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Thread: Why Don’t Powerful Women Have Sex Scandals?

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    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Why Don’t Powerful Women Have Sex Scandals?

    I ask this simple question not because I don’t know why, but because I think the effort to explain why it is so may shed some light on our cultural assumptions. Say the term, “Sex Scandal”, and most people immediately think of some male in the political or business world who is visible in mass media and who likely wears a suit. Scandals amount to an image problem. Women can be referred to derisively as “sluts” but such tagging doesn’t amount to a “Scandal”.

    Sex scandals don’t generally happen to most men in most professions. When Joe six-pack has an affair and is found out by his wife, it’s not a “Scandal” – rather it is merely the impetus for a divorce. If Joe Six-Pack has a blue collar job, and people at his employer find out, it has no effect on the security of his job. So Sex Scandals happen – almost by definition only to men who hold positions of power in the public eye that are accountable to others. If you’re a multimillionaire who owns his own business your sex-capades pose no threat to your livelihood.

    That a man can even have a sex scandal is a pretty big testament to his status and position in society. He likely makes a lot of money and/or holds a highly contested powerful position of which there are few. He is the male equivalent of a supermodel. Which is to say - that he is a kind of guy that most women find very sexually attractive. But there is a major difference between this male version of a supermodel and a female supermodel. The female supermodel is who she is by default of her genetics. The male equivalent reaches alpha status by virtue of what he achieves in society. Females born of natural beauty need accomplish little else besides reaching the age of 18 and not eating too much, in order to actualize their sensual power over men. It usually takes the cream of the crop of men several decades of climbing up the status hierarchy before they reach a plateau of power comparable to that of the young nubile female.

    For both, the power is fleeting and fragile. Female beauty tends to obscure the ability of men to see their intelligence. Beauty is a terrible source of envy from other women, and dangerous temptation to rapists. And of course beauty fades.

    A man’s youth is usually gone by the time he can reach an alpha male status. And once there, he had better be prepared to defend himself from those who seek to take over his position. In cruel juxtaposition to that of females, his status can often grow for decades as he gets older, but the more he acquires, the more he is the beneficiary of a zero sum game that allows him to demand increasing submission from a growing number of people.

    This is crucially different from female power which is theoretically infinite and non-adversarial. If a supermodel is murdered at a young age, her voluminous beauty does not go into some ether that other females can incorporate into themselves. The supermodel’s estate may be of considerable monetary value but no will can bequeath to any other woman an iota of the power her beauty radiated in the flesh. It is gone. She gained no beauty power for herself by taking it from any other woman and that she possessed the beauty she did, made no effect on the level of beauty that other women possess.

    If billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dies, his power can be transferred to others. Aside from his considerable wealth going to heirs, charities and the public coffers, his status as mayor will be filled almost as soon as it is vacated. Notice I didn’t say that his power can only go to males. Females may be in his will, rise up in his company or follow in his footsteps as mayor. But because status and money are so much of what gives men power, the sudden vacuum in Bloomberg’s wake can be stepped into by other males seeking a big jump up the status hierarchy.

    Many will point out that seeking high positions takes many years by which time much of a woman’s sexual beauty has faded. The thing about women that attracts most men is not made greater by reaching a high job status. Or to put it another way, women don’t have to reach high level positions in business and politics in order to be able to have sex with lots of different men. They can already easily do that just by breathing.

    So this begs the question – do men and women have different motivations for going into politics or trying to become a CEO? It is a yes and no. In a sense, everything we do has the ultimate aim of successfully passing our genes down to a new generation. I’ve posed this question in previous threads but it bears repeating here: Why is it that the vast majority of great scientists, musicians, artists, comedians and politicians are male? Is it because men are inherently more creative, skillful and intelligent than women? No. Statistically, males are more heterogeneous than women are across a full gamut of positive and negative traits. Men are drawn to risk and extremes, women are more drawn to safety and comfort. This implies not only an avoidance of stupid behaviors but also less motivation to engage in certain lines of endeavor that occasionally yield benefits for society at large. The few men who reach the pinnacle of their fields are grossly outnumbered by the droves of those whose life pursuits are an abject failure.

    Rather than having to try to impress men with their accomplishments, women can rely on their looks to ensnare a man long enough to allow them to be the one who shapes the next generation most directly. Once a women becomes a mother she has unquestioned authority over another life that depends utterly upon her, and from this position she cannot be fired. She can take comfort in this role as she notices with advancing age, a loss of sexual gravity over men.

    The cruel fact that so much of a woman’s power comes from whether she was born beautiful or not is mitigated in large part by the fact that her beauty – however great or small, is little affected by a downturn in the economy. This is just as in baseball where it is said that speed doesn’t have a slump. Because so much of a male’s power comes down to his money, position and status, an economic downturn amounts to a societal-scale slump in the power of men as a whole.

    Because women cannot co-opt the beauty of the supermodel, they have little incentive to tear her down. But everyone wants a piece of the high status male because so much of his power is transferable. But here again - notice that I say EVERYONE – not just males want a piece of him. So women – especially in modern society, can increasingly partake of both the acquired form of power which is the natural currency of men, while also retaining their natural monopoly in the erotic currency which is theirs by default and of which men can only dream.

    Because what attracts most men to women has little to do with status, men have little incentive to blackmail, harass or tarnish the careers of high achieved status females who have affairs. A lower status woman may claim some of the achieved status from a woman who is above her by out-competing her in their profession. But the high status female who is ousted from the top spot does not suffer a loss of self-worth equal to the extent that a male in such a position does.

    Nancy Pelosi is an attractive woman in a high position of power. But that high position of power doesn’t make men want to have sex with her any more than they already would want to if she was just a regular middle class office worker. If rising to the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives does little to improve her erotic capital with men, then it stands to reason that her pursuit of that career path has little to do with increasing her pool of potential sex partners. Most male politicians likely do have some noble motivations for their career choice, but given the way power and status attracts women to men like catnip, it is disingenuous to pretend that any straight male would not relish the opportunities such a position could present.

    The sex scandals of Eliot Spitzer and Arnold Schwarzenegger illustrate an important consequence of becoming an alpha male. They could both easily afford to buy the affections of as many whores and/or gold-diggers as they want. But because they are high profile public figures, they are also targets for extortion. Arnold probably thought “I can keep this woman from telling I slept with her because she is in my employ and I have power over her.” Maybe he figured this would give him more control than if he sought to have a romantic affair with a woman of equal social status. Indeed, it would be extremely hard to keep private his having an affair with any women even remotely of his social status. Perhaps he also didn’t like the notion of exposing himself to the risk of STD’s from a whore and preferred the safety of sex in the raw with a woman he knew to be married.

    As Mr. Holier Than Thou - married public official, Spitzer could not countenance coming anywhere close to fraternizing in the open market with someone with whom he might have a romantic affair. The press would find out about it before he could even get to first base. He needed to be overtly secret. As Marlon Brando said, “he didn’t pay women to have sex with him. He paid them to leave afterwards.”

    Since men are continually on the prowl for women with whom to spread their seed, powerful women don’t have to worry about paying men to leave them after a one night stand or an affair. But then again, if sex is easy for women to get in the first place – without even having to have a career, then they wouldn’t need to pay for sex from men anyway. For Schwarzenegger and Spitzer, seeking sexual outlets from people they pay seemed to be a safer way to cheat than to face the real risk of a romantic affair being made public. It would have worked for Arnold if he used a condom. And it would have worked for Spitzer if he hadn’t angered certain people in power who chose to spill the beans on him. Female politicians simply do not face these risks. Since women are the ones who get pregnant, our society has a knee-jerk reaction to sex that tends to treat its negative consequences as being wholly suffered by women, and something from which men try to weasel out of responsibility for. This image alone makes it a moot point that a female politician would ever need to worry about her male conquests coming after her for child support. Women control when sex happens (except in the case of rape), as well as whether it will lead to a birth.

    John Edwards seems to be the case of a man who got married too soon. Once his corporate lawyering made him fabulously wealthy he had little incentive not to pursue someone hotter than his wife. He could well afford to have his life complicated by divorce if/when he was found out. He probably was already cheating before he got into politics and saw it partly as a way to further increase his sexual opportunities.

    For comedian David Letterman, and golfer Tiger Woods, sex scandals have had a very different consequence. While Letterman wears a suit just like politicians, it is about the only thing he has in common with them. Though he is accountable to ratings and the network, his personal life is not held to nearly the same scrutiny as politicians. News of the scandal was merely an ugly 15 minutes of PR for him. His position as a top comedian is much more secure than a politician. But because of his great wealth, we do see the incentive to commit extortion rear its ugly head. So obvious and craven was this effort, that public disgust with the extorter and sympathy for Letterman more than offset the extent to which the public shunned him for his indiscretions. Another important factor is that the female he cheated with appeared to have no motivation to extort anything from Letterman or make the relationship public. Additionally, Letterman’s long-time girlfriend appears to have no problem with his fooling around to the extent that she would publicly fuss about it. Since the two women didn’t seem to mind, the public doesn’t seem to mind too much either. It’s hard to imagine a more copacetic resolution to a sex scandal.

    Tiger Woods has made his name doing something that very much depends on rare specialized ability – a route to success that is often more particular to males. He has suffered no professional opprobrium from his fellow golfers for his off-course behavior. The damage from the sex scandal has been in its psychological impact upon his self-image. He was adored as the first minority superstar in a sport that is overwhelmingly white and for the wealthy. But no matter how well he plays now, he knows the public will never view him with such devotion again; that is the thought he cannot get over.

    In the case of the aptly named Anthony Weiner, we see an example of just how different our societal reactions are to male nudity vs. female nudity. If an attractive woman decided to strip naked in a city park in the middle of a nice day, men and women alike would gawk and smile at her and so would the police as they walked towards her to give her a blanket. A man doing the same would elicit screams from women and scowls from men until the police rudely shoved him into a patrol car. Weiner was a rising star in NYC politics and talk was growing of him as a potential successor to Bloomberg. As his public persona – as a well-spoken, humorous and handsome public figure was growing, I’m sure it was blindingly obvious to him that women were probably giving him far more attention than they ever had before. Biologically speaking, it would have been madness for him not to exploit some of this newfound sex appeal. He thought he was being respectfully faithful by limiting his liaison to the virtual world. But being a man in his position with a name like Weiner, the sex scandal had to come out because it was too damn funny not to.

    So we see that the more successful a man is in his career, and thus the more he appeals to women, the more he is a target for all sorts of motivations to bring him down. Powerful incentives exist for a woman to reveal when she has sexual relations with a high status man – and not just because she wants society to know who to hold accountable as the father. Women often improve their status by publicizing when they’ve bedded a famous man (Monica Lewinsky, Rachel Uchitel, etc.), even as doing so can damage or destroy the career of said men. Sure, men often brag to each other about the quantity and quality of their sexual conquests, but they do so with no motivation to damage whatever careers said women have. It is a rare occasion when a man increases his status by having had an affair with a woman. The number of men who receive hush money to keep quiet about affairs with rich women is infinitesimal compared to the legions of mistresses who extract a whole lifestyle from their paramours – just for keeping quiet.

    Life for a man is a non-stop exercise in sexual frustration the likes of which women have no idea. A fish cannot appreciate what a desert is and neither can a woman imagine what it’s like to not be able to get sex with a snap of her fingers. Men are designed so that if 100 women came upon the last male alive, he could impregnate most of them in a matter of a few days. The problem is that that scenario just doesn’t come to pass very often.
    Last edited by dobopoq; 21 Aug 2011 at 8:08 AM.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Power

    This Bear's opinion.....

    Generally speaking, women who seek power get off on having that power. Many men want power and sexual gratification. Can't blame women for seeking that power.....they have been treated like crap forever and a day. Even in these "modern" times check out the wage discrepancy between men and women. When a woman reaches the top of the corporate ladder (in a place where corner-office power rules) she joins just a few other women at that level.

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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    First, I don't think it's correct to assume that a woman can just snap her fingers and get sex, at least not with anyone she'd be remotely interested in having sex with. A butt-ugly, no-teeth 50 y.o. woman is probably no more likely to find a partner than a butt-ugly, no-teeth 50 y.o. man.

    That said.... women do not seek the approval (or awe) of other women for the sheer number of sex partners they have. They might brag if they bag a famous, powerful, rich, or otherwise important guy, but they don't expect to be slapped on the back and congratulated if they slept with 5 guys on a one-week trip to Mexico. And men who brag about their conquests know they'll pretty much be congratulated on their conquests even if some of the other guys don't really approve (particularly if it involves cheating).

    Also, women seem to be pretty darn happy to find one guy they care about, who stays reasonably attractive and is considerate in bed. Men probably get sexual satisfaction in 99% of sexual encounters without the woman having to do much of anything except be there and be willing. Any woman with much of a past can tell you that a lot of men are unwilling (or reluctant) to put in much of an effort to satisfy the woman (and would be way less willing in a casual encounter). Which would make a woman who is satisfied at home wonder what's the point of cheating?

    And maybe women in power are just better at seeing (or possibly not ignoring) the motivations of potential partners. I find the former IMF guy, Strauss-Kahn, to be repulsive, but he seems to think every woman finds him irresistible; it's probably the same delusion for many powerful men. Studies have shown that men are much less likely to worry about their bodies and assume they can always attract more desirable women. Maybe we're also more worried about how we look naked than men are.

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    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    This Bear's opinion.....

    Generally speaking, women who seek power get off on having that power. Many men want power and sexual gratification.

    Bear
    So the problem for men its seems is that since attaining a high status job so greatly improves their sex appeal, they are then tempted to utilize this increased power in a way that will undermine their ability to retain the status that gave them this power in the first place. As women attain higher status, they don't use it to obtain sex from men, but rather to protect themselves from being manipulated by men for sex.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    ...Also, women seem to be pretty darn happy to find one guy they care about, who stays reasonably attractive and is considerate in bed. Men probably get sexual satisfaction in 99% of sexual encounters without the woman having to do much of anything except be there and be willing. Any woman with much of a past can tell you that a lot of men are unwilling (or reluctant) to put in much of an effort to satisfy the woman (and would be way less willing in a casual encounter). Which would make a woman who is satisfied at home wonder what's the point of cheating? ....
    Amen, sister!

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I have the attention span of a flea...I can't read cut and paste dogma.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I have the attention span of a flea...I can't read cut and paste dogma.
    You passed the test. She married you.

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    From the NY Times back in June http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/we...w/12women.html

    In a nutshell: "Research points to a substantial gender gap in the way women and men approach running for office. Women have different reasons for running, are more reluctant to do so and, because there are so few of them in politics, are acutely aware of the scrutiny they draw — all of which seems to lead to differences in the way they handle their jobs once elected."
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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    All good points. Powerful positions are still dominated by men and I suspect that women have to work harder than men to be respected in positions of power, so they have learned to be more professional and careful.
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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    You passed the test. She married you.

    *******
    Not to hijack the thread, but he is considerate enough to not be a Dominique Strass-Kahn...

    I always thought Dominique was a women's name, like the Singing Nun (you have to be kinda old to get that one...)

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I tend to think the differences lie more along biological lines. The old expression 'thinking with the wrong head' applies to men across the board, and not just men in positions of power. There are far fewer examples of women engaging in risky behavior to 'get some' than men, and this applies to the entire socio-economic spectrum. Women, on the other hand will involve themselves in all sorts of risky relationships in order to secure either economic security or alternately emotional connection, but almost never just to score because they have a scratch that needs itching, unless that scoring happens to align with the improved economic security, status, or emotional connection mentioned.

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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I tend to think the differences lie more along biological lines. The old expression 'thinking with the wrong head' applies to men across the board, and not just men in positions of power. There are far fewer examples of women engaging in risky behavior to 'get some' than men, and this applies to the entire socio-economic spectrum. Women, on the other hand will involve themselves in all sorts of risky relationships in order to secure either economic security or alternately emotional connection, but almost never just to score because they have a scratch that needs itching, unless that scoring happens to align with the improved economic security, status, or emotional connection mentioned.
    I think that you have the right of it, Maister -- and I think Zoning Goddess' original response reflects this same idea. Historically, males in power have always used that power to attract/keep/get more mates, be they wives, concubines or casual sexual partners -- and that's across all cultures not just western cultures. OTOH, women who get power seem NOT to use it the same way, and again, that's historical examples from various historical cultures. That speaks to very different hard-wiring probably stemming from being XX or XY.

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    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    It has been said biologically males seek out sexual partners. If a man works half his life to reach the apex of success, and many women find that power attractive, then isn't that really the reason the men seek out the power?
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

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    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    It appears there are two related, but still distinct conversations going on here. 1- whether women are less likely to stray, and 2- even if they do, why are there so few scandals?

    It seems the former is being addressed thoroughly already so I'll not touch it.

    As to the latter, I think it comes down to media shock value. Why is it that the public cares less? Do they just not blame the woman? Do they not find it as interesting? I'd venture that there are a fair number of women in positions of power and otherwise who stray and based on stats, it seems that number has risen substantially in the last few decades. But we hear so little of it.

    I was thinking of something similar recently- not the straying part, but rather the philosophy. There were the grand makings of such a scandal recently at the state university The president's wife had an ongoing affair with one of the VPs of development. I'm not sure it ever would have made the paper had not the money watchers descended upon the "resignation" of said VP and his very very generous golden parachute package. There's been nary a word about the sex part of the scandal. Would there have been had the genders been reversed? She may not have been the president herself, but she was well known in the community. I don't know.

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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ThePinkPlanner View post
    It appears there are two related, but still distinct conversations going on here. 1- whether women are less likely to stray, and 2- even if they do, why are there so few scandals?

    It seems the former is being addressed thoroughly already so I'll not touch it.

    As to the latter, I think it comes down to media shock value. Why is it that the public cares less? Do they just not blame the woman? Do they not find it as interesting? I'd venture that there are a fair number of women in positions of power and otherwise who stray and based on stats, it seems that number has risen substantially in the last few decades. But we hear so little of it.

    I was thinking of something similar recently- not the straying part, but rather the philosophy. There were the grand makings of such a scandal recently at the state university The president's wife had an ongoing affair with one of the VPs of development. I'm not sure it ever would have made the paper had not the money watchers descended upon the "resignation" of said VP and his very very generous golden parachute package. There's been nary a word about the sex part of the scandal. Would there have been had the genders been reversed? She may not have been the president herself, but she was well known in the community. I don't know.
    I think one of the issues in creating the sex scandals is that they frequently happen because men with power get involved with considerably younger women, oftentimes ones who are either very vulnerable or very mercenary. I think that a 50-something politician carrying on an affair with his/her 20-something secretary/assistant would raise the same scandal whether said pol was male or female. I think that a 50-something politician carrying on with another 40/50-something politicians raises many fewer eyebrows. I think our current society has less issue with affairs between equals than when there's a perception that one "partner" controls the other.

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    For every man (woman) who cheats, there's a willing woman (man). Woman are just smatter about it and don't get greedy.
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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    There are less women in power positions and women on average cheat less than men thus you hear less about it when it comes to business and politics. Nikki Haley from SC is the last powerful woman I can remember that was alleged to have an affair.

    If you look at the teacher student affairs the majority of those are woman teachers (the one in power positions) are the ones having affairs with male students.

    Both men and women cheat for a variety of reasons. I have always believed that people are as faithful as their options.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I'd be curious about the input from some of the females here about attraction to power. dobo mentioned it - that it is commonly accepted by society that powerful men have some degree of sex appeal regardless of their looks. I suspect that men don't find the same sex appeal in powerful women. Margaret thatcher was a darn powerful woman, but AFAIK nobody really found her attractive because of it.
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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I don’t think what I have to say is all that different from what has already been added. I think that as men become more powerful, they become more attractive to women and this increases access to potential partners (something men are more or less constantly aware of). Men who have attained positions of power often do so through identifying and exploiting opportunities, many of which are risky. I think for men, this dynamic is not very different motivationally from seeking sexual partners. And this is probably biologically driven. As an animal, the benefits of seeking and gaining multiple mates is part and parcel of being powerful – you have spread your genes around and assured some continuation of yourself into the future. This not only gave you extra sex, but also made you more “powerful” in the sense of reproduction (or at least potential reproduction). I feel somehow there is a relationship between the risk of a financial deal, for example, and the secretive tryst. Each may likely go wrong, but for whatever reason, men who seek these routes to power manage to put aside “realistic” assessments of risk and put blinders on because the payoff is perceived of as “worth it.” Whether a good lay or a windfall profit, the motivations seem somehow linked to me.

    For women, of course, the fallout of having a tryst biologically could mean becoming pregnant and then saddled with a child. Also, I might argue that in the early human context, having lots of children (in essence, being a matriarch) WAS a form of power for women. Maybe one of the main forms for a lot of our history. But today we have a different dynamic. Women seek positions of power in the same public domains that men do. But that still doesn’t mean that the correlation between being powerful at work and having many mates is the same as for men. Indeed, pregnancy would be a direct threat to that kind of power for many. And maybe women, who perhaps don’t share the male’s constant scanning of the social environment for women he would “like to do” but can’t, don’t equate power with increased access to potential partners. Indeed, as has been pointed out, women suffer with the male gaze constantly and positions of power may offer some protection from what I imagine could be a weary existence in a male-dominated world.

    Lastly, I was remembering a story I heard recently on the radio speaking about how in work settings, men ask for raises far more often than women. Women expect to be recognized for good work and promoted accordingly (though this rarely occurs). When women do ask for raises or advancement, they tend to get it, but are also somewhat resented for it by male co-workers. Relating this to sex, it may not be in the nature of many women in the workplace to assertively go after what it is they want (like sex) and as a result, they may be less predatory about seeking it. When you are lower on the work hierarchy, women may be approached by men more powerful than them. But as one works their way up, the dynamic changes and women may be approached less by men who are their inferiors and cannot leverage that power position to seek relations. So its up to the women to initiate and that may just not be in the nature of many to do so.
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    I read the nytimes article kjelsadek, and several others b4 posting this thread. I thought this one was probably the best:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/...andals/239155/
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    First, I don't think it's correct to assume that a woman can just snap her fingers and get sex, at least not with anyone she'd be remotely interested in having sex with. A butt-ugly, no-teeth 50 y.o. woman is probably no more likely to find a partner than a butt-ugly, no-teeth 50 y.o. man....
    Maybe it's not quite that easy. And yeah, a butt-ugly etc. woman who is overly forward may find males hesitant to have sex with her.

    I think it's important to consider what negative consequences a woman who propositions a man for sex faces vs. a man who propositions a woman. I'm sure I'm ignorant of all the aspects of it that could backfire for a woman, but I don't think women have to worry about being accused of rape, assault or harrassment. What's the worst that can happen to a woman who positions let's say a male co-worker on the same level? Maybe word spreads that she's a slut. Big deal. That's not going to get her fired. Men lose their jobs all the time for hitting on females. The same doesn't ever happen to women cause guys are eager to be hit on, and a woman doesn't have to do anything so bold.

    Can't women tell when a man wants to f them? I deliberately try to avoid looking at women at work who I find attractive. In this economy, it's been waaay too hard to get a job. I'm not about risk it by attempting to go fishing at work. So maybe it isn't so easy to tell. I think above average women know that they're hot. But all that certainty that they are desired probably makes them even less likely to proposition a man because they're so often getting hit on by men.

    I think the woman of average looks still has considerable power. A man's who doesn't want them isn't going to scream if she hits on him or call the police or attempt to ruin her career. I think most average guys are very likely to say yes to an offer from an average woman. And if he has a GF or wife or even kids with a wife, he might still say yes unless he is really in love - so long as there is a presumption of discretion.

    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    All good points. Powerful positions are still dominated by men and I suspect that women have to work harder than men to be respected in positions of power, so they have learned to be more professional and careful.
    I think this is more true for highly attractive women who are used to being placed on a pedestal and fawned over. When you're continually given positive reinforcement for a graceful display of your vanity, having to be serious and have lots of responsibility is a lot to stay on top of. The power of their beauty is a continual distraction both to themselves and others. I'm sure many men think to themselves, "I bet she could get paid a lot for sex so she doesn't need to work that hard."

    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    I think that you have the right of it, Maister -- and I think Zoning Goddess' original response reflects this same idea. Historically, males in power have always used that power to attract/keep/get more mates, be they wives, concubines or casual sexual partners -- and that's across all cultures not just western cultures. OTOH, women who get power seem NOT to use it the same way, and again, that's historical examples from various historical cultures. That speaks to very different hard-wiring probably stemming from being XX or XY.
    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    It has been said biologically males seek out sexual partners. If a man works half his life to reach the apex of success, and many women find that power attractive, then isn't that really the reason the men seek out the power?
    So true. It's a sham to pretend that humans are monogamous. It is the materialism of our culture that demands monogamy. If making a child into an adult is the process of socializing them to be motivated to focus on getting into a good school to get a good career then that requires a gargantuan parenting effort from a highly unified couple.

    If keeping up with the jonses wasn't such a huge part of what our society demands of us, then we could actually be spontaneous and have new sex partners instead of being stuck in a "career" with the same sex partner and unappreciative kids to come home to every night.

    I could be in love with someone deeply, but it still wouldn't keep my head from turning every single day when I see the streets inundated with women I'd love to f. I think the avoidance of STD's and unwanted pregnancies is the larger part of what keeps most people from wanting to score new sex partners now and then. Sure there are huge benefits to a lasting committed relationship, but anyone who says they don't fantasize about other people is a liar.

    Quote Originally posted by ThePinkPlanner View post
    I was thinking of something similar recently- not the straying part, but rather the philosophy. There were the grand makings of such a scandal recently at the state university The president's wife had an ongoing affair with one of the VPs of development. I'm not sure it ever would have made the paper had not the money watchers descended upon the "resignation" of said VP and his very very generous golden parachute package. There's been nary a word about the sex part of the scandal. Would there have been had the genders been reversed? She may not have been the president herself, but she was well known in the community. I don't know.
    And what may I ask does the president's wife do for a living? Does she have a high profile career too? Probably not, but if she did and didn't take any heat for the affair while the VP got sacked then that would certainly exemplify a differential treatment. And of course, if she doesn't have a real career - well that just shows how much more of an optional thing it is for a woman, while for a man - a career is all that keeps him from being an unlovable bum.

    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    If you look at the teacher student affairs the majority of those are woman teachers (the one in power positions) are the ones having affairs with male students.

    Both men and women cheat for a variety of reasons. I have always believed that people are as faithful as their options.
    Good points. Yeah, I see a ton of young female teachers in the news who have been caught doing things with students. I tend to suspect they don't suffer the same consequences as males who do the same. But I think teaching may be just about the most likely profession to find sex scandals where a woman happens to be the one whose position/career is threatened. Since teaching is still highly dominated by females, the odds are much more conducive to female sex scandals. Teaching after all is a very public job.

    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I'd be curious about the input from some of the females here about attraction to power. dobo mentioned it - that it is commonly accepted by society that powerful men have some degree of sex appeal regardless of their looks. I suspect that men don't find the same sex appeal in powerful women. Margaret thatcher was a darn powerful woman, but AFAIK nobody really found her attractive because of it.
    Check out Robin Williams take on Margaret Thatcher. [Warning - NSFW!!!!! Large quantities of profanity]
    At the 4:50 mark, he does his impression of her:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJIEy...eature=related
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    " Maybe word spreads that she's a slut. Big deal. That's not going to get her fired."

    What planet are you from? Of course, women get fired for that ALL the time.Man in charge, f*cking woman, of course she is going to be fired. You are wrong on so many accounts in your last posts but I'll get back to that tomorrow since I'm going to bed.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    " Maybe word spreads that she's a slut. Big deal. That's not going to get her fired."

    What planet are you from? Of course, women get fired for that ALL the time.Man in charge, f*cking woman, of course she is going to be fired. You are wrong on so many accounts in your last posts but I'll get back to that tomorrow since I'm going to bed.
    There was a male temp who was assisting a female in my department. He said to her one day, "I hope you got wet this weekend". He was gone shortly after that. I don't know if that was the only reason. If I was her and a female temp made some flirty remark to me, would I complain about it? Heeeell no. Maybe I would have suggested going out for drinks and seeing if I could lay her. Even if she was an unattractive woman, I still wouldn't complain about it. I'd just politely express my disinterest and move on.

    Now I could see maybe word gets around that a woman is trying to parley her sexual services into raises and perks and a certain male boss whose morality overcomes his jealousy, decides to fire her. But there's a big difference between simply trying to hook up with another employee on a similar level and trying to sleep your way up the ladder. Men get fired all the time for simply hitting on another woman at their level and having it be unwelcome. One time is all it takes. The same happening to a female who hits on a male of equal status? I call BS on that ZG.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    I finally see what the OP really wanted to complain about from the get-go: the double standard that he sees in the treatment of men and women when they engage in office affairs. When I read your original post, I thought I detected a very nasty anti-female bias, but I thought that maybe that was just my radical-liberal feminist mind being suspicious. However, after reading your responses to the various posts, I will say that my original assessment was correct.

    Your polemics are on the same plane as the carefully constructed apologetica put out by racists, anti-Semites and other assorted haters in academia who wrap their vile hatred in a fancy wrapper using pretty words and a respectable demeanor. Let me guess, in your heart of hearts, you probably think rape victims "asked for it", right? No matter what you wrap it in, though, the manure you're spreading still stinks like all the rest of the manure in the tank.

    You can come here and whine about how women are so powerful and favored over men when --
    • poverty isn't primarily the lot of single women and their children
    • women who are successful aren't considered cold, calculating, ruthless bitches
    • half of the CEOs in this country are female
    • the average woman earns as much as the average man
    • male jackarses don't blather on about "powerful" supermodels are

    Dude, I'm with Zoning Goddess, "What planet are you from?".

  23. #23
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    If one were basing their guesses of what dobopoq's motives/agendas in starting this thread were on nothing more than his remarks in this thread I could maybe see why you might jump to that conclusion, but if you look at the entirety of what he's written here over the years about gender issues, one would probably come to the opposite conclusion. He's written several times about his contempt for machismo and railed against the various manifestations of the traditional male paradigms that prevail in our culture.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    If one were basing their guesses of what dobopoq's motives/agendas in starting this thread were on nothing more than his remarks in this thread I could maybe see why you might jump to that conclusion, but if you look at the entirety of what he's written here over the years about gender issues, one would probably come to the opposite conclusion. He's written several times about his contempt for machismo and railed against the various manifestations of the traditional male paradigms that prevail in our culture.
    That may very well be true, but disliking certain traditional gender roles may not necessarily doesn't change the fact that he's complaining about a double-standard that favors women when reality says there's still a long, long way to go to be women have more than a semblance of equality with men in our society.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Their are a few points in your thesis that I must address.
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq View post
    So this begs the question – do men and women have different motivations for going into politics or trying to become a CEO? It is a yes and no. In a sense, everything we do has the ultimate aim of successfully passing our genes down to a new generation. I’ve posed this question in previous threads but it bears repeating here: Why is it that the vast majority of great scientists, musicians, artists, comedians and politicians are male? Is it because men are inherently more creative, skillful and intelligent than women? No.
    I agree, the answer is no. However, it is not for the reasons you assert (though I suspect you were being ironic).

    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq View post
    Statistically, males are more heterogeneous than women are across a full gamut of positive and negative traits. Men are drawn to risk and extremes, women are more drawn to safety and comfort. This implies not only an avoidance of stupid behaviors but also less motivation to engage in certain lines of endeavor that occasionally yield benefits for society at large. The few men who reach the pinnacle of their fields are grossly outnumbered by the droves of those whose life pursuits are an abject failure.
    Men are recognized as the vast majority of great scientists, musicians, artists, comedians, and politicians not because of some genetic programming that makes men more likely to take risks, but because men long ago usurped the power of women and created a patriarchal society that devalues women's contributions to civilization. History, in control by men, created a record to reflect their beliefs, practically erasing women from history outside of their roles as caretakers. We are just now coming out of this age of darkness with the first, second, and third waves of feminism reclaiming women's rightful place as equals in society. In many places in the world, women are still relegated to second tier status and are unable to contribute to society outside of their caretaker roles.

    Why don't women have sex scandals? First, we have a lot more to lose. Women still only earn about 75 cents to each dollar a man makes in identical positions. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, women still haven't achieved equal status with men, but we are much closer than we have been in the last few thousand years.

    Second, our society still enculturates males to be sex-seeking and women to be sex-withholding. Consider the example you noted that a woman will be labeled a slut if she has multiple partners. There is no equivalent word in our language to describe a man. It is expected (and even encouraged) behavior in men, yet women are expected to not enjoy or seek out sex. Consider that less than 100 years ago, scientific journals were openly debating whether or not women could even have orgasms, and a visit to the doctors office at this time might result in the doctor applying a giant vibrator to a woman "to cure her of her hysteria".

    Do men enjoy sex more than women? I doubt it. Yet we still demand our young ladies be sexually unavailable and uninterested, and we encourage our boys to be the opposite.

    Often, the term "scandal" is applied to those who use their public positions of power to enforce a narrow ideal of morality that they or their religions have drawn up. Their sex-scapades are scandals because they preach one thing and do another. It has nothing to do with genetic sex at that point.
    Occupy Your Brain!

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