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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Susan Jacoby, "Weiner’s Women": Welcome to Our Brave New Narcissistic World

In a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "Weiner’s Women" (, Susan Jacoby, a renowned best selling author who tells us that she is a feminist, writes:

"The morality of virtual sex, as long as no one is cheating on a real partner, is not what bothers me. What’s truly troubling about the whole business is that it resembles the substitution of texting for extended, face-to-face time with friends. Virtual sex is to sex as virtual food is to food: you can’t taste, touch or smell it, and you don’t have to do any preparation or work. Sex with strangers online amounts to a diminution, close to an absolute negation, of the context that gives human interaction genuine content. Erotic play without context becomes just a form of one-on-one pornography."

"Diminution, close to an absolute negation, of the context that gives human interaction genuine content"? Query: Is it only about "sexting," or does this diminution of human contact also occur when we engage in compulsive texting? Or does it also involve manic fixations with Facebook, which has turned "friendship" into a numbers game?

I am reminded of the picture of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin working at their dining room table, each talking on a cell phone, with his and her computers (see: This is marriage in the 21st century?

Is their all-consuming quest for power, symbiotic at best, any different from that of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have redefined marriage?

And was there any more "human" substance to Eliot Spitzer's liaisons with prostitutes?

Yes, as we become more involved with ourselves, it becomes increasingly cold out there.

Winter is indeed coming.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it's cold there, but I don't need Susan Jacoby to tell me this. Her family history of betrayal and opportunism is sufficient enough to know that the world is an ugly place. Betrayal of one's tragic people for money, acceptance by monsters and success is probably uglier that virtual sex.
    I can't probably blame Susan for her family history, but I can't praise her either. One can find probably more decent activities than distracting oneself and others with babbling about sex.