And, I believe, most often these men are the most unlikely candidates for this Hall of Shame because they so coyly know how to mask their "dirty laundry." Most notably in my mind is the ever so prudent, anti-prostitution superhero, our former 54th Governor of New York and New York State Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer. Here is an egotistical, self-righteous and staunch crime opponent, especially focusing on humiliating anyone involved in or with prostitution rings. In fact, his successful conviction rate was so high, it played a major role in acquiring his gubernatorial seat.
Years later, when he was caught with his pants down, after snubbing his nose at those convicted on the same crime, he smirked at the podium when he resigned—his wife’s tormented eyes gazed away as she stood beside him. And Spitzer didn’t just partake in the typical prostitution pool; he went first class into the elite, prime pickings, engaging with someone about his daughter’s age, using traceable, state funds to pay for his extracurricular activities.
The irony of the entire incident is how adamantly he opposed this behavior and how fervently he took down others for the partaking in it. Did he think he was too powerful to get caught? Was it the old adage, “Me thinks you protest too much.” I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know his wife was visibly in pain and will probably question the integrity of their marriage forever, and his daughters will never see their father in the same light.
Like Hillary and Chelsea, they carry the residual effects. How can they ever trust a man who can lie so well and live such a hidden life, denying his deeds until forced by the evidence? The State had all the evidence on Spitzer; the media also shared all the evidence on Weiner so that he could no longer deny any accusations, but he continued to linger in his position, like rotten Chinese food in the fridge for too long. When his own party turned against him, he had nowhere to go, except to leave. What about his poor pregnant, wife who is standing beside another scorn woman, Hillary Clinton, in a foreign country, when she first learns of her husband’s sexting and who knows, what else. Hillary knows too well what lengths a man, even the President of the United States, will go to hide his stain. And even worse, Arnold Schwartzenegger had the audacity to have an affair with the maid who worked in their home, using his bedroom as their sanctuary. He even had a baby with her and no one even questioned the obvious resemblance to Arnold.
The reason, according to many, that Anthony Weiner was massacred by the media, while Arnold was handled with kid gloves, is because Weiner adamantly attacked the media for spreading libelous stories. Arnold, in contrast, had always put Maria up on a public pedestal, often sharing that he was the “luckiest” man in the world, coming to America with little possession, reaching box-office fame, marrying into our American aristocracy
Arnold, in contrast to the other cheaters I’ve mentioned, didn’t deceive his wife and family with a younger, more attractive woman—although I’m sure he has in some of his other transgressions. But, in this case, I think it was his power in the home. I also need to note here that the Kennedy men are no strangers to infidelity and scandal—and, in my humble opinion, some way or another our sins can boomerang back to hurt us or those we love.
During the last six months, I have encountered (given the sensitive nature, I will not mention any names to protect the children) many middle-aged women who were deceived by their husbands using technology with its ease in access and lure of anonymity to betray women their children call “Mom.” What all these women have in common is that they feel a betrayal so deep that they are having trouble moving forward in their lives: One woman shared she was divorcing her husband after she discovered phone numbers programmed into her spouses cell phone; from there, she learned and her husband confirmed he was having several affairs. Other moms I know have found on-line chat room conversations, pornographic web sites in the browser history and even e-mails from past girlfriends. One wife even shared her son found some “inappropriate” messages his dad (her husband) was sending on a dating site he joined pretending to be single. For months, he had conversations with women sharing fact and fiction. Interestingly, he felt he didn’t “cheat” because there was no “physical relationship.”
One good friend in particular said she doesn’t see herself in her husband’s eyes anymore and that he’s changed in his forties. Is this part of the male middle age crisis? And women feel less than because they can’t compete with 20 or even 30 something’s. My girlfriend’s fiance always tells her how amazing the Victoria Secret’s models are, and I tell her, “There’s no way you can compete with them—and you shouldn’t have to.” That’s it! But society doesn’t promote aging women—just look at any advertising. Even the wrinkle cream ads feature young women pretending to be older.
I recall older, often married, men hitting on me in my teens—and then at college and the office. I was disgusted by this and often hid my goods—and still do. I was raised in a very conservative household and dressed accordingly. I think I was too proper so I am glad to see the generations now are more comfortable showing a little cleavage; But, I still don’t approve of letting it all hang-out as many young girls do today—as they encourage men to look at them as they flaunt their stuff. I want us parents to teach our girls to value themselves and their brains, in particular. And society should have some respect for all women, recognizing that we should stick together—instead of feuding over men.
Why is it that, very often, as a man ages, he becomes more desirable if he has a lot of money, power or connections. The Donald is a prime example of this, and if anyone cares to refute that his wife or Marla Mason would still have married him if he was a pauper, bring it on. Larry King and his suspenders offer another example of women hovering over someone-- not because he looks good-- but his bank account does.
Yet, do women become less desirable because they age? Well, let’s take a look at Hollywood, and I think I can safely say that our society mimics the big screen in many ways. As women, we can only be the best we can for whatever age we are. We must nurture our insides along with our outsides.
From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to independently make my own money; I didn’t want to be with someone for the “wrong” reasons. And, I would never give the satisfaction to a married guy who “hit on me” or even flirted because, to me, he was low-class for disrespecting his woman. I think most of us girls are all too familiar with the guys at the office making inappropriate gestures and comments—and often minimizing our work by saying we were able to accomplish certain feats because of our looks or other related gender issues.
I know some men who will read this post and say that women do the same. Yes, some women are “cougars,” but the overall perspective of our society is such that you also KNOW women are judged much more harshly for how they look that men are. But, I believe, there are great men out there with integrity who have committed relationships with women/wives they adore.
I think a good rule to follow is one I always tell my kids, “Try to have the same honor you show at school to your teachers---when no one is looking.”