So, Tiger Woods is a big time cheater. He may even be a sex addict. Although disappointing, I’m still befuddled by the intensity of public outcry which screams hypocrisy.
Sadly enough, affairs are common among us. Virtually all of us know at least one person who has been cheated on. The only difference is that Woods had an astounding 13 alleged mistresses, and he sports more than a great golf swing. His squeaky clean, family man look had us all deluded. We were fooled and now we’re mad as hell.
I’m curious though, about what number of affairs makes infidelity publicly acceptable. Among celebrities, infidelity is fashionable and no one really knows who holds the highest infidelity score. Even among the general public, it’s difficult to acquire infidelity statistics because it’s done in secret and most people wouldn’t want to admit to it.
One thing we do know: There are discreet affairs. The Ashley Madison infidelity dating site boasts of almost 2.5 million members, carrying the slogan, "Life is short, have an affair."
Seducing temptations are in bumper-crop supply, fed by luring images on the Internet, TV, magazines, and derogatory slogans about the dreary old man‚ the old lady‚ and the seven-year itch. Sadly enough, affairs are highly glamorized. Many among us have fallen into temptation and now we’re throwing Woods under a bus.
Part of our strong reaction to Tiger Woods could be a reflection of our better conscience, a projection of our own disappointment toward the ultimate relationship betrayal. So we beat up on Woods — a distant, safer target. This way we get to vent away the steam from our own encumbrances. If this is the case, it can be quite cathartic.
Also, we habitually hunt for role models in the performance world when we need to be discovering them in our own backyards, ie. at home, schools, and religious institutions.
What’s even more disturbing than Woods is the recent headline about the two Manitoba teachers who performed a gross bump-and-grind lap dance in front of shocked high school students.
So while Woods is being carried away in the witch hunt because he disappointed people’s fantasies about who they wanted him to be, his indiscretions are between him and his family. His public apology only deepened his embarrassment and most people are not convinced anyway. He isn’t a deity, an esteemed cleric — he’s a great golfer. Heck, he’s not even Bill Clinton.