Why does American society reward women in sex scandals with celebrity status, while punishing the men? The case of Gennifer Flowers who, in a recent interview, made fresh wild allegations against Bill Clinton brings up this question once again.
After she revealed in a press conference in 1992 that she had a 12-year affair with Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, while he was governor of Arkansas, she shot to stardom and became a successful model and actress. In 1998, she frankly admitted that she had made a total net profit of $500,000 from trading the steamy details of her affairs with Clinton to Penthouse, Star Magazine and other news sources. She posed nude for Penthouse magazine and featured in a movie and several television shows. The Washington Post reports she landed a book deal and wrote the steamy “Gennifer Flowers: Passion & Betrayal” in 1995.
Now she’s back, like Oliver Twist, a senior citizen at 62, wanting more, still bent on squeezing the last juice of profit out of her Clinton-affair business assets on the tabloid market. She appeared this week in an interview with Susan Roesgen of New Orleans ABC affiliate WGNO, making some wild allegations that have refocused attention on her after Paula Broadwell stole the coveted scandal limelight for women in the Petraeus affair.
She claimed that in 2005, Clinton called her on the phone in Louisiana. She said she was alone at home after her divorce when Clinton called her. She told Roesgen: "I picked up the phone and it was him. And he wanted to come by my house and talk to me. I was taken aback; that was the last thing I expected."
Flowers said: "He wanted to come by my house and talk to me. He said, ‘I’ll put on a hoodie and I’ll jog up there.’ He used to do that."
She said she answered: "No, I want you to leave me alone."
But what was the main bombshell in the WGNO interview was her claim that Clinton had asked her to call a press conference and reveal the affair in the 1990s to help him achieve political name recognition needed to win the presidential race.
Flowers boasted that her 1992 press conference gave Clinton name recognition. She said she told him that he needed name recognition in order to be a contender in the presidential race. She boasted: "I made him a household name over night. We had had that discussion. He said, 'My problem right now is that no one knows who I am. I need that name recognition.' He went on to talk about the other candidates and the advantages they had... When my story came out, he was a household name."
Flowers, commenting on the Petraeus affair, said: "It's very unfortunate. It does really surprise me. But there's always something like that around the corner."
She addressed Broadwell, "Call me Paula! I'll give you some really good advice... You'd better buck up, it's going to be one hell of a bull ride."
Suzi Parker, writing in The Washington Post, expresses the opinion that it is time for Flowers to stop trading on Clinton's name. After all, she has had a successful career following her steamy revelations about her affair with the politician. Parker asks:
"What presidential candidate would purposely use an affair to gain attention in a crowded primary as he headed into New Hampshire? Certainly not one as smart as Bill Clinton, with a loyal army of Clintonites and a wife who wanted to win the White House as much as he did... Extramarital sex didn't play well in politics back in the 1990s, and it still wrecks careers 20 years later. "
Parker gives a brief synopsis of Flowers' My-Clinton-Sex-Scandal Inc. in the years after she announced her affair with Clinton:
"Flowers left Little Rock after Clinton became president and ended up in New Orleans. In 2003, I visited her night club 'Gennifer Flowers Kelsto Club,' which was housed in a former brothel... Flowers hosted a night of erotic literature readings at the bar. After Hurricane Katrina, Flowers left New Orleans and moved to Las Vegas. But she never gave up her Clinton connection. In 2008, she put the answering machine tapes with the Clinton conversations up for auction. "
Parker adds a revealing comment about Flowers' colleagues in the profitable Clinton sex scandal industry for women, Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones:
"Monica Lewinsky was reportedly shopping a book deal last fall. Would she spill more secrets about her steamy Oval Office relationship with Clinton in a tell-all book? With the 1990s women coming out of the woodwork, who’s left? Paula Jones? Don’t be surprised. Jones and Flowers paired up in 2008 and created a website offering videos with lurid details of their encounters with Bill for $1.99 each."
Digital Journal writer, Eric Morales, recently addressed the issue, posing the question: "Sex scandals — What about the women who help create them?"
American culture, it appears, rewards women in high profile sex scandals with celebrity status, fame and fortune, while punishing the men. Rewarding women with celebrity status and financial success in the wake of a high profile scandal gives other young women the impression they've got nothing to lose from ensnaring a high profile male for the social reward the scandal brings. Every attractive young woman knows that compared to women, men are exceptionally weak "below the belt." This fact justifies a reappraisal of the traditional notion that women are the victims in cases of "illicit" sexual relationships. Very often men are the prey and women the predators. It takes little effort for a determined young woman to have her way with an older man and become the next celebrity Playboy cover girl.
It is time society stops rewarding women who get involved in high profile sex scandals with celebrity status and financial success and impose stiffer social sanctions. The careers of many otherwise competent and distinguished men are at stake in the way society reacts to women implicated in high profile sex scandals.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com