My Take on Tiger
“So, my friend, listen closely; don’t treat my words casually. Keep your distance from such a woman; absolutely stay out of her neighborhood. You don’t want to squander your wonderful life, to waste your precious life among the hardhearted. Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you? Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you? You don’t want to end your life full of regrets, nothing but sin and bones, Saying, ‘Oh, why didn’t I do what they told me? Why did I reject a disciplined life? Why didn’t I listen to my mentors, or take my teachers seriously? My life is ruined! I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life!’” (Proverbs 5:7-14 MSG)
I’m going to weigh in on a situation that is polarizing and will upset people just by mentioning it. The recent news of Tiger Woods’ affairs has had media outlets commenting on it left and right, but there is a side of the issue I have not heard discussed to date. This is the role and responsibility the women have played in the affairs.
What is behind the running commentary on Tiger is the idea that all men are pigs and have no control over the sexual desires. This idea continues by saying if a male gets power, it’s even worse because they will prey on poor, powerless women and use them for their own gratification. But if you study both Scripture and human sexuality you will see that women are just as much, if not more, sexual than men. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who has studied human sexuality for years, says, “The modern cliché’ is that men love sex and women tolerate it. Of course, that’s absurd. A woman’s libido is much stronger than a man’s. Indeed male sexuality compared with female sexuality is pathetic.”
What I’ve yet to hear is the fact that 11 plus women all made the same choice and that was to have consensual sex with a married man. Some of these women are porn stars and professional “escorts.” What’s missing is all of this is the viewpoint that Solomon puts forth in Proverbs 5. In ancient times, women were known as the seducers. You can even see this in Genesis 38:15 and following with Judah and Tamar.
So what’s my point? Am I saying that Tiger is not to blame and that these women are to blame? Of course not. My point is that each person involved in this story is a moral being that is culpable for his AND her own actions. Both Tiger and the women are reacting to a broken world and playing perfectly into roles defined by culture for them. Tiger succumbed to pressure that our modern/postmodern world puts on men, and that is that we are human doings and not human beings. Listen to how prophetic Rabbi Boteach’s words are from a book called The Broken American Male when it comes to Tiger’s situation even though they were written 2 years before the story broke:
“What is wrecking the American male? It’s this simple: feelings of failure. Immersed in a culture obsessed with success through competition, the modern father and husband is trained to forever feel he doesn’t quite measure up. Rather than peering inside himself to discover his own unique gifts and talents, he is forever looking outside. First he looks in front of himself to see who has surpassed him in the rat race of life. Then he looks behind himself to see who is gaining on him. He has become an external creature with no inner identity and little knowledge of his innate gifts…He does not seek to develop any unique understanding or insight into himself or his life. Rather, he is trained to be mechanical and practical, to acquire material things that will compensate for the emptiness on the inside. He lives for acquisition…When men are forced to perform constantly in order to succeed, they are slowly stripped of sensitivity. Under that pressure, even good men can go bad.”
If Tiger was in danger of feeling like a failure and reacting in such a manner, don’t think you are immune. So I challenge any men reading this to heed the warning in Proverbs 5. Your life is not a sum of what you earn or build in material wealth. How you will be judged and remembered is by the relationships you build, both vertically with God and horizontally with others. Think on these things so you don’t end up living a life full of regret.