Is this evidence of our metropolitan area's liberal attitude toward sex? Many of Newsom's defenders have repeated that, well, everyone needs sex, he was going through a divorce, and his partner was a consenting adult, so what's the big deal? I wonder, if the mayor of a small conservative city had admitted to having sex with a married woman, if his constituency be so lenient. And if Newsom had slept with his campaign manager's husband or boyfriend, would locals be less tolerant? Even more tolerant?
Or maybe Gavin's getting the wet noodle because he's so unforgivably hot. This sounds miserably shallow, but I'm guessing more than a few women and men responded to news of the affair with a blithe, "I wouldn't kick him out of bed."
What intrigues me most, though, is that almost all of those giving the mayor their invective are disapproving for the same reason: the woman he had sex with is married to his friend. Not cool!, declares a gaggle of furrowing voters, most of whom are men. The Chron has a telling column on this phenomenon, explaining that Newsom's critics have caught him in an inexcusable breach of "Man Code." In short, according to Man Code, cheating on your partner is pretty bad, but cheating with your friend's wife is totally off limits. (This sentiment is echoed in many of the comments of the "Two Cents" articles linked above.)
This discussion brings to light some inherently sexist facets of the sexual politics of cheating. The woman he had sex with (what's her name again?) hasn't been saddled with any of the responsibility in this situation, even among critics. Somehow this triangle has been reduced simply to two masculine points: Newsom and Alex Tourk are duking this out mano y mano while Ruby watches passively from the sidelines. This quote is especially revelatory:
Hello?" wrote Mike Mulholland, 43, who grew up in the Bay Area before moving to San Diego County. "Newsom slept with his friend's wife. What if he stole from a friend? Or tried to frame a friend? Would that also be nobody's business?"Well-stated. Ruby Rippey-Tourk is her husband's property, and Newsom desicrated his buddy's property by sticking his penis in it. It's like he stole from his friend, or broke his lawn mower and didn't bother to fix it. Neither the "Man Code" article nor the "Two Cents" articles even mention Ruby's name. Women are treated as voiceless and faceless as men-folk butt heads in a decisive battle of Bros versus Hoes. Again, I wonder how this dynamic would play out if he had had sex with his male campaign manager's boyfriend.