The inevitable missive on Tiger Woods

The media maelstrom surrounding Tiger Woods has been a pathetic circus of Victorian “judgementalism”, a sad commentary on our culture’s need to utilize the private (or not so private in Tiger’s case) lives of public figures to sharpen the fangs of our self-righteousness. I’m not saying this in any sort of defense of Wood’s behavior. The pain his all too public indiscretions brought upon his spouse, children, family and friends, as well as to his business relationships, cannot be ignored. What I take issue with is a cultural false piety that demands that he somehow owes “us”, the public, any sort of apology. He does not. His trespass was against his relationships, in not keeping the promises that he made in the aforementioned committed relationships, not to anyone or anything else.

 What equally astounds me is this feigned incredulity that a man of his ego, power, and practically inexhaustible means would do what he did. Men screw around. Many men screw around, and let us not forget, they screw around with women. So, I’ll revise this, people screw around. Monogamy, as we project it in its utterly sanctified state does not exist. We are not, in our behavior primarily monogamous. This is not to suggest that our sexual predilections are beyond our control, they are not. Millions of couples exist in relationships where in they maintain the physical monogamy of their marriages. Millions do not. Again, why are we astounded, in this age of pornification? It’s no small wonder to me that many of the women that Tiger had dalliances with were porn stars, or escorts, or simply “regular” women possessive of the mentality of porn stars or escorts. In short, they are willing to trade sexual favors for money, goods, associative power, or opportunity. This is not a judgment. I in fact believe that there maybe a legitimate context for this type of exchange, if it can be done with honesty, transparency, and outside the context of addiction, laziness, and exploitation….that is to say a very limited context.

 Again the problem with this incredulity and judgment is that it creates a vacuum of discussion. We are continually engaged in a cultural/sexual dialogue about what we should do vs. what our actual behaviors are, and what the impact on intimacy, longevity, and ultimately satisfaction in relationships is. This is often why when there is discussion of alternative ways of being in relationship with others, such as polyamorous arrangements, the immediate response is often a moral one, often instantly oriented towards why this is impossible, why it is a compromise, why it is of necessity a morally inferior choice.

 It is quite possible that in the majority of these liaisons Woods had, he had convinced himself that the possible impact on his family would be limited, because he was securing the “services” of professionals. But, he did not behave, strangely enough as it may sound, “professionally” within the sub cultural code of these types of arrangements. He made it personal. And by making some of these relationships personal, he changed the rules in the whore-client dyad. I mean no offense to whores of any type with my use of the word. It is simply descriptive. We are all whores in certain contexts.  If it’s personal, the whore reserves the right to react personally, as a citizen as it were. If it stays business, lips are sealed, deals are kept, and all is “right” with the world. Tiger did not play by the rules in the land of sexual pay for play. For Tiger, the chickens have truly come home to roost. As for the rest of us, when are we going to have an honest, solution-focused, morally balanced discussion concerning why human beings stray outside the confines of committed relationships?


2 thoughts on “The inevitable missive on Tiger Woods

  1. Spence says:

    What does this guy think about during his back swing? Only about striking the golf ball, he’s not distracted by his infidelities. He owes us nothing, gets paid to entertain us and in the context of entertaining us by playing golf, has not violated any written rule. Miles Davis and countless others have done the same, violated a social norm or the law but without besmirching their standing. Let it go, it’s between him and his family. If you are appalled, quit ingesting the media, buying the products he gets paid to endorse and it will go away. Rodman, Romo, Owens, Bryant, Clinton, Edwards, Sanford, Cheny – ego before all else. It’s only irritating in that the media feels that we are interested in all of this and fails to convey to us what is really newsworthy.

  2. LVB says:

    It is all just part of the “circus” aspect of what the mass media provides, or perhaps more accurately, shovels at us. This story, or the more violent escapades of those like Chris Brown/Rihanna, etc., they are all part of the circus, derived from the good ol’ Roman “Bread and Circus” concept of keeping the masses fed, entertained…and above all else, dumb. Or at least distracted. Distracted from what, exactly? You can decide that for yourselves, I’m sure.

    I have no particular problem with Tiger Woods. He is a master of his chosen sport. I can’t say with absolute certaintly that I, too, would not have fallen prey to such temptations were I in his shoes – given such massive fame, success and fortune at an early age.

    I tend to think he shouldn’t deny or repress his appetite for wild, dirty sex with wild, dirty women. But he should be thoughtful enough to “sh!t or get off the pot”, as it were, and not continue harming his wife, children and family members. I’m just guessing that Tiger won’t be content with true monogamy, any more than he was in the past timeframe that led him to the hundreds of adulterous choices that he made to get himself into this mess in the first place. They are his choices – and no one else’s. And he owes us, the public nothing in the way of an apology, whether we are fawning fans, hostile to him or indifferent to his life and the choices he makes.

    Unforunately, the broken commitments, betrayal, shame and the tsunami of global adverse publicity that it will surely bring – should he get caught cheating again and again (and I’m guessing he will not ony repeat these acts, but will get caught again by the stalkerazzi industry) – brings it into the lives of his wife, children and other family members. Not cool and not kind.

    An adult human pursuing consentual pleasure with another adult human is not a crime, but dragging your loved ones into the nightmare Tiger has created by doing it so recklessly and indiscreetly is a crime – not in the legal sense, perse, but a crime of real stupidity against humanity!!

    All I would say to Tiger is, “Go forth and sin all you want to. But don’t keep dragging your family through the shards of broken glass and broken promises. And, most importantly, don’t be so f-ing STUPID!!

    That’s all. LOL

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