Opinion » Ted Rall

Say it's so, Tiger

In defense of Tiger Woods and good fun sex

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KUWAIT CITY--Why does Tiger Woods owe us an apology?

Let's assume that all the accusations of serial philandering are true. What right do we, the public, have to be upset?

Woods never presented himself as a pillar of moral virtue. He marketed himself as a great golfer. His job was to knock balls into holes, which he did. He didn't cheat at golf.

Nowhere in America lives a kid who looked up to Tiger because he thought he was faithful to his wife. Woods wasn't some right-wing hypocrite. He didn't preach. His church was the Chapel of Sports Excellence.

I'm not even sure he owes his wife an apology. According to various reports (although I can't fathom how said accounts were sourced), Woods' wife lost interest in sex after having kids. If she turned colder, oh well. Tiger didn't have the right to demand that she put out. But he had every right--the duty, even, if there was to be any chance of his keeping his family intact--to have some fun on the side. If Mrs. Woods wanted it 10 times a day, on the other hand, he owes her an apology. Her. Not us.

Yet the media is tearing Tiger a new one.

"The fact that he isn't allowing questions and is positioning his friends and handpicked reporters as props [at his tele-apology] is the height of arrogance," publicist Nick Ragone told The New York Post. "At some point, he'll be shamed into doing a true mea culpa." Another PR flack said: "He didn't think enough of his fans back then [three months ago, when the scandal broke] to do the right thing."

How is Tiger's sex life his fans' business?

Several years ago, a book appeared with a provocative title: Against Love. Who could be against love, I wondered, and why? Not the author, Laura Kipnis.

"Clearly no one can be against love," she writes. It turned out that she was actually against monogamy. Monogamy, Kipnis argued, stifles passion.

"Adultery is basically a referendum on the sustainability of monogamy, which means a referendum on the basic premises of modern coupled life, namely that desire will persist throughout a decades-long relationship," writes Kipnis. "If it doesn't, apparently you're supposed to either give up sex, or 'work harder' at it. Adultery is the collective--if secretive--rebellion against these strictures, but also a backdoor way of experimenting with possibilities for more gratification than what we're officially allowed, a workshop for wanting 'more' than what current social institutions provide."

Tiger Woods is merely the latest of billions of human beings who have been victimized by a crummy, worthless system that has only been around less than 1 percent of human history, one that everyone hates but is afraid to admit. He hates it, his wife hates it, most of us hate it. Yet we all pay it lip service.

Truth be told, the Tiger Woods "scandal" exists mainly in the minds of media gatekeepers. The topic was discussed in bars and break rooms, but nary a "what a pig!" has been heard. The reason is obvious: Most Americans have cheated.

Against logic and reason, the fidelity hoax goes on. Tiger Woods isn't a sex addict--he's a human being who likes to have sex. Lots and lots of sex. Tiger Woods shouldn't apologize--he should teach classes.

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