Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Lessons from the Tiger Woods Scandal

Revelations that Tiger Woods slept with multiple other females other than his wife have tarnished the clean image that many say helped him become so wealthy doing sponsorship deals with Nike, AT&T, and so forth.

During the early days when it was revealed Tiger was involved in a car accident and was alledged to have been saved by his wife, and when none of the other females (e.g. the cocktail waitress) emerged, many people I spoke to did not believe the rumors that he was sleeping with other women. They trusted him too much. However, after the evidence came, many of these people were disappointed.

I felt very confident from the very beginning that Tiger was cheating. A man of great wealth and talent is clearly going to get a lot of attention from women, so there would have been great temptation on him to cheat. Many people criticize Tiger by saying he is stupid to have slept with such ugly cocktail waitresses when he already had a beautiful wife. I find it surprising that these people judge woman by their appearance and occupations and then proceed to criticize Tiger's moral standards.

Even though I think Elin is very beautiful, humans naturally want variety. It is the reason why we get sick of our workplace and want to go on holidays.

The Tiger scandal also makes me wonder whether marriage is safe. Everyone says that marriage is worth it if you marry the right person. They say that you know you are marrying the right person if you are in a relationship with that person for a long time, which gives you an opportunity to check him or her for suitability. However, half of all marriages end in divorce, and surely these people who committed themselves to marriage thought they were doing the right thing. Furthermore, the world trusted Tiger woods when it turned out he was unfaithful, so if it's so easy for half the married population and for Tiger fans to be deceived, why would any individual think he is immune to deception from his spouse? People underestimate the power of deception. No matter how well you think you know someone, you really just don't know how they really are inside and if hypothetically they are perfect now, you just don't know if they will change in the future. Any potential husband or wife then needs to be aware of these credence attributes of spouses. They also need to be aware that not only can their spouses change behavior but their own behavior, tastes, and expectations can change over time.

What is one to do? Charlize Theron, a very beautiful woman, is not legally married, although she claims that she is "married but not married" to Stuart Townsend. The two have agreed to act as if they were married without actually getting married, similar to a de facto relationship. Some of my friends argue that marriage is important because it communicates to other people that you are together, but why would you want to communicate to other people that you are married? If someone thinks you are still on the market and tries to hit on you, just decline if you don't want it.

Another argument for marriage is the old-age argument. It is argued that it is important to marry because you don't want to be alone when you old otherwise you will rot in an stinky nursing home all by yourself, with nobody who loves you taking care of you. But if you have a wife, the argument goes, she can look after you, and you don't have to worry about dodgy nursing homes. This argument assumes that a poor-quality nursing home is the only option you have if you don't have a wife (or husband). But like everything in life, if you are willing to pay more, you get more. With nursing homes, you can pay more for high-quality nursing homes (or retirement villages). The other problem with relying on your spouse to take care of you is that she may not do it. Who is to say that once you are sick and bed-ridden your wife won't just dump you and go off with a healthier man? Love is fickle. On the other hand, if you paid a carer to take care of you, that person has a monetary incentive to take care of you. This is a personal preference but I have much more faith in the power of monetary incentives than I do in marital love's obligations or duties. If I had the option between having a family member cook for me out of love or a restaurant cook for me for cash, I would prefer the latter, and experience tells me that restaurant meals are far better quality than family meals simply because monetary incentives bring out quality in goods and services.

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