I viewed the New York Times‘ report about Matt Gaetz’s sex scandal with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am glad to see the political career of Gaetz, a despicable figure and “Trump ally,” coming to an apparent end. His toadying, pandering, and posturing on behalf of far-right-wing political fantasies are loathsome, and maybe his powerful daddy can now get him a job at a Piggly-Wiggly.
Matt Gaetz’s Story Unleashes American Hypocrisy
On the other hand, a classical American unease about paid sex comes to the surface here that I also find provincial and moralistic. Here is the key sentence: “If prosecutors think they can prove that the payments to the women were for sex, they could accuse Mr. Gaetz of trafficking the women under ‘force, fraud or coercion.’ ”
Paying women for sex! Whoever heard of such a thing!
Sugar Daddies and Sugar Babes
The reality is that there are large numbers of young women out there who are just getting by. They sign up with “Sugar Daddy” websites, and offer themselves as “sugar babes,” in exchange for a monthly subsidy. This works well for both sides. The guys give them rent money and buy them stuff.
And the girls, many of whom are quite attractive, are supposedly available at the beck-and-call of their clients. Sugar babes are, in effect, prostitutes, although they find the term demeaning. And, of course, they have much more in common with high-end escorts than with streetwalkers.
One’s sympathy here is with the sugar babes, who are struggling to stay afloat, and to do so, have to bed morons like Gaetz. But the whole business is just so typically American that one wants to puke.