This matter regarding the President’s advance team to Colombia getting frisky with sex workers isn’t shocking, but it’s tawdry. I’m always mystified by politicians, such as former Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY), who think that they can get away with paying for sex. Lesson: If you’re a politician, you can’t get away with it. And, apparently, if you work in close proximity to a powerful politician, you can’t get away with it either. It’s stupidity all around, and that stupidity is outdone only by the displays of outrage that are being worked up and put out for public consumption.
Prostitution has been around forever, and it’s never going to go away. It’s a fact of life, and while we may not like to discuss it, that’s the way it is. Alas. Nobody wants to grow up to be a sex worker, and it’s certainly not something that we should encourage, but the very fact that it’s commonly referred to as the ‘oldest profession in the world’ is telling. However, having said that, the blowback that the Secret Service is getting for their escapades in Colombia is rather justified.
I think a lot of this probably has to do with the fact that the Secret Service, while not exclusively all-male, is a boy’s club. It’s run and dominated by men. And like any institution that suffers from a gender imbalance, it does not enhance the function or standing of said organization (think Catholic Church). Ask yourself: if these Secret Service agents were on duty abroad, and their advance team included women colleagues who were mothers, daughters and sisters, do you think that these sort of antics would be going on? I don’t. When men are solely in the company of other men, they act differently than when women are present. And this is just one instance when I think that men would display much better behavior, not to mention judgement, if the Secret Service were to include more women within its ranks.
Yes, everyone’s getting furious about this (I’m offended!) and people will try and score some easy political points on this, but what they’re missing is a deeper lesson: the exclusion of one gender, be it male or female, usually demonstrates an intrinsic harm to any organization that suffers from it. The Secret Service would do well to take note of this before they strike out.