Powerful Men

When philandering becomes misogyny

Of course, this isn’t about sex. It’s about possible obstruction of justice." "Clinton’s sex life is his own business. What matters is whether he’s doing what we elected him to do." "If his wife can live with him, why should we care?"

Gosh, we’re all so grown-up. Sex may have been all we thought about in the late sixties, but we’re far beyond that now. If it weren’t for those questions of perjury and the electoral mandate, we would certainly not be watching all those prurient commentators, now would we?

Well, I for one find sex fascinating, and having been grounded by the flu just when Monica hit the airwaves, I relentlessly watched the alleged scandal unfold. I confess I’ve been startled to hear countless fastidious people denying any interest in Clinton’s sex life (though at parties, after a drink or two, they begin calling him the Unabanger, and worse). This is not because I’m a Clinton-basher. I voted for him twice, and I hope he is eventually found to be pure as the driven snow. But I am really watching because I am amazed at women’s willingness to overlook men’s perfidy.

The subtext of l’affaire Clinton is that old law of nature: the most powerful male can have all the females he wants. In the West he is unlikely to have a state-supported harem, but he is allowed to keep a wife, a mistress, and any number of sexual servants at his disposal. Who allows him to do this? We all do-especially...

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About the Author

LaVonne Neff is executive book editor at Loyola Press in Chicago.