THE LIMITED PATHS YOU CAN TAKE IF YOU WANT TO TRANSCEND SLUT-SHAMING
Today in The New York Times, Kate Zernike has a good article about the media focus on the women involved in the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn stories. I hadn't been paying attention, but I now realize that we know pretty much everything there is to know about the woman with whom Schwarzenegger had the child, including the fact that, as Zernike notes, "she had, in the words of TMZ, 'decked herself out as a sexy swashbuckler for Halloween' a year before she gave birth to the boy." (Well, that settles it -- she wore something skimpy once, so we have a lifetime free pass to drag her through the mud. Those are the rules.)
Men involved in these kinds of scandals can sometimes have second acts (see: Spitzer, Eliot). Mr. Schwarzenegger has said he will return to making movies, and there has been no suggestion that this scandal will disrupt his plans....
For the women involved in the scandals, the likelihood of a second act is slight.
I can think of a couple of exceptions to that, but as examples go, they're not very encouraging.
One is Donna Rice. The woman who was with Gary Hart on the Monkey Business went on to become a crusader against Internet porn and a heroine of the Christian right. Another is Jessica Hahn, who was involved with TV preachert Jim Bakker. She got some surgical enhancements and then spent some time writhing before cameras in see-through outfits while being egged on by the likes of Sam Kinison and Howard Stern. (Hahn recently appeared on The View, where she dared to address Barbara Walters as an equal and was told not to try to rise above her station.)
So I guess those are your two choices if you're caught in a sex scandals with a famous man and you want a "second act": semi-stripper or God-botherer. Not very encouraging.