Last year the Starz network, a premium cable channel in the US, started a new TV series called Boss. It’s stars Kelsey Grammer of Cheers and Fraiser as Tom Kane, a ruthless mayor of Chicago who is trying to hold on to power as he suffers from a neurological disease. The corrupt Chicago political machine features heavily in this show.
If you have wondered about the type of women that have no problem with their men screwing other women, this show provides an interesting case study. While it is fiction, the hypergamous instinct of the women who are fine with their men banging other women is depicted well. These women are married to powerful high level city and state politicians.
There are some excellent examples of how the women in Boss don’t care that their men are banging other women. The mayor’s wife finds out about the neurologist that the mayor has been seeing so she asks the mayor about it. She doesn’t about the mayor’s neurological disease yet. The mayor doesn’t want to tell her so he says, “Since when do you care where I stick it?” That’s the end of that (until she finds out about her husband’s disease) because she really doesn’t care that he bangs other women. In fact, the mayor has been banging other women long enough that it looks like he has an illegitimate son who is now in his 20s. Being the mayor of Chicago, everyone knows he is married so all of these women that he has banged know he is married. None of the women involved whether it’s his wife or the other women care.
There’s another character, the (Illinois) state treasurer, who is running for governor who is really getting around with other women. He is married, but has banged plenty of other women from a black Alderman’s (member of the Chicago city council) wife to getting a blow job from an overweight campaign staffer (similar to Monica Lewinsky). Since he is a major state level public figure, all the women involved know that he’s married. He still bangs his wife too. We even see him bang his wife in his campaign office. This man was part of a plot to have him drop out of the governor’s race so that he could unseat the mayor. The mayor figures this out and has a private investigator follow the state treasurer to get some photos of him banging another woman. The photos are of him banging the black Alderman’s wife. The photos get sent to the black Alderman and the state treasurer’s wife. The wife was angry at her husband when she saw those photos but not because he cheated on her. She explicitly said that she doesn’t care if he bangs other women. She was angry because he mismanaged the politics of this situation and potentially could endanger his future political career.
Several episodes later these photos get released to the press. She gets very angry with her husband and tells him to not come home. She also refuses to do a “mea culpa” press conference with him. Why is this since we know she doesn’t care if her husband has sex with other women? There were two things going on. First is the embarrassment and humiliation. She doesn’t care if her husband screws other women, but she does care that the image she projects of being the perfect wife and mother gets ruined. Second is that their two sons now know what their dad is doing since the entire world knows. She explicitly says that she doesn’t want to communicate to her sons that a good wife just stands by while her husband screws other women (even though that is what she is doing).
Here is the lesson from Boss. If you want to screw other women and not have your wife/girlfriend care, you need to be rich and/or powerful or appear so or otherwise have their hypergamous instinct directed towards you. You also need to keep your activities from being public because while she might not care what you do, she will care if you embarrass and humiliate her. (“Public” in this case can mean things like her family finding out since unless you are a public figure, a newspaper isn’t going to care who you bang.) She will care if you wreck the image she is trying to project. If you are married with kids, she will care if the kids find out what you are doing. That is the difference between the mayor and the state treasurer. The mayor can do what he wants without his wife caring because he keeps it out of the public eye. The state treasurer failed to do that.