[T]here are many ... women who feel that unless one is Bill Clinton or the object of their own lecherous desires (of course, for these women, their own desire is called empowerment--not lechery!), a regular joe has no right to look at a woman--not even in pictures--with desire in his heart. In their eagar quest to control men's sexual rights, some "feminist" women (and other prudish ones too!) go to extremes to shame, expose or intimidate men who let their lust for women dare come to the surface. ...Well, now this goes beyond the problem of men leering at their own wives, and it also leans heavily on the idea of rights. If we're talking rights, surely, we've also got a right to express contempt for men who boorishly exhibit their sexual feelings in public. People need to learn manners -- even if bad manners aren't a crime. The word "leer" is useful: It lets you know there's a line you will be judged by. Learn where it is or suffer the consequences -- which don't include prison, just contempt and rejection... unless you've got a special way about you, which you probably don't if you're reading this and not off somewhere enjoying the benefits of flouting society's norms.
[M]en have a right to sexual expression just as women do and leering or even an interest in porn is not a crime--but if some women have their way, it soon may be. So, I say to you men out there who believe in your right to sexual freedom, stand up for your right to leer--or it may soon be a thing of the past.
This connects for me to the discussion going on over in the comments to my profile at Politico, which refers to a line I crossed, not in person, but in writing, saying something that many people would think but not say looking at a picture of a woman. One commenter brings up the old line: If women knew what men were thinking, they'd never stop slapping us. I'm not a man. I don't know. But I've heard. It seems to me that you may have the right to leer, but as with many other rights, you'd better be careful how and when you choose to exercise it, if you want to get along well in life. Go ahead and cross a line -- I did -- but know what you're doing and do it for a good reason. (I did.)
But back to Fred Thompson. He's leering at his own wife. Does that make it okay? Well, there are lots of things you can do with your wife that people don't want to see in public. But what are people seeing with Fred Thompson? He doesn't stare at her breasts, does he? More likely, you're staring at her breasts, and then you're looking at him -- egad! he's older! -- and you're projecting your own feelings on to his face -- including, perhaps, the feeling that you don't want him to be President. You can still insult him. Go ahead! Just know what you're doing.