Will voters cling to their party’s male politician no matter their public escapades? Now that more women are on the ballot for President and seats in Congress will they receive the same permission?
Questions like these came up this week in a discussion. A woman jumped to defend her candidate by pointing out the sexual “crimes” of a former President, yet permitting the adultery of her chosen one.
A broader issue arose:. Have the personal escapades of powerful men been buried, forgiven, or forgotten in the “interest of the nation”? Or in the interest of the legacy of the individual?
Since Vietnam or World War II, when men were away from home for months or years on end, and women began to joino the workforce outside the home have the standards regarding marital fidelity changed ?
After World War II the divorce rate did increase. ResearcherAlfred Kinsey reported a 50% rate of infidelity among men and 26% among women, but other researearchers say the rate rises and falls with the point in time going from 25 to 72%.
Is it accepted as part of human nature today for powerful Alpha males to unleash their libido? If allowed for males, will society come to confer this “liberty” on females? Or do women who operate outside the marital bonds offend American culture as the keepers of the home and mothers of America’s children? Is it possible that society’s customs will ricochet ?
Sex researched Shere Hite places cheating in 1991 near equal among the sexes due to increased financial opportunity. The rate for women is increasing or increasingly reported. The internet has also opened opportunities for married spouses to more easily free onself of marital ties online. The site Ashley Madison, created a quasi “safe haven” for married partners to go astray in the “privacy” of their home computer. Twelve million members worldwide are taking advantage of Ashley.
An article in Atlantic magazine, “Wives cheating 40% more than they used to, but 70% as much as men (based on research by National Opinion Research Center General Social Survey) July 2, 2010 claims 21% of men are cheating. Whatever the number, relationships could use some shoring up. Twenty-four million children , one-third the total are living with one parent today, hiking from 13% in 1968. One-in-five children born today into a two-parent marriage will experience divorce before age nine.
The Me Too Movement
All this transpires amid the “Me Too” movement. Women are revealing sexual encounters with powerful men who have had their way with them as younger women working in less powerful roles, afraid of losing or not gaining a job. Power and the quest for it has an impact on people that can resembles the Game of Thrones.
Could the ultimate test be judged on talent and capability, not the casting couch? Years hence what a relief it would be to no longer need to review the drunken bedroom antics of men or women vying for the highest positions in government or the media. Or is it possible we are damned to repeat these personal and very public tragedies?
On campuses across the country, students of both sexes are (hopefully) are reassessing their dating practices in response to MeToo. One discussion revolves around what consists of “consent”? Can we establish ground rules before hormones overtake us? Possibly the hardest issue is how much, if any, alcohol is “safe” for females (who generally have a lower body weight, increasing the chances of becoming inebriated more quickly)? Yet many campuses have been awash in alcohol and drinking-‘til-you’re-drunk’ games trading whiskey shots and beer. Since it is easily available, alcohol is a greater threat than date-rape drugs that are less prevalent.
Another issue came up this week: the role of consenting adults vs. underage girls. On July 8 police raided the $56 million New York mansion of investor Jeffrey Epstein and found incriminating photos of underage girls in his safe, which resulted in his indictment for child sex trafficking. In 2008 he’d been charged in Florida with felony solicitation of underage girls. The lead prosecutor, then U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta in Miami, agreed to a plea deal to lesser Florida charges, allowing Epstein to receive a 13-month sentence that permitted him to work in his office six days a week and serve the remaining time in a Palm Beach jail.
Uproar this week over this sentence threated the now Secretary of Labor Acosta, who resigned from the cabinet on Friday. Payments by Epstein of $350,000 to two of the witnesses in the case were found last week. Each did not testify against him in court.
Does this indicate there is a limit to what is acceptable today? Would it stimulate discussion about what role society has or as individuals–male and female–have in promoting healthy relationships? Will this tragic situation provide coverage for politicians approaching 2020 for past or current deeds with consenting adults, but draw the line opposing crimes against children? Or is it the beginning of a universal push towards personal accountability away from becoming permissive?