The Other McCain

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The Slut Paula Broadwell

Posted on | November 10, 2012 | 110 Comments

Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way, eh? Aren’t feminists who embrace the “slut” label (e.g., “Slutwalk“) all about empowerment and liberation? And if you are an empowered liberated woman, what difference does it make if you’re married or your partner is married? All those silly vows — “Forsaking all others” and so forth — are just oppressive tools by which the patriarchy subjugates women, and anyone who buys into moral ideals of marital permanence and lifelong fidelity has succumbed to what the Marxists would call “false consciousness.”

Stipulate that adultery has occurred and continues to occur even in the most traditionalist societies, as for example the infamous Beecher-Tilton scandal. We can’t blame feminism for everything.

Still, doesn’t it just make sense that the cheating husband will have more opportunities to cheat in a culture where rhetoric about the sexual empowerment of women is so widely accepted that anyone who dares question it is condemned as a misogynist or a puritanial religious fanatic? In the case of Gen. David Petraeus and his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, is there no one who can defend the marital rights of Holly Petraeus, the general’s wife of 37 years, without being accused of hypocrisy, prudery or sexism? And what about the husband — father of her two sons — whom the slut Paula Broadwell betrayed?

Taylor Berman at Gawker examines the evidence that Scott Broadwell suspected his wife was cheating with Petraeus and wrote a letter to New York Times advice columnist Chuck Klosterman and received a published answer informed by political correctness and moral relativism:

Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. . . . This is between you and your spouse.

Right: Adultery is only a scandal if it involves hypocrisy, and only Republican “family-values” spokesmen are capable of hypocrisy, so the adultery of an important Obama administration official should be viewed as strictly a private matter. If it weren’t for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

According to her Wikipedia page, Broadwell remained an Army reserve officer while she was knocking boots with the CIA director and was only recently elevated to the rank of lieutenant colonel, a promotion she never would have gotten had her illicit affair been exposed earlier. And it appears the slut was very cunning in her seduction:

Paula Broadwell, 39, has said she often conducted interviews with Petraeus while jogging. The pair met in 2006, when she was attending the Kennedy Center for Public Leadership at Harvard.

Ah, yes — the elite institution, and the ambitious West Point graduate using her sexuality to gain advantageous access to the Alpha Male, who had conveniently tucked his wife into a political sinecure with the Obama administration’s pet bureaucracy:

His wife, Holly, the daughter of a West Point superintendent, heads the office for service-member affairs in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency created by the 2010 financial-regulation law.

Give the Missus a do-gooder job to keep her busy while you’re keeping busy with other things, eh, General?

Of course, the feminists will cry foul that I am interpreting this tawdry human drama ideologically, even while they themselves view it through the lens of their own narrow ideology. My point is not that feminism causes adultery, but rather that the feminist rhetoric of “empowerment” provides a convenient rationalization for such behavior, and that feminism privileges the interests of a relatively small cadre of women (elite careerist strivers like Paula Broadwell) over the interests of others.

The inherent selfishness of feminism — its meaning as the expression of the power-oriented ambitions of a self-interested elite — is what needs to be examined. As is so often true in radical politics, the demand for “equality” is a precursor to the demand for hegemonic superiority.

UPDATE: More details emerge. It seems that David Petraeus may have had more than one extra-marital sweetie, and that his affair was discovered when the FBI began investigating e-mail threats that Paula Broadwell had sent to the general’s other side-piece:

The identity of the woman who received the e-mails was not disclosed, and the nature of her relationship with Petraeus is unknown. The officials said the woman did not work at the CIA and was not Petraeus’s wife, Holly. The law enforcement officials said the e-mails indicated that Broadwell perceived the other woman as a threat to her relationship with Petraeus.

John Hinderaker notes that the general’s e-mail correspondence with his lover included thousands of messages, which suggests that the CIA director was spending way too much time dealing with his irregular personal life. One argument for monogamy: It’s less time-consuming.

 

 

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Comments

  • BostonVagabond

    Patraeus was known to be a media slut — he had a very carefully managed image, master of propaganda. He was using her just as much as she was using him. She wrote a glowing biography of him and that fed his ego, furthered his ambitious and reputation.

    He made a very smart, advantageous marriage — married the daughter of the NATO commander, superintendent of West Point, a Lt. General.

    So I’d say Broadwell and Patraeus had a lot of reasons to hit it off. She was the female version of him and was studying him to figure out how to be that successful.

    How someone who is the head of the CIA can get brought down by emails is beyond me. Not smart at all.

  • BostonVagabond

    I’d say she’s the female version of Patraeus, actually.

    Inadequacy? She was already a graduate of West Point and at Harvard when she met Patraeus. He saw a kindred spirit. He admired an ambition that matched his own.

  • Fumetti666

    Best. Blog. Ever.

  • CASCA

    I’m so sick of people depicting Petraeus as a “Worrier” a “Mighty Man” a “Victim of a Seductress.” I would like to quote a famous warrior who Petraeus should have studied, if he studied history; I’ve tamed men of iron, shall I not crush men of butter.”

    Petraeus is obviously a man of “butter.” I know that Petraeus will read this post and understand the true nature of his crime. The betrayal and trust of the American People is insignificant compared to the code of conduct in which he was born into. SHAME ON THE PETRAEUS HOUSE, SHAME.

  • Catherine

    Oh boy. Please don’t confuse feminism with having a lack of morality. Two selfish people acting selfishly. If you think feminism is the latest justification du jour for poor behavior, so be it. Your so-called perception of feminism is nowhere close to its actual roots.

  • Anonymouse

    WELL SAID SHAWNY! I know her and you’ve NAILED it.

  • Sabrina van Zwieten

    This is an absolutely disgusting post. People like you are what is wrong with the world. Feminism comes forth from education and equality. It has absolutely nothing to do with extramarital affairs. Extramarital affairs are individual questions.

    And here you go defending Petraeus by saying men have more “opportunities to cheat” in a culture where women are sexually empowered. You make fools out of men! You imply that they have no choice, that they have no conscience, that they must follow their genitals. You make them look like bonobos. Well done.

    Sure, do defend the marital rights of Holly Petraeus, one has every right to do so. But by calling Broadwell a “slut” and excusing Petraeus for simply following wherever his penis takes him (because women are so tempting nowadays) – you’re WAY over the line. If you want to defend the marital rights of Holly Petraeus, start by asking why Petraeus made the CHOICE to cheat on her in the first place. As head of the CIA I suppose we can assume he is a man with a well-working brain. That is, if we can accept scientific claims that men indeed do have brains and are not ruled by their penis.

    You sound like someone who would be happy in a muslim community, where women cover themselves up from head to toe to avoid tempting men.

    You should not be publishing on a well-read website. You’re uneducated with regards to social and human behavior. You’re uneducated with regards to social progression. You misinform. You do not spread a better understanding of human beings. You spread intolerance, and prejudice, and hate. You have no notion of humanity.

  • CBDenver

    “Feminism comes forth from education and equality” — no, it doesn’t. I was there in the 70′s, I saw the modern feminist movement at the beginning, and it was all about empowering women to be selfish sluts.

  • Sabrina van Zwieten

    Mere opinion. The feminist movement was based on the educated conviction that all people are equal. The notion that people are not equal is primitive and uneducated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.cobb.946 Mike Cobb

    I agree with you totally, but I might change one word. Rather than saying she’s insecure, I think I would say she has an enormous ego that has to be constantly fed.