It doesn’t exist. Not in our modern Westernised social bubble, anyway. And this is a good thing, because the traditional values of marriage are all about stripping women of their dignity and rights and turning them into rape-slaves for life – which sounds kind of like being trapped in a decades-long S&M session without a safe word.
Thankfully, we’ve rejected these hateful Old Testament traditions and now married women are partners, not possessions; rape in a marriage is now legally regarded as rape; and you don’t have to have an intact hymen to go strutting down the aisle in a white dress. Hey, you don’t even have to have an aisle. You can get married in mid-plummet tied to a bungee cord made for two, if that’s your idea of romance.
And if it doesn’t work out, you can always get a divorce, safe in the knowledge you won’t be driven out of your village with pitchforks or have to wear a scarlet A on your boob. Isn’t our modern world wonderful? Where every couple can redefine marriage to suit their needs, smugly comfortable that they won’t be publically condemned for their personal take on love and happiness?
Unless you’re a lesbian or one of Jacob Zuma’s wives, of course. Apparently our liberalism with the traditions of matrimony has its ethnocentric and homophobic hypocrisies. It’s mind-boggling that people working on their third divorce and shagging themselves stupid out of wedlock will bleat about the sanctity of marriage when confronted with a pair of matching genitals.
This hypocrisy extends to the services offered by AshleyMadison.com, the infamous dating website for married people looking for some infidelity action. Recently expanded to South Africa, the Canadian-based site pulled over four thousand local sign-ups in two days, because apparently, we’re a nation of lying, cheating slutbags. No judgies.
Purely for research purposes I signed up immediately, expecting to find an online sausage-fest of greasy, lonely perverts with their cocks in their fists and tears in their eyes, chatting to withered, cynical prostitutes (my experiences with online dating leads me to suspect that anyone who tries to talk to me is either a hooker, has a penis, or is a hooker with a penis), but as it turns out, I’m wrong about a lot of things.
The site is heavily moderated, and with a basic membership fee of just under R500, hookers and droolers are conspicuous by their absence. Instead, a quick search reveals that there are about 50 married women in my immediate area who are hot for a spot of Seventh Commandment breaking. And they’re not ugly.
I have to question the wisdom of uploading photographs to a supposedly anonymous website that targets unhappily married people, given that each member is only one half of a couple and could easily find their equally unhappy spouse on the same site. I also wonder why they don’t just get a divorce – or is the thrill of infidelity part of the attraction?
What I don’t question is their morality. Sexologist Marlene Wasserman (aka Dr Eve) slams the site as "irresponsible, unnecessary and unethical", arguing that it "gives people permission" to cheat. Daleen van Staden of Famsa says there is no place for a third party in a marriage. Not her marriage, take note. Not even most marriages. ALL of them. Including yours.
And of course, there’s the predictable condemnation from the hordes of online cubicle monkeys who also feel they have a say in how people they’ve never met deal with their private unhappiness.
Everyone can just fuck off. Rather than giving permission to cheat, or exacerbating a bad situation, AshleyMadison.com merely reflects what many of us already know, whether we want to admit it or not: that marriage is a deeply flawed concept, rooted in out-dated traditions and questionable concepts. A happy marriage is a wonderful thing – but only because it’s so rare.
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