At the least, Wiener displays stunning ignorance
Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener loaned his smiling face to the sex tourism industry – and possibly sex slavery – in a less-developed nation, and says that’s no different than posing with women at Hooters here. How very American.
Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener thinks there’s no difference between posing for a photo with women who work at Hooters and those in the Philippines who may very well be sex slaves.
Yes, really. Here’s the written statement the Republican provided to the Huffington Post:
“NOTHING untoward ever happened. NOTHING. The pictures taken are as innocent as any that could be taken at Twin Peaks or Hooters here.”
Forget for a minute the possibilities about what might have happened that Wiener isn’t telling us. Let’s take his story at face value.
Wiener says he was in the Philippines to visit his 12-year-old daughter. He says he had a layover in Angeles City, at night, and took a cab into town. He says he was traveling with his girlfriend.
In a city of more than 300,000 people, he went to the red-light district. He didn’t say whether he knew the area was a red-light district. Here’s what he was quoted by the Albuquerque Journal as saying:
“I just wanted to take a quick tour. It’d be like if people go to Las Vegas and they want to go to the casinos, but they don’t gamble. I was just curious. I walked from one end to the other.”
Of a red-light district.
A man who has a 12-year-old daughter living in the Philippines, a country in which human trafficking and child prostitution are serious problems, says he was approached by an American who wanted to photograph him with scantily clad women, so he obliged.
In a red-light district, he posed for a photo with women who may very well be sex slaves.
At the very least, Wiener’s actions show a stunning level of ignorance of the plight of people around him. He loaned his smiling face to the sex tourism industry – and possibly sex slavery – in a less-developed nation by posing for a photo with the women.
How very American.
The photo was as innocent as any that could be taken with women who serve food, voluntarily, in America, for at least minimum wage and with other worker protections? I don’t think so. I’m no fan of restaurants like Hooters, and haven’t been in one in more than a decade because I don’t appreciate the way they objectify women, but it’s not the same.
Shouldn’t women who work at those American restaurants be offended by the comparison?
Sadly, Wiener doesn’t appear to understand the gravity of his actions. Does he know that these women might be sex slaves? Does he care?
Or are these women in the Philippines, and the women who work at Twin Peaks and Hooters, nothing but objects to Wiener? He’s given us no indication that anything else is the truth.
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