By Annemarie McAvoy
There are lessons to be learned from the actions of Anthony Weiner for all the women out there.
It would seem that those who aspire to political office have a propensity for getting involved with sexual activity that lands them on the front page of every newspaper in the country.
Weiner has lots of company. John Edwards, former presidential candidate, is facing felony charges for using campaign funds to hide a love child from the media -- and from his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth Edwards.
Arnold Schwarzenegger managed to conceal HIS love child for 14 years from the public, employing his lover, the child’s mother, in his household for all those years right under his wife Maria Shriver’s nose.
Then, of course, there’s also the man known as “Client #9,” former New York Governor Elliott Spitzer, whose sexual preferences with prostitutes were the subject of many media reports and who was ultimately forced out of office.
Finally, there was former President Bill Clinton, who ironically enough, performed the marriage ceremony for Rep. Anthony Weiner and his wife. Is there anyone who does not remember what he was doing with the cigar in the Oval Office?
It seems men who seek higher office or hold a high political office think they are entitled to do whatever they want.
People overlook their flaws and transgressions because they are powerful. They are often very charming too, which is why they have such success in politics.
These men are coddled by their staffs, and adored by their supporters. Many are media darlings too. Politicians get lulled into feeling that they are invincible, and believe that they have a right to do things regular folks would not even be allowed to consider.
The real victims of these men are the women they are involved with, especially the significant others and wives. The public shame and embarrassment of being linked to men who are found to have done unspeakable acts can be almost unbearable.
No matter how you feel about the Anthony Weiner saga, it is a shame that his wife is now being pulled into this sordid story, after less than a year of marriage.
So what can the women out there do to protect themselves from these predators? Do your homework! A little bit of leg-work can go a long way.
The Internet is an amazing tool to check out who we are getting involved with before we get hurt. For example, a quick Google search of a prominent lawyer aspiring to high political office shows an arrest for stalking a former girlfriend. That is a red flag that should not be ignored, and can be found out by a few minutes at a computer.
A quick look at someone’s cell phone, which often has both text messages and Facebook access on them, can be a treasure trove of information.
I’m sure Weiner’s wife is wishing she had been checking his texts before she married him.
Also, investigative firms can conduct background checks on people, and can do actual surveillance. Laptops can be reviewed by forensic experts at investigative firms to see if they are being used for any illicit purposes.
Remember though that whoever you are with they can be cheating, lying, and/or engaging in unsavory activities like Weiner did. Such actions are not limited to the ruling class, so to speak.
So be aware, ask questions, and try your best to find out what the object of your affection is doing when you are not watching him. Otherwise, you too could get burned the way Weiner’s wife has been.
And for the men out there, a little background work on the ladies you are involved with can go a long way to protect you too!
After all, scandalous behavior is not always limited to men.
Annemarie McAvoy is a former federal prosecutor. She currently is a consultant and teaches Counter-Terrorism, Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing at Fordham Law School in New York City.