Sex and Power Often Go Together
Herman Cain "suspended" his campaign for president the other day amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. ("Suspend" implies a temporary measure. Is he going to come back on the campaign trail later, when the dust settles?)
Although he vehemently denied ever treating any female "improperly," we don't know what his -definition of "improper" is. Just as in Clinton's famous quote, it depends on what the definition of "is" is.
In days of yore, I would never have attempted to write about sex. It just wasn't -accepted. Lots of famous -sexual alliances occurred in the past, with the likes of Eisenhower and his secretary, Loretta Young and Clark Gable, John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, et al., but these dalliances were swept under the rug compared with today's ruthless pursuit by the press to sometimes expose the most delicate details.
What I learned about sex in my lifetime tells me that Cain's affirmations are untrue. First of all, I was pretty naive about the subject. When my friend Bob Foster told me about the birds and bees at about 9 years old, I rejected the idea, telling him, "My mom and dad would never do that!"
The simple answer is that power spawns sexual encounters.
I realized this at my first job with a computer manufacturing company. It took a while to realize, but in fact, there was a significant group of colleagues who were in some positions of power having alliances. My boss was a very powerful -person who took a great fancy toward an attractive female with the same family name as mine. To accommodate his -feelings for her, he asked me to hire her, which I did, of course.
My boss was a Boston Irish Catholic with a nice family, including four kids. But he and my employee were definitely an item. As time elapsed, I became frustrated by the fact that someone who worked for me knew more about what was -happening than I did because of her relationship with him. This created a messy relationship for me and the others who worked for me. Pretty soon it seemed like she was running my department, or trying to.
I finally chose to leave the company after 11 years of service to join an exciting telecommunications firm as its vice president of service. My boss there was a superstar young woman. In a very short while I realized that she was having an affair with the CEO. This sickened me, and I was history there sooner than I expected. The power thing.
Following these personal experiences, I just accepted the fact that in a corporate -environment, with the power inherent with a manager's, director's or higher-level job, there were always sexual opportunities available.
Powerful people that you never would suspect as players in the sex game have disappointed many friends, relatives and colleagues. Sexual misconduct, fueled by power and influence, won't disappear. Ex-candidate Cain publicly asserted that he was innocent, but many of us just didn't buy his story. For one thing, there were just too many victims surfacing with accounts to the contrary.
Other examples of -presidential and political -sexcapades include Thomas Jefferson, who fathered -several children with his slave, Sally Cummings. Strom Thurmond fathered a child out of wedlock. Then the Bill Clintons, Eliot Spitzers, John Edwardses, Gary Harts and Barney Franks were also exposed.
Interesting how some -survived and others did not. I believe this list is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
Andy Thomas lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at -firstname.lastname@example.org.
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