Although the Spitzer scandal has dropped off the radar, I was once again led to think about it. Now that the semester is over, I can finally catch up on my neglected reading material. In some cases, this is a bit like having a time machine-by reading out of date publications, I’m transported back to the distant past of a few months ago.
Not surprisingly, men and women often tended to say different things about the Spitzer case and the behavior of the people involved. I noticed that women were often inclined to bring up their view of the differences between the sexes. Mainly, men were stereotyped as lust driven beings who did their thinking with their gonads. Women,in contrast, were presented in a much different light. Lenore Skenazy put it best in “Battle of the Sexes over Sex” (Funny Times May 2008, pages 10-11): “…for women, sex and love are still pretty much linked.”
This seems to be obviously false. First, the Spitzer scandal itself serves to undermine her claim. Spitzer was not having an affair with a woman who was in love with him. He was paying a woman to have sex with him. I assume that is how most prostitutes operate. After all, it is hard to imagine prostitutes taking the time to fall in love with their clients before having sex with them. If any love is involved, it is presumably a love of money. Thus, each time a man is driven by his gonads to have sex with a female prostitute, there is a woman involved who is having sex that is presumably not linked to love. So, the man is there because of lust, the woman is there because of money. This is not to say that all women have sex in return for financial gain (either cash on the nightstand or gifts). After all, to think that all women are this way would be just as bad as inferring all men are ruled by mindless lust.
Second, the same issue of Funny Times features a statistic in Harper’s Index (page 21) that noted that 61% of single American women in their 20s are “very” or “extremely” willing to marry for money. The survey in question also indicted that 74% of women in their 30s were willing to marry for money. If women do link sex and love, then presumably they either love money or they would be having sex with someone other than the man they would marry for money. Or perhaps it is love of money that is linked to sex. Then again, perhaps women would prefer to marry for money someone they also happened to love (or could grow to love). Men were, not surprisingly, less interested in marrying for money. Perhaps this is because men are ruled by their gonads rather than their bank accounts, whereas women are apparently the opposite.
The views put forth do nicely match the stereotypes of the sexes: men are out to have sex, while women are willing to trade sex for financial security/gain. Naturally, people prefer to see their own sex in a positive light, they are happy to regard the other sex in a poor light. Perhaps both are quite right.