Who Let the Dogs Out?
First, let me apologize to the Baha Men for using the title of their song, Who Let the Dogs Out?, to talk about extramarital affairs by male politicians. Even though the song was ranked third of 20 of the most annoying songs in a poll conducted in 2007 by Rolling Stone, it deserves a better fate than to be linked to creeps such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Ensign, Mark Sanford, Bill Clinton, Elliot Spitzer, and the biggest creep of them all -- John Edwards.
Men behaving badly is not a unique U.S.-politician phenomenon. Who can forget the recent revelation that the 76-year-old Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi allegedly paid to have sex with a minor, aka ‘Ruby, the heart stealer’? By the way, you can catch Moroccan model Karima El Mahroug commercials promoting a book by former European parliament member, Alfonso Luigi Marra, called The Female Labyrinth, according to a story in the Daily Telegraph. In the TV spot, a character that resembles the Phantom of the Opera walks in and strips off El Mahroug’s dress so that she is standing in front of the camera wearing only her underwear -- yuck!. Perhaps we can add newly-resigned IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn to the list who was indicted by a Grand Jury on May 19 over allegations of rape.
Just when I thought I had heard it all, the story broke this week that a unit of German insurer Munich Re hired about 20 prostitutes for a 2007 party held at Budapest’s historic Gellert spa as a reward for some of its top insurance salesmen. According to German Handelsblatt paper (it's in German, if you can speak it, the rest of you will have to trust me), the prostitutes hired for the event were designated with armbands (this is scary stuff). The prostitutes escorted party attendees to beds set up near the spa's thermal baths, and would earn a stamp on their forearm upon their return to keep a running tally of their services, the newspaper said (scarier stuff)!
Why are (some) men such dogs? Is it ego? power? Pure hedosim? Stupidity? All of the above? I suppose there is the feeling of invincibility and not being subject to the normal rules of moral behavior. I searched to try and find a recent example of a woman politician acting this way toward a male. I didn't find much but recalled that Catherine the Great was a woman with a legendary sexual appetite. During the 34 years of her reign, she had many consorts who were richly rewarded with choice positions on her court, or gifts of property or serfs. The rumor that spread after her death in 1796 was that she had been crushed under the weight of a stallion she was attempting to have sex with. I have no further comment on this issue.
I suppose narcissism is a good description of this type of male behavior so I consulted the DSM IV and found it descreibed the term as follows: Someone who suffers from Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD) has at least 5 of the following characteristics:
- has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- requires excessive admiration
- has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
- shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Need I say more? Oh well, I've resisted for 684 words but can no longer do so. Here is the original Baha Men video of the song written and originally recorded by Anslem Douglas (titled "Doggie") for Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival season of 1998. I apologize to all canines once again.
Blog by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, May 21, 2011