Some random thoughts on the subject of sexuality and judgment:NEXT: FUN WITH DUMMIES: IM
1) The interest in, and judging of, political figures for their personal sexual lives is primarily an American phenomenon. It is a symptom, I feel, of our national psychological immaturity. Most western nations do not handle these issues in the same "church lady" style that we do. They judge their leaders on leadership, and leave the bedroom for the tabloids and the gossip columnists. I think they have it right, and we have it wrong.
2) I have a problem with sexual peccadilloes being discussed regarding politicos unless there is a hypocrisy factor involved. Unless someone has gone on and on about family values, or attacked someone else for their sexual failings, consensual sex between adults doesn't rise to the level of "interesting" for me, nor do I consider it particularly relevant.
3) I am not very knowledgeable on the history of Jesse Jackson, and whether or not he has ever gone ballistic on a non-hypocritical cheater before, but if he hasn't, I couldn't possibly care less about who he is or isn't banging. I leave it up to his wife to take the metaphorical frying pan to his head. I'm not going to play that game.
4) As far as marriage goes, today it is a choice, but in the past that was not really true. Marriage was almost a forgone conclusion for those who wanted to have sex. To be unmarried and in a relationship brought public censure. For this reason, I hold younger people to a higher standard than older people. I, for instance, have been with the same fab guy for almost 13 1/2 years, and we have yet to marry. If and when we do, it would be our CHOICE (a vow given freely), but even though we have not yet, we suffer no social censure that I am aware of. Yet if I cheated, I would consider it more grievous than a married person, who married a long time ago, cheating. My vow of exclusivity was given freely. PERHAPS, theirs was not.
5) While I believe that if a person is unsatisfied in their marriage they should divorce and THEN party, I know many decent people choose to cheat. That is a different decision than I hope I would make, but I am not willing to pass judgment unless there are issues of "glass houses" or "pots and kettles" to consider.
6) I can't make myself be outraged about something I see as an utterly human failing. I put consensual sexual impulse control problems up there with overeating. I believe that there is not only a biological basis for the parallel, but that the level of harm to oneself and others is commensurate.
7) When the media describe Bill Clinton's oral adventures as a "terrible personal mistake," it drives me nuts, because:
a) It wasn't a mistake. It was a bad decision. A mistake is something you do on accident, that you would not do purposefully. A bad decision is something you do on purpose, though perhaps not wisely; and something you might want to keep secret or take back, after the fact.
b) A terrible personal mistake would be something like pulling your car out of your driveway and running over your child. Sex between consenting adults, in and of itself, does not qualify.
c) If a sexual gaffe and the lies that accompanied it are going to be the "first sentence" in a Clinton biography or legacy, but Reagan's neglect of the AIDS crisis (and the untold numbers of deaths that his decision caused or facilitated) is going to be mentioned AFTER the "great communicator" BS, then our history books need a thorough revamp, and need authors and editors with a hell of a lot better priorities.
8) I guess you could say, "go and sin no more," but I think that is unrealistic. Sexuality is a powerful force. If every cheater in America had their professional and personal life destroyed, we would be a nation of failures. People cheat. Not all people, but enough for me to say that this is a completely normal occurrence, and does not merit my outrage.
9) To a great extent, I am of the Larry Flynt school of sexual politics, though I would take it a step further than he has to date. I would include the media in a clean sweep of hypocrisy regarding sexual behavior. The media need to be trustworthy, as they are relied upon by the American people to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but. So, if a Brian Williams or a Peter Jennings wants to get their boxers in a twist over Clinton's or Jackson's sexual behavior, then I want to know they are not projecting their own self-loathing onto these two. [The people who yell the loudest about screwing around are the people who do it, and are conflicted about it, psychologically. One need only look at the Republicans who fell during impeachment (Livingston, Gingrich, et. al.) to see projection in all its obscene glory.] Therefore, if the media want to report this stuff, then The Diva is going to need to see proof of purity, before she listens to ANYTHING they have to say on the subject.
10) I am considering wearing a scarlet "A" pin for the rest of my life, in solidarity with all the other sinners out there. I am a fornicator (I am not married, and no virgin, either), and as such, I am not willing to pass judgment on an adulterer (on a hypocrite, yes, a sinner, no).
This is, as always, just my view. It is not intended to attack anyone else for their opinion, but to honestly state mine. So, there you have it.