We like to think that we've moved on from the Scarlet Letter, that the days of yore are exactly that: days which are long past and should remain that way. We are the most privileged technological human beings to ever live on the planet and we live in levels of comfort that even Kings couldn't dream of. Despite that, we still live in a world where the shaming of people is common place. Where people need to leave their jobs or their offices due to things which happen in their private lives. While it might be seductive to think that as a society, we have moved past one of judgement and superstition, we’ve still got those dark age beliefs embedded in our minds.
In fact, technology could be considered a weapon which people use to publicly shame others. Look at what happens on Twitter and other social media websites. Our lives are open to sharing and because we share them, they’re more prone to scrutiny as we search for deep connections in a world that is moving too fast to make such connections easily.
When it comes to slut shaming, we tend to make a joke out of it. “Look at the rack on that one” or by saying that by wearing what they wear, a person is inviting negative comments or worse. This is true of extramarital affairs as well. We say that people brought it on themselves or that those who cheat deserve to get caught, even without knowing any of the story behind it.
There are buzzwords in modern society and “cheating” is one of them. Despite the tremendous advances in technology and the changing scope of what we consider to be right and just, adultery is something that we still need to put a lot of work into. The same could be said of sex. Whereas some people and places are becoming more laissez-faire about sex in general, other places are becoming more puritanical.
We are seeing attacks upon sexuality in the form of abstinence classes, limited access to birth control methods and the way that people react when someone (be they male or female) is raped. It is in part our strange obsession with sex and also with hiding that obsession that makes cheating so taboo. If we were to be more open to the idea of polyamory or that people could have sex outside of their marriage once in awhile without it being seen as the destruction of the foundation of a marriage, then the taboo wouldn’t exist. Websites like this wouldn’t need to exist.
If cheating weren’t something that is so vilified in modern society, then AshleyMadison.com would be nothing more than a dating website for swingers.
Even when cheating isn’t involved and both parties are knowingly entering sexual situations with people outside of their marriage there are some people who will say that’s perverse or not right. Why not? Usually the answer that comes back is religious or based in a strange kind of morality that is hard to justify when you think about it. If two people are enjoying themselves and no one is getting hurt, then what is the problem? There are limits to this, of course. We’re not say that if someone agrees to be murdered by another person than that should be legal. The grey area between here or there is something that needs to be debated by people who are far more qualified than us.
What we are saying though is that discussion needs to be started when it comes to the state of marriage and extramarital affairs. Divorce rates are high, extramarital affair rates are high as well if our membership numbers have anything to say about it and we need to have a discussion about it. No slut-shaming, no mudslinging or anything of the sort. Just a discussion where people are able to talk calmly about how the world is changing.
We can all see the changes that are happening all around us. They’re reported to us every day. Our cell phones which don’t even weigh a pound, have as much computing power as those bricks that we called laptops back in the day. We can communicate with anyone around the world almost instantaneously, but we’re dragging our feet when it comes to changing our social values. This isn’t because the values aren’t changing or don’t need to change either.
They’re already changing right before your eyes, but without a proper and rational discussion about it, it’s always going to seem like the monster inside of your closet.
Cheating is on the rise!
Except it isn’t really. It’s always been there, we’re just more aware of it now and now that we can recognize its existence, it’s time to talk about it.