Portland Mayor Sam Adams Scandal: A Perspective

I don't live in Portland so I don't know much about Sam Adams other than he's the first gay mayor, which is a cool thing in and of itself. It shows progress!

Being we receive the Portland news station affiliates on our television, I've been watching this scandal, and, as I usually do with such things, I mull it around my mind before coming to any conclusion.

For starters, the term "lying politician" is of course an oxymoron. Actually the term "lying human" is an oxymoron. We all lie. It isn't the fact of lying that I like to consider. It's what was lied about and how that effects me. I also want to know if the lying or the events that lead up to the lying caused others to be unnecessarily hurt.

From what I've heard and understood, Adams had sex with a former intern. At the time of their meeting the intern was said to be 17 and Adams is reported to now be claiming he told the intern they needed to wait until he was 18 before engaging in a sexual relationship.

Here's what I'm thinking. If this had been a straight middle aged white man who had been showing interest in a 17 year old girl and saying the same thing: gotta wait until you're 18, there would be a huge backlash. Most on the backlash side seem to be citing the fact that he lied.

So what. There's something more bothersome in this to me.

A young teenager, who, if like the typical teen, is vulnerable, impressionable. I realize the idea of maturity and being an adult can be fuzzy in terms of one's ability to truly watch out for themselves and protect themselves from harm. Maybe this young boy was wise and mature beyond his years in terms of adult sexual/emotional/romantic relationships and all of the ramifications that go along with that.

I have serious doubts about that though. And, most young adults typically engage with other young adults in such relationships.

I know what I was like at that age. I know I would have been easily taken with and flattered by the attention of some well known older adult male with clout and power. As such, I also could have very easily been taken advantage of.

Thinking along the lines of a parent, I also know if I had a 17 year old and knew that a middle age man (or woman) was showing interest in my child, sexually, I would have huge red flags about that. Actually who am I kidding. I would be incensed with rage and would have fantasies of castration.

And comeon. What on earth would someone Adam's age have in common with a 17/18 year old that would lead Adams to desire and explore a sexual relationship?

The likely answer? A beautiful, hard body and a trusting, innocent spirit who obviously was very supportive of Adam's and his political desires given the young man's position as Intern.

Something about this doesn't sit right with me.

So back to what I do when I am lied to. Sam Adams lied to the public about this relationship.

1) How does this effect me? It doesn't, other than raise concerns. But putting a dent in my life? Nope. Even if I lived in Portland, the lie itself wouldn't put a big dent in my life.


2) Did the events leading up to the lie, in this case a sexual relationship with an 18 year old intern, cause unnecessary harm to the young man?

That is the unanswered question. That is what I want to know. That is what I want to see the public and media go after.

That being said, as I keep coming back to, something in me is very uncomfortable with all of this. Middle aged men having sex with 18 year olds, male or female, especially having begun courting them or even discussing a relationship with them at the age of 17 just feels wrong. Creepy and wrong.


Devin said...

Nina-I love your blog! you seem so thoughtful and intelligent and really appreciate your 'breakdown' of these news stories!-all the best!

Nina said...

thanks devin. i appreciate your words. they help inspire me to keep on blogging even when i think no one's reading or caring what i have to say. that's what i try to do--pick apart stories and address those hidden nuances... unless i'm mighty pissed then sometimes i just let the emotions and thus the words fly w/o much thought. :D