Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Brief comment on Spitzer.

I’ve been reading a lot about Eliot Spitzer, but I haven’t known what to say. After all, I’ve never been a fan of the guy’s tactics, but there are a lot of prosecutors who behave in ways I wish they wouldn’t, so I hadn’t bothered to complain about that. He always seemed like a smart guy, so I’m really confused why prostitutes were involved. What's wrong with plain old sluts? It’s not like the people of New York care very much when their politicians cheat, even if they steal from the poor to finance doing so.

I keep finding myself thinking about his wife.

It bugs me that so many people are saying that Slida Wall should leave her husband/shouldn’t stand by him/etc.

Honestly, my biggest reaction watching this story is that everyone who has ever been cheated on can feel a little bit better about themselves. Slida is beautiful*, has a law degree from Harvard, gave up a career that was about as prestigious as law careers get to raise his kids and Spitzer lobbies the hookers not to wear condoms because he apparently doesn’t care whether or not he gives her a disease.

I think it’s safe to say that the problem wasn’t her.


*Yesterday at school I overheard a guy announce to his friends that he would be "happy to help her get back at him, you know, any way she wanted." Male law students tend to be fratboyish when they are in large groups. If you’re 51 and twentysomething male law students are willing to announce to their friends that they would sleep with you, that’s really, really impressive.


Robin Edgar said...

I don`t think that anyone has suggested that the problem was Eliot`s wife. Clearly he has problems of his own.

Chalicechick said...

1. Cheated-on wives always blame themselves. Maybe no cheated-on person has ever confided in you, but I've certainly heard it from weepy friends enough times.

2. There have been plenty of people talking down to her and just generally dissecting her for choosing to stand by him at least for now.

who is bracing herself for the "She was a lawyer? She must've been too busy to take care of the Guv at home" comments from piggish people.

Comrade Kevin said...

This analysis has proven to be really enlightening.

PG said...

There's a difference between saying she must have caused him to cheat, and saying that she is enabling his behavior by staying with him. There's also a massive difference in attitude between saying, "She must've been too busy to take care of the Guv at home" and Slate's "She shouldn't have given up her career to stay home and take care of the Guv." The first endorses the idea that women's sole function is to keep their husbands sexually fulfilled and that women will be secure if they do so; the second endorses the idea that women can't rely on men no matter how good to them the women are.

I don't consider myself in a position to judge what other people should do in their marriages with regard to adultery -- I'd only judge her if she stayed with him while he did something that was severely detrimental to their children, e.g., abuse, neglect, endangerment -- but it is fair to say that more severe consequences *may* reduce the likelihood of unwanted behavior. If spouses considering cheating believed that they would destroy their marriage by doing so, they probably wouldn't cheat as much. Kind of like the consequences for women of having premarital sex when there was no reliable birth control nor safe abortion. Some people's sexual desires would outweigh their long-term interests, but for most women the consequences were too severe to be worth the risk. (I use "premarital sex" in a special sense of "activity that wouldn't be rapidly followed by marriage if pregnancy resulted." There was a lot of premarital sex between couples who had essentially committed already, but for them pregnancy wasn't a problematic consequence.)

Admittedly, Spitzer had no apparent functioning in the big head while making these appointments, or he wouldn't have made a few large withdrawals that would get noticed by his band (much smarter to make very frequent withdrawals that don't hit the bank's radar). This leads me to think that he's like the criminals who aren't deterred by heavier sentencing because they are ignorant about it and/or believe they'll never get caught.

Robin Edgar said...

Look's like Linda Hirshman's day job is to be an obnoxious little bitch. . . ;-)

kim said...

I heard one person speculate that perhaps he was doing research for his next bust....
oh, well....
I think the answer to why professionals rather than sluts is:
1) some men like to show off how much they can afford to pay.
2) I learned from a pair of call-girls whom I met in a therapy group (many years ago) that what men want from professionals is sex WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Apparently that's very important, and not there if she's doing it with you because she likes you.

Robin Edgar said...

Apparently Spitzer wanted sex with no condom attached. . . I always understood that at least some clients of "sex workers" definitely do want sex with strings attached. ;-)

Chalicechick said...

More complaining about her standing by him.

who thinks the "wanting to have sex without a condom" thing is the most disgusting aspect of all of this.

h sofia said...

I would never say a woman should leave her husband for cheating on her. That's up to her to decide. But what I resent is the way the politician or public figure always trots the wife out after his major "BOO BOO" as if to say, "She's okay with it; see, I'm not a bad person; I love my family." That gets my goat. Big time. In that case, it's STILL about the husband, his name, his reputation, his career. The wife doesn't even get to be friggin pissed in private.