Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tiger Woods and Monogamous Marriage

Writing in his blog on the New York Times website yesterday, Robert Wright continued his jag against Tiger Woods. Link here.

Wright posits that Tiger Woods is a powerful role model, especially for minority children, and that they are likely to emulate his bad behavior, thus damaging the already damaged institution of monogamous marriage. To Wright monogamous marriage is an unalloyed good.

We could argue about Wright's view of monogamous marriage-- I would tend to side with him on this point-- but I am not at all sure that celebrities are really role models. Children may want to play baseball like Alex Rodriguez, but do they really want to play Kabbalah with Madonna?

Besides, Charles Barkley famously said that he was not a role model. Who do you want to believe: Robert Wright or Sir Charles?

Generally speaking, I would assert that the most powerful role models in society are not the idle rich or overpaid entertainers, but people who command great respect and exercise great authority and responsibility. Like the President of the United States, for example.

All this to say that if Robert Wright really wants to rail against public figures who have undermined the institution of monogamous marriage through their bad behavior, he should spend more time pondering the influence of Bill Clinton and less time worrying himself about Tiger Woods. I would even suggest that if his list does not have Bill Clinton's name at the top, he has no business piling on Tiger Woods.

You may not have been moved by Tiger's apology, but it was many times more sincere than whatever Bill Clinton mustered to explain away his behavior with Monica Lewinsky.

[FYI-- I did a brief search to find out what Wright had said about Clinton at the time of the Lewinsky scandal, and, surprisingly enough, he evinced none of the moral outrage that he has marshaled against Tiger Woods. He did not even accuse Clinton of ruining the institution of monogamous marriage.]

1 comment:

aaacreditguide said...

But Tiger Woods and other celebrities don't live like you and me.