There's a serious problem in this country when paragraphs like this appear from prominant (Maureen Dowd) columnists in major (NY Times) newspapers with regards to the recent re-revelation of gubernatorial candidate Ahhhnold's shabby treatment of women:
Now Republicans who thundered against Bill — not Arnold, who scorned impeachment as a waste of time and money — argue that peccadilloes are not relevant to governing. And feminists who backed Bill are ushering Arnold gropees up to the Democratic microphones.
Let's get something fucking straight. Bill Clinton received consensual oral sex from an intern in his office, and while this wasn't an issue in the attendant media circus, I'll bet he reciprocated too. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the other hand made several specific, aggressive, crude, unwanted, unsuccessful and non-consensual advances towards women, detailed quite sickeningly here. These are completely, utterly, and indisputably different sets of actions with absolutely separate moral content and value. One guy I understand, the other makes me ashamed to have the same gender.
You can argue that Clinton abused his power in an indirect way with regards to his affair w/Ms. Lewinski, but the situation still boils down to two consenting adults having fun with one another. He's a playboy in a long tradition of playboys, and while I wish dearly he'd have had the spine to admit it at the time (might have dragged this country forward a step) I still maintain that he didn't do anything all that wrong. He fucked around with someone, and that is essentially personal -- between he and his mistress and his wife.
Arnold's actions, on the other hand, showcase a completely different set of values. He's either a straight-up abuser, or he doesn't have the human sensibility to know when his advances are unwanted, goes around humping people whenever he feels like it. Looking at his sum total history, one gets the sense that a lot of what he does is about power, and that his crudely aggressive sexuality is an extension of that. His blatant use of power -- both physical and professional -- to sucessfully perpitrate these ugly sex pranks really makes the whole thing take on a dark tone; it's not fun or good or happy. It approaches the realm of evil.
And if he weren't an enormously powerful man, he would have been kicked in the nuts several times by now and probably learned his lesson. But he hasn't, and his attitude towards women is not funny, right, nice or even excusable. He's a fucking dick, the guy at the party everyone just wants to leave, and his behavior enrages me personally as a man.
The fact that his past actions are being paralelled with Clinton's would be laughable if it weren't so sick underneath. Are we still too puritanically straightlaced to be honest about sex and power? Do people seriously not see the difference between consenting sex (even if it is adultry) and aggressive harassment? If so, that's pretty fucking degrading. It's a shameful reflection of this nation's maturity and still-lingering misogyny that these two types of sexual interaction are being equated in the national political press.