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"It's the stupidity, stupid!" Is this a gender-based thing?

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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 12:37 PM
Original message
Poll question: "It's the stupidity, stupid!" Is this a gender-based thing?
"It's not the (lying/sex/cheating/betrayal/etc.) that bothers me. I just don't think someone who does something that stupid is really going to be reliable as an elected public servant!"

Once upon a time I, too, would have heartily endorsed that sentiment. Indeed, it was at the heart of my most intense grievance and resentment of Bill Clinton. Oh, and Gary Hart. And Elliot Spitzer. Oh, yeah, and John Edwards. And... better not keep on with the list or I won't get to the poll, here.

But that's sort of the point. Granted, this behavior is stupid. Even though you know it can trash your effectiveness or even submarine your career, and yet you still can't keep the damn' zipper zipped? Not even for two years, or four years, or whatever term of office you're serving? How stupid is this?

Stupid, yep.

But.

The high incidence of this behavior among persons with a "Y" chromosome makes me wonder if the correspondingly high level of disgust is lodged mostly among those of us without a "Y" chromosome. Are guys just as disgusted with this stupidity? Or are they more able to understand, and to some extent empathize, with the apparently overwhelming impulse to translate power (via elected office) into sexual gratification (via stupid behavior)?

Because I'm willing to admit that I might have a gender-based bias, here. I cannot, for the life of me, understand on any level how such an impulse can overcome intelligence and good sense. Is this the case only because I don't "get" it? Can't feel it? Because my hormone mix predisposes me to other types of stupid folly? (But that's another discussion.) Anyway, help me out here.

curiously,
Bright

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Honestly, and I think I speak for many saying this, but Weiner's weiner is non of our biz nets
Edited on Tue Jun-07-11 12:47 PM by Taverner
None of our Bee's Wax

None of our Bee's Knees

It's between Mr and Mrs Weiner, and whomever he chatted with

He never claimed to be holier-than-thou, and he never claimed to be monogamous

Who knows? Maybe he and his wife are swingers?

His voting record is the only thing I care about


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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. +!
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Sorry, I should have made it clearer. This isn't about JUST Weiner.
It's about this particular form of stupid, in general. Weiner is just the latest by-the-way example of it.

It just seems to happen so often, and there are so few female analogs in political life. Now, I know that may be partly a reflection on the fact that there are simply far fewer female elected officials. But even controlling for that, the incidence of this particular stupid among the Y-chromosome equipped seems confusingly high.

It would be useful to understand more about that, but it's hard since I lack the Y chromosome. Just looking for more information.

apologetically,
Bright
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GodlessBiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. There are far fewer women in these circumstances, not because there are fewer female elected ...
Edited on Tue Jun-07-11 12:59 PM by GodlessBiker
officials, but because females are still taught to repress their sexuality, to hide it, to be modest, to deny themselves, to resist temptation, to save themselves, to be pure, to hide it away, to never yield, and so on.

The answer is not that men are more stupid, but that men are free and women remain oppressed.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. I disagree.
This poll suggests that women are more concerned about the stupidity of risking power for sex.

I think it's transactional. Women place a higher value on power than sex. Sex is easy to find, power is not. The oldest profession in the world is all about this gender arbitrage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbitrage
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GodlessBiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. That transactional approach works only if you first assume that women are taught ...
to withhold, hide, and restrict their sexual appetites to begin with. It is because women do not yet have the same sexual freedom as men that some find themselves in the position to bargain away that learned behavior for something else.

If women were as sexually free as men, they would indulge their fantasies/fetishes more often without the need to think of themselves or be referred to by others as sluts or whores. That intimidation is what keeps women oppressed and what allows some of them to engage in a calculus of what benefit might offset the social stigma of sexual freedom.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. It doesn't need to be taught.
reproductive biology goes a long way toward explaining our beliefs.

if women were as sexually free as men (eg indiscriminate) their offspring would be disadvantaged. On the other hand, men who have sex indiscriminately are more likely to have offspring.

When a young woman is advised to "don't just give it away", that calculus is exactly what they mean. It's hardwired into us.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Who was he sexting with then?
This scandal will kill the man's career, but boost the career of at least one porn star.

I'm not saying you're wrong about women & suppressed sexuality - but it isn't the best example or explanation in this case.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. Think of Alphas - female or male
The Male Alpha wants to be leader of the pack. He wants the she-wolves to be his private harem.

The Female Alpha, however, still wants to lead, but they want a partner worthy of them. Think HRC and Vince Foster. He played Alpha to her better than Bill did. At least at the time.

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MicaelS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. As man I can throw out some whys.., not excuses, buy whys.
In no particular order...

(1) Because for some men, there's never "enough". No matter what, or how much they have, they're never satisfied. Someone asked Donald Trump "How much money is enough?" His reply "One more dollar."

(2) Because your wife won't do what you want sexually. See the thing about men most women never find out, is that most man have a fetish. Often the woman in their life reacts with disgust when the man reveals said fetish. So man goes looking to get his fetish satisfied somewhere else.

(3) When you were in high school / college you were a nobody. The prettiest girls wouldn't give you the time of day. (And physical beauty matter a lot to men. A LOT.) Now, you're famous, and GORGEOUS females are everywhere. It's like a smorgasbord. You can think "Wow... "X, Y and Z tuned me down back then, just look at me now."

And it's a two way street. Explain why young, attractive women have affairs with men they KNOW to be married. Do they really think said man is really going to leave his wife, for HER?
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Thank you, that's interesting.
On #1-- I wonder how gender-linked that is. I think not much, really. The XX-chromosome version might be loosely characterized as "How many pairs of shoes are enough? One more!"

On #2-- do you really think males are the only ones with fetishes? Lordy, lordy, lordy... I will not go into detail, but believe me, every woman I know with whom I've ever discussed sex at that level has had fetishes, and has feared that partners would be either a) disgusted by them or b) misuse them against the woman. I think the only difference I have perceived is that the women have by and large been able to relegate their fetishes to the realm of fantasy, and generally explore them in ways that don't involve as much risk. Men, on the other hand, seem driven by an impulse to take risk in pursuit of their fetish. Just an observation, and again, I don't have a lot of understanding of it.

On #3-- This makes a lot of sense to me. It's not that women don't have the same feelings in High School/College (believe me, plenty of us were too "ugly" to get the time of day from males, and many of us who weren't "ugly" still perceived ourselves that way, and were too shy to respond to or even perceive the overtures of equally shy males.) On the other hand, our sexual impulses are much less chained to the optic nerve. It may be that link that is the source of a lot of the stupid.

The women having affairs thing was exactly what I was thinking of when I mentioned the XX-linked forms of stupid folly. But if you'll notice, the physical appearance of the males in question is not always and maybe not even usually the key factor.

I think some of the downthread posters who point out the differing transactional basis of sex between males and females have really hit on it: The stupid for males is linked to the use of power to gratify sex. The stupid for females is linked to the use of sex to access or acquire power.

We are a weird species.

amusedly,
Bright
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. Take into account what kind of personality wins elections
Charisma, driven to lead, Type A, Alpha Male...

Even Dennis Kucinich has a certain Alpha Male-ness about him

And those types aren't bad or good, but just a type of personality

They also need constant reassurance, and that one election every 4-6 years isn't enough

It goes with the job


Whereas the female version of that, charisma, driven to lead, Alpha Female, usually just wants another Alpha - whether male or female. They can get that out of their husband, or they can have an affair. But they don't go searching for their alpha on Facebook or Twitter. Think HRC and Vince Foster. They were probably more in love than Bill and HRC were. That whole story is tragic, and I would love to repeatedly kick Falwell in the face for suggesting anything pernicious about that relationship.

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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. Not talking about anyone here, but sometimes, I get the feeling people are feigning ignorance.
We like to pretend we are 'higher' forms of life, but in fact, you and I and all of us are little more than a unique species of monkey, and while sophistication has led us to dominate the earth, bathe every day, curtsy to the Queen and cover our mouths when coughing, underneath the suits and ties and fancy jewelry and the mannerisms, we are still driven by the same instincts as chimpanzees and macaques.

That these instincts manifest themselves under pressure ...

I guess one could reasonably argue that to the extent online flirting is always unacceptable, Weiner's buckling under pressure indicates someone who is incapable of representing voters, but I wouldn't subscribe to that argument, personally.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. So what? So what? So what?
I DON'T THINK IT'S IMPORTANT. This completely outweighs which, if any, category of unimportance I would put it in.

At some point you simply have to quit weighing every possibility of how some stupid judgmental people can ruin your life, because they ALWAYS can, no matter what you do or don't do. So just lighten up.

But, if you do lighten up, you will undoubtedly offend someone. So what?
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. This is actually a fascinating poll.
What Edwards did is stupid because it cost him a great deal, right? What about Rielle Hunter? Is what she did morally less wrong because it was less stupid? Having sex with Edwards was the smartest thing she did because now she has the child of a millionaire, right?

Arnold S? Stupid.
Mildred Patricia Baena? Not stupid.
Mark Sanford? Stupid.
Mara Beln Chapur? Not stupid.
Bill Clinton? Stupid.
Monica Lewinski? Not stupid.
Gary Hart? Stupid.
Donna Rice? Not stupid.

If the issue for women is stupidity and not morality it reinforces a stereotype; Men seek power to get laid. Women transact sex to get power. Risking the power to get sex is primarily stupid (as opposed to primarily immoral) if you assume that the power is the more important commodity.

A cynic reads these conversations and visualizes a drug dealer ridiculing the customers for not understanding the true value of the commodity they are buying.
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GodlessBiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Yeah, what you said. +1
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Sorry, but I think the women you listed are stupid, too. Unless you think
having a millionaire's baby is the right way to go about scoring some cash.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. It might not be the "right" way but it's a pretty darn efficient way. nt.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Seems like it's a fairly recent thing, since in older times, "bastards" were ineligible
to be considered legitimate children and therefore, were considered second-class children towards whom such a father could legally neglect, to some extent, child support and assistance in raising to the mother.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. But the poll wasn't about whether it was morally wrong, was it?
It was about how stupid it was perceived to be. And it is true that Reilly had a whole hell of a lot less to lose. So it would seem that it would affect how people judge the acts.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. "it's the stupidity, stupid" is juxtaposed to "It's the morality, stupid"
Edited on Tue Jun-07-11 05:35 PM by lumberjack_jeff
It was intended to, and did a great job of, identifying the source of our frustration with elected officials who do this. It offends women "because it was stupid" to a far greater degree than men. IMHO, that's because the dual stereotypes "men think with their little heads" and for women "sex is power" both have a kernel of truth.

Men are predisposed to take risks, and one of the main motivations is to impress girls/women. It's why boys take the physical risk to learn to ride a wheelie or play football, then grow up to take the financial risk of buying a BMW and the ego risk of running for public office.

We're not very far from our primate origins. It's a difficult part of our brains to turn off because it works subconsciously even when we know the risks.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Oh, pseudoscience claptrap.
Nevermind. Since I don't buy any of it, and I tend to take the OP at her word instead of "juxtoposing", I'll move along now. Thanks.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. You're not taking the OP "at her word" very skillfully.
Edited on Tue Jun-07-11 06:12 PM by lumberjack_jeff
"It's not the (lying/sex/cheating/betrayal/etc.) that bothers me. I just don't think someone who does something that stupid is really going to be reliable as an elected public servant!"


Were/are JFK, RFK, MLK, Clinton, Hart and Weiner "stupid"? Unlikely.

Nevertheless, the poll shows that DU's women are much more likely to agree with that statement than men.

The debatable question is why. I think it's because women evaluate the risk/reward as a math problem.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. Knowing how strong my sex drive CAN be,
Edited on Tue Jun-07-11 01:15 PM by Hosnon
I "get" it (perhaps sex impulse is a better term). It's not the norm but there have been times when not much in this world could get between me and my orgasm.

I'm not a woman so I don't know if it is the same for them. But I assume many if not most males are similar to me.
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dawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
19. I'm male, and I have a .... ahem .... strong sex drive.
But I'm not dumb enough to let it ruin my whole fucking life.

You know, there are ways of satisfying sexual cravings that don't involve betraying your family, ruining your career, or contributing to the fall the whole fucking free world into a fascist state.
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K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
25. Who does this kind of dumb cheating 1 month after their wedding?
Honestly it makes me feel like he pursued Huma as an elegant accessory, as she fit the role of future first lady of NY, and also for her political connections. Can I speak plainly, most people the first year of their marriage are into A) their spouse and B) having sex with same.

I was even thinking that the pix were some kind of thing between the two of them and that's why he was not wanting to talk about it. GUESS NOT. I just feel awful for Huma. I think she was played and I also feel a bit "woman scorned" because I believed him and defended him for DAYS and then had to eat crow with all these RWers!
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krabigirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-11 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
27. other: I don't care.
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