On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Juana Bordas
Diversity leader

Juana Bordas

Juana Bordas is president of Mestiza Leadership International, a company focusing on leadership, diversity, and organizational change. Author of the 2007 book Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age, she is a board member of the International Leadership Association.

Powerful women not a turn-on

Q:Throughout history and the animal kingdom, leadership has been associated with sexual dominance. While we eschew that association in modern times, the fact of so many sexual scandals among public leaders, the latest being New York Congressman Eric Massa, raises the question: Why do so many leaders fall prey to confusing power with sexual charisma? Do leaders face more personal temptations than the rest of us?

I was fortunate to have the quick witted and brilliant Harvard lawyer Patricia Schroeder as my congresswoman for 24 years. Elected way back in 1973 when women were just a twinkle in the American political eye, Schroeder was asked in her fifties why women weren't embroiled in political sex scandals like male leaders are. "Well," she said in an ironic tone, "When I put on my bathing suit and stroll around the pool, the male Congressional pages aren't panting and following me around. Women having power and position just aren't a turn-on." Yes, indee-dee-deed, most powerful women will testify it's a deterrent, a show-stopper, a real deal breaker!

Not so for men. Henry Kissinger knew what he was talking about when he boasted "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." Kissinger, a Noble prize winner and brilliant statesman, was certainly not a candidate for the sexiest man alive. Yet he was linked to some of the most beautiful women of his generation -- Jill St. John, Shirley MacLaine, and Candice Bergen. He was the archetype for just how sexy male power can be.

The sex scandals among political leaders have one thing in common: They are almost 100% male and married at that. Granted a woman is involved - it takes two to tango. But usually it's a PYT -- pretty young thing -- not anyone who has her own power or influence. Some women actually prey on powerful men. How many men can resist the bold advances of a beautiful young intern or a flattering media groupie that fawns on your every word? Are we saying that are men the weaker sex when it comes to controlling their basic instincts?

But isn't it precisely the crucible of leadership to resist temptation, have self-control, and live by a higher standard? Being a leader is a choice requiring personal preparation and even sacrifice. When a person is designated a leader he holds the public trust and this demands a more rigorous moral code. Yet some male leaders have fallen into the rabbit hole thinking leadership is privilege, special perks, fat salaries, special treatment (and yes, pretty women). They begin thinking they are above the rules and that power means they can have what they want.

We don't want our leaders to be void of Chi - that enticing energy that probably won Scott Brown his Senate seat. What we want is for leaders to have personal discipline -- to stop fooling around, to set a good example, and to do their job without distractions. We want them to be personally responsible. Is that too much to ask?

By Juana Bordas

 |  March 11, 2010; 6:13 AM ET
Category:  Failures Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Sex and power | Next: No private zone


Please report offensive comments below.

Good point, Ed. Being publicly caught servicing a powerful politician is an excellent way to advance one's career. Once upon a time it was considered shameful and reputation-destroying. But in the modern era where notoriety trump reputation, it's actually quite beneficial.

Sad, really.

Posted by: ZZim | March 13, 2010 9:11 AM
Report Offensive Comment

We've come a long way, baby, since Wilbur Mills was caught cavorting with Fanne Foxe. Now, any young woman can have her moment in the sun by "bringing her kneepads to Washington".

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 12, 2010 7:34 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Sure, Dale, but they're both pretty hot, especially Jillian, irrespctive of their alleged powerfullness.

Prefessional accomplishness isn't a detriment to a woman being attractive, it's just irrelevant.

Posted by: ZZim | March 12, 2010 6:49 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Jillian Michaels turns me on. So does Christiane Amanpour.

Posted by: dalearmstrong | March 12, 2010 5:55 PM
Report Offensive Comment

As we watched Senators Ensign, Vitter and Rep. Mark Foley/ Larry Craig showed us Republican Christian Values and how woman were only good to be used and wives were to know their place. Massa would never had to resign if the Bush Administration was still in office. The Obama Administration had to step in to protect the male staffers because House Speaker Pelosi works for the GOP and that's how she got to be House Speaker. No worries once Obama is out of office Sin will be back in full force in the Govenment and the Church will again have an office in the White House.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | March 12, 2010 5:03 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Wow, Whistling, you sounds really, really sour grapes on the whole marriage thing.

Did you get fat?

Posted by: ZZim | March 12, 2010 4:20 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Feel sorry for the young college age women, who, apparently, are outnumbering college males.

Perhaps, HOPEFULLY, women will realize they don't need or want men anymore.

What USE, after all, is a 'partner' or husband whose only value is if he's trustworthy....and he's invariably a cheater. You live with an enemy; someone making a fool of you, fooling you. And you call it what?

Posted by: whistling | March 12, 2010 4:14 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The sad thing is that if the man's attractive, in any way, there's 100 women standing around trying to get him
and they will.

If you're attractive, in any way, and choose a far less attractive man, he'll decide he's suddenly attractive, a wow, and go for something better than you.

I married a man much older, thinking he'd be more mature. oh, right. They never mature.

Posted by: whistling | March 12, 2010 4:05 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Unfortunately most men really aren't men, they're aging adolescents. The few true men love powerful women...as long as they don't look like men ;).

Posted by: treez123 | March 12, 2010 4:01 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Well to many of the duds (not dudes, duds) having to use a pill nowdays, and havn't much to offer. Dominate what? Lesss and lesssss.

They counting on their sexual dominance with their sweet buffed nails?

And women who decide they want power and jobs ,instead of to compete to 'get the man' all dressed up,
will run all over the males who suppose they ruin you by not choosing you.

Oh, it's gonna change. Being a rich or powerful , or even left alone is vastly superior to to being some childish dud's
thing. He just doesn't have much to offer any more. He's master of nothing.

Posted by: whistling | March 12, 2010 3:57 PM
Report Offensive Comment

not all men are pigs, just the attractive ones.
Posted by: spam21


Not true. I’m especially good-looking and I’m not a pig. So there, proved you wrong.

Posted by: ZZim | March 12, 2010 3:21 PM
Report Offensive Comment

men don't really like these types of women.
the "powerful" type.
Posted by: pgibson1

Sure. I don’t see how a woman’s business or professional power has any effect on her attractiveness. I just don’t. Nor do I find it unattractive. It seems irrelevant to me, since it has no impact on the relationship.

I suppose it could be an interesting personality trait, like scrapbooking or having double-jointed elbows or something.

It seems to me that the only men who would find it attractive are:
1 – Perennially jobless parasites
2 – Wimps
3 – Guys who really get into the whole domination and conquest thing and also like challenges.

Posted by: ZZim | March 12, 2010 3:15 PM
Report Offensive Comment

I disagree. Powerful women are a turn-on.
Posted by: DavidH3


Posted by: ZZim | March 12, 2010 3:07 PM
Report Offensive Comment

How do we know that powerful women behave differently?
I do not think it is really considered that a powerful woman could act like Bill Clinton is alleged. It would be so much against type.
I think people expect men to act that way. Do they look for powerful women to do the same?
While the proportion may be off, I am willing to be that more than a few powerful women have taken advantage of that power.

I do agree with the first part of pgibson1's post - most men do not "like" a woman who asserts herself. Just ask anyone about Hillary Clinton.
If a man says, for instance, "I paid for that microphone!!" he is cheered. This is what leadership is supposed to be!!!!
If a woman had said that she would be called a name.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | March 12, 2010 12:29 PM
Report Offensive Comment

What are you smoking man?
"If Clinton had been doing it with Sharon Stone or Barbra Streisand - because they felt like it, not because they wanted to curry political favor -- instead of a woman young enough to be his daughter, he'd still be president today."

Clinton was president from 1992 to 2000. 8 years. He'd served out his entire term as defined in the Constitution.

I don't see why this is a 90's battle of the sexes issue. In my experience members of both sexes have had dalliances with people that have large age/power gaps.
As long as it doesn't interfere with your job; Who cares?

Posted by: Bulldeazy | March 12, 2010 12:22 PM
Report Offensive Comment

MAD (mutually assured destruction)

Women choose to have affairs with other vested men (married) rather than the single boy toy. Their secrets are safe. Men are too week to resist the single PYT and therefore run a much higher risk of being exposed.

Posted by: ruairc1 | March 12, 2010 12:22 PM
Report Offensive Comment

It's not cheating if you're giving your spouse everything she wants, and you're not getting everything you want from her.

Posted by: mhoust | March 12, 2010 10:52 AM
Report Offensive Comment

It usually takes time and hard work to achieve a position of power. You have to be able to delay gratification in the short term for a long term gain. Men seem to be less forgiving of the aging process on women's bodies than women are of men (anecdotally/generally). Which is a pity. But if more powerful women are more circumspect about the people with whom they have extramarital dalliances OR they simply don't engage in them as often, then either they're smarter about it or they can better rein in their impulses.

Posted by: Skowronek | March 12, 2010 9:33 AM
Report Offensive Comment

It is Henry Kissinger, not Henry Kissenger.

I am a big fan of the women's movement. Especially when I'm walking behind it.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 12, 2010 6:34 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Another other issue is also very true, in most cases. Powerful women are SMART. Many men have no interest in smart women. Period.

Posted by: steveboyington | March 12, 2010 5:59 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I worry women feel they need to be great AND be dripping with sex appeal. It seems so limiting and yet another way to beat oneself up ("sure, I am a senator but just look at these ugly thighs").

Personally I would rather have someone in power focus more on the job than their looks, or else we would just have more Sarah Palins.

Posted by: sarahabc | March 12, 2010 5:57 AM
Report Offensive Comment

This may not be directly on point but:

As a straight man I am not proud of some of my actions when it comes to dating women/treating women properly. I can only hope to grow out of some bad habits.

But, I've certainly also been on the wrong end of treatment by women - one of whom was a supervisor of mine at work.

I find the finger pointing to be a bit childish.

From a macro/generalized perspective, both men and women have some growing up to do.

Posted by: CF11555 | March 12, 2010 3:28 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I disagree. Powerful women are a turn-on.

Posted by: DavidH3 | March 12, 2010 2:17 AM
Report Offensive Comment

I think you answered your own question when you said, "It takes two to tango." Blaming this on the men is only 50 percent correct.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | March 12, 2010 12:07 AM
Report Offensive Comment

Being a testosterone-laden time bomb of a man myself, I suppose I should understand why some men are unfaithful, but I don't. I'm married and have never cheated on my wife. I've had opportunities, but I just haven't ever done it.
Maybe I respect my wife, my marriage and myself more than some men do? Maybe I think of what it would do to my wife and children if I was caught cheating? I know the guilt would eat at me something awful even if I wasn't caught, and I would be one very upset man if I found out my wife cheated on me.
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you is very sound advice.
As for powerful women, I don't see that they're hurting for husbands or lovers.
We're also seeing more older women involved with younger men than we used to.
But what kind of person is willing to sleep with someone who is already married? Probably not someone who would make a very good wife or husband.
I can't say with any certainty why some men or women cheat, but I think fidelity boils down to respect, love, keeping your priorities in order and self-control.
Remove any one or more of those from the equation and maybe you've got the answer.

Posted by: meand2 | March 11, 2010 11:41 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Uh, maybe the males held back because Ms. Schroeder didn't look good in her bathing suit in her 50's? Men don't care much about the fancy restaurant and the fawning public. Women do and that's why they find Kissinger "attractive".

Posted by: chrisjakeeuro | March 11, 2010 11:40 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Hey, Spam21: poor, powerless, unnatractive men are pigs too... we just have fewer opportunities to prove it.

Posted by: xaxton | March 11, 2010 10:41 PM
Report Offensive Comment

"it's the fact that males, for thousands, even hundreds of thousandds of years, have been socially conditioned to understand that they own the world and have a sense of entitlement."

Actually, it's the fact that men, for thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of years, have been hacking away at the wilderness through blood, toil, and cunning so that now females can complain about us from the comfort and safety of their homes, safe from the cruel world men have tamed.

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | March 11, 2010 10:33 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Women in positions of responsibility, if not power, have problems controlling themselves, too.

I have been harassed by a supposed professional female colleague, with whom I had to work, who had a crush on me. She did not believe me when I politely told her that I did not consider her as a potential romantic partner, and would not drop the subject.

It was a very unprofessional and annoying situation because she simply would not drop the subject. After I finished the job, I politely asked her please to leave me alone. She has complied.

Women are far from perfect. Any male who has had to deal with unwanted romantic attention from a female in the workplace, beyond a polite "No," will understand. Thank you.

Posted by: WashPostSucks | March 11, 2010 10:29 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Get real. No one can explain chemistry or attraction. Or the ego's corruption when significant power is attained. If attraction happens it happens. When it does, women know what kind of energy they are putting out. Same for men.

If the vibe is sexual and magnetic, many are not going to resist under all circumstances. It's called primal attraction coupled with human frailty.

Like others have said, give women time in leadership roles and it will all even out. Not defending it, just acknowledging the reality.

Some will have such strength of character they'll resist temptation. Many more will not have the inner strength. Such is life.

Posted by: NYCman | March 11, 2010 9:43 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Most straight men - even the unslightly, powerless, moneyless ones - have a sense of entitlement regarding women. Actually, men are like dogs. No offense. That's just how it is. (Sorry, dog lovers - that was a harsh comparison, wasn't it?)

Posted by: mirrorgazer | March 11, 2010 9:35 PM
Report Offensive Comment

welcome to: http://www.plzzshop.com

The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan,prada,****, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations. All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive, and also can accept the paypal payment.,after the payment, can ship within short time.

free shipping

competitive price

any size available

accept the paypal


jordan shoes $32

nike shox $32

Christan Audigier bikini $23

Ed Hardy Bikini $23

Smful short_t-shirt_woman $15

ed hardy short_tank_woman $16

Sandal $32

christian louboutin $80

Sunglass $15

COACH_Necklace $27

handbag $33

AF tank woman $17

puma slipper woman $30

Posted by: fdysauifhask | March 11, 2010 9:33 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Sure, let's put women in charge of everything. That will work.

Judge orders woman to get rid of 50 cats

Woman Hoards 60 Cats In Trailer Home

Woman With Over 60 Cats Fights City Ordinance

Lehi Police remove woman's 60 cats after neighbors complain

Woman arrested; 60 dogs seized from small home

More charges for Salem woman with 60 malnourished animals

More than 60 animals recovered from woman's home.

"While animal care specialists recognize these people are in need of psychiatric help, almost no psychiatric literature exists on this topic. ... Nearly two-thirds of their sample were women, and 70% were unmarried."

Posted by: screwjob11 | March 11, 2010 9:20 PM
Report Offensive Comment

There's nothing about male nature that makes them susceptible to scandals, it's the fact that males, for thousands, even hundreds of thousandds of years, have been socially conditioned to understand that they own the world and have a sense of entitlement. Even men who are not this narcissistic are still subtly influenced by the still-existent gender divide in society, especially the media.

Women on the other hand, while by nature are no more moral than men, have no such sense of entitlement. They have to fight tooth and nail to be recognized, and due to their gender's history, are considered "strong" if they achieve only moderate success. They don't have a subconscious voice that tells them they have a right to bang a hot intern if they want to because they're powerful, because their brains are not loaded with precedent for that kind of behavior. Women still have societal pressures that say promiscuity is bad, VERY bad, while men have societal pressures that say the opposite. This is due to the lingering social impact of long gone vestigial traces of natural selection.

It has nothing to do with the nature of men versus women. In a few hundred years, history will have given the world have enough philandering, narcissistic, powerful women and enough devastating, painful lessons and social pressure for cheating men to make the two genders equal in this regard.

Posted by: Jackal-1 | March 11, 2010 8:55 PM
Report Offensive Comment

not all men are pigs, just the attractive ones.

Posted by: spam21 | March 11, 2010 8:06 PM
Report Offensive Comment

One word: Testosterone.

Posted by: walkietalkie | March 11, 2010 7:59 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Modern American men are weaklings who are afraid of their women. Put an average American man on the battlefield with the exact same weapons and support as almost any enemy he's faced in modern times and he'll lose due to a lack of inner strength.

Posted by: patrick3 | March 11, 2010 7:48 PM
Report Offensive Comment

If a male CEO of a company I own stock in is doing a great job and getting me fat returns...I say he should get all the ladies he can stand.

If a male president is doing a great job running the country, then by golly I'm all in favor of him sleeping with a different woman every night if he so chooses.

Posted by: wolfcastle | March 11, 2010 7:36 PM
Report Offensive Comment

We live in a world of science and those who founded science loved knowledge more than power.

A steadfast peace that might not be betrayed
So once it would of been, tis no more
I have submitted to a new control
A power is gone, which nothing can restore
A deep distress hath humanised my Soul

Elegiac Stanzas, a castle in a storm.

Posted by: tossnokia | March 11, 2010 7:14 PM
Report Offensive Comment

In terms of Pat Schoeder's comments about men and her walking around in her bathing suit,,, Does any one think that Pat was a sex symbol? Gorgeous women are usually not what you see in politics,, Palin is the outlier,, and McCain was captivated and turned on by her,,

Pat, I liked you, but you are no Sarah

Posted by: EastCoastnLA | March 11, 2010 6:56 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The sex scandals among political leaders have one thing in common: They are almost 100% male and married at that.

Can anyone stop and think about this,,, what is the greatest threat to marriage in America? Is it the homosexual that chooses to sleep with men? Is it two gay or lesbian people that want to pledge their love and get married?

I submit to you that the greatest threat to marriage and the stability of our "traditional values and society" are Married Men who can't stay out of bed with women who are not their wives or from messing around with boys or other men. Divorce is Marriage's biggest threat,, and Gay people are not allowed to be married.

Posted by: EastCoastnLA | March 11, 2010 6:52 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Actually, powerful women are extremely sexy, unless they're bat-crazy like Bachmann or Palin. Most cheating men go down that road because they have mental inbalance. Ever notice how many of them are moralizing, abstinence-preaching, Christian-supremacist who are sexually schizophrenic? Then the next morning, they can go back to hating women, passing ridiculous legislation, and hating themselves.

Posted by: revbookburn | March 11, 2010 6:44 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Why would a man be attracted to a woman acting like a man?

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | March 11, 2010 6:40 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Go spend some time with a few 2 year old boys. Or younger ones. Little boys just love their man parts. When you were in grade school, which bathroom was the scene of the p..ing contests? Who learns to control that function by using trees and car wheels? Same thought processes apply to the other function of that organ. Powerful married men convey power and prestige to young women; particularly to those who have never toilet-trained a boy.

Posted by: abbyandmollycats | March 11, 2010 6:32 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Women having power and position just aren't a turn-on."

WRONG: Older women's bodies just aren't a turn on. What's wrong with you people?

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | March 11, 2010 6:28 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Women who find well to do married men ...get a good deal, perhaps a baby in their 40's, a house, and a big monthly wad of money for child support...say, $18,000.00 a month and the tuition for school.childcare and other half-siblings..- ..not a bad deal-perhaps a book deal...and Yes, shame on these women who can't find a single man without children...and a vidio to go along with all? wow!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | March 11, 2010 6:20 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Unfortunately, Men get to think with two heads. Most times it doesn't work out but they always get a pass. Unless you have a wide stance and get caught in a public restroom these events get a wink and a nod. Let's face it promiscuity will always exist. Marriage as an "institution" with its failure rate shows how much it sucks. Power if it is only for fifteen minutes is what this life is all about.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | March 11, 2010 6:18 PM
Report Offensive Comment

There are five reasons (don't sweat the order) why men engage in this behavior so much more than women.

1. Strength of the male sex drive.

2. Frequency of encountering women that let the male know they are available. At a minimum the male will view the overture as a compliment.

3. The common inane male view that because they are male (and not female) cheating is OK.

4. The propensity of many people (both men and women) to believe cheating is a private matter and should not be made public (review comments on Tiger Woods)

5. Divorce laws which don't penalize the cheating partner in a marriage. Where else does a broken contract get a legal pass?

Items 1,2 and 3 are the big male/female differentiators.

Posted by: billsecure | March 11, 2010 5:58 PM
Report Offensive Comment

To your question: “Do leaders face more personal temptations than the rest of us?” I the answer is clearly; ‘Yes’. Power and prestige do attract attention; with the relationship between them likely being exponential. And I suspect we all agree that even leaders should not be given any special pass on poor behavior. None of us should.

As to your statement/question: “What we want is for leaders to have personal discipline - to stop fooling around, to set a good example, and to do their job without distractions. We want them to be personally responsible. Is that too much to ask?” I say it’s healthy to ask this; but don’t set your sail by it. We want the courts to be just, business dealings to be fair, and parents to be upright, consistent, and wise. And we’re not going to get it. A solid attempt is about the best most of us will actually achieve. We do need to keep these aspirations alive, but at the same time keep our expectations realistic.

Jumping back, when you ask: “Why do so many leaders fall prey to confusing power with sexual charisma?” Sexuality is a powerful confluence of biologically-driven, emotionally-driven, and socially-driven forces; which manifests itself in different ways, in different individuals at different times. Leaders confuse sexuality and charisma? It’s a seductive hypotheses; but there are too many variables at play, it doesn’t hold. If only we could reduce sexuality to such a simple equation – for any of us. There may not be such a thing as a ‘stupid question’, but there are poorly framed questions, and questions for which there is no meaningful answer. I think this is one of those.

Posted by: Gflip | March 11, 2010 5:58 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Each person is responsible for his or her own conduct. It comes down to what kind of person you want to be. As for this "Darwinisn" claim for male infidelity, it's been proven to be intellectually dishonest. Unfaithful men will seek any justification for their indefensible behavior. I'm not sure that anyone has yet developed a psuedo-intellectual "theory" for infidelity among married women, but it certainly does occur. Some people simply are not honest, loyal and sincere. Again, each person must decide what type of person he or she wants to be. It really is that simple.

And the idea that powerful women are not sexy...don't tell that to Sarah Palin. I dressed up as Sarah Palin for Halloween last year and I was hit on by nearly every guy at the party...and I was there with my boyfriend (and yeah, he loved the Palin attire).

Posted by: pepperjade | March 11, 2010 5:25 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Another possibility is the media's lack of interest in the potentially scandalous sexual conduct of female pols. For example, Google: Loretta Sanchez scandal. The specific, factual allegations about Rep. Sanchez's adultery with her official military escort have been circulating now for 2 years, yet neither the Post, Politico, Roll Call nor any other Washington media has bothered to investigate or report on it. If a male politician did this, it would be red meat.

Posted by: JT691 | March 11, 2010 5:16 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Q: How many men can resist the bold advances of a beautiful young intern or a flattering media groupie that fawns on your every word?

A: How many are gay or impotent or married a woman 10x hotter then they would normally get, thats about the same number.

Q: Are we saying that are men the weaker sex when it comes to controlling their basic instincts?

A: Or are we saying men have their priorities in a different order than women. There is nothing wrong going after the low hanging fruit.

Q: Is that too much to ask?

A: Yes, because if a politician was public and said, I am a powerful person and have many affairs, they would not get elected. Not because they are being honest, but they would be condemned for their honesty when MOST of us guys if in that same position would act the same way.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 11, 2010 4:46 PM
Report Offensive Comment

This debate seems outdated to me. This is the 21st century and while comments from times gone may resonate with some there are millions of people who have (and are) working hard to change things. Women are still under represented in areas and if we want to change that then let’s do it.

My philosophy is – if we don’t like something then let’s change it.

I work in the area of organization development and with leaders (men and women) each and every day. They are all working hard to achieve the organizational goals and the ones you talk about are not the majority – they are the minority.

People in general are attracted to power and we put leaders and celebrities on a pedestal. We want to be around them and give them guru status. Just touching them or talking to them makes us feel great and we can talk about it forever more. Imagine if we actually got to go out with one of them – we’d be on cloud nine.

Our expectations of leaders are totally unrealistic and in general most of us do not hold ourselves to those same standards.

Merydith Willoughby

Sex in the Boardroom (leadership development)
If it's to be: It's up to me
Back from Hell

Posted by: IBCoaching | March 11, 2010 4:46 PM
Report Offensive Comment

You could have save this BS for someone else. These guys are going after YOUNG MEN! You should have called them what they are - a bunch of married but gay perverts.

Posted by: keedrow | March 11, 2010 4:39 PM
Report Offensive Comment


What you fail to realize is that women's reaction to men in power (and money) is what drives men to seek power (and money).

A man's behavior is shaped by how he's rewarded.

And enough with the pitiful woman victim comments. You people need to grow up. The women are getting exactly what they want. If they didn't want it they would go after a different type of man.

Posted by: truthbeknown | March 11, 2010 4:22 PM
Report Offensive Comment

OK, let's do the experiment.

Elect an all-women Congress.

Posted by: bethechangeyouwant | March 11, 2010 4:15 PM
Report Offensive Comment

TheGJ: The reason married men are at fault is because they entered into a relationship/contract whereby they promised fidelity.

The 'other' women did no such thing. Nor did anyone else outside of the couple. While I think it is reprehensible to cheat, or fool around with someone who is married, it is ultimately the married person’s responsibility and thus fault; there is no fault if both are single. No matter how many PYTs there are.

Posted by: GC11011 | March 11, 2010 4:10 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Gpyle1 - Clinton served two full terms, the limit a Prez can do.

Mr_Bill_1 - Darwinian theory should be applied to animals - tho' men often are pigs - and promiscuity by either sex in humans is NOT understandable (as a general statement). Please don't try to justify poor judgment and lack of common decency as something to be expected of most men.

There must be something in the water in the Capitol that seems to affect the men there.

Posted by: dmartin79 | March 11, 2010 4:04 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Why is it that the married man is always considered the one who is at fault, not the "other" woman who in 99% of the cases knows the man is married (certainly in the case of powerful politicians)? It takes two to tango. Yet it is crowed about that only the man is supposed to be "disciplined." How about the ladies who can't stop throwing themselves at the married, influential men they so covet and desire? They should be just as "disciplined".

Posted by: TheGJ | March 11, 2010 3:49 PM
Report Offensive Comment

"And since it's a safe generalization that women are much more desirous of marriage then are men" Tell that to any guy that had his marriage proposal turned down. I don't think that's a safe generalization, at all.

"If Clinton had been doing it with Sharon Stone or Barbra Streisand - because they felt like it, not because they wanted to curry political favor -- instead of a woman young enough to be his daughter, he'd still be president today." Uh, what? Clinton isn't president any more because he served two full terms and wasn't eligible to run again, as of 10 years ago! You really think, absent term limits, he'd still be serving as President after 18 years?!

Posted by: talleyl | March 11, 2010 3:49 PM
Report Offensive Comment

men don't really like these types of women.
the "powerful" type.


After all, wasn't it the women who agreed to the same thing, not wishing to be coupled with a man that is more agressive than they would "prefer".

the key word is "prefer".

end of story.

Posted by: pgibson1 | March 11, 2010 3:28 PM
Report Offensive Comment

There are several good Darwinian takes on this whole phenomena, but Steven Pinker offers particularly poignant insights in his book, "How the Mind Works."

Posted by: RandFan | March 11, 2010 3:14 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Men Are Pigs!
Has no one ever mentioned this to you?
I am a man. I am a pig.
No male who is a truth teller could seriously argue that.
We will find sex at home, or if not, at bars, or if not, in brothels, on the internet in cybersex encounters, or in the bathroom with a magazine.
It has nothing to do with powerful women.
Men just love their - ummm - manhoods.

Posted by: postal1 | March 11, 2010 3:12 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Perhaps this just reflects the under-representation of women in Congress. A quick Google search suggests this is not the case.


Posted by: jfx1 | March 11, 2010 3:07 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Yes, it is too much to ask.

The best we could hope for would be for the powerful men to indulge themselves with [relatively] powerful women, who could have said no but said yes because they wanted to. And who have the class to keep it a secret, at least until their memoirs are published.

If Clinton had been doing it with Sharon Stone or Barbra Streisand - because they felt like it, not because they wanted to curry political favor -- instead of a woman young enough to be his daughter, he'd still be president today.

Posted by: gpyle1 | March 11, 2010 3:04 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Tony Montana had it right: First you get the money, then you get the power, THEN you get the women. Always has been true, always will be. (see Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum)

And since it's a safe generalization that women are much more desirous of marriage then are men, it perhaps reveals a rather repugnant innate hypocrisy that so many women will happily have sex with married men. While promiscuity among men is at least understandable from Darwin's standpoint, I'd be interested to hear a Darwinian's explanation of the pervasiveness of that peculiar female trait.

Posted by: mr_bill_10 | March 11, 2010 2:53 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company