I Can't Handle the Petraeus Affair Slut-Shaming Anymore; Why Does the Other Woman Always Have to Be a Whore?

What’s next -- a scarlet A on the women involved?

Nov 21, 2012 at 5:30pm | Leave a comment

 

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Here are some things I care about when it comes to Petraeus: that he kept national secrets private, that he was being the best CIA director he could be, and that he was using government (tax) money responsibly. 

Here are some things I absolutely do not care about: who he is having sex with, why he is having sex with them (if it does not have anything to do with the above), how attractive the people he has sex with are, whether their vaginas are vajazzled, and how much time devoted to child welfare in the third world the people he had sex with put in. Nope, don't care. 

It's an unfortunate legacy of our Puritan forefathers that Americans really care what other people do in bed. Even if it's legal, consensual and while not on the total up and up, well, 15 to 18 percent of married people do it. It's also enough to end an otherwise seemingly productive career and to slut shame the shit out of those women who "brought him down" with their socialite schemes and tight shirts. 

Oh, yes, the supposed other women: Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley. (And, yes, they are only supposed. It wasn't said by anyone publicly and with any authority that either of these women are who Petraeus was referring to when he put in his resignation!)

Broadwell apparently dressed "seemingly immune to the notion of modesty." Because America will never get over the idea that if a woman is dressed in a certain way, she's begging for a certain kind of attention. "I can see your arms?" "Clearly, you want me to fuck the shit out of your vagina." Yeah, that's logical. A Scarlett Letter reference would not be so far off. 

And it's always that pesky jealousy of women that gets in the way of important man work, right? 

And Jill Kelley, the woman who reported to the FBI that she was getting harassing emails and who may or may not have also been sleeping with Petraeus, is an unpaid social liaison for the U.S. military. That job has turned into shorthand for "socialite" -- that lovely occupation of Hiltons and Kardashians, rather than the much more charitable “military wife” or “military liaison.”

I'd rant on but these are all facts and conjectures that shouldn't matter! Sometimes people cheat. Sometimes people who cheat don't also kick puppies!

But it's abundantly clear that we still live in a culture in which Other Women are to blame for affairs because they were conniving and have nothing else going for them. They bare their toned arms and make witty conversation and therefore make themselves irresistible. 

As Business Insider's lovely expose of the Skanasaurus Broadwell (read: not, this will make you angry) opens: “A military source leaves no doubt about who many in the military community believe is responsible for the downfall of General David Petraeus: The woman who was Petraeus's biographer and reported mistress, Paula Broadwell.”

It's basically like someone is a drug addict and women are the drugs. It's really not the fault of the cheater (who has responsibilities and vows to their wives and kids and whoever else) that the drugs are so tasty. This is either definitive proof that sex addiction is real or just that men are never held completely accountable for sticking their dicks into someone because we EXPECT men to be animals and not be able to control themselves in the face of an uncovered ankle. Either way, this is messed up. 

While it totally must suck to be Holly Petraeus right now, I'm sure the 24/7 news coverage constantly reminding her of the fact that her husband cheated on her isn't helping. Nope, nobody is really looking out for her either. Because even though she has yet to be on a newspaper with "Holly's other man" splashed next to her head, people still feel like it is cool to ask, what kind of woman is she that she let her husband fall into those drug-like clutches of Broadwell and Kelley?

Maybe she should have been showing off her arms more, thrown on some more makeup and then this whole nasty business wouldn't have happened. Yep, it's totally her fault, too.