Ana Nogales, Ph.D.

Family Secrets

Men, Power, and Masochism

Issues of gender, power, and society

Posted Oct 04, 2013

It was not long ago that the world was shocked by the sexual indiscretions of a President of the United States. No one could have imagined that his morals and values would be questioned. His indiscretions caused people to question his moral responsibilities and ask: If he hides this, what else is he hiding, and what does he have to offer to his people?

Other politicians have placed themselves in similar situations, and it cost them their careers.

John Edwards, former senator for North Carolina and one-time candidate for the President of the United States, saw his campaign end in 2008 after it was discovered that he had an extra-marital affair that resulted in the birth of a child.

In California, former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had a child with his domestic employee. Although he admitted that the affair was wrong, it was too late for his political career. He has since returned to the movie industry, where romantic dramas are more acceptable.

Former United Stated Congressman Anthony Weiner sent revealing photos of himself to a female via Twitter. Although his misconduct led to his resignation, he still continued to send revealing photos of himself.

Bob Filner's scandal was instrumental in his resignation as mayor of San Diego. He resigned after more than a dozen renowned and successful women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Many people say that this type of behavior has always existed and should not be given much weight. However, all of these indiscretions have brought consequences, and have provided us with much to reflect over on issues of gender, power, and society. It is also interesting to pay close attention to the psych of these politicians who are brilliant intellectually, but who lack emotional intelligence as they tend to sabotage their careers and highest ambitions.

An increasing amount of women feel supported in speaking up and making themselves heard. Ever since Elizabeth Edwards, John Edward's ex-wife, wrote a book about the need to speak up, many women have become outspoken about sexual abuse and harassment, especially from men who are in or perceived as being in positions of power. At the same time, it is interesting that such powerful men who commit indiscretions are still highly desirable by women who see an opportunity to share power, probably because they believe that they are not able to achieve it by themselves.