Beyond ‘Men Behaving Badly’

Via Shelby Knox, Marlo Thomas argues that certain recent high-profile scandals are good for feminism. There’s something to her case, but I really want to object to this framing:

Strauss-Kahn. Schwarzenegger. Edwards. Weiner. It’s been a helluva month for men behaving badly. Am I the only one who sees this as a good thing?

Obviously Dominique Strauss-Kahn is in fact a man. And trying to rape a hotel maid is not good behavior. But Arnold Schwarzenegger has been exposed in a classic “sex scandal.” John Edwards took a sex scandal and added some serious campaign finance improprieties as part of the coverup. Anthony Weiner engaged in what’s really a pretty minor league sex scandal in the scheme of things and compounded the error by lying about it to the press. DSK, by contrast, allegedly committed a serious violent crime. The sort of thing for which people, quite rightly, get sent to jail. This all in some sense exists on a continuum of bad behavior, but I think we should really resist lumping it all together as the same kind of thing.