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.

Post by:
Filed under: John Edwards • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Anti-Feminist

    Ghitis is just another manhating feminist that spends her days bashing men because it make her fell better about herself.

    Also, anyone else notice the privilege that Ghitis displays? She is allowed to post a misandric trash article about men but you would NEVER be able to post such an article about women.

    Must be nice to be that privileged.

    April 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Thor

    Not sure who wrote this article, however, I do note that there is a severe lack of name attached to it!

    April 24, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      Oh! There it is! Nicole!

      April 24, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • nsaidi

      Hi there! How's it going?

      April 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      nicole saidi

      April 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. thev

    Well, Edwards was caught and now is seen as the villian. But how many of us (including women) would not do the same if we were in his position - even for those who answered no, I challenge with another qualifier : if we knew that we wouldn't get caught, which by the way, was exactly what Edwards had thought and at least wished. So be the first to cast your stone, if you have not sinned.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Maggie McDuh

    Yes men are stupid in this area, so are women. All politicians have secrets. Im just waiting for a candidate who will stand up and say "Yes I smoked marijuana in college, yes I cheated on my husband, no I don't know the capital of Lichtenstein, but this is what I've done as Governor and this is what I can do for our country. " What these men lack is honesty and courage and commonsense, but they're not the only ones.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wyatt

    Are men stupid? Well that is the portrayal that at least American popular culture with what seems to be a heavy feminism lean. Don't get construed for an anti-feminist; I grew up with some very strong, positive female role models. By the same token I had some very strong, positive male role models. But think of many of the cartoons and family shows you watch and how are male characters portrayed against their female counterparts. It seems an acceptable and overlooked sterotype that males can be stupid, especially Father characters. But if there is ever a derogatory female character, the creators will be lambasted harshly till this character was fixed or removed.

    Perhaps we are stupid – for sitting idly by while this double standard persist.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lindah

    There's a reason for the old saying, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." For some reason when a human being becomes powerful, they suddenly believe they can do anything and other people will think it's ok. We had a mayor in Baltimore (a woman) who could have had an easy re-election – but she used her office to her own advantage – and was caught. No, it's not just men that are stupid....

    April 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robin K. Reed

    I like to reply to Bonvivant251. First, men go to war because of physical strength, it has nothing to do with being noble and protecting women. It is the same why young men are choosen over old men, or men with good feet are chosen over men with flat feet. Secondly, in divorce, the richer spouse pays out to the poorer spouse. It has nothing to do with gender. Thirdly, most men want to be the main breadwinner, very few men want to be a financially dependent homemaker and childraiser.

    April 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nsaidi

    Hello James, my name is Nicole Saidi and I am the author of this blog post (not the original article, which is by Frida Ghitis). I included comments from people who disagree with the article so we could provide the alternate perspective. We appreciate our readers' insight. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, whether you agree or disagree. Instead of writing "F U" why not explain yourself and change some minds? Feel free to share your thoughts here and explain your perspective. Remember: We include comments sections on our site to give our users the ability to share their thoughts about stories. No story is going to appeal to every person or persuasion, and we welcome diverse viewpoints. Thank you for your time and comment.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BrettinMN

    Misandry is every bit as ugly, evil and indefensible as Misogyny.

    CNN should never have published such a story let alone put it on their front page.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Debbie

    Wow, some of you really hate women.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. eville_11

    ....being socially or morally inept does not make one stupid.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. livingonlandfills

    Reasons you are reading this are due to 3 dudes. 1) Tesla for inventing AC power, 2) Einstein for inventing photoelectric effect, 3) Schockley for inventing the transistore. Smart, very smart!

    Tell me about any other engineer....................

    April 25, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jorge

    This type of misandric rhetoric is so typical of many North American women who have become gender dysfunctional and indolent. Is it just me who does the math and figures that for almost every unfaithful man there are AT LEAST two women at fault, one who is unable to accept that she is no longer satisfying her partners needs without going into some spectacular, immature emotional decompensation and another with such low moral fiber that she pretends to take a man from another woman instead of getting her own?

    April 25, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Rainbows and lollipops… Oh, hi everybody! I don’t have anything relevant to contribute. Just wanted to waste CNN blogosphere space with predictable leftist rhetoric. I’m the clown in charge of the confirmation bias we 80 IQ dimocrats that inhabit this blog prance about in! Rainbows and lollipops…

    April 26, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6