Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger Woods Did Not Cheat On His Wife

I have never understood why someone who commits adultery is called a "cheater". Cheating is something I associate to having an unfair advantage, or not abiding by the rules in playing a game. A marriage can be many things, but it is far more serious than any game, even the Super Bowl.

To define what Tiger Woods has done as "cheating" is to obfuscate what his transgression really is. Tiger didn't cheat on his wife; he lied to her, and in doing so, he shattered the trust which is mandatory in a marriage. His wife's sense of reality has been destroyed, because she believed that she and her husband were living in the same story. Now she finds out that she has been living in a life that did not exist because Tiger had a secret life of his own.

Given the number of text and phone messages Tiger used to communicate with various women, one has to wonder if he wanted to be caught. Did he truly believe that he could be involved in so many sexual relationships that it would not become public some day? Part of the culture of professional sports is athletes having girl friends in every city the team or athlete goes to. I have no doubt that some men compete with each other to see who can have sex with the most women. Tiger is the most well-known and richest athlete in the world, so it follows that he must have sex with the most women. But any man as indiscreet with his indiscretions as he was is begging to get caught.

Some postulate that he is a sex addict. If wanting sex all the time is addictive behavior, then 99% of all American males are sex addicts. What is not a postulation, however, is that Tiger is a world-class liar. But he has been a spokesman for cars, watches, shoes, sports drinks. and other products. Television commercials and magazine ads lie to us all the time because America's value system places far more importance on satisfying greed than telling us that using a certain product might harm us? Tiger makes (or made) one hundred million dollars a year from being the spokesman for various products, which makes him a very well-paid liar. If he lies to the American people, why wouldn't he lie to his wife?

One more thing that is in the same category of glossing over something through language. Why are Americans afraid to say the word, breast? When did women's breasts become boobs? How can we think we are a mature nation if saying "breast" frightens us so much that we have to call them "boobs"?

The language we use has a profound effect on how we live our daily lives. We call Tiger a cheater when his offense is that he's a liar. We say boobs which is a far more ugly sounding word than breasts.

I shudder to think about all the other things we might be afraid to call by their rightful names.

© 2009 by Julius Lester