Breaking news: A rich, successful, powerful man commited adultery and fathered a child out of wedlock.
It never ceases to amaze me the firestorm that this kind of story creates. The latest in this rich and cherished tradition is none other than the Governator himself, Arnold. I love how we are all so shocked, everytime, like we just didn’t see this coming. Before I get into my personal opinion, lets look at some of my favorite adulterers who got caught with their pants down.
Well, JFK was the man as far as I’m concerned. But homeboy had a guy on his staff whose only job was to find him one woman a day to get naked with. We all know he was gettin’ busy with Marilyn, whom I consider the absolute. He learned this charming behavior from his father. Now John lived in a different age, an age of discretion, so his business wasn’t put on blast until after the fact. But the tales of his conquests live on in infamy.
Oh Bill. Good ole’ Bill. I was growing up during this administration, and times were good. Especially if you were this guy gettin’ head in the Oval Office. Who could hate? Most people now say it doesn’t matter and they’d take him back as Prez. I would. Poor Monica, homegirl is going down in history for those few minutes on her knees. Doesn’t seem fair.
I don’t know any famous Eliot Spitzer quotes, but this guy was seriously into hookers. Not only was he a frequent customer of high-class call girls, but he had previously taken out a whole prostitution ring. Hypocrite doesn’t even seem like a strong enough word. He was a brilliant guy, on track to run for President. Oops.
Well, this guy isn’t a politician but his story is a great example. Tiger Woods is a world-class athlete with a super model wife. But, SURPRISE! He too is into hookers. And freaky porn stars. His story blew up after his wife found a voicemail and took a golf cart to his car, and from there the other women were just coming out of the wood work. And the media was eating it up, like it was just the most shocking thing ever.
I could go on, but I won’t. Its all too annoying.
And now Arnold, whom I can’t even bring myself to post a picture of, it admitting to fathering a child with one of his household staff members. And you know why they all do this? Because they can. Because power and money are sexy (to some women), and because men have been making and breaking the rules all along. Boys will be boys. What a dumb phrase. As if men like sex more than women, like they are more entitled to multiple partners and fun and admiration. A man who cheats gets a pass because thats just his nature. The rules aren’t the same for women. Now it is true that some men ruin their careers and lose their families, but usually they bounce back (at least they end up better off than their wives.)
I can’t say enough times that I blame our media and our culture for all this crap. I mean, why are any of these guys married? I wanna be like “Tiger, you wanna bang porn stars? Great, probably some part of all of us wanna do that. So go ahead, have at it. JUST DON’T GET MARRIED!” But its not that simple, because we as a culture expect these men to get married and have families. I doubt we’d ever elect a president who was single, and part of the being in the public eye is about being a role model and we still consider that to include a wife and kids. There is something about the idea of maturity, that being a grown up means settling down. But we don’t require that men settle quite as much as women. We love the drama, the impossible standards we hold everyone to while we wait for them to slip up. We love to set em up and then watch em fall. Not everyone is into monogamy, and that doesn’t mean that they are immoral. I personally don’t think marriage as an institution is working at all. But once you make a promise to someone, especially once there are children, then its not about sex it’s about family and trust. And ultimately its the women who suffer most. I don’t think that a successful marriage is impossible, and love is real. There is hope. But for men with power, men with money, I don’t see this pattern ending anytime soon. Not until we accept the idea that maybe a monogamous marriage isn’t right for everyone, and not until we stop letting men off the hook with a wink and a smile.