What We Talk About When We Talk About Women

I was very interested to find this column on the NY Times’ web site. Overall, I really like it. I hadn’t heard of Ben Roethlisberger before, but the fact that I haven’t heard of something is hardly evidence of anything at all. I’ve fallen woefully behind on current events coverage of late. But I like reading columns about how behavior like his is wholly unacceptable and should be considered unacceptable by the community at large, including by major corporations, and if I were in the market for athletic shoes, well, I certainly wouldn’t be buying Nikes now.

But I find the inclusion of Tiger Woods in this article a bit puzzling. Ben Roethlisberger has sexually assaulted and raped women (ALLEGEDLY). Kobe Bryant, who is also name-checked, raped a woman (ALLEGEDLY). Tiger Woods didn’t rape anybody as far as I am aware. He committed many, many acts of adultery, which is certainly disrespectful of his wife, and certainly seems to indicate a certain sense of entitlement. But isn’t rape a whole ‘nother ball game? Adultery is bad, yes, but isn’t rape, like, a million times worse? I mean, okay, technically, Kobe Bryant was also committing adultery when he raped (ALLEGEDLY) that girl, but it’s not the adultery we care about, right? It’s the rape. So is it really fair to conflate them the way columnist Timothy Egan does?
I don’t say this because I want to protect poor widdle Tiger. I say it because distinctions are important.

One thought on “What We Talk About When We Talk About Women

  1. RebLeah18 says:

    I think it's a very important distinction as well. Not that there isn't a lot of hurt that occurs when someone is unfaithful to their partner, but implying a correlation between adultery and rape is implying that they are both sexual behaviors, whereas the latter is actually an act of physical violence. Tiger's indiscretions are between him and his wife. The only reason his sponsor should drop him is if they were banking on him being perceived as a "good boy" or a "family man."

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