Rape, philandering, and “love children.” Is there something in the water? Can the despicable behavior of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn be explained as a power rush — or just boys being boys?
Liz Smith: I’m afraid I do subscribe to the “boys will be boys” — testosterone poisoning — “there is nothing new under the sun” theories of the one major difference between males and females. Women are simply more romantic, more concerned about family and less likely to cheat than men. The majority of guys seem to drift to the “a stiff #%&* knows no conscience” school.
This doesn’t mean that cheating is OK and should be excused. Cheating hurts; it hurts the cheated and the cheater too. Maybe marriage vows are unrealistic and always have been, but that doesn’t mean the ideal should be tossed out. Otherwise, what’s the point of getting married and swearing to “keep you unto him or her” with the partner, forever after? (In any case, legal marriage is good for joint property values.)
In Arnold and Maria’s case, it is the length of deception, the proximity to the married couple by the third person, the fate of an illegitimate innocent child and whether or not everybody kept quiet long enough for Arnold to keep being governor of California. I’d say the delightful Ms. Shriver – absolutely one of the best of her entire famous family – was enabling Arnold by staying silent for as long as she has. Ages. But in cases of cheating, everybody is suffering so I wouldn’t want to heap coals of fire on her head for trying to keep the lid on for the sake of their children and her marriage.
While old Joe Kennedy was influencing his good-looking sons to do as he did about women in general, I have often wondered what some of the exemplary females in the Kennedy family thought about their father, uncles, sons, brothers, etc.
It couldn’t have surprised Maria that men cheat — it seems most of her male relatives did and so Arnold was just trying to fully “join” the most famous family in America.
There is quite a lot of the lure of unreasonable fame giving one the chance to do anything one pleases in this incredible story. (See Roseanne Barrs’s own personal story in New York magazine last week about how fame and selfish self-regard lure stars to their doom.) So Arnold’s selfish behavior is just another example; he has done pretty much whatever he pleased and gotten away with it since his young bodybuilding days. I’m sure it never occurred to him that he couldn’t get away with this latest – and he did, for 13 years!
Joan Ganz Cooney: Men have been having children by the household help since forever. I guess the answer as to why is because they can and because it’s convenient. Of course, it takes a certain type but quite a few men seem to be that type and it’s disgusting and always has been. Much more so when the women were slaves. As to Strauss-Kahn, he’s an out of control animal who wants to dominate and hurt women … not make love to them. He is dangerous and should be put away.
Candice Bergen: Isn’t it the alpha male syndrome?? Isn’t it some kind of linkage to libido? And a sense of impunity? The confidence that they are exempted from accountability for their actions? The Froggy guy, Strauss-Kahn, has a disorder beyond that: Violence towards women. And it’s interesting that he hit on SO many women in France and none of them reported him. A cultural schism.
Mary Wells Lawrence: My father was the first to tell me but many good male buddies have discussed with me the Universal Male Tic. An attractive woman walks by any time, day or night, and certain muscles automatically go into play and tickle the psyche. It has been in the genes since men became men. My buddies (including a few scientists) say it is often irritating and can be claustrophobic knowing you have so little control over that area of your psyche. We read about the famous ones but the tic is universal, happening almost everywhere. Maybe the problem is not the Universal Tic. Maybe it is that we don’t teach our girls, our women about it and how to avoid it as you would a landmine. Lack of control is unpleasant for all concerned. Celebrity makes it a lot easier to lose control, don’t you think?
Sheila Nevins: Men were meant to spread their seed. It’s biblical and even better anthropological. Young guys who cheat are usually caught up in fame and groupie chasing. Forget them. Let’s deal with the main chase.
Come on, you wOw Cassandras, it’s about the survival of the species. When women’s eggs drop out of the equation this hunter-gatherer species (ours) had to keep making babies so we humans had a shot (ha) at being the surviving land-species. Nature never expected over-population. Fooled ’em didn’t we? So men, the victims of survival, keep and keep spreading. Their fertility keeps them going even in spite of what might be our complex “civilized” morality requirements.
Romanticism and fidelity leave many men with women’s loss of fecundity. Yes, there are always exceptions. Some people have nine toes.
But it’s nature that rules the masses, baby. And then, it’s the older geezers — post eggy spouses — these are the most men that spin out of control. Spitzer, Edwards, Schwarzenegger, Strauss-Kahn.. Also, possibly, as their fertility drops men need viagrisizing, dangerous playmates, forbidden (high or low) recipients to get tied up in order to get it up. I’m talking about ejaculation. Remember, they can’t have one without the other if they’re going to do a proper fertilization. So men must tickle their fancy with danger and forbidden pleasure in order to excite their waning libidos.
As for being “pigs,” poor dears, they are simply human — live shorter lives and as babies they are the weaker — they talk later, their instincts are poor and their dicks are not under their personal control. Serves them right. Blame the survival of the species, not these poor obedient Darwinian followers.
Joan Juliet Buck: I second Sheila. She says it as she sees it, and she sees straight.
Joan Ganz Cooney: I’m sorry but I must disagree with my friend Sheila on her seed spreading theory of rape. Rape is an act of anger and violence and has very little to do with the continuation of the species. Arnold is in a different category … he’s a cheat but he is definitely spreading his seed. Rapists are bullies and often sociopaths who are not really interested in sex per se, but rather exerting power over the weak.