May 19 2011
Both men served in powerful positions, but the Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger scandals are different, and we should avoid conflating the two. One was an instance of attempted rape, while the other was a consensual relationship.
While Strauss-Kahn ought to be prosecuted to the fullest extent for his crime, Schwarzenegger is a different story. The frequency of these affairs - Clinton, Ensign, Edwards, Letterman, etc. - makes it hard not to acknowledge that we have a cultural problem that has facilitated these situations.
When it comes to affairs like Schwarzenegger's, the blame falls largely on the man. Still it's hard to ignore the role modern feminism and the push for sexual freedom has played in encouraging these incidents.
For too long, feminists have undermined the value of marriage and encouraged a culture of "no strings attached" sex. While "the pill" and other forms of contraception have, on one hand, brought women tremendous freedom, this freedom doesn't come without a cost. Perhaps it's this culture of sexual independence that has allowed too many women to think it's OK to take part in an affair with a married man.
In the end, it's more than the money or fame or power that makes men cheat. In a society in which we heavily discredit differences between men and women, it can be easy to lose perspective of healthy sexuality and relationships.