So there's apparently this whole pro-cheating movement proliferating on the internet.

According to Utne, there's a raft of pro-adultery literature cropping up on the Wild, Wild Web. They cite a piece on Briarpatch that dismisses marriage as a tyranny in which"your intimacy is governed by scarcity, threats, and programmed prohibitions, and protected ideologically by assurances that there are no viable alternatives"; and an irreverent post on Jewcy about the (apparent) Jewish infidelity movement. (I choose not to view yesterday's Daily Mail tell-all by an "utterly shameless serial mistress" as evident of any philosophical trend.)


Now, as we all know, the internet is rivaled only by the Good Book in its ability to provide evidence for any argument, and that quality is rivaled only perhaps by its capacity to help anyone rationalize anything. Does the internet facilitate cheating? Sure. Does it cause it? Doubtful. And anyone agitating for extra-marital shenanigans is surely more than matched by an equal body of pro-fam literature.

Reading the "pro-cheating" manifestos, one can't help thinking, "so...why get married?" And, once married, there's no terribly compelling rationale given for why the miserable parties involved must stay chained to their nuptial servitude, save a vague "societal" dictate that seems rooted in the first half of the 20th Century. Certainly, it seems unlikely that anybody who embraces the philosophy of infidelity as a weapon against "capitalist oppression" (as Utne would have it) would be tethered by such notions of traditional domesticity or any other traditional rationale for staying in a marriage.


Every generalization about the institution of marriage in this day and age is problematic, for it's become an intensely individual decision. It's funny; the wedding business has boomed even as cynicism has made it impossible to enter into marriage with unembarrassed idealism - even if, at heart, that's what marriage demands. We all know the divorce rates, the difficulties, the many unhappy endings. Some will always claim we are not, by nature, monogamous (although, as an inherently monogamous person? I've always found the suggestion that I don't exist to be somewhat confusing.) And yet people still do it. Sure, not everyone's cut out for monogamy; it's also true that in free-love communities like Oneida and Johnstown, some would rebel and flee in order to pursue one-on-one relationships with people they were in love with. There are a lot of reasons a major portion of this country's been agitating for the right to marry that has nothing to do with taxes and hospital visits, and no one can look at the pictures of a couple of thirty years allowed to finally make it legal without feeling pretty sure that, whatever either Focus on the Family and various hoary revolutionaries might suggest, the institution's probably not going anywhere.

Defending Adultery [Utne]

Adultery And Other Half Revolutions: Towards A Post-Scarcity Economy Of Love [Briarpatch]
Cheating Is For Winners: Meet Shaindy.Com [Jewcy]
A Mistress Confesses: Why I Want To Sleep With Your Husband... And Why HE Wants To Sleep With Me! [Daily Mail]