Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A lesson on what I should have known

Do you recall the story of Jessica Cutler? She's the woman that started a blog called Washingtonienne, in which she wrote about her prolific and varied sex life. The part that caught the most attention was that she was working as a staffer for a congressman at the time, and her partners- one can't call them "lovers"-were also working for the Government. A big sex scandal was promised, with some chuckling that the evil Republicans would get their payback for the Clinton scandal.

Didn't happen, of course. Most of the people were too minor for anyone to care.

The blog lasted only a couple weeks before she was "outed" by another blog. In the end Ms. Cutler was fired, and one might say disgraced, over her admissions of sex for money, sex with up to 6 men (not at the same time), sex with married men, etc. A tawdry tale indeed.

Okay, enough background. I first heard of all this back as it was unfolding. I read the blog as posted somewhere, and even took part in some online discussions. I only made one post, and I do recall that the words "skank" and "pathetic" were among those that I used.

I also recall comparing her to a woman I once knew, who was so screwed up that sex seemed to be her way of finding a purpose in life. This particular woman asked me (her boyfriend had just dumped her, proclaiming that he didn't see her as someone he wanted to marry) "how can you sleep with someone for 5 years if you don't love them?"

Given how often this woman bragged about her prowess and appetite, and that her boyfriend was a stereotypical Frat Boy, I almost asked her if she was joking. But since she was pretty upset, I refrained.

At any rate, in my mind Jessica was equivalent to her. Perhaps so, perhaps not. Always tough to analyze someone you've never met.

And that was pretty much the end of my interest in the whole Cutler affair. Not long afterwards, she posed for Playboy. Yes, she's pretty attractive, though not IMHO gorgeous. I did see the pictures. Liked them too. And then I forgot about her. (insert "typical man" joke here, if you go that way)

But now, Jessica's being sued by one of the Washington men, claiming that it's an invasion of privacy "for public revelation of private facts". And she recently filed for bankruptcy, in part due to this lawsuit. Which brought it all back to my mind, and I've since glanced at her current blog.

So I was reading all this, some of her comments on the story that made her infamous, and the later events. And somewhere along the line, someone- I assume it was Cutler herself- pointed out that among other things, she lost her job; her privacy; and in some ways, her name. And while she's adapted well to it all, even turning the Blog into a "fictional" book, still she went through a lot. I kind of wonder how her parents took to the entire thing, for instance.

So it makes me wonder. Reading her current blogs, she might still be a "skank", assuming everything she writes is true. She might even be "pathetic", assuming my bit of psychoanalysis was correct. But it still must have been a bit of a hard time for her to go through, when the story first broke. And it's gotta be tough to have someone suing you. So maybe people were a bit hard on her.

I don't know. When you proclaim on your website that "I am a published author who jumps out of cakes for money", I think you're embracing your infamy. Shame doesn't appear to be part of her makeup, but perhaps it's something she covers up.

I dunno. I do think it was a bit harsh for me to proclaim someone I've never met a skank, and call her pathetic to boot. But then, I'm sure she heard both terms a lot in those days. I doubt she'd be bothered. Or even interested.

Doesn't matter. I doubt I'll ever meet her, and if I did, I don't imagine that I'd be introducing her to my parents, if you get my drift. From reading her blog, I doubt that if we met I'd be impressed, or vice versa. Likely, we'd say a few words and that would be it. No wild "he'in and she'in" either. Hell, I doubt even then we'd have much to say.

But still, she's a person and has to live her life. And for me to judge her on it, without remembering that the things I read over my cereal actually affect her, is wrong. She has to live with the outcome of whatever happened back then. All I have to do is pontificate on it.

Guess who's got the easier job?

I guess I'm finally learning not to judge people, a lesson I should've picked up a long time ago. Ah well. Sometimes I'm a slow learner.

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