Alessandra Stanley in an article in today's New York Times contrasts the stated reactions of female and male commentators on TV. The male pundits, like Alan Dershowitz, are largely sympathizing with Spitzer and claiming that Spitzer's was a "victimless crime" and that Spitzer is a victim of "selective prosecution."
On Anderson Cooper tonight on CNN, Dershowitz was actually yelling at a female anchor who dared to argue that Silda Spitzer should not have appeared by Spitzer's side, that she should have made a different choice and not humiliated herself by standing by him publicly. Dershowitz screamed, "how dare you judge this woman, this marriage, etc." He didn't get her point which was why don't the wives of these philandering husbands get to make a choice, a choice not to appear by their unfaithful husbands' sides?
As Stanley writes, "The female hosts on “The View” have also had their share of tabloid stories, but most of those scandals followed catfights behind the scenes, not lapses in morality or professional probity. Certainly there were no tears shed for Mr. Spitzer on Tuesday on “The View,” where for once all five women agreed emphatically on almost everything about the scandal."
“Aren’t you sick of men?” Joy Behar, one of the hosts, said. “Viagra is destroying our government.”
Again and again, male leaders have been found guilty of sex scandals, their desire for political power part of a thrill-seeking personality that leads them to commit these infidelities, in which power is at play, with the woman being used by a much more powerful man. A female political leader, no matter how powerful, would not commit such an act of hubris.
Hillary Clinton should argue that her presidency is the one that represents change--a presidency where there's no chance that her power-seeking personality will lead to a sex scandal, a distraction from her governing.
It's interesting, we don't have enough of a history of women in positions of political power to know what their overweening pride would lead them to do, whether it would lead them to go astray. Would a female leader even have hubris? I wonder.