Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A Cautionary Note

Before we launch into a week’s worth of posts about Disney princesses, I feel like I should touch base with the other side of the female viewpoint. I was going to write about feminism, and I had an entire post already written. But then I started paying attention to the news headlines, and I realized that some stands were already being taken against wrongdoing men. I’m referring of course to the high-publicity cases against two of the world’s most powerful men: Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Dominque Strauss-Khan.

The case against everyone’s favourite Terminator is one which I was rather surprised to hear about. I don’t really follow celebrity culture (with a few exceptions), and since I’m not a fan of dear old Arnie, he wasn’t on my radar until I started seeing his face on magazines at work all the time, and happened upon an article in Maclean’s magazine while having breakfast. To summarize, his longtime wife Maria Shriver came forward about his marital indiscretions, and the two are now living apart. Being unfaithful is one thing, but it’s those who stand-by (like Maria who did for many years) and allow this kind of behavior to happen who enable the cheaters. If you’re willing to ignore indiscretions while the person who is supposed to love you cheats, and don’t say how much it hurts then you deserve to be cheated on! I’m not saying that slip ups don’t happen, and that people shouldn’t be forgiven, but there has to be a line drawn that defines a mutual respect. If someone who was practically trained to ignore the philanderings of her husband can get up the courage to speak out and that she’s had enough, then what’s stopping the rest of you?

The second case of a powerful man being brought to his knees (at least politically, since his career is pretty much destroyed) is an even bigger coup for the feminist cause. One of France’s most well-known politicians who was being groomed for the upcoming Presidential election, Dominique Strauss-Khan, has been charged with sexually assaulting a housekeeper on a recent visit to New York. Apparently this man is no stranger to these kinds of allegations, but due to the French public’s anti-publicity stance when it comes to their philandering politicians he has largely gotten away with his ill deeds. I don’t pretend to understand why the French act the way that they do, and there’s obviously a huge cultural gap, but the situation seems a bit ridiculous. The separation of these men’s public and private lives is so impractical, to say the least, especially when you consider the things that they are getting away with. They are public figures after all, and are meant to be an example to the people of their country. So the example that they’re setting is that it’s okay to be disrespectful to women… Methinks it’s time that they should learn some basic morals, and started acting like decent human beings!

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