Mar 28, 2016

Sunday Focus (on Monday): Ageism & the Bentley Affair.

[Note: Because Sunday was Easter, I've delayed this week's Sunday Focus till this morning...also because of the topic.]



     Editorial writer Bob Davis at The Anniston Star was one of many people in Alabama who used the word (is it a word? A sound Effect?)...

EWW!


...in reaction to the "sex scandal" involving Governor Bentley He wrote:

In the recording, Bentley is heard telling a woman, “You know what? When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands (unintelligible) and just pull you real close. I love that, too.”

Later on the tape, the governor says, “If we are going to do what we did the other day, we are going to have to start locking the door.”
Again, I repeat, “Eww. Seriously? Gross!”

     I've heard and seen that same "Eww" about Bentley online in blogs, in email, and by people just talking since the audio tape of his comments, apparently to his chief political aide, Rebekah Mason, was leaked.
    Put aside for the moment that she is married (to the Bentley Administration's Faith-based programs director none the less),and has three children, can someone explain why his comment merits the Eww? And a "Gross too?
      Yes, I am not much younger than Bentley.
      And, yes, I do know the answer. Young people can't stomach the idea of older people having sex...as reflected in this article on the health day website:

"Use it or lose it," says geriatrics expert Walter M. Bortz, 70, author of three books on healthy aging as well as several studies on seniors' sexuality. Dr. Bortz, a professor at Stanford Medical School, is past president of the American Geriatrics Society and former co-chair of the American Medical Association's Task Force on Aging.
"If you stay interested, stay healthy, stay off medications, and have a good mate, then you can have good sex all the way to the end of life," he says. A Duke University study shows that some 20 percent of people over 65 have sex lives that are better than ever before, he adds.
And although not everyone wants or needs an active sex life, many people continue to be sexual all their lives. "There's strong data all over: It's a matter of survival," says Dr. Bortz. "People that have sex live longer. Married people live longer. People need people. The more intimate the connection, the more powerful the effects."
But older people may encounter an obstacle they hadn't expected: their adult children, who may be less than pleased to see their aging parents as sexual beings. Such judgmental attitudes prevent many older people from moving in with each other or even having their partner over, according to Dr. Jack Parlow, a retired clinical psychologist in Toronto. "This attitude creates a block to many seniors who want to be sexually active," he says.
 
      The same objection is also felt by "young" non-family members, political spectators who can't stomach the thought of a 73 year old man having sexual feeling, much less actual sex. There's also the question of the age difference between Bentley and Mason, who graduated from High School in 1989 (when Bentley was 46).
     Get over it. They are both adults. Her husband says he "long ago resolved the personal issues now being played out"...Bentley didn't make the comment in a public forum. It was said in private. 
     There are other parts of this story that merit full investigation...among them, the order from Bentley to the man he appointed top cop not to submit an affidavit to prosecutors in an unrelated case among them. Was that obstruction of justice?
     But as far as the physical relationship between the divorced Bentley and Mason, how would you like your private comments broadcast for the world to hear. 
     Talk about Eww!

3 comments:

Jay Croft said...

Has the divorce been finalized?

Jay Croft said...

By the way, the Easter season lasts fifty days, until the Day of Pentecost, May 18 this year.

JW in Montgomery said...

I have to agree that we are focused on the wrong issue here. Firing an old friend because he wouldn't lie in a corruption investigation -- that's far more relevant to the public.