Opinion | Sexuality

Schwarzenegger, Strauss-Kahn, and Power

Why power is so often spiritual poison.

American news outlets have been aflutter with conversations and questions about the messy relationship between power and sex, catalyzed by the coinciding revelations about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's sexual indiscretions. Although the two cases are categorically different—Strauss-Kahn is accused of assaulting a hotel maid, whereas Schwarzenegger's misdeeds, though morally repugnant, are nevertheless legal—both men compel us to look closely at the potentially combustible mix of sex and power.

Sadly, Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger are only two of many powerful men to come before them. Following the likes of John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and John Edwards, Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger perpetuate a sick pattern in which powerful men live as though the rules don't apply to them. Given this trend, cultural analysts have been asking two key questions. First, what is the cause of this pattern? Why are so many men ...

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