Do you know D.C.?

Get our free newsletter to stay in the know about local D.C.

Last week, Politico‘s Melanie Mason tackled the question of why female politicians are so rarely caught with their pants down. Mason starts out with a pretty good theory—-“Men far outnumber women in elected office, and statistical probability dictates that if a random politician is caught in a sex scandal, it is overwhelmingly likely that the politician would be male”—-and then offers up a bargain basement of half-baked ideas in order to cover all the basis—-and sexist stereotypes against women. Most of these reasons would never, ever actually stop a woman from messing around, but that won’t stop us from buying into it all again.

Strong Women Aren’t Hot Enough:

“I guess men in power are terribly attractive to some women, but I don’t think that women in power are attractive to some men,” said former Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.), who was co-chairwoman of Gary Hart’s scandal-plagued presidential campaign in 1988.

Love Finds A Way: Please. This isn’t true, but even if it were—-everybody can find somebody who wants to fuck them. This theory also conveniently lets male politicians off the hook. It’s not their fault! All the women who unexpectedly want to fuck them are to blame, somehow:

male politicians may be lavished with sexual attention they are unprepared to handle. “Most of these politicians were the high school boys that couldn’t get the cheerleader,” said [Suzie] Johnson, whose website GoAskSuzie.com specializes in issues of infidelity. “Now the situation is reversed.”

—-

The Media Has Eliminated the Female Politician’s Sex Life:

Being so outnumbered in the political realm can also lead to greater media scrutiny for politicians—think, for example, of the brouhaha over Hillary Clinton’s V-neck blouse that sparked a lengthy discussion on the appropriate amount of cleavage a female politician should reveal.

Love Finds A Way: I won’t argue with the fact that female politicians are often unfairly scrutinized by the news-media. Even when they’re not caught with their pants down, women are often scrutinized over infidelity—-Bill‘s blowjob meant a lot of obsession over Hillary‘s reaction. However, it’s not like the Governor of South Carolina doesn’t have reporters watching his every cross-continental flight—-and monitoring his sexy e-mails—-as well.

—-

Having A Career Is Hard Enough For Women!:

Others say women in high-power careers are so overloaded already that affairs are an unlikely possibility. As Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) points out, “Who has the time? I don’t have enough time in the day to take care of the responsibilities I have between work and family.”

Women tend to be able to juggle a lot, but with so many pressures, throwing an extra romance in the mix may feel like just another item to have to multitask. “In a certain way, it’s a privilege, and it still belongs predominantly to men,” said Williams, who is herself a mother.

Love Finds a Way: First, women were too preoccupied with homemaking and baby-raisin’ that they simply didn’t have the time or energy to hold down a career. They just couldn’t handle it! Now, women are too preoccupied with homemaking, baby-raisin’, and that career they insisted upon, they just can’t manage to squeeze the infidelity in. Are female politicians too busy with their careers to ruin their careers, or are there—-again—-just not that many women who have had the opportunity to fuck up?

—-

Women Can Make Babies, Didn’t You Know!

“The tendency or willingness to transgress sexual boundaries in general is much more likely in men than in women,” said Paul Abramson, author of the forthcoming book “Sex Appeal: Six Ethical Principles for the 21st Century.” Abramson, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, added that “women are socialized to be much more cautious about sexuality due to the fact that they can get pregnant. Having an affair is a sexual risk, and women are much less inclined to do that.”

Love Finds a Way: As Megan Carpentier points out on Jezebel, these women are in menopause. And if they’re not: condoms.

—-

Women Are Too Emotional To Have Casual Sex!

“That’s the reason you don’t see more female politicians having affairs,” Johnson said. “Women are less likely to have physical affairs but more likely to have emotional affairs, and there’s no way to bust those.”

Love finds a way: Emotional affairs leave paper trails, too. See: Mark Foley’s illicit AIM conversations, Mark Sanford’s flowery e-mails. Also, why are we listening to the advice of Suzie Johnson of GoAskSuzie.com again? You don’t have to take the URL literally!

—-

Women are wily bitches.

And, of course, there is always the possibility that female politicians have their own sexual indiscretions the public simply doesn’t know about. Those secrets may stay hidden for a while. According to Johnson, “women are way more clever at covering [affairs] up.”

Love Finds A Way: This is likely true—-but it’s likely true for many male politicians, as well. The idea that women are inherently better at hiding affairs is a tempting, completely unsubstantiated, and useless theory.

Photo by veni markovski