Seems the memes are changing on cheating. As writer Wendy Atterberry points out in a recent post on The Frisky, the simultaneous media blitzes for Elizabeth Edwards’ book and Kate Gosselin’s TV show have thrown infidelity into the spotlight — but for perhaps the first time, harsh glares are being cast on the cheated-upon women as much as the philandering men.
The question being asked: not “Why did she stay?” (and “How can she get through that press conference with that poker face?”) but rather (in the case of Edwards) “Why did I like her UNTIL she went on Oprah?” and, in general, “What did she DO to deserve that?”
Zoink! “If we’re going to point fingers at men behaving badly, we have to take a look at the women’s behavior that may provoke it,” Atterberry writes. Provoke?! She is not even talking about Rihanna. “Most issues — especially those within a relationship — are rarely ever black and white with a clear-cut victim and oppressor. People cheat for a variety of reasons, very few of which are strictly because they’re horrible human beings.”
OK, but you know what? People also cheat in relationships with delightful spouses. And people’s wedding vows to be faithful didn’t come with an asterisk. (*”Unless you’re a beeyotch.”)
We’re not saying women, including but not limited to Kate Gosselin, are always above reproach. But saying — in the name of some sort of new “equality,” as Atterberry does — that they somehow asked to be treated poorly…huh, where have I heard that? That they asked to be beaten? Asked to be raped? This is not enlightened. The only thing lamer than cheating is suggesting that someone drove you to it. Neither spouse, no matter how hellish to live with, should be blamed for the full and adult (or juvenile, depending) choices made by the other.
Now I’m going to go watch Jon & Kate and pretend none of this ever happened.
You guys have thoughts?