Love Lessons

Everything you need to know about love and sex.

Who's In Bed With Tiger Woods?

The press is going to find out

Answer: We all are. Now, I don't know about you- but I really don't want to be there. I think that there are too many people there already. This guy is a sports figure- not a minister, not a world leader and not a moral entrepreneur. He's not out there telling us how to live our lives. He is out there telling us how to take a better swing. He is a model of talent, determination, and civility. But he did not offer himself up as husband of the year (and I doubt he is going to do that any time soon).

Would I hate to be his wife right now? Of course. She has a right to be angry enough to pick up a golf club (but I hope she is sane enough to realize that this was an inexcusable reaction- violence is appropriately against the law no matter what your gender). I have no idea if the rumors of medicating this wound with money are true, but if they are, it's just another odd twist on what constitutes moral or immoral behavior...isn't taking money to deal with emotions or sex prostitution?

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In any case, imagine Tiger Wood's world. He has groupies at every tournament, every night club (and why is he in night clubs alone?) and in every supermarket he walks in to. He would have to be an extraordinary man to ignore them all- and it turns out, he is not. Whether or not he and his wife have been doing the work it takes to keep a marriage compelling is unclear, but they have had two children in a short period of time-not the sexiest situation in the life cycle of a marriage. There were probably vulnerabilities of several kinds-and more temptation than most human beings would withstand.

So, it's a familiar story- but oh my God- such a full press reaction! From the very beginning of the story, when it became clear that this wasn't a simple accident, the press hounded this guy. Every media outlet was on the scent, and there was no way he could have privacy. I know a lot of people have said that a person of that magnitude has no right to privacy, but I disagree. Are we entitled to watch him on the toilet? Where do his rights prevail? Obviously, there is no feeling for him or any celebrity as a human being; we are all dragged into Tiger's many beds- and the commentators seem to shred him rather gleefully.

Tiger did not betray the public trust- we trusted him to be a superstar on the golf course, and he has more than accomplished that mission. Sure, he has portrayed himself as a family man- but that was probably true. There is no indication that it was a sham marriage (although it may be turning into one). He did betray his wife sexually- that is for them to iron out, and I hope for their immortal souls it isn't totally done with dollars.

But I would really like to get out of bed with him. He didn't invite me, he doesn't want me there, and I don't want to be there. The public's curiosity has been satisfied. Enough already.

Pepper Schwartz is Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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