Sexism and the Petraeus Scandal

Sexism and the Petraeus Scandal

[Editor's note: One of the fascinating aspects of the David Petraeus sex scandal that evolved over the past month is not so much the revelation that he cheated on his wife, Holly, with a much younger woman. (Though I do think the general is a scumbag for doing so. For that matter, I have no idea what Gen. John Allen was up to regarding the thousands of emails he was exchanging with Tampa "military liaison" Jill Kelley. Isn't he supposed to be running the war in Afghanistan or something?) But what has really fascinated me is how quickly the media savaged Paula Broadwell and blamed her for Petraeus's extraordinary fall. K. Salis has an interesting take on the whole sordid mess at Fem2pt.0. What do you think?--Mona]

To me the bigger concern is how the media coverage of this story is re-playing the same virgin/whore dichotomy about the women involved, and slut-shaming away through anonymous sources about trivial actions that apparently make someone a harlot. The fact that Petraeus is being alternatively portrayed as an extraordinary man who had a big lapse in judgment is sexist in that women, regardless of their status, do not get that consideration. This characterization of women as non-complex, good or evil, in this cartoon fashion is damaging.

petraeus

(Image: ©Isaf/DPA/ZUMApress.com)

Read more from There Are Bigger Issues at Stake than Petraeus at Fem2pt0

Related Posts

Why Petraeus Had to Go

[Editor's Note: The intrigue keeps swirling around the reported affair between CIA Director David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, the author of his biography All In (I can hear you snickering, by the way). BlogHer Gloria Feldt writes that powerful men having affairs is nothing new and is in some ways their own personal business. But she says that prudishness is not the reason why Petraeus needed to step down from his position. Read on to find out the three reasons why. --Grace]   Read more >

Why the Media Madness Over Hillary's Emails is Just Another Smokescreen

Notwithstanding feverish media squeals about Hillary Clinton’s “private” email usage as Secretary of State, the fact is she adhered to the laws in place during her four years in that position.  The law insisting solely upon .gov email usage for government employees was not passed until nearly two years after Clinton left office, as Clinton made clear in Tuesday’s press conference.  Click-hungry pundits and agenda driven Republicans’ fear of Clinton’s “se   Read more >

Susan Rice Withdraws Bid to be Secretary of State

Susan Rice took her self out of the running to replace Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State, saying the partisan politics surrounding her potential nomination is not worth the trade-off. Rice, the current Ambassador to the United Nations, submitted her withdrawal in a letter to President Obama:   Read more >

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.