No Victim Here

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Further evidence against the Brown-Quinn thesis that millennial women are somehow not full, eager participants in the sexting culture:

When Anthony Weiner’s latest sex scandal broke last month, 23-year-old sexting partner “Sydney Leathers” was painted as the latest naive girl manipulated by a powerful politician. Leathers thought that she and Weiner were “in love,” gossip site The Dirty reported. The two “spoke on the phone daily” for six months. “Weiner played with her emotions and mind.” The Dirty branded Weiner a “sexual predator.” Leathers was his victim.

[Yesterday], Leathers took to xoJane to reverse the narrative. “I enjoy my sexuality, and it doesn’t make me anything other than what I am: a young woman who’s enjoying her life to the fullest and going on plenty of adventures with willing partners,” she wrote. Leathers says she was the one who manipulated her powerful sext partner. “Anthony Weiner was a weird science experiment. I wanted to see how far it could go. How far could I push it? How long could it go on?”

Connor Simpson has more on what Leathers has been up to, including the above image:

You may cringe when you see Sydney Leathers posing in a bikini for the New York Post or taking her clothes off for Vivid Entertainment, but at least she’s owning the spotlight the scandal has given her. Leathers writes that she’s “made certain choices, some of which involve my sexuality,” on XOJane this morning. That she’s exploiting a narcissistic politician for her own ends is a fascinating development in the sex scandal narrative, because that’s not usually how this story plays out. …

Sydney Leathers is a bit of a revolutionary in comparison to Lewinsky [who avoided the spotlight]. She can go out and probably make somewhere close to $1 million from Vivid Entertainment (an estimate) for taking her clothes off and masturbating on camera. She can get paid an undisclosed sum to pose in a bikini for The New York Post while the tabloid makes fun of her appearance. She can reach out to a company that sells leather skirts to be their new spokesmodel, because, duh, of course Sydney Leathers would advertise leather. She can get paid, based on estimates from the Who Pays tumblr and fellow writers on Twitter, between $50 and $150 for an XOJane essay about seducing politicians. Sydney Leathers can share an agent with Tan Mom because Sydney Leathers wants to be a D-list celebrity, and she’s getting exactly what she wants.

Tracy Clark-Flory reviews Leathers’ Vivid “sex tape”, clarifying that it’s “more accurately described as a video of her soft-core photo shoot.” She adds:

[Leathers] is indeed following a decidedly American narrative of the “fallen woman.” Her post-scandal power isn’t in asserting that she’s more than a sexting mistress; it’s in essentializing herself as that. Her redemption, such as it is, is in making herself available to men — all of them.

And that is totally her choice. Money quote from the “sex tape”:

My first sugar daddy was someone who kind of just helped me pay the bills. I was several years younger. He helped me with rent, helped pay for my car – just normal things like that. He would kind of spoil me. The funniest part about that situation is that I kind of made him think that something would happen eventually – and nothing actually did. And that went on for three years. It was the most exciting part of my life at the time.

(Image from Vivid Entertainment)