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Albert Einstein was a ladies man and misogynist. Married twice, yet with at least six girlfriends during his second marriage, Einstein was known for the unconventional treatment of his second wife when a list of demands of his wife became public.
Einstein married his college girlfriend, Mileva Maric, in 1903, then had two sons with her. He often shut them out because they were distractions. Eventually, he divorced Mileva and began a relationship with his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal, whom he married in 1919. During his second marriage, he was known for having affairs in public. Although aware, Elsa looked the other way in order to remain his wife in the face of society.
It was Mileva, his first wife, whom he tried to control with a list of rules, which included the understanding that she would serve, feed, and clean up after him, but expect no affection from him. The only time that he would engage with her was when necessary in public and social settings. Most repeatedly in his list was the notion that she was to stop speaking and leave quietly without protest.
Einstein is not the only misogynist–one who hates women–among world historical figures. The famed scientist is accompanied in this role by Roman Polanski, and most recently, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, and Chris Brown.
Despite the treatment of Mileva and his public affairs, when they moved to the United States, he lived in a house full of women at times including his wife, daughter-in-law, and one or more mistresses. Even in his old age, he kept a house full of women for alleged companionship.
Einstein was a ladies man, despite being a misogynist. This is not an isolated instance of a historical figure with multiple widely known affairs. He was in the company of Marcus Antonius (known to us as Mark Anthony), Napoleon Bonaparte, Czar Nicholas II, and, of course, John F. Kennedy.
People want to know about the rise of misogyny. Misogyny does not just have to be torture and physical abuse. It is an attitude of hate that brings about mistreatment toward women. It finds its origins in a variety of religions and writings from early philosophers, which, of course, were documents primarily written since their inception by men.
People also want to know the reasons that give way to multiple wide-open affairs. There are many reasons why famous people cheat including an overwhelming sense of entitlement and increased opportunities for the incidence. In the words of former presidential candidate, John Edwards upon the news of his affair, while his wife underwent cancer treatment. What happened to him can happen to any other man with an inflated ego. “In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.” There is also the belief that money can buy them anything and that they will not get caught.
People wonder why many women were attracted Einstein. It is difficult to know if Einstein hated women or loved women. What can be said definitely about Einstein is that he was a ladies man, but he also enjoyed their company more. Not all people are meant for individual long-term relationships and to be such a life-changing figure in history must have taken some toll on Einstein’s private life. Perhaps his ability to cope was insufficient and he enjoyed, as well as embraced his choices.
By Olivia Uribe-Mutal
Edited By Leigh Haugh
Daily Mail – Was Einstein the World’s Worst Husband? Wife Ordered to Keep Room Tidy, Serve Three Meals a Day – but Expect NO Affection
Neatorama – 10 Strange Facts About Einstein Business Insider – Check Out the Misogynistic Rules Einstein Made for His Wife
The Purple Muse – Albert Einstein: His Life and Universe
CNN – Edward’s Statement on Affair
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License