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. TORI ©

    It appears as though the idea that Men are Stupid originates with the scandal that John Edwards created when he fathered a child outside of his marriage to his cancer stricken wife Elizabeth. Of course the scandal continues with where the money went to but this is left to the judicial system not to the court of public opinion. As a young woman almost out of her teen years, the answer would be No men are not stupid. They may be genetically wired to think differently than women but I don't pretend to know if that has scientific evidence. My parents got their divorce finalized early last year and to their credit have never once bashed the other one in my presence. Not to their credit they never fought in front of me, so I was blindsided when it happened. While traveling with my dad in Europe I learned they were separated 4 times. Now that I am temporarily staying with my mother, we talked all night long last evening and learned that she was always of the mindset of being childless by choice but I was "a happy accident." Both of these remarkably brilliant and beautiful people created me and now that the sins of omission are transparent, make me understand them better and not make the same mistakes. Both agree that being silent about their travails was their biggest mistake. Stupidity is not gender specific and when I get serious with a boy, I want to be myself and be brutally honest. If he doesn't like that then he will be shown the door. Our parents are our role models for how we conduct ourselves and now I know what to do and what not to do.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ryan

    I dont understand why people cant just enjoy the things they like in life including sex. If someone wants to have sex with a beautiful woman regardless of being a president or politician or whoever why not, thats why we are attracted to them if we were not then we would not be doing it. I want a nice car house boat I buy it I want a hot girl why wouldnt I pursue it. If I am married and my wife doesnt like it she can divorce me but what the hell does that have to do with my career. People have to stop pretending to be someone we are not and drop these moral bigotry we have had to suffer for cenutrys. President kennedy slept with lots of hot women while he was married and hes our most beloved president of all time. President clinton banged monica who cares besides his wife not our buisiness as long as he does his job. If I am rich and succesfull I want all the good things in life and that includes beautiful women sorry but thats just how I was made.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      So, Ryan, you would not have any problem if your wife shagged other guys while married to you?
      Why bother getting married?
      Stay single.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TORI ©

    Once again, I have a comment awaiting moderation. It is surprising that my post that comes from the heart is being moderated and that trolls and hijackers posts go through and stay up. @nsaidi, is it within your domain to assist. Thank you.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • nsaidi

      Should be up now.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TORI ©

      Thank you, Nicole.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @Tori, eloquent and erudite. You will always be our baby. Now let's have dinner. You do have dads DNA in the creative cooking arena.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    A moral compass.
    People either have it, or don't.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Wow! We still have a troll / hijacker problem? Maybe I should take off a day or two, or better yet a couple weeks off. Or even better yet, hang up my keyboard alltogether AND QUIT!!! I'm sure that would make someone happy.

    April 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      @Jeff Frank:
      No, don't leave.
      I wouldn't be happy about that *at all.*
      I don't know who would be, actually.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ...

    Why on Earth is CNN publishing an inane article stating that men are stupid based on the antics of a handful of politicians and then putting up a blog post about the comments on the inane article? Furthermore, why is it prominently displayed on the front page of the website? I thought CNN was supposed to be a news organization, but instead they seem to be focused on trying to manufacture outrage by being intentionally polarizing.

    April 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robear in Ojai

      then, what are you doing reading it in the first place?

      April 24, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    @banasy
    Your right. I'd have what? Yes. Banasy withdrawl. G_d forbid. You'd miss *FACEPALM'in* me.

    April 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    @Jeff Frank:
    Banasy withdrawl sounds a bit...risque.
    And your Gingivitis comment definitely deserves it, so here it is:

    *Facepalm*

    That'll last ya! ;)

    April 24, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Robear in Ojai

    You know, the rest of the world is laughing at our false puritanism. Pharisees we are indeed! We want our leaders to be pure of thought and action while we ogle the neighbors wife. While Edwards may have committed a crime or two in covering up his affair, he probably wouldn't have had to do so if having affairs was no big deal in the first place.

    Remember French president Mitterand with his two wives and sets of children? The French said: "Bof, c'est la vie!" and moved on like it was no big deal, because it IS NO BIG DEAL!

    I am just coming back from 5 weeks abroad. 1, is was good to be outside of the pervasive North American mindset for a while; and 2, people were asking me all the time what the $%@!! is wrong with the USA. The republican primary debates seemed as outrageous to them as the Muslim Brotherhood talks of imposing Sharia Law are to us (yes, I was in Egypt).

    Time to grow up. We are humans, not gods or angels. Men aren't stupider than women: only very different.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. rose gray

    No these men are not stupid-just bored to tears with a nagging woman who tries to micro manage their lives.The only stupidity is being found out.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The sad part is, even if they really did burn the receipts, there's still an electronic transaction record of the sale, for anything and everything.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dirk Manley

    I'm a man and I'm stupid. Durr.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. neal

    The hypocrisy of women when it comes to adultery is shocking. If men commit adultery they quickly say that men are pigs and they are evil, but if women commit adultery it is because their 'emotional' and 'physical' needs were not met by their husbands and justify it.
    His wife was dying of cancer and he had no future with her. He was still relatively young and he wanted to move on with his life. What is wrong with that?
    What about the woman who was his mistress? Isn't she guilty? Why suddenly treat her like a minor?
    That cold-hearted Elizabeth just made sure that he suffered with her till her end.
    Shut the hell up with your phony outrage you GOP trolls! Atleast he was after a woman unlike your closeted low-life leaders.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jim Stanek

    Boycott CNN! Tell your friends!

    April 24, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. MikeinDavis

    RIP CNN (6/1/80 – 4/23/12). Your journey to the dark side is complete. I will be getting my news elsewhere. Would the headline "Are WOMEN stupid?", written by a MALE author, be tolerated for even a nanosecond? Nor should it be. And Frida: No mention about the fact that SOME women find wealth, talent and/or power to be a huge aphrodisiac and thus throw themselves at men who posses those traits? Are we shocked that SOME men are too weak to resist?

    April 24, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Are Women Stupid? would not be tolerated for a second in our culture. More male-bashing!

      April 24, 2012 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
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