07/31/2013 03:11 pm ET Updated Sep 30, 2013

Anthony Weiner's Campaign Has Crossed the Final Line

The thing is, we really didn't want to jump into the Anthony Weiner circus. Sex scandals be damned, we didn't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole.

But then, on Wednesday, his campaign went too far. Barbara Morgan, a spokeswoman for Weiner, responded to a negative article from a former intern by calling her a "slutbag." Adding fire to the flames, the intern revealed that Weiner also likes to refer to his female interns as "Monica."

You can't make this stuff up.

In ten years, it's quite possible that revelations of sexting will mean nothing to the average voter, and that's fine. In public life, it's for the voters to decide whether that matters. In private life, that's between Weiner and his wife.

But these latest comments by Weiner's spokesperson are a whole different animal. Attacking a young woman for telling the truth about ongoing sexual harassment in the workplace, perpetrated by a person in power, is never okay.

These attacks have far reaching consequences: We will never have equal numbers of women in Congress, we will never have equal numbers of female CEO's, and we will never have equal numbers of women leading campaigns if we keep allowing men like Mr. Weiner to make our work places unfriendly for women.

These comments do real harm to women by discouraging them from excelling in politics, and the workplace in general.

Why on earth does Barbara Morgan think it's okay to call a woman who dares to criticize a man -- a man who is harassing his female staff -- a slut? Because in our culture, it's acceptable to associate women challenging power with some sort of sexual deviance or promiscuity.

This not only has real repercussions for women in the workplace -- this is also closely, and frighteningly, associated with the potential violence women face every day in the culture of rape that our society propagates

Weiner calling his interns "Monica" as a joke is yet another layer--and maybe the most disturbing revelation of all.

Weiner apparently feels comfortable insinuating that his interns are potential sexual partners.

That is yet one more example of why women drop out of politics.


From Bob Filner to Anthony Weiner, the backroom sexism that has been driving women out of progressive politics is finally being exposed. Progressives and Democrats are by no means alone here--we have seen countless Republican examples of the same.

But if the Democratic Party does not use this as a teachable moment, they will lose a huge opportunity to advance the next generation of female leaders.

Mr. Weiner needs to shape up, apologize, and join us in fighting for a more accessible workplace for all women. He can start by firing Morgan.

And he should strongly consider further therapy if he thinks it's appropriate, much less hilarious, to refer to female interns as "Monica."

We need all political candidates to do better than this, and frankly, women everywhere deserve better.