For a couple of seconds there, it looked as if Tiger Woods might just be beyond the breathy sex talk that accompanies all his golfing exploits. Sunday, he returned to what originally made him a person of interest, winning a golf tournament. And we fell back to standard sports debating positions of whether this signaled him being back or if this was a blip and he had zero chance of winning The Masters.
Typical sports, and then we had to have sex.
Helped along by three of the women who were allegedly having sex with Tiger while he was supposed to be forsaking all others, the "Perkins waitress, golf-club-to-head, philandering" narrative is back in play and just in time for Augusta.
This threesome of apparent adulterers apparently so cherished their time with the then-married golfer they decided to do a film tribute. I have not yet been able to screen "3 Mistresses: Notorious Tales of the World’s Greatest Golfer," but I am sure the Q&A about Tiger’s sexual tastes and demonstration portion of the video is not at all about cashing in on their role in ruining a marriage but, rather, just their fond memories of doing so.
The release date — the day after the Masters opens — is merely a coincidence, of course.
And so Tiger finds himself again being confronted with his biggest mistake — one that cost him his wife, his kids, his reputation, possibly his golf game and lots of cash — while his "caddies" profit. I am not defending him. He screwed up. This is just not that column.
You coach your team. I’ll coach mine.
Today, it’s chicks only. For those unfamiliar with my newspaper work, I will do this from time to time when my team needs some real talk. And, boy, do we, because a year later we are still embarrassing ourselves — and I am not simply talking about the three women in the video.
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," the socialites, the girls whose rise to fame started with a sex tape and, yes, Tiger’s caddies — we are letting them send the wrong message to young girls about what it is to be truly successful, truly powerful, truly famous.
My disclaimer is I intend this not to be read by young girls unless you are there with them to explain what obviously are not PG-rated words and themes. But I hope you will sit down with your daughter and talk about who exactly is the joke in this Tiger tale.
They are calling us all of the worst words and not just Rush Limbaugh, although that drew all of the ire for some reason. Listen to how Bill Maher talked about Sarah Palin, or the lyrics to that Soulja Boy "Superman" song that plays at many arenas, or just read the comments under one of my columns.
Sexism is the last OK "-ism" left, a fact I was reminded of during the Jeremy Lin scandal. The media was inflamed about slurs used against Lin — inadvertent and otherwise — leading to really good discussion about why certain words are not OK when talking about certain groups. There was no such dialogue and far less outrage when Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke — a Georgetown law student who favored insurance coverage for contraceptives — a "slut."
It was not about what was said but rather who said it, less an explanation of why slut is such a powerful weapon against women and more of an attack on Rush. The whole thing felt disingenuous.
What everybody ripping Rush must ask themselves is: Why do we object to the word, yet reward the behavior?
This latest Tiger development reveals the hypocrisy. He is getting excoriated for cheating on Elin Woods, and his helpers are profiting from it.
Do not bother arguing that the women were not married. It is still adultery if you are sleeping with, or infringing on, the marriage of another. Not that I believe their extracurricular sex is my business; it is the sense of entitlement to one’s 15 minutes of fame as a result and the suspicion that most of these women are trolling for this kind of attention that offend me. That this is their postgraduate plan.
It is hard to argue when sleeping with an athlete brings Vanity Fair coverage and reality-show opportunities and representation from Gloria Allred and big, big paydays. A year ago, Vanity Fair had a long article on Tiger’s "caddies," and his self-proclaimed ninth mistress’ first words upon being interviewed were, "Is Vanity Fair going to put me on the cover?"
It was hardly a brazen request. She just wanted her piece of the infamy. One of his mistresses turned sleeping with Tiger into a stint on Celebrity Rehab. Another won the Howard Stern mistress pageant and $75,000 — more than double what a first-year teacher makes in most states. A few got paid to zip and shut, and now a few are being paid to be, um, a little more forthcoming in their Tiger-themed porn.
Long live feminism, baby.
I read with interest this week Erica Jong’s defense of the feminist revolution on The Daily Beast. In it, she wrote, "Men are not the problem. Sexism is. And some of the most effective sexists are women." It is an interesting point, one with which I tend to agree. I just think we disagree on which women. In my mind, the line starts with "Tiger’s" pay-for-play brigade.
I am not suggesting we return to scarlet A-ing folks, rather that we not champion champagne hostess and mistress as careers on par with lawyer or nurse or writer or stay-at-home mom.
Because this is now a business plan: Be hot, sleep with a famous rich guy, save the texts, call Allred and turn it into a 401(k).
What I am afraid this Tiger tale has done is reinforce for young girls that their chance of being famous is better sleeping with Tiger than being the Tiger of their chosen profession. There certainly is less vitriol hurled at the women sleeping with Tiger than say Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton or even a young female private citizen testifying before Congress about birth control.
Of course, young girls are confused.
We are selling study hard, promise rings and you can be whatever you want and then talking about and watching and paying big bucks to girls who do otherwise.
A year ago, I thought the joke was on them. Being known for whom, not what, you do has a shelf life, or so I wrote. I was so obviously wrong because here we are yet again talking about Tiger’s "caddies" and their business acumen rather than, say, their moral ineptitude.
And the joke is on us — those who object to the word and reward the behavior.