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Tiger Woods IS a Role Model

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I think men can learn a lot from Tiger today.

Tiger Woods

Dr. Wendy Walsh: I'm weeping as I type this. I am a chick after all. Having just watched Tiger Woods emotional apology to his friends, family, employees, business partners, and foundation beneficiaries, I am simply moved. I am also confused. I am wondering why an athlete in Florida whom I have never met nor seen in public can cause me, a single mother in Los Angeles, to have such a blubbering event.

And the answer is simple. There are few women in America who do not long to hear such words of contrition and kindness from a man, and Tiger is as likely a surrogate for healing as anyone. At some point in their lives, most women have been deeply injured by some man's selfishness -- whether it was infidelity, or violence, or stingy child support. And here is a man finally doing the right thing. My own waterworks started with his tribute to his wife, Elin, using words like grace and poise to describe her. There are a couple of men in my past who would do well by me if they could form any similar words.

And I hope men listened closely, too. This is the kind of role model so many men need ... one who stops the buck at his desk and takes full responsibility for his actions. Through Tiger, men can hear firsthand how infidelity is not only a betrayal of trust but an action that reverberates through many relationships. Is one (or sixteen) moments of sexual pleasure really worth the destruction of so much? I truly hope that men who claim to have trouble controlling themselves can learn something from Tiger's blown-up version of their story.

Because the tides of relationship rules are changing. It used to be that women provided all the sexual boundaries in our culture. Women had far too much to lose by entering into a sexual relationship with a man who might abandon them, impregnate them, contaminate them or disgrace them. Not today. Thanks to feminism, women own their own orgasm and a box of Trojans. They are off to the races. And, as families fall apart -- 40% of American babies are born out of wedlock and the rest are vulnerable to a 50% divorce rate -- some men are stepping up to create their own sexual boundaries, if only to keep safe their genetic line. I spoke with one such man yesterday, Mark Verge, a happily married guy whose book "Access to the Boys Club" preaches techniques for fidelity for couples. Mark's message includes tips for wives to help keep their man satisfied.

Women's behavior is as much part of our culture-wide problem of unhealthy relationships. I've said it before, but let me reiterate: How can we blame our husbands for getting wet on their way home from work when IT'S RAINING WHORES? The shameless Tiger mistresses who have sought their fifteen minutes by kissing and telling on national television need a serious reality check. Or they need to become mothers so they can sympathize with Elin. (Actually, two of his alleged mistresses DID have kids, and they still didn't care!) But both women and men need to get some control on their sexual energy when families are at stake.

Finally, I want to close by applauding the unsung heros in our culture: Men and women who have been making the sacrifices associated with long-term monogamy because it is the right thing to do -- for your partner and for your children. We will all be beneficiaries of your dedication when your kids don't end up on the public coffers or spreading HIV to us. Thanks for making a commitment to love and family.

As for Tiger, he summed it all up with Elin's admonishment to him: "The real apology will not come in words. It will come in behavior." We're watching, Tiger. You're off to a good start toward healing.


next: Credit-Card Fees: The New Traps
40 comments so far | Post a comment now
Samantha February 22, 2010, 7:09 AM

Let me start by saying I’m not a follower of Tiger however the news can’t seem to get enough of it, add in the rag mags and it’s in your face no matter where you are! I totally support monogamy in a relationship and I think it shows your true character when you cheat. Sadly many people do and I don’t think it’s all about sex. I’m sure it starts out that way since one of the first areas in a relationship to suffer is usually sex. The everyday monotony of life just seems to get in the way. By the time you get the time for sex you don’t feel like shaving your legs let alone having sex. It takes an effort from both people in a relationship to really make it work nad it needs to start outside the sheets! As far as Tiger being admired for taking the blame, well isn’t that how it works (if it’s your fault you get the blame) but really if he wasn’t in the public eye he would be just another cheater. Parents who are using him as a role model….why was he a role model anyway? What’s wrong with the people in your own life that you would choose an over-hyped paid celebrity as a role model. I don’t get it! Then of course is the fact that if people had more interesting lives maybe they wouldn’t care about who’s dating or cheating on who. Obviously these people aren’t as smart as they’re being given credit for if you keep in mind the fact that they are “celebrities” I’m sure they really believe that what they’re doing is going to be kept a secret when there is big bucks to be made by sharing. At the end of it all the people who talk relationships and are commenting on Tiger’s obviously very scripted…”pause and look down for effect” speech that was meant largely for brand control, will make it seem like we as women are not doing enough to keep our men interested and that we need to learn how to do this to expect monogamy, give me a break!! It takes 2 to make a relationship work on all levels, men need to learn this early on. Make us feel special, admired, desirable, cherished like you care and it will naturally spill over into the bedroom! Will we have day to day issues, will life sometimes get in the way, sure but that’s what makes like worth living. Being able to face the world together and knowing that you truly love, trust and respect each other enough to know that at the end of the day you look forward to snuggling under the covers together.

Vanessa February 22, 2010, 8:20 AM

Perhaps the ones that aren’t calling Tiger “The Man”

Adele February 22, 2010, 9:32 AM

I agree with the caption that Tiger Woods IS a role model. I said this years ago when Charles Barkley tried to tell us that he was not a role model. We are all role models to other people, whether we like it or not. You never know when some young kid, or anyone for that matter, is looking up to you and wants to pattern his/her life after yours.

It’s just that some people aren’t very good role models. No doubt we have all had times when we weren’t being a good role model to those around us. If we are smart, we’ll take a lesson from all of this and try to do better.

michelle February 22, 2010, 10:42 AM

Wait, so women who cheat are “whores,” and men who cheat can’t help themselves because these whores are raining down on them? Nice, Wendy. Also, you are a moron if that ridiculous, emotionless press conference made you cry. That speech was to protect his brand and his income, scripted especially for his sponsors. He basically said as much in the press conference, which you would have heard had you not been crying like a “chick.”

cyndi February 22, 2010, 1:19 PM

Okay, lets get something straight—this man is the last person on earth that is a role model. Frankly, I could care less about his infidelity—that’s between him and his wife. But do I think he’s a role model for my four sons? What’s the message here, wendy? Sleep with anything with a skirt, while your wife is having your babies, then publicly apologize and then you’re a role model? Don’t know what you want for your kids/sons, but for me, it’s definitely not this…You better grow up—would you consider your husband a rold model under the same circumstances?

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CLB February 22, 2010, 5:00 PM

After listening to Tiger I think that he is going in the right direction to get his derailed life back on the right track. Tiger said his Buddhist faith would be a key part of his quest to put his life back together. Self- discipline with awareness of consequences is among Buddhism highest values. In each one of us there is a divine power that can be used to help us overcome any obstacle and adversity. I am encouraged that Tiger mentioned he is using his inner strength to regain balance in his life to save the two things that are most important to him, his wife and his children. I wish them all the best. It is time that Tiger and his family move on with their life and for the media to get off their back!!!


Vanessa February 22, 2010, 8:40 PM

I’d also like to add that the only way he’s a role model is that he teaches other men that it’s okay to sleep with several other women. Protection? Pft who needs it just as long as you give a “heart felt” apology you can get away with anything!

Cheat on!

Dee February 22, 2010, 8:51 PM

I agree with Michelle! Get a grip lady. Are your hormones out of whack? Maybe you’re just overly tired. You sound as though you have the emotional maturity of a 16-year old. Grow up. Tiger Woods is NOT a role model by any stretch of the imagination. I know adult men who have been monogamous by choice for years and it isn’t a hardship! And stop blaming the ‘whores,’ as you call them. THEY are single and free to have a relationship anywhere. THEY are not the ones who had made a monogamous committment to the wife - HE WAS. So put the blame squarely where it belongs - on an arrogant man who got rich far too quickly and never learned maturity and/or grace. He may also have given a fatal disease to his wife (HIV). Of course you’ve forgotten about his children who will know this truth about him FOREVER, even if he does eventually clean up his act. He can never erase that fact - and he should have thought of his children before he acted wrongly.

L February 23, 2010, 9:27 AM

If anyone actually read this, you’d be putting women back 30 years. Your logic is embarrassingly backwards and misogynistic. To answer your question: How do we expect men not to cheat when it’s raining ‘whores?’ By keeping our standards HIGH— and not letting society read crap like this that excuses men and blames women.

You sound like a bitter divorcee who needs to revisit a sex and gender 101 in graduate school.

Michele February 23, 2010, 9:44 AM

Nice. Blame the women for the cheating man. Next up, women who were just asking to get raped. Get a grip Wendy and give up your PhD. You are a disgrace to women and the profession of psychology!

Alix February 23, 2010, 9:48 AM

Just because he can hit a ball with a club and make it go farther than anyone else does not make him a good person; and in fact, he’s demonstrated that in relationships he can’t be trusted. Why would that apology make you cry? That’s ridiculous. He’s trying to save his $$. He doesn’t care about you, his wife, or his girlfriends.

Sara February 23, 2010, 10:19 AM

So…Tiger’s a role model because he apologized to his wife for cheating. The implication being, of course, that men will inevitably cheat on their partners or inflict violence on them or do something hurtful, but as long as they say “sorry” it’s okay? Oh no, wait, I got it wrong - men will be horrible unless women do something to rein in their men by setting “sexual boundaries,” because otherwise they will be unable to control their urges in the face of a RAINSTORM OF WHORES? Wow. So everything is women’s fault - either for not sexually satisfying their partners or for seducing men away from their loving wives and mother of their children. Way to totally ignore the fact that Tiger CHOSE to have affairs and that, as a successful athlete, it’s not surprising that he viewed himself as having special privileges and was able to get a lot of women to sleep with him who might not have done so if he HADN’T been Tiger Woods.

Also, you cried because you’re a chick? I’m a woman and I haven’t shed a single tear over Tiger Woods. Maybe it’s because you’re an apologist for a-holes instead of the fact that you’re a woman that drove you to tears.

Carly February 23, 2010, 11:17 AM

I’m curious to know what you’d tell a woman in treatment who’s husband had cheated on her, with multiple extramarital partners, no less. Would you really tell her she’s to blame for his transgressions? For HIS infidelities? You’re delusional, and frankly, dangerous to women everywhere.

Polly Toney February 23, 2010, 11:17 AM

I got a link to this from Feministe…I am both shocked and appalled. I’d like to think that this is some sort of parody…
How on earth is Tiger a role model?! Please let’s remember that he is only apologising because he got caught out. His supposed “guilt” is the product of being publically shamed; it has nothing to do with what he has put his wife and his family through otherwise he would’ve come forward of his own volition, or, even more radically, he wouldn’t have cheated numerous times, with numerous women, without protection, on numerous occasions.
As for the women he has been linked to, surely it’s not fair that they burden the blame when it is Tiger who has made a commitment to his wife through marriage.
The phrase ‘it’s raining whores’ actually made me spit my coffee all over my keyboard. I have never heard something so ridiculous in my life! A phrase that is both misogynist and misandrist at the same time-wow!

Ack February 23, 2010, 11:26 AM

You’re really praising him for taking responsibility for his actions while simultaneously blaming women? This whole article does everything but place responsibility on men who cheat. It’s their wives’ fault for not satisfying them; it’s the fault of single women for being single. Your solution boils down to “marry off all women and give them all free lingerie and oral sex lessons.”

I won’t even start on your comment about apologizing for intimate partner violence.

The fact that this wasn’t a one-time incident says that he’s not sorry he did it, he’s sorry he got caught. And you bought it.

Amanda February 23, 2010, 11:50 AM

Is that PhD real? Why are the women getting the blame for Tiger’s infidelity? Did they hold him down and force him to have sex with them? No, he made a conscious decision to cheat on his wife. He had no choice but to apologise if he had any chance of continuing his career. Perhaps if he had taken responsibility at the start before it had all been revealed through the media, it might be a touch more believable.

Thessa Mercury February 23, 2010, 2:02 PM

Oh my God. Heaven forbid any woman have a condom or an orgasm. It’d be so much better if they just laid back and thought of England and contracted their STDs quietly, like nice girls should. Women don’t deserve sexual pleasure or bodily autonomy, amiright?

(Here from Feministe, by the way, and if this is the kind of regressive garbage you post here, not planning on coming back.)

Joyce February 23, 2010, 6:32 PM

Raining whores, huh? So let me get this straight. In your world, women who sleep around are whores. But those poor men who sleep around can’t help themselves.

We really don’t need any more women in this world justifying the bad behavior of some males by using a double standard that was exposed as such decades ago.

Don’t EVER buy an excuse if you don’t believe that same excuse would also let YOU off the hook. Just speaking as one sister to another.

Lillie February 24, 2010, 7:46 AM

In my opinion there are many people throwing stones, both men and women, who are probably doing some of the same things that Tiger got caught doing. To be honest, no one may know all of the truth about the entire situation due to Tiger’s need for privacy. It’s interesting to me that he would be in the street at 2:30 a.m. without shoes unless there was a need to get away from something or someone. Unless, of course, that was just media hype. Maybe every couple, both Elin and Tiger, should read Mark’s book and we’ll have nothing but happy couples who live happily ever after.


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