Philip Weiss is an investigative journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harper's. A controversial 2008 article, "The Affairs of Men," published in New York magazine, sought to explain why so many men pursue sexual variety. Weiss also writes the Anti-Zionism blog, Mondoweiss. He is the author of American Taboo: A Murder In The Peace Corps, and he's working on a novel.
Question: How have women reacted to your piece on Spitzer?
Philip Weiss :Women have had a complex response. On the one hand, there’s been a predictable response of women who think that I am a sleaze bag and a cheater and that I’m not good in bed and that my wife should divorce me, and so that I was- and I think that my argument is in some ways threatening to women, and I have to reckon with that. I think that’s an important-- Making an argument as I do that people should have a more evolved sense or more sophisticated sense about marriage that might include some infidelity I think that’s threatening to women because first of all women- men are the ones who tend to step out in marriages and secondly, when they do step out and when- if the marriage ends because of that it’s often financially devastating to women more than to the men. The consequences of a marriage ending are far worse for a woman than they are for a man, and I think that perhaps I showed a lack of sensitivity on that point in the article itself. I am sensitive to that issue but I don’t think that it really changes my argument here. I should say some women have embraced my argument and the reasons that they have are A) a great number of women, not as many as men but a great number of women also cheat in their marriages and so they want that- some of them want that freedom too, and also I think that some women appreciate a- the fact that a man would sort of stand up and do a kind of- not that I did that but do a little bit of an our bodies, ourselves for men. Women have been exploring their sexuality in very public ways and owning their sexuality for a long time and I think that it’s kind of- one of the problems here is that men have not been as vocal about sexual needs and desires that are often portrayed in very sordid terms, and there is a sordid component to them.