Wednesday, February 24, 2010

blame feminism...

I have been trying to avoid talking about the Tiger Woods scandal since it first happened, mostly because I do not believe that somebody's extramarital affairs should take precedence over more important news issues on the local television news as the lead story EVERY night for more than a week, but I saw a paper on his apology that presents a position which I feel needs to be addressed.

Dr. Wendy Walsh, a clinical psychologist, blames women for Tiger's infidelity. She actually writes "How can we blame our husbands for getting wet on their way home from work when IT'S RAINING WHORES?" I detest these essentialist arguments that men somehow can't help sleeping around when women are sexually available, and it is the duty of women to be sexually chaste... I mean, it's not like women have real desires anyway, other than seeking "their fifteen minutes by kissing and telling on national television." She suggests that they need to become mothers in order to understand Elin's position... somehow having given birth will help women understand that they no longer need to be sexual.

She writes:
"Thanks to feminism, women own their own orgasm and a box of Trojans."
I thought great! That's what should be happening! But I guess I didn't read it as she meant for it to be taken, because she goes on to say that divorce and children born out of wedlock are a problem caused by feminism. Not that I think having children out of wedlock is inherently problematic, but if we were really "owning" our Trojans, most children would be planned, and teen/unplanned pregnancy, abortion and STI statistics show that this is not the case.

It makes me angry to read articles like this, especially when it is written by a woman, although I should be just as angry regardless of who writes it. It is not feminism's fault that Tiger Woods, or any other man, had an affair (or many affairs). Blaming women does nothing other than make it easier for people to forgive Tiger while demonizing all women who are not sexually conservative. I see this argument as part of a larger anti-feminist culture of victim blaming and slut-shaming. I don't think that Tiger Woods should be forced into hiding forever for his 'indiscretions' but I do not like that so many people are giving him a free pass while blaming women into tricking or luring him into sleeping with them.

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