mistresses schmistresses

I don’t want to leap onto the gigantic pile of people who are judging Tiger Woods. I have no idea what happened. It does sound like he committed some pretty serious breaches of fidelity, and if that’s true and if fidelity is something that he and his wife expected from each other then I think he did wrong, but there are quite a few ‘ifs’ involved there.

The other if, which has either been disproved or just sort of forgotten about, is if Elin did in fact hit Tiger the night he crashed his car. He apparently told someone who was not related to law enforcement that the scratches on his face were from her because she ‘thought’ he was cheating on her, and that he crashed the car because she was hitting it with a golf club and that distracted him. Again, I have no idea if this is true, but I certainly would believe it possible, because a revelation like that would drive a lot of people to rage.

The fact that she may have hit him was widely publicized, and as I mentioned, has just sort of fallen from the headlines. Is it because we don’t believe she did it? Because after all we’ve allegedly learned we think that if she did she was justified? Because women hitting men just isn’t a big deal? I’m not the first to point this out, but consider if the situation had been reversed. A man chasing a woman down the driveway wielding a golf club – he would be in some serious shit right now. If the woman in that scenario were having affairs, we might be more inclined to excuse it because of her clearly damaged and frightening husband. If she’s abusive overall and not just because of what she found out, does that excuse Tiger’s behavior?

Elizabeth Lambert, the hair pulling soccer player.

Then consider this. The woman pictured above, Elizabeth Lambert, was called a harridan and a girl gone wild and Radar Online said that she displayed “some of the most violent behavior we’ve ever seen on any level of sports”.

Watch even the first thirty seconds of this video and tell me that Elizabeth Lambert is even in the top ten most violent soccer players ever.

I’m not really going anywhere with this, I’m just trying to understand. What is it that makes Elin Woods’ supposed violence something to be swept under the rug and Elizabeth Lambert’s something to be publicly derided? We like our women to be violent only in self defense, whereas men can be violent for the sake of sports? I don’t know. Ideas?

Also, I got into roller derby!!! I could not be more excited – but how does the violence question apply to derby? We get a pass… why?

Mildly related: Slate and Jezebel talk about calling Tiger’s hookups ‘mistresses’.

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7 Comments

Filed under I have a pop culture problem, turns out I'm a feminist

7 responses to “mistresses schmistresses

  1. I have to say that it bothers me that (if) she beat him with a golf club, I find it justified- knowing full well that if the situation was reversed and he beat her with a golf club, I would be appalled, disgusted, scarred…

    • emmanation

      I know! To a large extent that’s my problem too. I think that’s probably similar to the reaction I would have – I’d chase his ass around with a frying pan, in my case, but that’s about the only difference.

  2. Betsy

    Well written and very thought provoking, Emma. We all feel bad for Elin and just look at the way we as a society bashing Chris Brown for beating on Rhianna. It is a double standard, like so many things.

    I personally will have an easier time learning to live with this one though, because in this case women get the better end of the stick… and we get to use it apparently!

  3. Gye

    Simply put, violence is a drag no matter who does what to whom or in what arena. It’s just our PC filter complicates this value. Violence by men toward women is reviled in our PC society because men have often used their physical strength to exploit women in the past. Violence by women toward men, especially in a case where she might be justified in her rage by his betrayal, can feel like fair payback under such a paradigm.

    But nobody should be hitting anyone with golf clubs, no matter how ironic it may be…

    And anyway, the saying goes, “All’s fair in love and war.” not “All’s fair in love and SPORTS.” Emotions run high in sports, but it’s not life or death and should never be allowed to escalate to such a fevered pitch. Any violence of any sort in any sport with any gender should be red-carded right out of the game.

  4. Dad

    This is a hard one, isn’t it? Violence is never acceptable and yet, everyone is probably thinking “Good, the jerk got what he deserved”. Life is unfair. – D

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