"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sexually Liberated Politics

Chris Nolan at spot-on.com, a politics website, reproduces the NY Post's account of a speech by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's wife. If this is where national politics is going, voting education will have to begin at 18 to go with the actual right to vote:

October 16, 2004 -- DEMOCRATS really are more open-minded about sex than Republicans. Take Kimberly Newsom, attractive Court TV anchor wife of handsome San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. When her husband couldn't make it as scheduled to speak at Thursday night's Empire State Pride Agenda dinner at the Sheraton, the year's biggest gay rights fund-raiser, Kimberly filled in for him. She was eloquent and uplifting as she spoke of equality. But she really brought the house down when she talked about her hunky hubby's anatomy. "I know that many of you wanted to see my husband and some of you had questions out there. Is he hot? Yeah. Is he hung? Yeah. Is he [she waved her hand to suggest bisexual]? Not unless you can give a better [she mimicked eating a banana] than me. Thank you very much." Then she left the stage to cheers and applause. Unfazed by the bawdy humor were Cate Edwards, daughter of John Edwards, Jim McGreevey, Betsy Gotbaum, Alan Hevesi, and a host of other Democratic politicians — and Mayor Bloomberg.

Ms. Nolan at Spot-On thinks it's too much information.

Ya think?

13 comments:

Jay D. Homnick said...

When you consider that they since separated, we can say this about the Republican wife: she's the one who hung around.

James Elliott said...

Hunter, this piece refers to an event that occurred over a year and a half ago. Newsom and his wife filed for divorce in January of '05; the event in question occurred in October of '04. Guilfoyle Newsom was roundly criticized for making a joke at a fundraiser, not a political statement.

Jay D. Homnick said...

And for some more irony, note one of the 'unfazed' stoics on the guest list: Jim McGreevey, who had just resigned his governorship a month earlier on Sept. 15, 2004, because his wife, sadly, could not compete with the hunky bodyguard guy.

How's that 'open-minded' thing workin' out for ya, Jim? And Kim, for that matter.

James Elliott said...

"How's that 'open-minded' thing workin' out for ya, Jim? And Kim, for that matter."

What is your point, exactly? Because you seem to be making the quite possibly stupidest of all correlations: Immorality and support of gay rights.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Not at all: I'm correlating a lack of personal limits masquerading as 'open-mindedness' - and an inability to be satisfied within the confines of life-enhancing institutions that are built on certain self-limiting attitudes and behaviors.

That's a long sentence but my point was self-explanatory.

James Elliott said...

You're correlating them by taking a man who was in the closet and a woman who separated from her husband after they mutually decided that their lives were taking them too far apart? Isn't that stretching things rather farther than they'll go without snapping?

Tlaloc said...

So... Kimberly is available, then?

Jay D. Homnick said...

Notice the language: 'their lives were taking them too far apart'. Less 'open-minded' people lean on their lives to make them closer to each other, or they make sacrifices.

Same applies for 'coming out of the closet'. This is a nice way of saying the same thing Kimberly is saying; namely, 'the things that I entered into marriage to limit were more appealing to me later than were the limits I had accepted'.

Yes, getting married does mean to 'close your mind' a little.

And now, if you'll forgive me, I'll turn my attention to Passover. Happy holiday, all!

James Elliott said...

"Notice the language: 'their lives were taking them too far apart'. Less 'open-minded' people lean on their lives to make them closer to each other, or they make sacrifices.

Same applies for 'coming out of the closet'. This is a nice way of saying the same thing Kimberly is saying; namely, 'the things that I entered into marriage to limit were more appealing to me later than were the limits I had accepted'.

Yes, getting married does mean to 'close your mind' a little."

I still think you're overreaching. But then, so's the whole post.

Tlaloc said...

"Yes, getting married does mean to 'close your mind' a little."

The only diofference between a committed couple and a committed married couple is the governmental rights afforded. There is no intrinsic difference between two people the day before and the day after getting married. And I say that as someone who has been married twice.

Hunter Baker said...

And that was perhaps unintentionally perceptive.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, Hunter, the beauty of tragedy is in its lack of self-awareness. One does not flee the onrushing train: he runs toward it. He is not caught in quicksand, he leaps in, and heaps it upon his own head.


Since it's past sundown in Miami, wherein many good denizens are tonight acknowledging something sacred, I'll stand in for Jay, albeit I'm sure palely:

At the first level, the question is one of propriety, and altho asking what's "proper" is quaint and outmoded in these days, of course, Reform Clubbers concern themselves with such things, in their quaint and outmoded way.

What is to be the standard for public speech, then? The answer apparently is that there is no standard. Everything's grist for the mill.

OK. Still, we're asked to distinguish, especially in the political sphere, between the public man (woman?) and the private person.

Both are legitimate arguments, I guess, but surely conflating the two is improper, if not aesthetically, then logically.

Let's allow the private as sacred, then. But where there is nothing sacred, neither is anything profane. And there's the rub, according to Jay. (And me, too.) Either it is or it isn't all grist for the mill.

Ms. Guilfoyle-Newsom publicly put her marriage into sexual terms, but apparently skill is insufficient to the task, since her marriage is on the rocks. (We have no reason to doubt her claims of adroitness at the given activity. Enthusiasm is highly valued among the male of our species.)

And so, the question is public vs. private, and also (per the group Ms. Guilfoyle-slash-Newsom was speaking to) the relationship between sex and marriage, and by extension, family.

Although sex has historically (and biologically) been inextribably, um, married to the concept of family, the cleverness of modern science has cut that Gordian Knot, for good or ill.

Whether the terms sex, marriage, and family are now all synonymous if not outmoded, or if linking and/or distinguishing between them is outmoded is the sort of thing we question around here, in our quaint sort of way.

But "whatever" is not an acceptable answer. That is for savages, and teenagers.

Evanston said...

Jay, thank you for your words
"I'm correlating a lack of personal limits masquerading as 'open-mindedness' - and an inability to be satisfied within the confines of life-enhancing institutions that are built on certain self-limiting attitudes and behaviors."
Extremely well-put.