I will start of by answering my own question – no. 100% NO. Unless, of course the lady in question tied him up against his will and forced him to hide the salami in her…pantry. In which case, that’s just plain-old rape and not cheating. But I digress…
The other night I was watching the news with my Mom and counting down the minutes until Jeopardy started (because I kick her ass EVERY TIME) when the nightly Herman Cain story came on. For those that have been living in a cave, or, you know, have an actual life, Herman Cain is one of the long-shot candidates vying for the Republican nomination for President. He has had some, er, lady troubles as of late of the non-consensual kind but it had recently been discovered that he carried on a 13-year relationship that may or may not have included sex (yeah, right. And I have a lovely bridge to sell you) but did include meals, cash, and stays at posh hotels. Putting aside the fact that we don’t really know what happened (and my god, I don’t even want to imagine these two naked) and that we have no idea what kind of marriage/arrangement he has with his wife, it appears to be another case of a married man cheating.
When a picture of the lady in question flashed on the screen, Moms practically spat. “Look at her. She is SO disgusting.”
After a beat, I responded “Well, so is he.”
“But,” she sputtered “she’s MORE disgusting. Because she knew he was married.”
Unable to wrap my mind around this logic, I pointed out the obvious – that he knew he was married too. And I’m pretty sure he was aware of that fact long before she was. Add to it that they are both consenting adults that carried on a relationship for over a decade and I fail to see how either one of them could bear more of the blame than the other. Now, I’ve known Moms for well, my entire life and I understand her better than anyone so it was no surprise that she would, in effect, place a disproportionate amount of blame on the woman vs. the man in this situation.
But her reaction isn’t really all that different from I suspect a good number of women’s reactions would be. Have you
ever seen Cheaters, or Maury, or Jerry Springer? Plenty of scorn is heaped upon the man who cheated but how many times have the women gone after (literally and figuratively) the other woman? Pulling hair, calling her a cunt and home wrecker (is there even a male equivalent to that term?), blasting her for not staying away from her man all while he sits there, sheepish and in some cases enjoying himself. I’ve never seen a study done on this subject in particular, but I’d be willing to bet my firstborn (and believe me, she is far too helpful at this age for me to part with her easily) that on the whole, more blame is put upon the other woman.
This misguided notion that women “should know better” and that men “just can’t help themselves” is shitty on so many levels and is, I think, very insulting towards men. They are just not capable of being adults and making good decisions. They are just powerless when faced with pussy. Poor dears – how do they get anything done surrounded by all of those boobies? Really people, this is just another form of slut-shaming and you know how I feel about that!
To my knowledge, I’ve only been cheated on once by my high school boyfriend and it wasn’t exactly a warm and fuzzy feeling. (I dumped him, promptly and without argument. Sigh – sometimes I wish I had that uncompromising you-fuck-me-over-and-you’re-gone attitude back in my life). However, I’ve seen first hand the devastation and fallout that occurs when adultery tears through a marriage. So I don’t minimize that this is a serious issue. But let’s not kid ourselves and think that keeping your man away from other sexy, sexy ladies is going to keep him from taking the old skin boat to tuna town. And if he does let her ride the bologna pony, it’s a CHOICE that he made. He’s a shithead. She’s a shithead. End of story.