I never “get” the mistress. I mean sure, as someone, who loves her space the idea of a non-committal relationship does seem tempting. And sure there is the good sex, hotel room adventures, exciting clandestine dates, gifts and the allure of doing something the rest of society frowns upon. And there is no denying that there is power in being the person for whom a man, albeit married, desires so much that he is willing to jeopardize his sacred union.
But at some point, the thrill of it all tires for the mistress and then all you are left with is the truth; that you are not a priority, and that the odds that he’ll leave his wife is on par with M.C. Hammer making a comeback. Unlikely. And in the slim chance that he does leave his family behind, there is an even smaller chance that he will leave his wife for you.
I suspect that this realization is what is at the heart of Ginger White‘s reasoning to come forward and reveal her 13-year adulterous relationship with Herman Cain. Despite her claims that she came out of the mistress closet out of partial fear that the truth would be exposed eventually and partial concern over how Cain mishandled the allegations of sexual harassment waged by five different women, this is very much, more personal. I mean who could blame her?
After years of playing the dutiful kept-woman, allegedly, Cain cowardly breaks things off with her prior to his announcement for candidacy for president. And then you find out that during the time when he was stepping out on his wife, allegedly, with you, that lying, cheating <snip> was also feeling up random women, allegedly behind your – and his wife’s – back. It’s enough to turn any loving mistress into the hell-fury scorned woman intent on revenge.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that White was more than willing to give the Fox news affiliate her cell phone bill, which included 61 phone calls or text messages to or from Cain at all hours of the day and night, to prove an accusation that she alone was making. Again no one forced her to come forward with the details of their alleged secret affair; she did it out of her own accord with the intention of exposing him. And I imagine that she secretly smirked in delight as the reporter texted the number she had given him and got a call back from Cain himself. Gotcha, she probably thought. It is the quintessential and yet high-profiled version of busting the windows of a dude’s car.
Nobody believes a mistress or even has sympathy for one. Yet we do love a good salacious sex story. Back in the day, being a kept-woman used to be socially unacceptable. There was no glory in being the woman who was enabling a man to cheat on his wife. Thus women, who chose that lifestyle knew to keep their mouths shut. You didn’t see Marilyn Monroe holding press conferences about her tryst with Kennedy nor FDR’s secretary crying on the shoulders of Nancy Grace.
But in these less than graceless times, a mistress is practically heightened to the status of a celebrity. Mistresses are running their mouths all over the place getting fame and paid handsomely for her “emotional” sorted story of being the other woman. Never mind the grieving and delusional Mrs. at home. There is no Gloria Allred, celebrity feminist attorney, representation in their corners. Instead, it is the mistresses with the book deals and television appearances.
But if it is any consolation, the very public men in these adulterous affairs pay the ultimate price. Not only are they shamed but many times they end up losing plenty of professional clout, if not their jobs, in the process. And in a way, we understand. They were the vow taker and ultimately the vow breaker. But is it fair that their personal shame be a matter of their public downfall?
As it stands now, Herman Cain’s polling numbers have been falling. Yesterday, after the allegations of his affair spun its way through the news, he announced that he would “reassess” his bid for the White House. And surprisingly, the allegations of sexual harassment, his 9-9-9 plan, his thoughts on Muslims, Mexicans and plantation Blacks wasn’t enough to turn off voters or his supporters within his own political party. No, it would be a consensual affair, allegedly, which would be the possible reason for his early exit from the race. Proving once again how much we take great delight in all the scandalous falters from watching these public figures squirm over whether or not they had sexual relations with that woman, or women (or men).
And it’s not just a Black Republican thing: Bill Clinton, David Vitter, Anthony Wiener, Arnold Schwarzenegger and that low-down dirty dog John Edwards all had their personal sexual affairs scrutinized by the public. Because more than we hate a lying politician, we can’t stand a cheating man. In fact, we hate adulterous politicians more than we hate the ones that go to jail for embezzlement, the ones, who trample over our civil liberties and the 25 or so politicians, who have been embroiled in tax scandals over the past two decades. In a Utopia, or at least in a politically mature place, all of those offenses should be worthy of some sort of impeachment yet it is always the wandering eye, or penis, that does these men in.
Part of the reason is that politicians, as well as the general public, tend to elevate or exaggerate their moral stature, i.e. the conservative republican, who runs on a platform of family values. So when the realities of their marriages don’t jibe with their public personas, we feel that their moral hypocrisy ultimately is betrayal of our public trust. But I would be remised if I didn’t mention at the heart of our discontent is something a little more individual. It is a proven fact that infidelity has been alive and well for many thousands of years before the media circus began to highlight the cheating politician. In fact, most of us have been cheated on and didn’t even have the political clout or the double digits in our Charles Schwab portfolios. The only difference is that we normally don’t get to inflict the type of torment on our own cheating partners that we can on high-profiled individuals. And that, my friends, is why we ultimately hate (but secretly love) the cheating politician.