Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Curious World of Men

Governor Spitzer apologized yesterday for acting "in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my - or any sense of right and wrong." But he did not resign.

By last night, the "should he resign" debate was in full swing. And there are voices - James Carville among them - who think he should NOT. That as long as the scandal is about sex, he should ride it out, hold onto the governorship, and continue his political career.

Does that surprise you? It doesn't surprise me. Men have a different way of seeing the world of misconduct than women. In sports, we see it all the time. Michael Vick is in prison for his illegal activities, but sports pundits have accepted as probable that when he is released, he'll be back in the NFL.

That is why Spitzer may remain governor, despite the outcry for his resignation, unless he is charged with a crime. And if he is tried and acquitted, no one should be shocked if he is back in public life.

In the world of men, it is the prostitute that gets jailed, not the john. If men cheat on their wives it is tut-tutted about, then filed under "boys will be boys".

That is the surreal life for males in the curious world of men.


Amy Biddle said...

He just resigned a few moments ago. Silda was there, standing behind him but at a slight distance (further away than she was at the initial press conference). Silda looked mad, but collected.

I'm seething. Somehow I thought that if I just went through my life, living as an empowered woman, that my world would not be touched by the men who womanize, who talk down, who patronize.

I work on a large university campus. After the resignation press conference I went to pick up my lunch and passed a fraternity sign at a fund-raiser table. The sign made some comment about "jugs" - which had nothing to do with the purpose of the fundraiser. It was clearly a comment about breasts.

The young man at the table stopped me to ask if I'd like to donate.

Feeling the blood rushing into my head (and knowing that violence isn't going to teach him to treat women with any respect at all) I simply looked him in the eye and told him that the sign is offensive.

I don't want to be angry like this all the time. This week's events have been all around me (I work in an office that is about government, so I'm surrounded by news daily that, on my own, I would filter out for my own protection).

My plan: help more women. Was anyone there to help "Kristin" - the named prostitute in this case? I saw a quote that said that she was a model, and that the money was about the same as for a photo shoot. But why was she in that position in the first place - where selling her body was a viable economic decision, or business plan? To work with the clietelle she was assigned to, I imagine she had to have something else going for her than her sexual being. Sure, it's the oldest profession - and I've heard the argument that says that women are getting one over on men by selling them sex... I don't buy that argument. The profession further objectifies women, devalues women, and upholds the institution of the male culture that puts them in charge.

Madeleine Albright said it well here: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1702358,00.html
"Women have to be active listeners and interrupters—but when you interrupt, you have to know what you are talking about. I also think it is important for women to help one another. I have a saying: There is a special place in hell for women who don't."

Lisa C / Dreamseer said...

Oh wow, I hope you won't look to James Carville as the standard-bearer for the male of the species. His comments are idiotic and I do not think fairly represent "how men think." My husband is probably more representative of most men, and is thoroughly disgusted with Spitzer's behavior as a public servant in a position of trust, and in terms of betraying his family.