My lawyer gives the same speech to everyone who wants to do business with me now. ‘Nicki is not one of those artists who allow her representatives to make decisions for her.’ I’m on conference calls all day with lawyers, accountants, and executives—people of power—and they treat me with respect. Because I command respect. I’m not cocky, but I deserve to know what’s going on. It’s my brand and my life. That’s my advice to women in general: Even if you’re doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss. Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want—and don’t allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge. You want everyone to know, Okay, I can’t play games with her. I have to do right by this woman. That’s what it’s all about.
These mighty men didn’t just choose mistresses, by all appearances. They chose fonts of gushing reverence. That’s at least as deliberate and damnable as any signals the alleged temptresses put out.
Petraeus’s choice suggests an additional measure of vanity. Broadwell exercises compulsively, as he does. She’s fascinated by all matters military, as he is. “Petraeus once joked I was his avatar,” she told The Charlotte Observer a while back. So by his own assessment, he was having an affair with a version of himself.
And yet it’s the women in these situations who are often subjected to a more vigorous public shaming — and assigned greater responsibility.