Posted on 29-05-2011
Filed Under (PARADOX) by Shombit

From Discomfort Zone column by Shombit Sengupta in Financial Express and Indian Express

Sexual harassment was probably unknown when monarchs reigned with all-pervading command. Emperors, Kings, Feudal Lords womanized to their libido-fill. Spectator-publics scarcely raised a murmur, the sought-after girls enjoyed luxuries denied to commoners. Then along came 1789 French Revolution which eventually led to 20th century Democracy. Political color changed in fits and starts, kingdoms became democracies, and most countries won rule by the people, of the people, for the people. Political leaders who’ve since sprung up are human too. Power developed their foibles, just like yesteryear’s rulers. So should it surprise us when their heads bloat with new-found authority, and primitive instincts storm out of their id, that unconscious sexual energy of Freudian context?

France has historically been secretive about private lives of politicians. Until non-fiction potboiler Sexus Politicus (2006) by Christophe Dubois and Christophe Deloire declared that a successful politician is also a seductive politician in France. The book revealed that President Félix Faure (1895-1899) died in the bed of his mistress. Tellingly, Edgar Faure, Prime Minister (1950s) made ‘President of the Council’ said, “When I was a minister, some women resisted me. Once I became president, not even one.” They quote an unsubstantiated story in Guy Birenbaum’s book (2003) about President Jacques Chirac fathering a child with a Japanese mistress, and enquire whether President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing really had as many mistresses as the Paris salons claim. French broadmindedness was illustrated when President François Mitterrand bore a daughter out of wedlock, and both mistress and illegitimate child were invited by Mrs Mitterrand to attend her husband’s public funeral. France also accepted Ségolène Royal as Presidential candidate (2007) inspite of her not being married to her children’s father.

Roland Dumas, Mitterrand’s foreign minister, was convicted to 6 months prison, his mistress, Christine Deviers-Joncour, for 18 months in a 2001 sleaze scandal. He allegedly pulled strings to appoint a new president for state-owned Elf Oil. In return his mistress, Christine Deviers-Joncour, got an Elf job, unlimited credit card, apartment worth $1.7 million, and £6.4 million from Elf in 4 years. UK’s Independent says Dumas (78) and Christine (53) “became very public lovers, although both had other affairs.” When released from prison Christine defiantly wrote a tell-all bestseller calling it and herself "Whore of the Republic."

Currently, “hot rabbit” ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s high pitch sex saga continues unabated. The French on TV said a rapist and seducer are not the same, seducing is a human right. Call girl suppliers and journalists are tumbling out stories on DSK’s uncontrolled sexual imprudence. Then California erupted with another sex scandal. Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger confessed his housekeeper for 20 years bore him an illegitimate child. His wife, President Kennedy’s niece, pressed the divorce button. Los Angeles Times reported his several sexual misdemeanors, alleging 6 women complained he groped them on movie sets, studio offices for 3 decades without their consent. Others said he grabbed their breasts, touched buttocks, talked dirty, and former child actress Gigi Goyette was paid $20,000 silence money in 2005.

UK’s The Guardian alleges Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was taught bunga bunga by Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi. A bunga bunga party can have erotic pole dancing, underwater orgy with 20 nude young women encircling their nude host Berlusconi in his swimming pool, the prize being prostitution for the host. Prosecutors in Milan have charged three showgirls with procuring 33 young women for Berlusconi’s bunga bunga sex sessions. On 6 April 2011, the 74-year-old TV magnate-turned-conservative politician was put on trial. He’s accused of paying an underage prostitute and abusing his official position to cover up the offence.

In website, Nolan Thomas writes on Sexual Affairs by US Presidents: “John F. Kennedy chased women like a man possessed. His numerous sexual encounters are…. affairs with White House workers, gangsters’ girlfriends, staff members, reporters, movie stars…Angie Dickinson, Kim Novak, Marilyn Monroe.” He allegedly used Secret Service to cover his tracks so wife Jackie would find no ‘evidence.’ Thomas cites a string of sexual indiscretions, long-term liaisons and one-time encounters, since Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas. “In the White House, his promiscuousness didn’t stop. Monica Lewinsky, a good looking 21-year-old intern….had a dress with Clinton’s sperm stain on it…. Clinton adamantly denied sexual activity with Lewinsky, later rebutting his story and admitting that it did happen.”

Sexual exploits under Communism were not too different. Robert Service, professor at London University, wrote Lenin: A biography, where he said that Vladimir Lenin, exiled to Siberia, married his comrade Nadya Krupskaya 1898. He went to France 1910, and met beautiful French-born revolutionary Inessa Armand, an advocate of free love. He wanted Inessa plus Nadya, who became like his personal secretary and household organiser. When Lenin moved into Moscow Kremlin 1918, he convinced both to be with him. All three had separate bedrooms. Nadya and Inessa felt no hostility for each other, and worked together in the party school.

In The Private Life of Chairman Mao, his doctor Li Zhisui revealed Mao’s liking for “naked wrestling with young women from People’s Liberation Army, his preference for enormous feather beds filled with giggling busty lasses…mainly daughters of poor peasants for whom sleeping with Chairman was life’s greatest experience.” Philip Short’s biography confirms Dr Li’s account, “Mao bathed in women, filling his bed with up to eight at a time.” Mao also prioritized freeing women from foot-binding and Confucian practices that subordinated them to husbands and fathers. Dr Li says, "Mao became an adherent of Taoist sexual practices…He needed the waters of yin (vaginal secretions) to supplement his declining yang (male essence), the source of his strength, power and longevity.” After its publication 2006, Chinese authorities attacked Random House for producing a book ‘awash in lies and malice.’

Politicians seem to indulge with a vengeance in juicy sex antics, irrespective of countries. Their frolics crowd up public air waves, cyber space, print media, wagging gossipy tongues. Now you know what can be in store if career ambition drives you headlong into this public personality league of political leaders!

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