This is our truth, tell us yours
It might come as a surprise to some of you that I have quite strong views on people who have affairs. It seems to me that the most someone who we are in a long-term relationship with can expect is emotional honesty. When you have a hidden relationship with another person, you make a lie the heart of your relationship, and nothing can flourish built on a lie.
I have also seen the pain that someone goes through when they discover that someone has been telling that lie, speaking of love to another then returning home to the seemingly happy family. It is one of the reasons I am such a proponent of ethical non monogamy. I can have sex with any number of other people, but I will not deceive. Some might say there are contradictions here, that married men are at the heart of sex work. Of course there is no typical client, many are unmarried, seeking that honest ethical sex that a Friday night drunken fuck, with lies about calling, and caring, does not provide. However some are married, and yes, cheating. However they are doing so in a way they deem ethical, without relationships to hide, or the chance of an angry woman turning up on the doorstep at 3 am.
So perhaps its too grey for some, but my morality and ethics condemn deceit even while understanding why some visit sex workers without the knowledge of consent of their partners. Sex is messy, and I am not just talking about being slick with sweat and bodily secretions. As adults our job is to be aware of that, to consider how our actions impact on others and choose wisely.
Today the She’s a homewrecker site crossed my twitter time line. Now the idea that evil women seduce men away from the straight and narrow is a corner-stone of patriarchy and goes back to Eve. In this world view men are unable to control their cocks, and a woman simply has to look at them in order for any self-control to be lost. This of course also feeds rape culture. Men cannot be held responsible for their actions and it is up to women to keep their legs closed, their skirts long and blood alcohol low. The idea that the female party in an affair is the home wrecker is another way society splits women into good and bad, whore and Madonna, whilst absolving men of all responsibility.
So far so uncontroversial. The problem is the tweets that informed me of the nasty little site also talked of how the woman was never to blame. The “other” woman was seen as yet another victim of evil men, those evil men with uncontrollable cocks. So, feminists saying women are not responsible for their choices, just accidentally falling into bed with men, not really adults at all, more children in grown bodies.
Okay then, wait while I take another sip of the Koolaid.
If you knowingly choose to have sex with a married person you are not a home wrecker, because it is not your home. You are however morally culpable for your choices. To suggest that somehow the “other” woman is a victim of a man who cannot control his lusts is as sexist as suggesting that we are somehow responsible for policing those lusts.
Women are adults, I know shocking isn’t it. We demand to be allowed to choose to be pregnant or not, to sell sexual services, to be heard and respected as equals. Guess what, if we want those things, we have to step up and accept our responsibilities. If you knowingly enter into a relationship with a person who has a partner, without the consent of that partner, you do share some of the responsibility for whatever happens next. Sorry plastic feminism, women do not get a free pass when it comes to whether their actions cause pain and suffering for others.