Saturday, August 09, 2008

Yes, it *is* about the fucking

The various blogospheric reations to the fact of John Edwards' sex life have left me rolling my eyes. There are several issues brought to the fore by the great non-secret finally being covered by the "respectable" press.

First and foremost, it is about John Edwards fucking someone besides his wife or, to be a little more anlaytical, it is about the persistence of male privilege. While it is the case that individuals should have a right to a zone of privacy in which to conduct their lives (a right that Hillary believes in and fights for, I might add), it does not then follow that nothing in that zone should be subject to examination and approbation. Acts that violate others' civil rights, behaviors that may be between consenting adults but which pose safety or health risks to others who have not consented, criminal behavior and so forth would not be protected. Additionally, behavior which is not criminal in any way may still be held up for ridicule - such as Larry Craig's bathroom stall seductions, Bill Clinton's adventures with cigars, and Newt Gingrich's penchant for divorce. Just because it is legal doesn't mean I can't think you are a putz and hold you in contempt. Should this private behavior be a fitness test for a job, public or private? Nope, though when said behavior is accompanied by a big dollop of sanctimonious hypocrisy you can't really blame people for being a mite peeved.

But that's not what we're observing here. What we're seeing here is an instance of male privilege. This story has been available for any intrepid reporter to investigate since last fall, but no one did. Why? Because some guy fucking around on his wife is simply part of what it is to be a heterosexual male in the US. No man can be blamed for wanting to get more ass, after all, or so the sentiment goes. I mean, a guy shouldn't and he doesn't mean to, but hey if the chick is there and isn't a total dog and she'll put out, what's a guy to do? The moment this becomes male privilege is when people who know the facts choose to use those facts instrumentally to structure outcomes that nothing to do with the original sex act itself.

Let me offer a different example, one not tied up with public figures. One of the reasons I left academia as a profession was the cynical use of the sexual exploitation of female students to advance academic careers. Easy access to young women who will exchange sexual favors (or who will be silent about sexual assaults) in exchange for grades is one of the unspoken perks of being a male academic. The professors (and graduate TAs) who do this are well known on any campus. No one bothers to change the dynamic because it is useful to other academics. They can strategically use the sexual behavior of their fellows to advance their own interests. They offer false friendship to exploited women, they can blackmail the other professors, they can use it as an argument to prevent grants being awarded or promotions conferred, and so forth. There is not one ounce of concern for the women being used - those "chicks" merely provide the occasion for deployment of the disciplinary practices. Male sexual privilege is not merely the power to extort sex from subordinate women, but is part of the relationship between the men themselves. I add that women also use this information for their own purposes, usually so they can become part of the "boys' club".

Back to Edwards. I read about Edwards' affair in several blogs, complete with photos of the women he was involved with, last year. There has been no secret about his infidelities, only a refusal by power brokers (in the party, in the press) to use it to Edwards' detriment, at least not publically. This stands in stark contrast to the way in which every utterance or appearance by Hillary was cast as reprehensible, even when the alleged behavior was simply invented. At the same time, the flip side of male privilege, the right to exploit, harrass, intimidate and threaten women as they please, was on display day after day. For example, why was Hillary accused of "pimping out" her daughter when Chelsea participated in the campaign, but Edwards' not-at-all-subtle use of Elizabeth's cancer for sympathy not treated the same way, especially given the common knowledge of his infidelity? Edwards was the first of the candidates to say he wouldn't support Hillary if she won the nomination, making allusions to her untrustworthiness (You know, that bitch who will do *anything* to win...), and playing on his own honest "man of the people" persona to justify his lies. Edwards enjoyed the gender double-standard to the hilt. Being honest that it was his arrogance and ego that "made him do it" after he has been caught out multiple times in his affair does not reduce his exploitation of his wife (and from all accounts, it sounds like Elizabeth knew the score, and so is no "innocent" victim), his hypocrisy in passing judgment on Bill Clinton, nor his disdain for his own party to think that he was just too wonderful to have this affair become a serious electoral liability.

I've been reading a lot of nasty posts and comments about how this must be some dirty trick by the Obama camp. I've also read how this is being done to Edwards to try to discredit him and his positions. I'm going to break with the conventional wisdom here.

Thank god somebody pulled the plug on that moron.

This guy was a walking, talking time-bomb who needed to have his public career cut short. I have heard a lot of bloviating from him about anti-poverty stuff, but haven't actually seen him do anything except run for president. I've watched him help trash the Clintons. I've seen him turn his back on the issues he claims to be passionately devoted to and endorse someone who doesn't give a fig about those issues. Had he been named VP, his fucking around would have been gleefully seized upon by the Republicans to tar all Democrats, never mind the questionable behavior of their own side.

It is the fucking and not just the hypocrisy. It is about the arrogance of men who think their sex lives are off limits while they tar and trash other men for the same thing and while they brutalize women for daring to challenge their authority. It is about male privilege and social and political double standards that says guys will be guys and all women are whores. It is about a Democratic Party that continues to beat up Bill Clinton, pretending moral outrage while frantically trying to secure their own power, yet gives John Edwards a free pass for behavior no less egregious.

It is about the ways in which fucking exposes the gendered conditions of power in politics and society.

Anglachel

22 comments:

Bob said...

Awfully broad brush there. After 33 years as a male academic, I have never strayed, tho the opportunities did exist and I agree with your reasoning about them. But I will also offer another explanation: the academic mafia-- to be a member of this insider club you must commit a "crime" so you can't rat out the rest of the boys. I have seen this exploitation go multiple gender ways so it is not exclusively a male club.

Yep, Edwards will be held to a higher standard. But let's not forget all the others who have been a free pass on their sexual indiscretions.

Yep. He did to himself and he has no one to blame other than himself.

It's all about temptation, resistance and the consequent steeling of emotional and mental attitudes toward life. It's about honor.

cutepeachpanda said...

I always believed the rumors that Edwards had an affair. Ironically I first read about Edwards' affair not from a so-called credible news source like NYTimes, CNN, or MSNBC but on an entertainment gossip site last fall. I wondered why the cable news networks wouldn't touch the story and how the DNC could allow this man to continue in the primary with this scandal hanging over his head. Can you ever imagine Hillary Clinton being able to continue in the primary with rumors of an affair or having a pastor like Rev. Wright? She was pressured to quit since January only because she had the nerve to win the most votes in American history in states that are actually crucial for the Democrats to win in November. How dare she!

Now I read posts like on TalkLeft from certain bloggers saying how angry they are that Edwards took that risk and what it could have done to the Democratic party had he become the nominee..

Um...HELLO? Where the fuck were these people back in November of last year? Why the hell didn't the DNC and the netroots hold Edwards OR Obama accountable for their personal relationships? Why is the mainstream media just now picking up on this story and why wasn't Obama's relationship with Jeremiah Wright exposed or considered as a threat to our chances in November the day Obama threw his hat in the ring? Where were Dean and these "innocent" bloggers and politicians now feigning shock and outrage at the start of the primary season when they were responsible for vetting our candidates? Oh, that's right, they were too busy beating up on Bill and Hillary Clinton and calling their supporters racists to notice. I blame these people as much as I blame Edwards because if it wasn't for these media whores on cable and on the internet, Edwards wouldn't have been that arrogant enough to have believed that he could get away with this if he had become our nominee or the VP pick.

Even before rumors of an affair, I had little respect for Edwards. I never believed he was genuine about his anti-poverty work. Like Obama he has little to show and is more talk than action. Both had the nerve to trash Hillary, a politician who has done more for her constituents than these two blowhards will ever attempt to achieve in their lifetimes. I agree, thank goodness someone pulled the plug on this guy. Goodbye and good riddance.

jangles said...

Bravo and amen!
I do confess that I wonder if this situation (which I am sure Axelrod/BO knew fully) had anything to do with JE decision to endorse BO the day after HRC trounced BO in WVA. Why then? Certainly it had a strategic effect at that moment.

Do you think there will be any collateral damage? Doesn't seem like a nice piece of news for Democrats.

So good to hear from you again A.

Anglachel said...

Bob - Interesting insight from the inside of academia. That makes a lot of sense. No, not an exclusively male operation, but a predominantly male one, yes? Also, my perspective is from early 90s, both east and west coast universities, and dynamics can change significantly in a decade.

I'm not giving anyone a free pass on "indescretions", just pointing out that what counts as an indescretion for men appears to be determined by the political damage (or protection) the insider club wants to dole out. I'm also trying to figure out just where the privacy line is. For a political figure in a powerful leadership role, it may not be fair but the zone of privacy is going to be damn small.

Anglachel

Pol C said...

A fine post, Anglachel. However, I do take some issue with your thesis that this was kept under wraps because of respect for male "privilege." This stuff comes out when it's convenient for someone's agenda to have it come out. (You touch on this in your discussion of academia, but it's not clear that you feel it applies to politics as well.) A major reason Bill Clinton's crap behavior was all over the press about a year before the '92 election was because the GOP wanted to derail his Presidential aspirations--they considered him the biggest threat to their continued hold on the Oval Office as early as 1986 or 1987. And they continued to feel it was their most potent weapon against him; Kenneth Starr's investigations were nominally about Whitewater, but it was clear to anyone paying attention to Starr's actions that all he was doing was trying to dig up dirt on Clinton's infidelities--and he was engaged in wholesale abuse of federal investigation authority and the grand jury process in order to achieve it. Newt Gingrich served the right people's agendas, so he was left alone until Larry Flynt got disgusted with the hypocrisy of the GOP and the press and marshaled the resources to expose him. (Flynt's a pig, but his shamelessness is occasionally useful for the public good.) Everybody in the GOP and the press knew about Larry Craig for a good long while, too. It only came out when there was no way to keep a lid on it anymore. A common joke among people I know in Washington is that if the Republican National Committee headquarters got a liquor license, it would be the biggest gay bar on the East Coast; gay staffers are so popular with the GOP because they can always take out a loose cannon through public exposure.

With Edwards I think it was all a matter of timing. When he needed to be taken out, it would be made public, and unlike Bill Clinton (or Grover Cleveland, for that matter), he doesn't have the substance to fall back on that would see him through. Although I give him credit for helping to get certain issues to the forefront of discussion during the primary season, I always felt that, like Obama, he should have been treated like a second-tier candidate. He was a lousy Senator who only saw the office as a stepping stone to a slot on the national ticket and the executive branch. Although I'm adamant in my view that this is really none of the public's business, I'm not unhappy to see him go.

Pol C said...

David Shuster's "pimping out" comment about Chelsea Clinton resulted from an arrogant, presumptuous attitude on his part that people have an obligation to answer any and all questions the press may have for them. Her refusal to deal with the press--wholly understandable given how she's seen her parents treated--infuriated him, and it opened the door to the disgusting language he directed at her. Elizabeth Edwards, of course, was more than happy to talk about her cancer with Shuster and his buddies, so she's cool. It's all about the press's prerogatives.

This arrogance was also on display yesterday during Shuster's coverage of the Edwards story: he angrily asserted that Edwards should have made this information available to the press without being asked about it. Excuse me?!? I've known many people, male and female, who've cheated on their spouses or their significant other in a serious relationship, and their first inclination is to lie or dodge the question--and that's in private. I can imagine the compulsion to lie or fudge is increased a thousandfold when a bunch of microphones are stuck in your face and a bevy of camera lenses are staring you down.

These press people are beyond belief.

Mary Louise said...

Actually it is worse than that.

Remember Rudy?

He was a serial adulterer on his third marriage and the media treated him as the front runner for the longest time.

Now imagine, if Hillary had been a serial adulterer on her third marriage, or ANY female candidate, i am guessing nobody would have taken her seriously. She would have been laughed out of town. She would have been called a whore a slut.

A.Citizen said...

A hard hitting post and the insights we are now getting about everyone's behavior and how that which is generally not considered acceptable by the wider society is not constricted to a 'left' nor a 'right' political viewpoint will, I do hope and believe, will be taken to heart.

I think it's been quite a shock too many, it was to me and, after watching 'the left', and being part of it since 1965, it should not have been a surprise that 'leftist' leaders like Obama, and his followers, can have much in common with the fascistii of the Reich. And here we've got Senator John 'Marry the Rich Bitch' McCain with a trail of infidelities behind him and look there's Edwards, the same kind of dog.

Unsettling it is to that streak of Puritanism which has dogged American politics since the founding regardless of policy or party.

I've been reading a lot of social science lately and the discoveries being mad there at the current time will soon, I believe, be part of every politician's tool chest. The citizenry also.

Who we are and how we act are a still mysterious blend of hard wiring from millions of years of being monkeys and a thin veneer of rationalism slapped on during the Enlightenment, kinda like a cheap coat of paint which is flaking, which has propelled us to a state of no longer being an animal but still not quite in control of ourselves.

It's looking to be a race to see which side will win.

God or Ape.

Not a new idea at all. But a new idea to many who in these heady days of 'Liberalism on the March...' a shocking idea and worse fact for the many who still divide humans into 'good people', like themselves, and 'trash', the scary 'other'. Yep, it's a bummer to find out that really...underneath it all we are kidding ourselves when we imagine we are better or wiser than that guy down the street.

One of the biggest reasons Obama will lose. Only some can join with him as only some are pure enough. Eh?

Also, from what you and bob have to say it's just as well I did not enter academia after all.

I have not mentioned your cat but am picturing her/him home and safe again.

Sarah Ferguson said...

You allude to it. What about the timing? This story "broke" the same day that Hillary was stumping in Nevada for Obama. And it was her first "big" solo appearance for Obama, something newsworthy, one would think. It seems so obviously planned. I'm looking for a word or phrase, something in bowling lingo, when there are two pins remaining and they cancel each other out.

Double Jointed Fingers said...

Thank you. This is the first blog I have visited that didn't give Edwards a free pass.

Screwing around on your wife when you are running for President and she has cancer is egregious. I cannot even comprehend why he thought he would get away with it.

Shainzona said...

If I read another "but he and Elizabeth probably had an arrangement" comment I will scream. My favorite bit of tripe was that she was probably involved in helping him select his next mate so he could get moving on with his life without her. What crap!

In the '60's when I was in college, I had a male TA who kept asking me out. I didn't go and got an (undeserved!) F for my efforts in his class. I, of course, had to take the class the next semester and made sure to sign up for a section that he didn't teach - the creep ended up teaching it anyway...I went out with him, played his ridiculous ego as well as I could (thankfully, never "gave him what he wanted") and passed the class with an A. The second the semester ended I dumped his ass as harshly as I could.

What did I learn that semester? A lot of guys are stupid. And most men control women's lives.

Nothing, I might add, about economics.

Thanks for the post, Anglachel. It reminds me that it's still SSDD.

uppitywoman08 said...

Brilliant and a nauseating reality. Just plain Right-On.

Bob, boy, it's a darned good think John isn't a woman because he would have been crucified by the MSM long ago. No or yes?

And given his penchant for criticizing the morality of others in the past, being hoisted on his own petard comes to mind.

Cathy said...

Sex is always an issue of power. If you are lucky then you are in adult relationship where it's shared at least close to equally. Even then it's a matter of negotiation and capitulation. You only hope that you don't lose yourself or your loved one in the midst of those compromises.

Thanks for taking it outside the salacious and analyzing it in political realm. Calling Edwards out - and to my heartbreak, also Elizabeth - is long overdue. Perhaps Elizabeth turned on Hillary so badly because she couldn't face the mirror. At minimum she said have known the risk he took with his campaign while "hiding" this story.

As a lesbian, however, I must take issue with your describing Edwards' behavior as a "male" issue. Perhaps the larger society's acceptance of it is greater for males. But truth be told, players cross orientation and gender. Further within communities, acceptance of the behavior is tolerated or not.

(I define players as those who put their emotional and sexual needs above those of their partners and their new partner's now former loved ones. Everything is about their immediate need for pleasure and power, consequences be damned. Hmm, sounds like many politicians. :>)

But as a former Edwards supporter, I will promulgate this far and wide. Though truthfully reading how he called out Bill in 1999 for infidelity put the icing on a cake already seven layers high. It certainly removed any sympathy I had for how the press "treated him" during the campaign.

Chevalier said...

I wasn't listening to John Edwards very intently this election season, except for knowing his policies were populist, but without substance or any analysis of how he would pay for them.

But I realized he was a dick when I read this after Hillary Clinton's 'moment' in NH - even Obama had better sense than to exploit this:

"Edwards offered little sympathy and pounced on the opportunity to question Clinton's ability to endure the stresses of the presidency.

"'I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business,' Edwards told reporters Laconia, New Hampshire."

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/01/rival-reacts-to.html

Anglachel said...

A few people in the comment thread have asked about timing. Why now if the affair was known about so long ago? I really have no idea, and I'm wary of ascribing it to the Obama camp if only because they appeared to be the one party benefitting from Edwards reamining "respectable". His endorsement came with the probability of picking up his delegates, and the Obamacans are clearly still worried about the convention. I also don't think that it was done to upstage Hillary.

Possibilities: Edwards himself, realizing that it was going to come out and hoping to mask it with the Olympics; DNC operatives realizing Edwards was going to push to be made VP and wanting to be rid of this millstone ASAP; another VP contender trying to take out the competition a la Obama's usual "smear and clear" tactics; someone in the press eschelons pissed off at the praise the National Enquirer was getting for actually investigating the story; someone in the press who was bored and wanted a "hot" story for the summer doldrums.

Who knows? Who cares? It was sitting there, an open superating wound on the Democrats, and it needed to be excised. Now little Johnny can go pick between his wife and his mistress and get back to being a private citizen. I don't care who or what he screws, I just want his useless ass out of national politics. My ire is aimed at the powerbrokers who decided amongst themselves that this affair wasn't going to be a political liability and didn't pressure Edwards out of the campaign back when it became public knowledge. They could spend weeks on end screaming "WWTSBQ?" when Hillary had every reason to stay in, of course.

Another argument going around that I want to squash is the one that Edwards is cheating on his terminally ill wife and isn't he horrible for doing that? Unless I missed the press release, Elizabeth is not terminally ill, though her cancer is not curable and it will probably be a contributing factor to her death. Next, sorry, I'm not going to let her be portrayed as a victim in this. Poor Liz with her cheatin' man is a theme that makes me gag. She either dumps him or she accepts what he's done and stays with him. You know, like Hillary did with Bill. Whatever her choice, it's a real choice, she has the financial means to go if she wants, and she's not some helpless, clueless homemaker blindsided by a scumbag husband. It's also nobody's business but theirs.

In short, this common-knowledge affair was blithely overlooked by the party and the press because it's OK for husbands to cheat (Hey, the wifey was sick and anyway she's kinda fat and looks like a nag, so who can blame the guy? And what chick could resist that boyishly handsome face and all that fluffy hair? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) until it becomes politically expedient to make an issue out of infidelity. THAT is the timing that's pissing me off.

Anglachel

Annie said...

Possibilities: Edwards himself, realizing that it was going to come out and hoping to mask it with the Olympics;.....

lol.....I don't think John is that bright.

IMO Edwards was political roadkill for years, just no one in seemed to notice.


As to timing, it's interesting Elizabeth was to speak at the convention and now will not. So no lime light away from Barry from that quarter and certainly no lime light for UHC. Who will speak besides Barry ? Nancy? Al Gore? Will Ted send a vid of himself?

All hopy changy ugh . Did you read of the Dem platform? Barry has a section on fatherhood??....hmmm, that seems to be a theme with him.

The guy in charge of Obama's campaign, David Axelord, also ran Edwards in '04. ( The Edwards supporters I've met are like Barry followers prototypes) It would be impossible for there not to be a connection between the campaigns. This was particularly plain after JE endorsement of Barry mere hours after Hill's huge WV win.

But it no longer matters. The good news is we don't have to think about Edwards anymore.

show me said...

Never trusted him. He always seemed to love himself a little too much. I realized he was a dick in the debates.His performance on Nightline was cringworthy. Yuck!

Don't really understand Elizabeth but respect her right to make her own decisions. Does seem like she has had too much saddness in one life. How in the world did she think it would not come out if he were to get the nomination or VP spot? I know denial is a powerful thing. I seem to know too many women with men who are not worthy of their wives.

As usual my fury is with the DNC and party leaders,I think they used him as a foil, another way to get at Hillary. He was useful all the way through.He was also disposable whenever necessary.It makes me think that there has been a cabal that decided on Obama a long time ago. I wonder about the first time I saw him after his convention speech (on C-span) at Tom Harkess' annual steak fry in Iowa. Harkess is known for highlighting up and coming talent at those annual events. Everything has been done to make it happen. The only problem all along was Hillary.

As for timing, I would guess that it was coordinated with Obama just to do a little harm as possible. I think that hotel visit brought things to a boiling point. Probably more to come.

I keep thinking about a movie I saw in the late 70's on the theme of infidelity. Can't remember the name but the best line was...."balls!" said the Queen. "If I had them I'd be King!"

jangles said...

A note about the Axelrod/Obama/Edwards connection. NQ posted a listing of Edwards attacks on Hillary this afternoon. I remembered some of his attacks from the debates but did not remember how aggressive he really was in going after her. When you see all of his attacks lined up like that and knowing the Axelrod connection it makes you wonder if he was a stalking horse for Obama all along. That only makes sense in the context of the affair since his role as VP candidate would make him a viable choice and one would not expect him to do someone's dirty work then step aside. But the affair secret makes that stepping aside more of a possibility---step aside and take a cabinet post that is not in the center political lime light but still a national post. I think the timing is about the visit to the woman at 2 am and the National Inquirer has the evidence so there as no choice but to let it roll and Obama wanted it done while he was out of sight. It looks like the Russian cavalry is going to push the story off the front pages. Hillarious

daily democrat said...

In the US, I suppose we use the terms male privilege and white privilege refer to the areas of social practice where discriminatory practices remain, despite our state and federal governments efforts to make discrimination illegal. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its enforcement arm, the Equal Opportunity Commission, exercise their anti-discrimination authority upon society-in-general, and the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, and its enforcement arm, the Office for Civil Rights, work to enforce anti-discrimination law in the education sphere.

Speaking as a person who recently spent 3 years of her life fighting gender discrimination in one of our nation’s largest state university systems, I come forward as a witness for the continued existence of male privilege in America in the early years of the 21st century. My case took place in academia, but I believe the basic principles of gender discrimination that applied in my case (read ‘male privilege’) would also apply to any employee attempting to speak out against discrimination in any large American workplace.

A brief summary of my case: after the Equal Opportunities Commission reviewed and passed my proposed discrimination complaint in late 2002, I filed suit against my university and its parent university system that same year. Three years later I settled out of court for the largest sum ever paid by that university system for a discrimination complaint. When they realized their case was weak, the state called me to settle, not vice versa.

I wasn’t the first female full professor in my university to be so badly treated, but I was the first one that found it within themselves to weather the social ostracism (for oneself AND one’s partner) that filing suit against one’s employer so often engenders. In the social environment at my university brand allegiance (x is a great university!) cohabited with fear of losing one’s job. “I’ll lose my health insurance if I speak out [because I’ll be fired],” was the reason most cited by people who believed in my cause yet refused to speak in my favor against our mutual employer.

What I discovered through my lawsuit was that even well-meaning people who do not practice discrimination themselves (such as Bob, above) are very likely to stand behind their employer in the event of a discrimination complaint. After all, they said, we can point to our hiring stats to prove that we don’t discriminate, after all, we have more female faculty now (6.5% in the case of my department, where I was the first female full professor) that we used to have (0% in the early 1990’s). After all, this woman works in a male-majority field, which makes it SO DIFFICULT to hire women! (over 50% of the students were female). And after all, isn’t it just THIS woman who can’t get along, isn’t she just pretending to be a discrimination victim to cover up her personal failings and inability to do her job? We don’t want to support a failure who cries VICTIM do we?

So why didn’t the mainstream press speak out against John Edward’s affair? Because they felt it was a private matter? Maybe. Because the relationship between women as ‘natural’ sex objects for males and the position of women as equal members of society is unclear? This could be a factor. Timing? Probably. Male privilege? Definitely, Anglachel! And how does this male privilege operate? I expect male privilege in the press operates just as it does in academia, through employees’ fear of questioning discriminatory practices in the workplace. And in the case of the press workplace, discrimination could mean editorial gender bias.

mickey said...

When I was in academia it was just as you described. The university knew exactly who the worst actors were and even when confronted with absolute and awful proof - such as a professor saying to a student on her way to the final exam "You don't need to go there, we have all we need at my place, a bed", they took no apparent action. Instead, saying any action they did take was confidential - so there was no transparency and we had no reason to believe anything of consequence ever happened, since the behavior never stopped.

Bob said...

I'm sorry if my comment was misleading-- as a male, I concur that most men are rutting pigs, but some of us still have ethics which can override carnal desires. I don't know how this situation would have unraveled if Edwards were female-- I suspect it would have never happened in the first place, but that's another story.

Btw, I was involved in a discrimination lawsuit years ago; I was "testified" in-house for the plaintiffs and was and still am 100% behind them. They also eventually settled out of court. As someone pointed out years ago, once you commit truth you must be willing to pay the piper. I did. It was the end of my career, and I would do it again a in heartbeat.

Another excellent thread, folks. Keep up the high standards.

A little night musing said...

Anglachel, amazing post. I admit, my inital thought on this matter was that it was completely irrelevant, but you've changed my mind substantially on that. Or maybe it's better to say, you've opened my eyes. Because I was already thinking that if the story had been about Hillary (or any woman candidate) we would have heard it long ago.

Actually this presidential campaign has opened my eyes to many things, and at my age (I first voted in 1972) that's quite something to contemplate.

I actually started out supporting Edwards, and thinking I'd happily vote for whoever out of the field got the nomination. Amazing to recall this now. I was glad for the long primary process (not at the start, but as it progressed) because it did enable me to get to know more about the candidates, which did not always redound to their benefit: it was the behavior of the Obama campaign and his own behavior, as well as learning how very thin and dubious his resume was, that ultimately made me not want to vote for him. (I'm still open to having my mind changed, but he's not doing anything to change it.) But Edwards dropped out early enough that I didn't get the same amount of information about him. I had been rather turned off by his treatment of HRC during the debates, but I still appreciated his support of UHC and so on... but as you point out, in a way his resume is as empty as Obama's.

I'm just furious, on an everyday-renewing basis, that a woman with the solid accomplishements of Senator Clinton is dismissed the way she is and subjected to the treatment she's received (and as she says, that's more about other women than it is about her because she can take it) - while men get a nod and a wink from the boy's club and its female enablers.

(And your comments and the comments in the thread about academia are right on the mark.)