Tiger Forgets to Apologize to Women

Update: If sex really is an addiction, Tiger should have apologized to all the women he used as drugs.

At this morning’s press conference, Tiger said he was sorry to his family, his wife, his kids, his fans, his sponsors, but he left out the more than a dozen women he had sex with. Tiger further objectified these women when he only referred to them in his speech as the “temptations” of power and fame.

Tiger, do you get that women are human? Or does that insight come later in your recovery– around day 56 or so?

When porn star Jocelyn James calls a press conference, flanked by Gloria Allred, it’s challenging to have sympathy for anybody in this story. But Tiger had sex with Jocelyn for three years– along with many other women. What enabled him to do that if she’s so sub-human? At the press conference, Tiger apologized to his wife, as he should, of course; he supposedly loves her. But the skill many men acquire to divide women into wives or whores really creeps me out. If there really is such a thing as sex addiction, this dichotomy must fuel it. I imagine any 12 step recovery program would require that Tiger make amends to those he used as part of his “addiction.”

I’m not saying Rachel Uchitel and the porn stars and models and single moms who slept with Tiger are all victims; they could very well be sex addicts themselves who used Tiger just to get off, get fame, or money. But, as far as I know, they aren’t the ones in intensive recovery programs making public apologies. Tiger is. Maybe he’s not there yet in his program, or maybe his other amends will be as private as he famously is. But it would be nice if Tiger– or Kobe Bryant or Bill Clinton or whomever the latest sex scandal powerguy is– added to his standard mea culpa that he’s sorry for treating women like tissue paper. Because these so called private matters become so public, and I’m sick of seeing women split up into homemaker or homewrecker all over the media. I’d like an apology for subjecting women to that all over again.

Here’s what I wrote yesterday:

Are the rumors true? God, I wish she’d just take 300 million or whatever it is and get out of there.

See what I mean about “wife school?” Stand by your man, cheer him on, no matter what.

Gross. Women are biologically capable of putting up with anything! “Family” is so important to us, nothing else really matters. What a horrible example to all of us married people. A talk show host I used to work with would disagree, he’d say it’s a good move, it shows family values, you stick around no matter what.  And then I would say: but reverse their genders– the story becomes unimaginable.

Young woman golf star falls in love with her friend’s hot “manny.” They marry and have two kids; she keeps winning tournaments and doing endorsements. After a few years of appearing as the perfect family, wife and husband get in a huge, violent fight. He goes after her with one of her golf clubs. Soon after, the public starts to learn she’s been sleeping around, about 15 men come out and claim they were with her, including porn stars and hosts. (Does “hostess” in this context even have a male equivalent meaning?) He takes off his wedding ring and retreats with the kids to his home country. Everyone says he is not the kind of guy to take this behavior, he will get the money he can and divorce her; he’ll never take her back. Photographs show up of her in sex rehab in the South. Then they are

pictured at the rehab together. An announcement is coming tomorrow…

You can see the sexism, too, in how the public reacted to the alleged violent fight; because it was a woman who supposedly attacked a man, even sending him to the hospital, there were jokes about the reports of abuse on Letterman and SNL.  Lots of people were saying, empathically, that whatever happened, it was a private matter; police should just stay out of it and the media should back off and leave the couple alone. But domestic violence isn’t a private matter; it needs to be investigated, not ignored. Victims typically recant their stories. It’s not anyone’s right to let himself get beat up or murdered by his mate. It’s against the law.

So I guess today, Tiger will ask for forgivenss for his sexual indiscretion,  just like Bill Clinton, Ted Haggard, Jim Baker and Kobe Bryant before him. (I think I’ll start a list.) I actually believe in forgiveness, I think it’s a skill you can learn just like any other skill. I learned that at a class I took at Stanford taught by Fred Luskin; the class was amazing. Also, anyone who has ever been through a 12 step program knows forgiveness is a crucial step towards recovery, for totally selfish reasons, you must forgive to get well. Forgiveness, by the way, doesn’t mean Elin has to stay with Tiger, or that anyone has to stay with anyone. It means you get to move on with your life and devote your considerable energy to something else instead of nurturing the grudges you were clinging on to for years.

My issue with Tiger and Elin is really that I am so sick of this same, old story, just watching it again again, the version I get of it, as a person in the world, the repetitive scenario: the cheating, powerful guy and his loyal wife. It bores me. I’m so tired of it. I want a new narrative. And I don’t mean the occasional exception (I’m trying to think of a powerful woman that’s cheated and her husband and he’s taken her back after public humiliation to insert here.) I want new archetypes, repeated upon centuries and ingrained into our subconscious, then translated back into our stories, movies, lives, and tabloids. I’m craving something original.