While the stereotypes related to cheating in popular culture still tend to paint men as the more common culprit. The amount of married women who reported being unfaithful rose over 40% between 1990 and 2010. This number has likely even only continued its upward trend in the past 7 years, though there is no new data to back this up as of yet. Interestingly the same study that examined this time period showed no rise in male infidelity. So why are women suddenly cheating at levels never before seen? Perhaps it’s due to a pro-feminism culture that continues to tell them it’s perfectly ok and normal to do so. Case in point, a new CNN article entitled, “The changing reasons why women cheat on their husbands.” An article that reveals how, “Some women turn to infidelity not as a way to explode a marriage but as a way to stay in it.”
The article is largely based around information taken from the new book State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by feminist author Esther Perel. A book that advocates how female infidelity can actually strengthen a marriage. Filled as it is with wonderful passages such as, “Betrayal hurts, but it can be healed. An affair can even be the doorway to a new marriage—with the same person.”
That’s nothing compared to the CNN article though, which takes this concept of positive female infidelity and runs with it. If you want put yourself through the pained disgust of reading the entire thing, you can find the article by author Kim Brooks’ right here. If you’re not that much of a masochist however, here are a few choice highlights.
“The fact is I’m nicer to my husband when I have something special going on that’s just for me.”
“Another friend told me she was 100 percent faithful to her husband, except when she was out of town for work each month.”
“These women were describing infidelity not as a transgression but as a creative or even subversive act, a protest against an institution they’d come to experience as suffocating or oppressive.”
Apparently we have hit a point where cheating on your spouse, is an act of female empowerment. Is this really what the early feminists of a different era had in mind when they pushed female emancipation? Kim then also begins to push a new book coming out this November she feels will help women understand that female infidelity is actually just a “subversion of traditional gender roles.” Entitled The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity. This book, which is based around interviews with 40 female users of the infamous extramarital dating website Ashley Madison, also provides a number of choice quotes lifted from its official summary.
“The women in this study are engaging in secret defiance of the expectations of marriage and primary partnerships.”
“These women were not mate-shopping, and most did not categorize their outside partnerships as ones of “love,” but as relationships of sexual utility.”
“These women believed that their affairs helped them manage their emotional life and emotional responses to their primary partners, and ultimately enabled them to remain and endure in their primary partnerships.”
These passages though do raise the question of why these women see marriage as something that need be “endured” to begin with. If that is your mindset maybe marriage just isn’t for you. Even if you didn’t start off that way, if your marriage has turned into the equivalent of torture like clearly it has for many of the women referenced in this story, then simply leave it. I am sure most of the men in question would rather have had their partner’s break it off entirely, rather than have it survive only on the basis of their wives cheating on them regularly. A divorce is never easy, but one done after the infidelity occurs and is brought to the light is almost always worse after all.
Terrifyingly the CNN piece only gets worse near the end. With its writer admitting that many of these cheating women she has been discussing do so not because they are trapped in bad or unhappy marriages at all. Instead she reveals most modern cheating women, “like their husbands well enough, but at the same time, find married life incredibly dull and constraining.” To be clear we are at the point where a CNN writer is openly suggesting that it is appropriate and morally ok for a wife to cheat on her husband for no other reason than that she find married life dull. She then follows up this revelation with a summary of her overall theory regarding why more women than ever are cheating on their partners.
“We now tell women that they can have it all, that they can work and have a family and deserve to be sexually satisfied. And then when having it all is miserable and overwhelming or they realize marriage isn’t all it’s cracked it up to be, maybe having affairs is the new plan B.”
So when trying to “have it all” gets to be too much, instead of possibly reconsidering for example the idea of having a career and a family at the same time. The answer instead is to just cheat on that family? The real reason of course for the increase in female infidelity is simply articles like the one we just discussed. When women are constantly bombarded with stories and articles telling them its ok, then why would we expect them to not think it is? If you don’t believe that stories like this are all over, here are just a few examples I found after only a moments search.
We have as a culture allowed cheating to become an act of feminist female empowerment, which is why we shouldn’t be surprised more women than ever before are doing it. Women however should be careful how far they take this latest example of extreme feminist thought. As advances in science might soon even out the playing field between the genders soon, leaving men the ones questioning if marriage is really all that necessary.
In the end cheating from either side of a marriage is wrong, and something that should never be presented in a positive light. However is anyone going to argue they have ever seen a movement presenting male cheating as something that helps their wives or marriages? Unlike women, modern men caught cheating are almost instantly ostracized from their work, family and friends. No one wants to be the person who supports a male cheater, so while women are being praised for committing this hurtful act, men tend to be treated like social pariahs for the same discretion. So much for gender equality. But then again, feminism went far beyond its initial reasonable goal of true equality long ago as we all well know.