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The Shame Game and Anthony Weiner
Last night, Anthony Weiner admitted to and apologized for sending lewd pictures of himself to women over the Internet. He asked forgiveness from his wife, his family and the reporters he had originally "misled."
Standing in front of news cameras in a packed ballroom of reporters is one way to say sorry. But considering the magnitude of the situation, Weiner might consider visiting ShameBeGone.com—a site that asks "Are you in shame spiral?" and promises to dig you out by writing humble-pie emails to those you've hurt, let down or embarrassed.
"We handle end-of-relationship fall-out," claims the site. "Missed connections ... best friend's ex-boyfriends, family members, low-grade stalkers, people who owe you money, people to whom you owe money—almost anything and anyone." All you have to do is tell them about "a situation that you just can't deal with;" then you suggest what you think is a fair payment to them for fixing it and await the response. If the site accepts, its editor will provide you with a reconciliatory email to forward to the parties you offended.
Clearly, for Weiner this would be an expensive proposition. He'd have to pay for an email to every person in New York State whom he represents, not to mention the young high-school kids of America who aspired to, one day, be like him. Also women. Everywhere.
Here's the rub: Let's say ShameBeGone.com were magically engineered to achieve what it promises—even in big, ugly, impossible situations like this. Would I really want to Weiner's shame to be gone? There's a small, ungenerous, even unkind part of me that wants him to stew in his shame.
And, sigh, another part of me that knows that shame is too ugly to heap on anyone, that shame only causes more shame due to the cycle of guilt that inevitably occurs.
So what I really want is a magical site that will not take anything away from Weiner, but instead instill him with something else: remorse, responsibility and a way to find the real man inside.
Because infidelity is excruciating. Ask any real woman, including one our favorites, Wynonna Judd.
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities, projects, or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. You should conduct your own independent investigation before using the services of any such entities, projects, or websites. Information is provided for your reference only.