Let’s face it, married men cheat all the time. The alarming rate of divorce and out of wedlock births alone is proof enough of this. So it should come of no surprise that men who reach the pinnacles of power succumb to some of the same problems that mere mortals struggle with every day. Or should it? After all, people in power should know that fame can be a double edged sword. It amplifies successes and failures alike. You would think that sexual discretion would be chapter one of the public figure’s handbook. And yet, time and again, the sexual indiscretions of powerful men spill out of the bedroom and onto the front page.
Congressman Anthony Weiner’s recent scandal offers an interesting case for study. Here’s a guy who even by his own admission, grew up with a funny name. He had to be aware from the time he was old enough to go to school that people would harp upon the subtle implications that such a name affords. And yet he literally exposed himself on twitter and sent the pictures out to women he barely even knew. This seems especially risky behavior for the recently married Congresswoman, who many believed was in line to become the next Mayor of New York.
To actually go to the lengths of exposing oneself might speak to what many scientific studies have described as the highly visual nature of male sexuality. If men are highly visual and instantly aroused, it might explain their impulsive behavior when it comes to sex. There seems to be something of an existential question at work here too. In this society, the woman’s body is everywhere for men to ogle. It’s on the bus stop, at the grocery store, and all over the air waves. The male form is not so widely worshipped. Perhaps there is a longing among some men to be seen in a sexual way by the objects of their affection. It’s almost as if they don’t believe they exist unless someone is around to admire them.