It's been a bad week to be a guy

Let's face it dudes. This has been a very bad week to be a guy. So much so that I've spent most of it speaking in a squeaky voice, wearing florals and telling anyone who cares to listen my name is Mavis.

Because it's better to be called Mavis than to be outed as a member of the male sex.

It all started with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, an unremarkable looking middle aged guy who just happened to be in charge of the International Monetary Fund and was apparently in pole position for a run for the French presidency.

That was until he was accused of attempting to rape a maid in a New York hotel room.

This whole episode seems remarkable to me. If the allegations are true, it makes you wonder why Strauss-Kahn couldn't have found someone who would willingly dress as a hotel maid for the right price; afterall I assume he has access to the all the money in the world.

It seems remarkable that such a figure, allegedly lost self control to such a degree that he ended up throwing away a glittering career in a matter of seconds.

He'll have plenty of time to think about his actions as he sits in his dingy apartment counting his $250,000 annual separation allowance from the IMF.

Just days later another episode of a man behaving badly was revealed. Actor cum California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife's Maria Shriver announced she was leaving Big Arne. We knew Tipper Gore, style revelations would follow shortly and we were proved right.

Arnie, it appeared, had fathered a child with a member of the household staff. One report even went as far as to suggest he had unprotected sex, which I had almost figured from the child aspect to the saga.

When the Brit press led the way in identifying the housekeeper - it's clearly been domestic appreciation week - it became obvious the actor certainly hadn't been capitivated by her looks.

A colleague described it as the "Divine Brown factor" after the somewhat rough loking prostitute Hugh Grant was busted with. What is it about America that gets Europeans into such trouble?

"I mean he was dating Liz Hurley," My colleague told me in disbelief.

Cleary when we are talking about guys there's no rhyme or reason. We're just great big idiots whose brains are in our pants.

And men misbehaving is clearly widespead, particularly in the world of politics. My wife used to always go on about how she admired John Edwards, his family values and his apparent closeness to his wife etc....until the inevitable happened.

The Republican wannabees for the next presidential election include Newt Gingrich, a man who famously had a six year affair to someone he later married.

This is quite remarkeable - not so much that he should run for president - but that anyone would want to have an affair with Gingrich.

Last time round Rudy Giuliani was the Republican candidate with the extramarital affair in his portfolio. It can surely only be a matter of time before the South Carolina governor who visited Argentina via the Appalacian Trail announces his candidacy.

Democrats never have affairs, of course, if you discount JFK and Bill Clinton. But it's always strange how some politicians go under and others survive the scandal. While Clinton remains popular few people could say the same about John Edwards.

In Britain when the media revealed the Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown had an affair, it did little to harm to his career, perhaps because he didn't have much of a career, although the Sun headline Paddy Pantsdown has followed him for the rest of his life. Must be awkward when he walks into a pub for Sunday lunch with his wife and somebody shouts out "Paddy pantsdown" before ducking under the bar.

In short, it seems, as guys we are feckless and reckless and beyond redemption. And we'll even be distracted by women as plain icky as Monica Lewinsky.

Well she had nice hair, come to think of it. I'll get my coat.


  1. Just fyi, Arnold was just an actor and not a politician when the cheating started and fathered the kid.

  2. Such an unfortunate series of events. I imagine that this sort of thing goes on across the board; rich and poor, famous and unknown, young and old. Celebrities, actors, politicians and such have the added misery of having spotlights aimed at their mistakes. All the more reason why they should be more careful about how they act, I suppose. It does seem to be dominating the news of late.

  3. Hey, I wouldn't beat up the male species too badly... last time I checked, it takes two to have an affair.

    Apart from the attempted rape case, all these women chose to get involved with rich, powerful, high-profile men---- these women knew EXACTLY what they were doing. The men might have been after a good time, but the women were after a good life!

    So, I won't mind calling you Mavis if you aren't bothered about calling me Fred....

  4. Isn't it sad how there are a million stories like these? Men in power raping maids or politicians fathering kids out of wedlock. Sheesh.

    I'm on the fence when it comes to marriage and stories like these don't help. Plus, similar scandals have occurred in my own family.

    Sometimes I really wish I were a lesbian. :S

  5. You know for a second I had kind of fostered hope that would mention my travails of being jilted myself and then I realized that I didn't care that much. :D Screw 'em if they can't take a joke. I'm not sure about British etiquette but obvi American etiquette dictates that you string homegirl along for as long as possible. Just to be safe you're still in good with American media.

  6. In a way, it's the kind of thing one wants to avoid thinking about.

    e.a.s. demers has a good point - that the women in situations where involvement is willing have choices and responsibilities too. At the same time, it's often women who get a disproportionate amount of blame - which is odd. (Though maybe that approach is passing.) I don't know what happens to their careers. As you say, some men sail on regardless and some don't.

    But, Daisy . . . surely it's not a matter of being careful how you act if you are famous? Doesn't that suggest the bad thing is being found out rather than what you have done? (Though I agree it's important not to imagine this kind of behaviour doesn't harm 'ordinary' people too.)

    Does it much happen the other way round? That women with important work / famous / wealthy / in the public eye - have children or inappropriate relationships with men without power or is it that we simply don't hear about them? (Which, I suppose, is largely an unanswerable question?)

    Jennifer Fabulous - do Lesbians never behave badly?


  7. Its not just a male thing alone....but that men have lesser restrictions and are more brazen about it....and most idiotic women still stick to the errant husbands time after time...while the guy would bolt if his partner were guilty.... maybe the guys in the public eye cannot handle powerful women and seek the ordinary ones as catharsis??....Cheating is as old as modern humans just that 24/7 media makes it more visible....

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  9. David, great post - especially as a male. What could anyone do with all this material but joke about it and - if they're male like you - wear florals? Great lines about the reporters going so far as to suggest Arnie had "unprotected sex". Liked the "Paddy pantsdown" bit too.
    Were Hillary dying of cancer when Clinton played with Monica, I don't think he'd have been so easily forgiven. But who knows. None of it makes sense.

  10. Great post David, and as Robyn stated, none of it makes sense. I don't want to appear shallow, but I was stunned when I saw the picture of Arnie's maid/mistress...huh???

  11. There's often a huge imbalance in power, and sometimes the women can be intimidated into complying. I wonder if powerful women have the same number of affairs as powerful men appear to have. Rek made an interesting observation about the guys possibly not being able to handle powerful women.

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  13. Right Oilfield, same kinda thing, tho. for sure Daisy, where would the supermarket mags be without this? Deal Fred - it's true that money and wealth is an attraction. For sure Jennifer, mind you ever family has its dark secrets. I know Anna, that does sound awful, there is some stringing along going on in both countries, I feel. Right Lucy, we you hear all the Dolly Parton, Oprah rumors etc. so maybe so. Very perceptive comments Rek and it is as old as time. Thanks for visiting Manda. Thanks Robyn, I know - and you have to see the funny side. Not at all shallow Marnie, it was like...err OK. Well it's a good point Sue, there have been stories but not nearly as many re powerful women. Thanks for visiting Licks

  14. I agree with Jennifer above about how this makes me think twice about marriage. Well, except that I am married, of course. But it's such an outdated, useless institution, why would people want to do it if they're not going to keep faithful? But I disagree about the lesbian thing. People of all sexual orientations cheat, sorry to say.

  15. Great humor in the piece, David! Our species is not innately monogomous--to never stray takes an immense amount of discipline and determination. Man is hunter, gatherer, and predisposed to roaming. This can be the ONLY reason for Arnie (& others) to cheat on their beautiful and brilliant wives. It's prevelant everywhere, but (esp. in politics and show biz) power and testosterine is a highly charged cocktail--an I'm-above-it-all potion of wanderLUST. There should be some kind of pocket-sized antidote for that ailment. ;)


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