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Tiger Woods Shows Us: There is Something Very Wrong with our Society

(WARNING: Some content below may be offensive to the Self-Righteous!!!)

Interesting Fact: Before Thanksgiving 2009, if I had been at a party in search of a booty call and Tiger Woods had walked up to me and suggested we mess around, I would have accepted.

Like most folks, I think it is trashy, counter productive and despicable to get involved with a married person unless I am getting paid to do so. But prior to Thanksgiving of 2009, I didn’t even KNOW Tiger Woods was married with children. I obviously don’t give a shit about sports, but getting hit on by a multi-million dollar Golfer is pretty flattering. How many girls can say they hooked up with Tiger Woods? (A lot.)

Of course, bragging about a star studded sexcapade to your friends is a lot different than talking about it on Oprah. But in hindsight, I can see how some of Tiger’s mistresses were so willing to tell their stories after having CNN dangle big fat checks in front of their faces.

Tiger Woods is an athlete. He is famous for being able to hit a little white ball into a hole with a stick. Like most athletes and movie stars, he contributes absolutely nothing useful to society, save for a tiny, obligatory portion of his millions to some causes and charities.

But unlike movie and porn stars, athletes do not have the luxury of being able to date other athletes, assuming the majority of them are heterosexuals, because there are no famous female athletes that aren’t tennis players. In fact, athletes, besides being mostly male, sell their bodies to large multimillion dollar Corporations. We tut and cluck our tongues at porn stars, hookers, strippers, and models for doing exactly the same thing, and yet athletes are like modern day Gladiators. They are paid obscene amounts of money to play games that are sometimes violent, and we tell our children to look up at them as heroes so that they too can one day be rewarded the equivalent of the budgets of some small countries to jump on each other and chase around pig skins. (And really, if your child is looking up to athletes instead of you, than you’re doing something wrong. Yeah, I said it.)

So why the Hell does anyone CARE that Tiger Woods got caught cheating with practically every woman in the country (I mean, really, how do you know I HAVEN’T slept with Tiger Woods? You don’t know me like that!)?

Joseph Cannon said something about this earlier that I think bears repeating:

“But he represents…” Bullshit. Don’t bother trying to finish that sentence.

Nobody “represents” anything. Not even royalty and presidents. We’re all just people. As Robert De Niro said in The Deer Hunter: “This is this. This ain’t somethin’ else: This is this.”

Much of our low media infrastructure — Jerry Springer, the tabloids — has existed to humiliate people for unapproved sexual activity. But why do we care about the private kinks, errors, oddities, unconventionalities, betrayals and ecstasies of others? Are our lives really so small?

Its John Edwards, Mark Sanfords, Ted Haggards, Larry Craigs and George W Bushes of the world–those who bathe themselves in hypocrisy while fancying themselves more than just human beings, those men who believe themselves to be Gods and use their positions to claim moral superiority, justifying their own errors by condemning the mistakes of others and passing sexist and homophobic laws that keep those of us who are self aware on our knees– those are the men that deserve our attention and our scorn.

But lets look on the bright side: Tiger Woods’ sex scandal has been thoroughly entertaining. (Thanks to him, I now know that there’s someone out there with just as many sexual fetishes as me.) Most athletes behave the same way he does, they just don’t get caught. I live in Cleveland and LeBron James is like the second coming of Christ around here. But I know of a lot of women who have had less than fortunate encounters with him and other Cavs players, and I hope he crashes and burns. Yeah, I said it. And really, why would anyone even WANT to marry an athlete? You’d have to sit there and listen to them go on and on and on about twenty yard lines and bogeys and three pointers and other endlessly boring crap, and as a trade off they probably wouldn’t even be faithful. Lets hope Elin’s learned her lesson.

This can also teach us a lesson about the undeserved importance our society gives sports. We can not only talk to our children and remind them that pitchers and quarterbacks and point guards are just as lame and ignorant as the rest of us, we can also take the time to break it to them that the likelihood of them become professional athletes are slim to none: Daddy got that football scholarship a long time ago, and he’s not going to get it back by trying to live vicariously through them.

PS: And you know what? Tiger’s squeeze was right. Those golf balls were offensive.

UPDATE: Pandagon also has a wonderful, highly recommended post about this:

But my frustration with this is about more than just that. And it’s about more than the fact that there’s a double standard being employed in this—be it because Woods is an icon, or because of his race, or because of whatever—where he was singled out for a “scandal” for behavior that is more typical than not of golfers and athletes in general. It’s that holding Woods out to be a freak show implies that his behavior is unusual, and that his attitudes are freakish works to conceal the larger cultural support for his behavior and attitudes, especially in sports. But I would argue he’s typical, with the attitudes he almost surely has about women to inspire such epic cheating on his wife and apparent disregard for the well-being of his other partners. I’m not saying most or all men have his attitudes, of course. But a big enough chunk of them that it’s a joke to pretend that Woods’ behavior was anything to write home about.

91 Responses

  1. ok woods went to sex rehab right .so what do he do in sex rehab .

  2. nicely put (putt?). i wholeheartedly agree with what you’ve said. Unfortunately, the gals in the pro soccer, bkball & hockey leagues will never earn near to what the guys make-we must be out of our minds to pay $100/tix (baseball tix used to be affordable not sure if they still are now) to see a major league game of some sort!

    i used to belong to the Canadian Assoc. for the Advancement of Women in Sport (CAAWS) & bringing up the topic of inequality of payscales was actually taboo. most chix just don’t think that way-guys do. Hopefully that is all changing.

    I’m also reminded of watching the opening ceremonies in Van last weekend & seeing the NHL guys (Peter Forsberg for Sweden, etc.) carrying the flags-sorry, those professional millionaires just look so out of place at the Olympics.

  3. Funny you should post this because I just saw this story:

    Tiger Woods Announces Return To Sex
    In an announcement highly anticipated by sex fans around the world, Tiger Woods told a small gathering of reporters, family, and lovers Friday that the most dominant fornicator on the planet would soon return to sex.

  4. Gee, if we stopped obsessing over athletes and movie stars, then we’d have to deal with what the governemnt and the corporations are doing to us. Who wants to think about that stuff?

  5. or lets see did the slowy ween of sex

  6. I haven’t found the Tiger saga very entertaining. I can’t stop thinking about how it has affected his very young children. I listen to sports radio fairly often and this is the first time a scandal like this has happened that every single one of the jocular guys on the station has been just plain thoroughly disgusted with an athlete’s behavior.

    Frankly I would have much preferred to have Tiger just keep this to himself. I wish I had never heard anything about it. I suppose I sound self-righteous.

    • Oh, BB, I’m mostly being ironic in this post, and I really don’t follow sports, but I’m sorry if you actually were disappointed by this guy.
      I do think I’m right in saying that Woods’ behavior should not be singled out as particularly shocking or relevant, because every athlete does the same thing he does. As he said, “I didn’t think the normal rules applied.” For most people like him, they don’t.
      Yes, Tiger was making millions off of an image of himself that was not accurate, and that does make him unique, just a hypocrite, like almost everyone else in his line of work.

  7. Wait. Tiger is (was) a billion dollar business, about 10% of that related to his gift as a golfer. The rest of it was bought and paid for by anyone who’s ever seen him or heard of him portrayed as the iconic role model he wasn’t. Yeah, I gave him my share of that time and I sure as hell won’t be giving it to him anymore. He can play golf and screw whoever he wants – as long as he doesn’t cash in that 90 million a year pretending to be someone he’s not.

  8. I found his apology most disturbing for a different reason. It felt so much like the Spanish Inquisition or 1984, these forced PUBLIC confessions. For whom? For what? So his sponsors can keep selling deodorant and sneakers? He messed around on his wife, yet he owes the world an apology? Just like they purify your mind in the Ministry of Truth before they put a bullet in your head.

    I’m not condoning his actions, but frankly, it’s none of my business. Just like it’s no one else’s business what I do with my body, whom I love, my health choices, etc. This blurring of the line between public and private is deeply disturbing and further allows the meddlesome to meddle.

    One might argue that because he’s a public figure, a highly-paid public figure, somehow the public owns a piece of him. Say what? Because we put him on a pedestal, because kids looked up to him, because we BOUGHT the perfect shiny package they sold us? And for our own failings, society demands we tear a human being down for our own smug vindication? Just as littleisis said, that is turning someone into a prostitute or worse: Tiger didn’t have to sell his body, he had to self-flagellate his soul.

    • Hit the nail on the head, my friend.

    • I found his apology most disturbing for a different reason. It felt so much like the Spanish Inquisition or 1984, these forced PUBLIC confessions. For whom? For what?

      That was my reaction too.

      I feel bad for the kids. This is a strange childhood to have.

      • Yes, I wish his family could be left alone to heal. But then again, everyone I know with a famous parent is slightly askew.

    • I think it’s weird just in general how everyone has to confess to Oprah. If I experienced some kind of tragedy, the last freakin’ thing in the world I’d do is go talk to Oprah. It’s almost like they can’t move on without the public catharsis, which is probably true because the media outlets will stalk you and badger you until you give in.

  9. Since when did golf become a sport? I mean, nothing personal against golf, but that always seemed like a waste of a good walk. OK, I stole that line. So sue me. 🙂

  10. Who cares what athletes do in private? (I don’t even care what they do in public). What I care about is headlines like these

    Why are all women who sleep with a famous athlete automatically labeled bimbos?

  11. I’m behind on posts–did anyone do a TC thread on this? Around the 1:20 mark, the Dalai Lama says:

    I also mentioned the female, biologically, more sensitive about others’ pain … about others who are suffering,” the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said, adding with a laugh that Obama agreed with that sentiment.

    “I wish, you see, the amount of leadership more female … should take the leadership role,” he said.

    • Yes, it’s come up a couple of times. I personally think it was great he said this. English is not his native tongue obviously, and he took pains to mention Hillary in the same stretch. That was his intent imo, more political than sociological.

  12. Oh, LI. I love you so much that even linking to Pandagon won’t make me stop. 🙂 Great post.

  13. As a young girl I was told that fooling around with a married man was like buying a used car, you are getting someone else’s lemon. If he cheats once ,he will cheat on you. I taught my daughters and they taught their daughters these words of wisdom.

    Look out I think we may be getting Rahm Emanuel under the bus soon. There is a post at No Quarter that Dana Millbank wrote a column claiming that all backtrack’s problems are because he did not listen to Rahm.

    He can not be near my part of the bus.



  14. I am at work and can not link but Dana Milbank’s column is in the Washington Post dated Feb 21.

    Check gag reflex before reading.



  15. So Tiger is human. The Red Queen has something to say about being human: http://elizabitchez.blogspot.com/2010/02/let-them-be-human.html

    He can now learn, and evolve, and become something different, and perhaps happier. I wish him well.

  16. Penis Trousers There is some seriously screwed up fashion design out there.


  17. Drive by …… good stuff littleisis !!

    • What was that for? (I like it, but…)

    • it wa fun to listen to this song. You really need a crowd all singing along and drinking to enjoy it to the fullest.



  18. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/wire/sns-ap-us-traficant-congress,0,7334762.story

    This cracked me up. Even Traficant thinks he’s too good for the Dems, though like everyone else he blames Nancy and Harry and exempts Barack.

  19. I just go home from work and went to check my e-mail.
    Does anyone here use firefox? When I try to get to my e-mail I get a message that ” this connection is untrusted”. I have satellite internet. I have never had that happen before.



  20. I have firefox – I get gmail on it fine – never got that message.
    Today’s tabloids

  21. The new Chinese year just started: it is the year of the Tiger!

  22. That was uncomfortably lame. Why didn’t he just light himself on fire? Wouldn’t that have been less painful?

  23. there is so much irony here…let’s start with the title. Ranting is by definition self righteous……

    I don’t care about tiger or his slimy girl friends. Sorry, but every single one of them knew he was married and if they did not, why were they sleeping with a guy they knew so little about?
    I don’t believe the public apology was about anything but his wife and his bottom line. I certainly did not “deserve” it and I do not believe his mistresses deserve one either. When you are screwing some other woman’s husband you do not get to demand a apology because you weren’t the only one.

  24. This whole Tiger Woods affair never seems to end. Everyone has something to say about it. I always enjoy listening to Rolonda Watts- her perspective on affairs is actually really thought provoking- http://bit.ly/baVUvw

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