David Petraeus' cheating was somewhat, if not entirely predictable. As Lisa Belkin points out, the Men Behaving Badly phenomenon is quite common when it comes to politics: FDR, JFK and Slick Willie Clinton are three egregious examples.
It isn't just that male politicians who sleazy, but women in general are expected to stay attractive in middle age, whereas men don't have to because they still call the shots. I hate to say this but as soon as I saw Petraeus' wife's picture I said to myself: "poor thing, a once-attractive gal, who has gained weight and looks somewhat frumpy can expect that her famous husband's eyes will wander when he comes into close contact with a younger woman."
I hate to admit it but while I consider myself a feminist, as a previously attractive middle-aged woman who has gained weight, acquired wrinkles and can no longer wear contact lenses, I'm trying to turn back the hands of time.
Why? I thought we woman had made some fantastic strides: Look at the accomplishments of Hillary Clinton and Arianna Huffington and the fact that a record number of women are in Congress, not to mention that the IMF is headed up by someone named Christine Lagarde, not Christopher Lagarde.
On the other hand, consider this.
Boobs still matter. Why do women have breast implants if their brains are their most important feature? Why do we have Hooters restaurants but not Dicks?
Why is virtually every female anchor attractive, wearing makeup and often showing cleavage? Outside of Jeanne Moos of CNN, I can't think of another TV reporter who doesn't insist on being dolled up before they go on TV.
Why do women claim they "can't have it all" and decide to quit work? A woman's place is in the home? I don't think so. That's why we have daycare. I hate to say it but I think the real driver of this guilt is not necessarily the husband but the evil/jealous moms, mother-in-laws who were brought up in the age of slavery and resent the fact that we gals like to think.
Trust me people, we've made progress. When my mother was born in 1903 women couldn't even vote. But we can't give up the battle. We owe it to our daughters -- and our sons.