Yes, yes, I’m writing about Tiger Woods. And yes, yes, I know everyone with a keyboard already has. I wasn’t going to, at first. Really. With so many news reports, gossip columns, blogs, and skits and spoofs (in addition to SNL’s questionable skit, The Vancouver Sun lists Woods’ top five endorsement possibilities) out there, I figured there’s really no new spin I could give it. Plus, Dr. Grohol already did a fantastic job of turning Tigergate 2009 into a teaching moment.
But then I ran into an interesting article by Emily Miller of Politics Daily, and decided that maybe there is something worth saying…
Miller’s article, “Does Tiger Woods Deserve Privacy for His ‘Transgressions’?”, takes a look at Tiger Woods’ – you guessed it – privacy; specifically, whether or not he deserves the privacy he asked for in the same statement he released admitting to, and apologizing for, his “transgressions.”
Three paragraphs into the statement Woods posted on his website, the golfer writes:
But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don’t share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one’s own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn’t have to mean public confessions.
Sounds like a simple enough request, right? I mean, humans like their privacy, and they like it even more when scandals are involved.
So…simple? Sure. Practical? Not so much. Miller put it best when she wrote, “I think if Tiger Woods wants privacy for his personal life, he should give back all the money and quit golf. Then, he can have all the privacy he wants.” I agree, mostly. Like I said, humans like their privacy, but when they put themselves in the spotlight they shouldn’t be surprised when that privacy disappears.
But, whether or not the request is practical is not the part of Miller’s article that caught my attention; instead, it was the “male/female” split Miller refers to when it comes to the opposite genders’ opinions on whether Woods deserves privacy. Miller quotes several of her female friends as stating they don’t believe he does, and states that her male friends tend to disagree.
“[...] my girlfriends almost all think Woods deserves a beating from his wife but doesn’t deserve privacy. Women shake their heads in disappointment, but not surprise.
Male friends, being men, generally think that Tiger deserves privacy, and that being a famous and rich athlete is somehow an excuse to cheat on his wife with various women. (Yes, of course, my tone is sarcastic because I think my male friends are wrong).”
I’m not one of Miller’s female friends, but I am female, and if there’s a “male/female” split I guess I fall on the male side of the line. Even though I don’t think it’s practical for a celebrity as huge as Tiger Woods to expect privacy during such a scandalous time, I still think he deserves it.
Actually, I should rephrase that: While I think Woods deserves it simply because he’s human and, well, I don’t feel who he does or doesn’t sleep with is any of our business, I think Elin Nordegren and their two children deserve it even more, and I think in order to grant them that, we have to also grant it to Woods.
Dealing with infidelity is difficult enough when you do have privacy. If Miller is right and most women really are saying Woods’ doesn’t deserve privacy because they think giving him privacy downplays what he did, then wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume these women not only want Woods to pay for what he did, but also want what’s best for Elin? And if so, wouldn’t “what’s best for Elin” include a chance to deal with her husband’s infidelity privately?
Of course, I don’t think anyone’s going to be getting any privacy anytime soon, but, I do want to know what you think. Among your circle, is there a male/female split as far as opinions on Woods’ privacy goes? If so, what are the reasons?
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Last reviewed: 7 Dec 2009