Why Petraeus Had to Go

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[Editor's Note: The intrigue keeps swirling around the reported affair between CIA Director David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, the author of his biography All In (I can hear you snickering, by the way). BlogHer Gloria Feldt writes that powerful men having affairs is nothing new and is in some ways their own personal business. But she says that prudishness is not the reason why Petraeus needed to step down from his position. Read on to find out the three reasons why. --Grace]

So you might think I am going to defend Petraeus. Most definitely not, for three reasons.

First, though sexual acts in private life might be best kept private, it is well past time for men to be held to the same standards as women in their personal behavior. And men in public roles, especially roles with national security sensitivities, are subject to a higher standard than Joe Shmo down the street.

Second, sex with a subordinate–regardless of who initiates it–cannot help but include an element of power imbalance that skews the subordinate’s ability to say “yes” or “no” to sex with a completely clear head. That does not speak well of Petraeus as a leader...

Jan. 31, 2012 - Washington, District of Columbia, U.S. - CIA Director DAVID PETRAEUS testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on ''World Wide Threats.' Officials say Iran is increasingly willing to conduct attacks in the United States or against US interests overseas. (Credit Image: © James Berglie/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Read more from Sex and the Married General: 3 Reasons Petraeus Had to Go at Gloria Feldt


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