Sorry. I’ve jumped on the Tiger Woods gossip-mongering bandwagon. I’m tired of it too, but maybe not exactly in the same way as others are.
Floozies. Dogs. Mistresses. That is how some of the women involved in the scandal have been referred to in the media. Woods, who is alleged to have had more than a dozen affairs during his marriage, is still being referred to as the greatest golfer of all time. Why isn’t he being referred to as the adulterer if the women are the mistresses?
A friend of mine recently posted a note on his facebook about sports talk host Jim Rome interviewing Charles Barkley. I do not listen to sports radio so I haven’t heard this interview, but this snippet my friend posted is what made me stop in horror (I’ve added the boldface):
Rome challenged his assertions, but Sir Charles never backed away from his points. After he hung up, Rome made the following statements. “I know that Charles is tight with Woods. I get that. But Charles is known on TNT for being a straight talker. I guess I wasn’t that surprised he backed up his good friend. He did say that what he did was wrong. But then he quickly denounced those women as being sinister and the press as being relentless and unfair. But like I said, if you sleep with dogs, expect to get some fleas. Those women kept his emails and text messages all this time because they’re cocktail waitresses and he’s Tiger Woods. Tiger chose that kind of person to hook up with so why is anyone surprised that they’re bankrolling that connection now? Again, if you choose to sleep with dogs, you’re going to get fleas. I disagree with Chuck that the focus should be on how these women are treating Tiger or how the press is treating Tiger. The focus should be on how Tiger treated his wife and children.”
No. The focus should be on how even in this day and age it’s OK to refer to women in such disparaging ways. Dogs? Sinister? Are you kidding me? Yes, the women involved in this slow-motion car wreck have made some very unwise choices, but identifying them based solely on physical features, past sins and sexist stereotypes is used to discredit them. Because really are you going to believe a sinister cocktail waitress over the world’s greatest golfer?
I’ve heard and read some Christians jump on the forgive-Tiger-and-give-him-a-second-chance wagon. Everyone needs second chances and then some. Many Christian commentators have focused on the gossip-mongering angle of the story or about infidelity and its consequences – valid. But let’s make sure as Christians we don’t shy away from addressing the sexist comments and taking on a culture that worships sports figures and then demonizes the women who buy into the idol-worship. Let’s make sure we welcome the floozies, dogs and mistresses, too. Jesus did. He had to. It was part of his story generation after generation from Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the unnamed woman who had been Uriah’s wife.
We’re a week away from Christmas. Our Savior born to the floozie known as Mary. Forgive us for our double-standards and blindspots.