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I was going to keep quiet on this one, but who can resist a request to write something. I can feel my daughters cringe as I speak out! I am sure one of the things they are grateful for is a last name different from mine. Nevertheless –
The first thing that strikes me is the media outcry about Tiger Woods who they claim pretended to be so “clean” and with such a “perfect image”. It is an amazing outcry. Tiger Woods didn’t claim to be anything. He kept a private life private. His golf life was in the public eye, the rest of his life was totally private. It is only very recently that we’ve seen Tiger Woods in pictures with his wife.
I see this whole tabloid event as being extremely racist and sexist. It is difficult to do anything in this society which doesn’t have such overtones, but this tops it.
First of all, it is quite possible and most probable that the core of the problem is simply that Tiger Woods and his wife were in a marriage that wasn’t working and he found an outlet – or outlets, if you are to believe the tabloids with all the women coming forth claiming to be Tiger’s mistresses. One was 49 years old. No one has even hinted at how Elin Woods handled this bad marriage. No one is even claiming it was a bad marriage, even though what is out there for all to see says clearly that the marriage wasn’t working. And from the alleged incident with the golf clubs, was it an abusive marriage.
Outside of everything else, this Tiger Woods mess has sent out a very clear call for a total clean-out of our media. It is time for this country to demand that its media have standards other than greed – looking for twists on stories to bring in the most money for their particular media outlets. The human cost has been enormous; our inability to get at the facts of any situation is clear because facts aren’t what the media is about. The media has very successfully developed a cynical viewership and readership. Today, most of us don’t believe anything we see or hear. Good investigative journalism is a thing of the past, if it ever existed, except in a few exceptional corners.
Tiger Woods has simply replaced Michael Jackson for the media! I remember when the Michael Jackson mess exploded onto the screen and in the written media. To say he was lynched by the media is an understatement. Once Michael Jackson died, predictably it was time to move on to take down another outsized African American male – and who fit that bill better than Tiger Woods. Especially since Tiger Woods was married to a Caucasian woman.
It is first very striking in the different way the media treats our -ism groups. Tiger Woods – African American male; Elin Woods – White ‘European’ female; David Letterman – White male in the right upper class group with the correct figures behind him; Hugh Hefner – White male “exotica” figure, not in the right group, but making money for the right people and throwing parties they all want to attend, etc.
David Letterman is clearly the most harmful of the group. He also is the one who got a free pass for his admitted past sexual abuse of women and given that, a free pass to continue.
We didn’t see women coming out to make accusations or to link their name to Lettermans as one of his ‘conquests’. Very different from the way the Tiger Woods mess was handled. Why is that? Especially since the negative results for women and consequentially for our society are far greater in the David Letterman situation than in the Tiger Woods debacle. What was the difference in the women? – their career choices!!! One group chose a career in which they had to break glass ceilings. One group chose a career which totally fulfilled one of the negative stereotypes of women. For women to come out to claim that David Letterman took advantage of them sexually on the job and put them in the position of either sex in a corner office or no job, no promotion, no ability to continue to work in their chosen profession – those women would have had to be ready to see their career disappear and daily survival become their biggest issue. Not many are able to take that kind of stand and the stress that follows. Unlike in the Tiger Woods mess where the pressure was on women to “out” Woods, the pressure wasn’t on women to ‘out’ Letterman, but for them to cover-up for Letterman. For them to shut-up or lose job and career.
We didn’t see celebrities making public statements condemning Letterman for this kind of gross discrimination against women – which is actually, the core of how this society institutionally and structurally discriminates against women. We also didn’t see those same celebrities refusing to appear on his show because of what they now know happened ‘back stage.’ They came out in force, smiling, showing their continued friendship with Letterman and by their presence on his show making a statement about their acquiescence to and agreement with the way Letterman treated the women who worked with him professionally.
Our biggest celebrities ignored a horrible situation and continued and continue to appear on his show, glad-handing him and by doing so support this alleged sexual abuse of the women who work for him. The media has been very conspiratorially silent. So – David Letterman continues with no negative results to his career or professional future.
Tiger Woods is an African American man married to a White Woman – and a Swede at that – a blond, very white woman. If you are not into denial about racism and sexism in this society, then you knew something was going to explode and that explosion would be to get rid of Tiger Woods or at least tar him with as ugly a brush as possible. With Woods wrapped in the kind of scandal that has now surfaced. The only thing better for those who contribute to this kind of mess would have been for him to have been found sleeping with young boys instead of grown, adult women.
It is striking the different way the tabloids handled the Rihanna situation and the way they handled the Elin situation. It was horrific what happened to Rihanna and we all very properly admitted that and were appalled at the violent temper of her attacker. Her attacker was properly brought to justice and faced criminal charges. There was also much talk in the media for him to be in an Anger Management program.
In contrast, there was loud cheering that went up when Elin Woods allegedly went after Tiger Woods with a golf club and allegedly did substantial damage to Tiger and his or their property. At least Rihanna’s attacker used his hands. Violence against another human being is wrong and for that there are criminal penalties. Interestingly, the tabloid and other media were calling for criminal penalties against Tiger Woods and cheering Elin on. She had, after all, seen the light and went after this Negro with a weapon to do what – teach him a lesson?
All of Sweden is apparently cheering-on Elin. Some of Tiger’s golf buddies are cheering-on Elin making comments about how sorry they were that they had introduced Elin to Tiger, he wasn’t the kind of person they thought he was and one golf buddy apologized for the introduction. What kind of introduction? He introduced the top sports figure in the world today, with a fairly substantial formal education and intelligence, via among others Stanford University with awards for both his intelligence as well as his athleticism, to a woman who was that golfer’s children’s nanny! He thought they were equals and was now apologizing to her for introducing her to someone who, according to that golf buddy, was clearly beneath her. And the media simply reported the comments and couldn’t hide their glee. This golf buddy also suggested that Elin Woods use another kind of golf club next time. He was, with his comment, condoning Elin’s violence as her right and entitlement, suggesting that next time she use a golf club he would have chosen, that could do much more damage than the one she chose. I suspect that same man would have had ugly things to say about Rihanna’s attacker, who, of course, was not entitled to express his anger in a life threatening kind of way. How do the two people differ?
Rihanna’s ex-boy friend was portrayed as an out of control violent person – probably because of the way he was raised and the place he was raised – a ghetto?. Elin Woods was portrayed as seeking a proper kind of justice to which she should be entitled and counseled on how she could deliver a more effective and damaging beating next time. She has not been portrayed as a woman whose anger was out of control, but as having lots of guts and the physical strength to do what she allegedly did. Several media outlets, entertainment and serious news coverage found what Elin allegedly did funny – a great joke! Out- of-control anger that could have wound up with someone dead, was deemed justified and they looked up to her for the alleged attempt!
The fact that a woman going after a man with a golf club is attempted murder, has not surfaced nor even been hinted at in anybody’s column nor on anyone’s tv show that I have seen or heard about. Given the damage allegedly done to the car, that was clearly an act of out of control, unmanageable violence whether the person came from a middle-class Swedish neighborhood or the middle of Detroit’s Black ghetto. Where are the commentaries on Elin Woods needing to be in an anger management program?
And then there is Hugh Hefner. A pathetic figure if I’ve ever seen one. I don’t think he would know how to begin a conversation with a woman “on his level” so to speak – a woman his age, his level of intelligence, financially his equal, similar levels of experience, etc. Hefner shows men how to keep women on the level of sex objects and makes sure no one forgets that a woman is only worth her physical appearance and her ability to subvert everything she is about to one thing, sex. His girl friends could be his great-grandchildren. It is an ugly spectacle and we all laugh.
If Hugh Hefner were African American and his girl friends were Caucasian, how hearty would our laughter be? Hefner has acted out a life in which men are interested in a woman for sex, arm and eye candy and nothing else. In Hefner’s world, when a woman reaches 25 or so it is time to discard her for a younger version. We fought that battle with the airlines and their need to discard their Stewardesses at age 33 and we won. That model is still around and we are lauding and rewarding Hugh Hefner for holding it up so we won’t move into some other kind of future. He successfully beckons us to stay in that past time. He keeps us steady until we can revisit and reverse those kind of victories for women. In his world a woman should be a prostitute, call girl, whore, corporate wife, etc. Nothing else is acceptable from a woman – and the media holds him up as an icon. He can do no wrong.
What is even more pathetic than Hugh Hefner are the the women coming into the confessional booth to relieve their guilt and whatever else they are claiming about their relationship with Tiger Woods. The media is having an orgy over these women, who are unashamedly self-promoting, looking for their 15 minutes of fame to increase their financial standing in the world. Why? Apparently, some are coming out of this with their income up from $1,0000/hour to $3,000/hour. A nice increase for 15 minutes of fame or a turn on one of the morning shows.
The media is holding all of this up and giving it great coverage. The also pathetic, are the women in the media who are holding all of this up and creating a huge deal about it – Joy Behar wouldn’t have a show if she talked about anything else, nor would some other media have anything to write about because what they are about generally is reducing the world to sex, gossip about sex, etc. In other words using other women and trampling over their bodies to get their own 15 minutes.
Most amazingly, the women coming out with these Tiger stories, are not being asked by journalists the first and most important question before beginning such coverage – proof? some kind of proof? any kind of proof? Instead, they are allowed in front of cameras and are being written about with no investigative anything. A couple have done follow-up blips on the reputation of the person “outing” Tiger and they have not come out as being among the world’s great people!
They all clearly are not in the position of the women around David Letterman. These women around the Tiger Woods story are coming out in droves because they can gain, career wise, from doing so, which is why so many are now making these claims. Back to shades of Michael Jackson. Tiger Woods can’t come out to say which are true and which he’s never seen before without stirring up even more dust and without the media calling him a liar, so any woman who wants to increase her call girl price now has the opportunity to take to the cameras and put on a performance worthy of awards. And the cameras are rolling trying to give any and everyone who wants to make such a claim their time in the sun.
I am sure as the story unfolds, Tiger Woods and Elin Woods will divorce. They will fight over the children. She will fight to break any pre-nup she signed in favor of a very substantial settlement using these incidents to justify such claims. No one will breathe anything about uncontrollable anger nor the need for anger management, nor what affect this will have on the children.
In reality, her marriage to Tiger Woods has been a great career move. She doesn’t even have to baby sit her own children now she can pay others to do that for her. She can move on with at least a seven figure income and a seven figure home, neither of which she has earned. Tiger Woods will stay out of the spotlight and when he returns, his personal life will still be as private as always and there will be someone in it with whom he thinks he has more in common and with whom he thinks he can make a more substantial marriage.
Maybe a few years to mature will help him find women who are financially, intellectually and educationally his equal and he will marry such a person. If not, and he continues a need for immature arm and eye candy, he will most probably spend his life with these side affairs and miss what his life could have been about. He will probably have more children. If he continues with side affairs they will be much more hidden and discreet. He will probably have any woman he sleeps with from now on sign a confidentiality agreement with lots of financial and other penalties if she breaks the agreement. Foreplay with Tiger will probably be a threesome – Tiger, the woman and Tiger’s attorney!
As for the rest of us, when we pick up our favorite media outlets, the names will change, but the situations will be the same. Maybe over time the racist and sexist overtones will mitigate. We will go along in our very immature ways not wanting a substantial and decent media enough to fight for change.
And this is the world I leave to my grandchildren and great-grandcildren! May God have mercy on them and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren!
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