that could cause these questions and their answers to change? Congressman Weiner probably has been asking himself these questions for the past couple years. Obviously unhappy with the style of life he was leading, he turned to cyberspace voyeurism to find happiness. If one were to study this aspect of a person’s life, there would be mixed reviews. People, who like to share pictures of their naked bodies with others, find nothing wrong with Congressman Wiener’s actions. Others may find it repulsive and confusing why someone who is in a position of power would put himself at risk. In this article examining the issues surrounding Congressman Wiener’s action may bring us to a clear understanding of why he did what he did.

Sexual Addiction
            Is what Congressman Wiener did sexual addiction, cyberspace voyeurism, a lack of common sense or all three? Cyberspace voyeurism is a new technical term for individuals who enjoy sharing partially nude or entirely nude pictures of themselves or others. In this case, Congressman Wiener sent photographs of himself in half-nude and fully nude and in one of the pictures displaying himself with an erection.  Sexual Addiction, according to PsychCentral (2011) is:

Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family member’s increases as the disorder progresses. Over time, the addict usually has to intensify the addictive behavior to achieve the same results.

A lack of common sense speaks for itself but defined, according to Merriam Webster dictionary specifically means, “Sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” In reviewing the facts, it appears Congressman Weiner committed all three of these, based on these definitions. The question which has yet to be answered is exactly how many women and/or maybe children have been affected by his actions?

Is There A Criminal Investigation In Progress?
            Congressman Weiner has admitted he sending photographs to women over the past couple of years. The extent of his cyberspace voyeurism is unknown. A thorough, complete, competent and intelligent investigation into Congressman Weiner’s behavior is reasonable and logical. Like some of his predecessors who had inappropriate contact with minors, Congressman Weiner needs to come clean and deal with his issues. However, if he committed a crime in the process of his cyberspace voyeurism, he will need to seek legal counsel and prepare for the forthcoming criminal charges.  If there is an investigation occurring it would have to be the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducting the investigation. If Congressman Weiner committed any crime with the information which is known to date, then it would seem most likely that he committed a Federal Crime.
            According to HuffPost Politics website, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, “…called for an investigation following Anthony Weiner’s admission Monday that he tweeted a photo of his bulging underpants to a woman and engaged in ‘inappropriate’ exchanges with six women before and after getting married.” There has been no word from any law enforcement agency that they are looking into possible criminal conduct by the Congressman.

Have All the Women Been Identified?
It is unknown just how many women are involved in the cyberspace voyeurism. At this time the Congressman has not revealed everything he has done over the past couple years. However, as studies have demonstrated, individuals suffering from sexual addiction, pedophilia and other sex-related behavior are in denial and generally do not disclose how many times they acted out.

 Have All the Photographs Been Accounted For?
            There have been several photographs given to the media outlets, but it is unknown, just how many photographs are out in cyberspace. Over the next of couple weeks there will be a multitude of women coming forward stating that the Congressman sent photographs of himself to them. In investigating these types of cases, the predator loses count of the victims he/she preys upon. This may or may not be the situation here; only time will tell.

Is Congressman Anthony’s Action Criminal in Nature?
            Until there is an investigation, it is unknown just how far the Congressman stepped over the line. Individuals who suffer from sexual addiction act out without rhyme or reason. Their behavior has little to do with common sense. The preying upon individuals isn’t thought out at the moment. Instead it is a reaction to some stimuli in one’s environment. It is unknown what triggered the Congressman’s behavior. It would be a good idea for him to check himself into a sexual addiction treatment center for an assessment, evaluation and treatment if this is what the professionals tell him this is what he needs. 

Where Does Congressman Anthony Go From Here?
            He may go straight to jail if the criminal investigation provides information, facts and evidence that he committed Federal, State, County and/or Local crimes. The Congressman needs to sit down with his legal counsel and psychiatrists and decide what would be the best proactive stance to take at this time. Eventually he will have to answer to the New York constituents who have been faithful to him for years. He needs to demonstrate truthfulness, which to date, he has not done. The information he told in his news conference was a minimized, watered-down, lacking in content, context and details of the truth. Depending on counsel, the Congressman will not be predictable because of the many options he has. It all comes down to if the Congressman committed a crime, then his career as he knows it will be over.

When Will Congressman Anthony Resign?
In listening to the Congressman yesterday, most people felt sorry for him. The media pundits were not so easy on him. Attacking him for his one “sniff” as if he was crying; taking a pause when he stated he had lied and talked about all of the people he had hurt. The decision to resign or stay on the job will be quickly determined if the Ethics Investigation returns requesting his resignation. However, the Congressman’s cohort, Charlie Rangel, was found to have violated a dozen or more ethics violation and was still re-elected. The constituents of the Congressman’s district may want him gone. They may begin a petition to have him removed from his position. Whatever the decision made by the Congressman, it won’t be simple.

If You Were His Friend, What Advice Would You Give The Congressman?
            So what advice would you give to the Congressman? Since there are historically similar situations to gauge your answer, it would be interesting to hear from all of you who have taken the time to read this article. Take a moment and think, if the Congressman was sitting across the table from you, what would you say to him? This author looks forward to your comments.

Final Thoughts
            Does Congressman Weiner have a sexual problem? Does all the evidence point to a problem(s) that has yet to be uncovered? Only time will tell. Did it take courage for the Congressman to face the world and admit he had deceived them? Does the Congressman need to be rescued from a sinking ship or will he stay afloat? All of these questions need to be answered. The possibility of multiple investigations will bring answers to the many questions you are finding yourself asking. The interview of Broussard will be of great interest to all of those who want to know the truth. Moreover, the police agencies will want to expend some time with Broussard to determine if there is more to the story than she will disclose on tonight’s interview with Hannity.
            There is no need for anyone to jump to conclusion and make a decision. The Congressman is not guilty until proven innocent. The Constitution is clear on the proper mindset the criminal justice authorities need to have when investigating these circumstances. Having a neutral and objective mindset will place credibility and reliability on the investigative fact-finding mission.
            The women who may have been preyed upon by the Congressman will probably tell a different story then the Congressman is telling. Women who have been sexually assaulted and/or exploited may become emotionally upset when they are asked about the situation. They may find the Congressman’s actions as difficult and confusing instead of thinking of the Congressman in a positive, healthy, way because of enjoyable, condoned sexual activity. 

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