Overheard on CNN.com: So ... men are stupid? Readers beg to differ with Ghitis
Former Sen. John Edwards leaves the courthouse after the first day of jury selection in his trial in Greensboro, North Carolina.
April 23rd, 2012
05:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: So ... men are stupid? Readers beg to differ with Ghitis

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Former senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is beginning his criminal trial on felony and misdemeanor counts dating back to his failed campaign. One of the key allegations against Edwards is that he received $1 million in illegal campaign contributions to conceal his pregnant mistress. Edwards says he wasn't in the right, but he wasn't breaking the law either. In response to this fiasco, world affairs columnist Frida Ghitis has just one question.

Are men stupid?

Male readers were outraged.

Fangle620: "Yes, because no powerful women in history have ever had an affair. Not like certain powerful British (female) monarchs ever built their power on affairs. I'm a historian, I would know. This obviously has way too much bias, poor research, and too much hatred for men. Get a grip."

BlameMe: "Both men and women can be stupid when it comes to love, lust and passion. This is not by any means gender-based."

ozfozzy: "Men aren't stupid for fulfilling their biological purpose in life. The author is stupid for failing to understand men."

To be fair, some women joined in the cause.

fin59: "First, I am a woman. So to Frida, get your head out of the sand! Women have dalliances as well. Maybe we are better at it but we do it just the same. This 'crime,' if you want to call it that, has the same risk as many other crimes humans commit. Why do women shoplift? Is it arrogance? Not that simple. The behavior is inexcusable, but these men are just as human as every one of us. Get over yourself!"

dabble53: "Have to agree. At least 90% of the time, if the man is having an affair, there's a woman equally involved. (The other – up to 10% estimates – it's another man, but in any case, it takes two [or more] to have an affair.)"

OK, so maybe men are stupid, says this reader.

Bonvivant251: "Men probably are pretty stupid for the following reasons:

(a) We stick around with thankless women who we marry for some reason because we have a sense of obligation to them; (b) We go to war to protect our country and die in far greater numbers than women to protect them based upon our principle that it is the right thing to do. (c) We establish a legal system that rewards women for getting divorced while penalizing men. (d) We keep working while women take the easy way out and become stay-at-home moms - an option not available to most men - even today. (e) We continue to allow women to make all the choices regarding whether to have a child, whether to abort a child, and how that child is to be raised, while we pay more than half of the freight to bring that child up. (e) We tolerate the kind of hatred and bias espoused by this author with a shrug while armies of angry women ride us down for being stupid and, at the same time, nearly all major inventions, technological breakthroughs and advancement in civilization generally has come at the hands of men. So ... 'Are men stupid?' The answer is 'yeah, maybe we are' ... but we are also practical and we can wise up really quickly."

The responses to this comment hinted at something many readers said: Men are at a disadvantage when it comes to disputes related to family and marriage. And there were also women who expressed support for men.

sameeker: "This post is very well stated. women are pretty smart given the way that they have played the divorce system."

EaglesQuestions: "As a woman, I honestly do not think that men are stupid. People have too little respect for one another these days, and this author had no business posting such a thing."

Some debate took place about women's interest in sexual interactions.

Capitalism9: "When you are hungry, you seek food. When you are thirsty, you seek water. I have always chuckled how feminists think that they can just show up to marriage, and that's all they have to do. No sex, no conversation, no ability to take an interest in what your partner likes in life. I once met a woman who declared that she will be married by 30, but had no interest in sex, conversation, or any of her possible future husband's dealings in life. Needless to say men ignore her like the plague. Remember ladies, if you don't get the job done in the bedroom, best believe somebody else in your gender will. You are not a special little flower who can just claim that she is a woman and not put forth any effort in the marriage. You are replaceable. Show me a happily married man, and I'll show you one who has a wife who enjoys engaging in coital activity with no chip on her shoulder. It's this exact reason why prostitution is illegal, because women don't want the competition."

XXxxMacleodxxXX: "My wife goes full beast mode ... I'm usually left limping but with a smile on my face ... we have been together since we were 14 and am about to turn 30 in a couple of months ... she is still my best friend and the person I aspire to be like and to please."

How have women contributed to society?

Tamarlyn: "Since men are the ones who do almost everything of note in society, naturally they will be the ones who do the greatest evil. Women long ago discovered that the only way to do no wrong is to do nothing at all, and they do it very well!"

lilfro22: "I didn't realize bringing new life into the world and nurturing it was not 'of note.' It seems the species would cease to exist without women. How silly your priorities are."

thegentleman: "I wouldn't say women do 'nothing at all' but it's true that whoever is in the driver's seat has more opportunity to succeed as well as fail. But never fear, women are getting their chance to screw up as spectacularly as men."

In talking about Edwards and his trial, a lot of readers put the blame for such behavior on our current political climate.

With trial, Edwards enters next chapter of political soap opera

Have we created our own problem?

Kusemono: "Secondary blame for fiascos like this lay squarely with us, the electorate. We have a very strong part in creating a political class that, quite understandably, begins to believe its campaign slogans and rhetoric. Party affiliation is irrelevant. We have created professional politicians for whom image and reality become so intertwined that they cannot be separated. Sen. Edwards probably did all this, and knew of it, but because he believed so many people believed in him, he truly thought he deserved to have everything he wanted. We build these people up to untenable heights and then act shocked when they come crashing down because their character was never what they pretended it to be, or what we wanted to see. He will face the music for his folly, but we are responsible for the political climate that lets campaigns become so foolish."

Some had harsh words about Edwards.

Jaynicia: "I'm not going to sugar coat it because I'm a Democrat. John Edwards is a sleazy, disgusting pig who cheated on his cancer riddled wife with a golddigging ho and he's getting what he deserves. I feel bad for his children. ..."

Or is this just common behavior?

aaronby: "I hate to sound jaded, but I'm sure this kind of money shuffling, loophole exploiting, underhanded dealing is probably... common. I doubt he's the exception."

Mother73: "I would much rather the politicians funnel money for secret babies than bribery for government contracts."

toadears: "All bribery is the same ... dishonest. Pick your poison there, Mommy. But yes, Aaron, he is the moral majority in Washington these days."

Now, tell us your take. Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: John Edwards • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. dreamer96

    Yes men are stupid...and they view beautiful young women, like expensive sports cars...If they are offered a free ride in one, they take it...Heck Michael Dukakis could not turn down a ride in a battle tank for free...

    April 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    You absolutely can not put all men into one category, just as all women cannot be categorized one way. Some people are just plain stupid. You notice I didn't say men or women. It depends on the individual. Once a person is married, I'm sorry, but you're off the market. It doesn't take a whole lot of work to be faithful. And as far as the person who screws up, that is a reflection on there low moral standards. It's nobody elses fault. If you have a partner who is willing to forgive, consider youself blessed.

    Let the attacks begin.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • nsaidi

      Thanks, bobcat, appreciate the insight.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don

    an article about an article......pretty stupid.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James

    This is insulting:

    1.) Don't call us dudes. Would you ever title an Overheard post with, "Chicks beg to differ..."?

    2.) CNN should be ashamed for giving a bigot a place to air her hate.

    3.) The 'women can do no wrong' nonsense is completely absurd. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on CNN to do the right thing, so I will not be visiting CNN.com or watching CNN any longer. It's a shame because I live in DC and would religiously watch CNN to keep up to date on the political happenings, but the only way this nonsense will end is if your profits are negatively affected. I hope others will join me in this boycott.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. me138

    lucky him...lol

    April 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nsaidi

    @Don Thanks for visiting, and welcome. It's a blog post meant to highlight some of the best and/or most interesting comments we get at CNN.com. Also to showcase responses particularly in this case. Not intended to be a traditional news story.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Don

    I was trying to be cute and "on topic" with my joke. I understand it's a blog.
    guess I forgot to.........LoL

    April 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kim

    Sure other politicians probably did there share of cheating and taking funds the big difference is they didn't get caught and all the business put on front page. He got caught hey he should of paid his mistress to be quiet or not been so blantant about it. Oh well he got caught what did he think was going to happen. Really now

    April 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mila

    I can't stand men who whine about marriage or children. You are not required by law to get married or reproduce. Stay single and get snipped, problem solved.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lou Cypher

    just another case of too much power and too little oversight

    if you give ANYONE bags of money, surround them by toadies that tell them how great they, and bodyguards that keep away anyone that might raise a sensible objection, then you are GUARANTEED to get corrupt behavior

    john edwards is a cad, but no more of a cad than anyone else. most men avoid his problems by simply avoiding the corrupting situation in the first place.

    There is no such thing as the incorruptible human, so perhaps it is high-time we recognized this and used the law to install better safeguards, rather than just clucking about How Bad John Is and leaving the fundamentally corruption-prone system unchanged.

    Much like the current Secret Service scandal, if you make havens for bad behavior, then bad behavior is what you get.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. A3DTOT

    Obviously not all men are stupid, but it does seem to be true that many powerful men are. I am a man and enjoyed this article, because I am tired of powerful men in politics or business acting like complete morons. I happen to believe in morals, I would never cheat on my wife and for more than one reason. 1) I believe in God 2) I wouldn't want to hurt the woman I love 3) What this kind of activity would do to my children. That in my opinion is what makes the men like Edwards so stupid, he destroyed his marriage, his family and his career for the reason of lust. Sad and disgusting because it shows that he has no morality and no character and thought of no one but himself, which is probably not a new fault in him. Real men and women fully understand their roles in life and marriage and have great appreciation of the other. My wife stayed home, by choice, and I have always respected her for that. I have worked very hard to provide the best that I could and my wife has always respected me for that. Staying at home is not the easy way, it is much more difficult than something as simple as work, just ask the women who have chosen not to stay home, most because it is difficult. Sorry if I got off subject but there seemed to be so many forks in the comments I thought I would just cover a few.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jerrycc

    My wife doesn't have sex with me, stays at home, spends all of my money and has affairs. I can't divorce her because she says she will take our child and everything I have and the sad thing is the courts will allow it. Are men stupid? Yes. The ones who get married.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Commonsense

    Let those without any sin cast the first stone at Edwards..

    April 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nasser

    So when female teachers have sex with children, they're smart? Get over yourself. There are more men in politics so there are more men in political scandals. Journalism fail.

    April 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jerrycc

    My wife is beautiful, knows it,doesn't give me any, stays at home, has affairs and spends all of my money. I can't get divorced because she says she will take my child and everything I have and the crooked judges and lawyers will allow it. Are men stupid? Yes, the ones who get married.

    April 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
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