October 07, 2003

sexual politics

I usually avoid talking politics, particularly online. There are plenty of blogs that go there, I see no reason to add my voice when I donít know what Iím talking about. And from what I see, people are rarely able to change each otherís minds in this ongoing, often nasty debate.

Having said that, Iím going to go ahead and talk politics. Iím sure youíve heard the sexual harassment allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger. Iíve been waiting for a story about it; I read the Premiere article a couple of years ago with disgust and was baffled that nobody was talking about it now. Then the LA Times article hit. I guess they just needed time to get their sources lined up, as well they should. Itís incendiary stuff.

I keep reading conservatives complaining that liberals were all for keeping Clintonís sexual peccadilloes separate from his policies but now weíre hypocrites for claiming that Arnoldís actions should make a difference. Itís a legitimate criticism, at least on the surface. But hereís the thing: What Clinton did was stupid and more than a little sleazy, but in every report Iíve ever read, it was always consensual. He had affairs, one night stands, assignations but he always waited for a response from the woman. All the accounts Iíve ever read Ė in the LA Times and Premiere Ė show Schwarzenegger as a predator, an aggressor, someone who gets off on the power he wields. Thatís scary. Thatís one step away from rape. I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger once, standing outside Barneyís New York with his entourage. Most movie stars are diminished in real life, just normal size. Not this man. Heís big. Dominating. If you were a woman alone in a bungalow bathroom with him, if he shoved you against the wall, ignoring your protests, how would you feel?

Yeah. Itís different.

Posted by Tamar at October 7, 2003 10:56 AM