Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 29, 2012/ 15 Kislev, 5773

Affair double standards

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As events have unfolded in what shall ever be known as “The Petraeus Affair,” one cannot escape noticing that the women in this sordid saga have been handed the short end of the shtick, as though the men are mere victims of ambitious, hormonally driven vixens.

There’s the so-called “socialite” in Tampa, Jill Kelley, who courted generals and exchanged at least hundreds of e-mails with our lead commander in Afghanistan, John Allen. And there’s the biographer with toned arms, Paula Broadwell, who wore tight jeans and allegedly seduced America’s most darling general, David Petraeus.

The double standard we apply to men and women in these very human dramas is nothing new, but also nothing short of appalling. Even as we urge women to behave in every way as men, even pushed to arms on the battlefront, the Madonna-whore dichotomy is alive and writhing.

The two men are golden, we are inclined to infer. The women, well, what is one to think? Tarnished and branded, discarded as chattel, each having served her purpose.

Here’s an alternative narrative. Let’s assume for a moment that everyone involved in this spectacle is actually a good and decent, if flawed, person, variations of the definitions notwithstanding. Yes, Kelley and her husband have financial difficulties, but who doesn’t these days? Isn’t it also possible that Kelley, in addition to enjoying the company of generals, wanted to do something nice for her country by providing a social outlet for military personnel in the area?

As for her e-mail exchanges with Allen, the only relevant concern seems to be that the general apparently has more time on his hands than a general should. Otherwise, communicating via social media and e-mail is merely our modern campfire. We are social animals, and lonely people will find each other through the smoke. Do we really care so much who and how people choose to fill the void in their lives? Is it our business?

More complicated is the relationship between Petraeus and Broadwell, if only because of an investigation into questionable e-mails she sent to Kelley, whom she apparently considered a rival. Broadwell is allegedly being investigated for “cyberstalking” and also in regard to classified documents found on her computer.

These investigations are ongoing and, as yet, have confirmed no personal or professional breach. Still, Broadwell has been essentially indicted in the public mind. Her security clearance, which ultimately might justify her possession of the documents in question, has been suspended, which is probably appropriate under the circumstances, though hardly conclusive.

Nevertheless, Broadwell’s reputation has been tarnished well beyond the sin for which she has expressed sincere remorse. The married mother of two has been characterized by an increasingly tabloid press as the scarlet woman, the “mistress,” an outdated word that indicts a woman but rarely the man, smirkingly suggestive of “kept-ness.” Broadwell has even been criticized for showing too much arm on TV. Such observations seem odd in a sleeveless era launched by the first lady, whose enviable guns are legendary and often on display.

As much as we sympathize with the painful upheaval suffered by the families involved, let’s pause a moment for Broadwell and recall that she was an Army officer, a West Point graduate, an accomplished, yes, ambitious, elite member of the military who, as it turns out, happens to have had a relationship with a man for whom she apparently had strong feelings.

Did she cause others pain? Of course, and for this she is suffering by all accounts. Does she deserve to be pilloried in the public square? Or does she deserve the same second chance any similarly accomplished man would be accorded?

One does not need to approve of the behavior to grant compassion and suspend judgment, at least until we know whether there is any reason for public interest beyond the prurient.

In the meantime, our urgency to apply different standards to women than to men deserves scrutiny. For women, there’s no margin for error in public life, yet men walk away virtually unscathed — reelected to office, rehired by Wall Street, reassigned to a new parish, rehabilitated by the mere act of entering “rehab.” Puhleez.

Broadwell is one of America’s success stories, if you buy the woman-warrior myth. Her only flaw seems to have been falling for another man and, in the way some men do, showing off biceps toned by hundreds of hours of hard work.

To the pyre, to the pyre.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

<

© 2011, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles