No matter how you twist it, in V. Stiviano vs. Donald Sterling, Sterling is still the biggest douche in the room.
There was a discussion on Facebook about a frumpy, dopey looking guy who won the lottery, and, by chance, happened to find a super hot, sexy, attractive, love-of-his-life woman two days later. I considered why so many people were so quick to jump on the woman and yell out “GOLD DIGGER” when it’s pretty clear that most gold diggers have to be chosen by someone who actually has the gold to dig, and in my opinion, are just as manipulative. Instead, he is ultimately some kind of victim of the gold digger’s magical genitalia and can’t possibly have a clue what’s going on.
On the other hand, maybe society is right and men are just easily tricked. I don’t always believe that women are smarter than men, but if you pay attention to these types of stories, it’s difficult to think men are anything more than highly confusable, easily manipulated, downright mindless semen prisons. I mean, how long have women been told to dress “properly” so we don’t inadvertently confuse a stranger on the street into thinking we want to be fondled or so we don’t accidentally make someone think we want to have sex when we don’t?
V. Stiviano, Donald Sterling’s girlfriend, is apparently the greatest trickster of all time. She tricked him. She set him up. According to the Great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “She blindfolded him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites…” and because “release of this tape is so sleazy…” the girlfriend should be considered just as dirty, or according to the Internet, dirtier than Sterling. Because, it’s all her fault he’s a douchebag.
To me, the only reason we would focus on whether Ms. Stiviano tricked Sterling or not, whether or not she is a gold digger, why she would date a married guy older than God, why she dated a guy who has clearly always hated her race, is if, for some reason, we need to make her into a douchier person than the douche she was dating.
How about Sterling is married? How about Sterling was “dating” a woman who is of two races he would not rent to and has a history of discriminating against? How about in addition to being racist, Sterling is also a raging, “you must be stupid” misogynist? If Stiviano and Sterling were sitting in a room, Sterling is still going to bust the Douche Meter way before V. Sure, maybe he wouldn’t have said what he said if he had known he was being recorded -- I don’t know about you (actually I have an idea), but there is no amount of trickery or setting up, or hot, crazy, young bodied sex, that would fool me into saying the things Sterling said.
And it doesn’t just happen to lottery winners and rich guys. I had a friend whose boyfriend lived with and had children with another woman. “ I hate her,” she told me. “She needs to leave him.”
“Why should she leave him?”
“He doesn’t want to be with her. She’s forcing him to stay with her. She’s a bitch. She’s crazy. She tricked him.”
Or the countless upon countless upon countless stories of mistresses and side-chicks getting slammed for having relationships with married men. For some reason, men are so easily tricked that they sometimes forget they are married and carry on long term relationships with women who are not their wives. It’s her fault. If she hadn’t tricked him with that tricky vagina, he wouldn’t have done it. And yes, there is most definitely Extreme Finger Wagging in these situations, but most often, if not always, it is toward women, even by women.
Maybe you want to make excuses for him and give him the benefit of the doubt for some reason and that’s your choice, but at the end of the day, Sterling doesn’t like minorities – especially Latino and African American men – the very people who work for him. Blaming the NSA, “THE SYSTEM,” or his mistress/girlfriend, V. Stiviano, isn’t going to change that.
Excusing bad behavior and continuously giving men an across-the-board, right to use a free “I was tricked” pass and trying to make the women in their lives the bogeymen of society isn’t going to change anything. It seems to me, we have two choices: we either need men to get smarter or we need to stop giving them excuses for being outright douchebags. And since I don’t honestly believe men in general are blathering fools, I am going with the latter.