I’ve noticed a certain phenomenon cropping up in my social media feeds since Thursday. For you on the west side of the Atlantic (those of you on the east were a tad busy with election matters), you’ll remember that Thursday was the day former FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate intelligence committee about the circumstances that led to his firing by President Trump. I won’t recap what was said or the potential impacts of Mr. Comey’s statements, but a very unexpected result of his testimony is a growing number of social media posts, primarily by women, that can be boiled down to, “Is it just me, or does anyone else find Comey oddly sexy?”
If you find yourself thinking this while watching the testimony or interviews with the man, no, it’s not just you. While he may not be cover model gorgeous, he does have even features, nice eyes, and a pleasant voice, his bearing and height are impressive (“He’s so TALL!” one woman enthused), and his forthright determination and patriotism harks back to James Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” (Disclaimer: my politics don’t align with his and I’m not thrilled with some of his actions, but I can’t fault the man’s probity.)
But I wonder how much of his appeal also has to do with the fact that he, a straight white male, found himself in the same position that so many women have — namely, isolated and forced into a uncomfortable situation where his employer used pressure via insinuation to get him to perform a service. Every woman who’s had to put up with a boss’s inappropriate but not quite actionable suggestions knows how that feels. We watched Comey being grilled by the Senate committee, and we sympathized when he said, “Maybe if I were stronger, I would have” in response to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s question of why he didn’t tell the president to stop.
Basically, Comey is an Alpha male with a very human center, and that’s appealing to a lot of women. He’s a decent man who respects truth, law, and duty, has had his reputation unfairly impugned, and is now fighting to defend not only his own sense of honor but the honor of his country as well. Speaking as a romance writer, if that doesn’t have “hero” written all over it I’ll eat my laptop. Integrity’s a good look on anyone who can legitimately claim it, but on Comey it’s sexy as hell.