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The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

How would the US voters treat a female politician who committed adultery?

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14 Answers

Grisaille's avatar

I have no idea.

Part of me wants to say they’d play it down and not care.

The other part of me wants to say they’d want her head on a pike.

Either way, it’d seem like a double-standard.

augustlan's avatar

A large portion of the population would immediately label her a slut. Beyond that, it beats the hell out of me. Great question!

EmpressPixie's avatar

Ha, @augustlan I had the exact same thought, “well, she’d be forever labeled a slut”. I’ll go beyond that, though, and say that the American public has a long standing tradition of slut-shaming. I think she’d be slut-shamed out of office.

DarkScribe's avatar

They would probably hit on her.

rooeytoo's avatar

I sort of think it depends on how many enemies they have in the opposing party and the media.

But that aside, I am sure she would be judged more harshly than a male, after all isn’t it always the woman’s fault…

susanc's avatar

They wouldn’t dare. They would lose the whole feminist vote, not the mention the enormous slut vote.

suzyq2463's avatar

Unfortunately, I think she’d be persecuted like a witch during the Salem witch trials—accused, spat upon, and hung just for the public spectacle of it. There’d be none of the “true love in Argentina” crap or “the job and the personal life are separate things.” She’d just be led to the gallows and tossed off.

gailcalled's avatar

Can anyone think of a woman pol who has gotten caught committing adultery in the past 50 years? I am sure that there may have been some, but I can remember no one. Perhaps women in high office have enough sense to stick to more venial sins, like syphoning monies off or hiring their relatives.

tinyfaery's avatar

IMO there just aren’t very many attractive females in politics. If there were, trying to find out gossip about their sex lives would be top priority. At this point, who cares if Janet Reno cheated or if Laura Bush is the slut of Texas. No one wants to think about that.

Plus, there are so many other ways to take a woman down, who she might have had sex with is low on that list.

dalepetrie's avatar

You can’t answer this question without knowing who the politician is and what the political circumstances are, what party she was in, whether the party was in power or in trouble at the time, etc. I’m not going to say that a woman wouldn’t be treated somewhat differently, I’m sure there would be a degree of sexism…I guess the parallel you could draw would be somewhat the same as the way a female teacher is treated if she sleeps with a teenage student vs. how a male teacher is treated if he does the same…there seems to be more of a “wish I was that guy” mentality vs. the “what a creep” mentality a guy is confronted with. There is still a double standard when it comes to sex vs. men and women in general, and it certainly depends on what the person looks like….a Janet Napolitano would be treated differently than a Sarah Palin.

But in terms of political fallout, I think people in general are less accepting of hypocrisy in their politicians than they are of infidelity. In my view, and it seems to be the generally accepted public view as well that if it doesn’t have to do with their job, then it’s a separate issue. When you make “family values” a cornerstone of your political beliefs, then that really irritates people. If you use public money to fund your indiscretions, then it’s a violation of the public trust. If you’re an effective leader, people care less.

We also have to look at the parties…the Republicans would attempt to destroy any Democrat at any cost, we’ve seen that. Democrats have never really taken the “family values” high ground so they can’t complain about the rotting of our values by keeping this person, but if that person was a “family values” candidate, they too would go in for the kill. Dems would also stand by their own if there were no hypocrisy or misappropriation of public funds and would defend the person based on her ability to do her job. Republicans tend to be less likely to justify these indiscretions at all, but they will if they are in a position of power and this person is too valuable to lose, as Republicans tend to be based more on loyalty and they look at these issues as more absolutes whereas Dems look at things as circumstantial.

So, if Pelosi were to be caught in an affair, she would be treated MUCH differently than Palin, for a number of reasons…Pelosi would fare better in that she is less tied to the family values, where Palin would be torn to shreds over her hypocrisy. Pelosi would also be treated more “seriously” because guys don’t by and large fantasize about her, being older and less attractive than Palin, whereas Palin would be subject to a LOT of snickering behavior. And Dems would defend Pelosi, Republicans would probably send Palin to the wolves because she doesn’t really do anything for them these days. Now, if she were to become the nominee in 2012, Republicans would have to bite their tongues and defend her.

casheroo's avatar

@tinyfaery lurve your answer

Bagardbilla's avatar

I’m not sure how they Would, however, I can tell you how they Should: just like the male politicians. Like it’s none of their god-damned business! So long as it doesn’t affect their politics, their personal business is just that, PERSONAL!
Americans can be such prudes about this sort of thing…

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Bagardbilla America isn’t the only country with sex scandals.
France is a good example.

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