I expected this argument to be made, but not in the pages of the Washington Post; I assumed it would come as a blog post. Eugene Robinson takes leave of his senses in his attempt to spin Tiger Woods as either a racist or a self-hating minority — or a little of both — by complaining that Tiger’s mistresses have too much in common. Guess what that might be?
Here’s my real question, though: What’s with the whole Barbie thing?
No offense to anyone who actually looks like Barbie, but it really is striking how much the women who’ve been linked to Woods resemble one another. I’m talking about the long hair, the specific body type, even the facial features. Mattel could sue for trademark infringement.
This may be the most interesting aspect of the whole Tiger Woods story — and one of the most disappointing. He seems to have been bent on proving to himself that he could have any woman he wanted. But from the evidence, his aim wasn’t variety but some kind of validation.
I’m making a big assumption here that the attraction for Woods was mostly physical, but there’s no evidence thus far that he had a lot of time for deep conversation. If adultery is really about the power and satisfaction of conquest, Woods’s self-esteem was apparently only boosted by bedding the kind of woman he thought other men lusted after — the “Playmate of the Month” type that Hugh Hefner turned into the American gold standard.
But the world is full of beautiful women of all colors, shapes and sizes — some with short hair or almond eyes, some with broad noses, some with yellow or brown skin. Woods appears to have bought into an “official” standard of beauty that is so conventional as to be almost oppressive.
His taste in mistresses leaves the impression of a man who is, deep down, both insecure and image-conscious — a control freak even when he’s committing “transgressions.”
Of all the issues in play with this story, and even with many that probably shouldn’t be in play, this is easily the most ridiculous. I haven’t seen much of the mistresses, and I hope to see even less as this story finally falls out of the media spotlight, but it seems to me that Tiger shockingly cheated with attractive women. And while his assignations may have required a certain amount of logistical planning to keep them from coming to his wife’s attention, it seems very, very unlikely that Tiger planned his infidelities in such a way as to keep diversity as his primary motive.
For that matter, let’s think about what Robinson considers “oppressive.” He’s angry to the point of dedicating a column to the issue that Tiger Woods didn’t exploit women of other colors, shapes, and sizes for sexual satisfaction. Was his extramarital attention to these women some kind of liberating experience for them, to the point where Robinson argues that Woods should have distributed the wealth a little more?
And can anyone who has had as many flings as Tiger apparently has, with as much indiscretion as has been exposed, possibly be considered a “control freak”? Is that why he’s managed to indict himself so thoroughly by giving his cell number out to his paramours while his wife has access to the phone?
Besides, no one knows whether we’ve seen the complete set of Tiger’s paramours. There may be more crawling out of the woodwork in the next few days and weeks. If one of them is a woman of color, or a little on the chunky side, will Robinson write another column hailing Tiger’s work in spreading the, er, wealth?
Woods has done plenty of wrong to his wife and his family, and to a much lesser extent his fans. Insensitivity to Eugene Robinson’s sense of exploitation diversity isn’t one of them. (via The Corner)
Update: I Own The World points out that Robinson’s not alone.
Update II: Ace has a must-read rant on this subject, too.