I dated a married guy once. In fact, we were engaged and almost got married ourselves. What broke us up? That he was married when we got together, ironically. Oddly enough, never once in all the years we struggled to make that relationship work did it ever occur to me to call my local paper (or a global tabloid) and give a blow-by-blow description to people who deliberately use the information to humiliate and desecrate the people involved; namely, his wife and family. Nope. Not ever. As a matter of fact, I felt quite the opposite. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, frightened, and at times very much alone because I couldn’t— rather didn’t dare—tell a soul. Despite the fact that he told me he slept in a separate bedroom and every other lie in the book to convince me to sleep with him; despite the fact that my own husband had just cheated on me, leaving me with our 9-month-old child; despite the fact that I was desperate to believe him; nope, not even then did I say to myself “Hmmm…. I think I’ll alert the press.”
We both knew like the sun rises that what we had done was nothing to be proud of. Despite the fact we loved each other, despite everything we attempted to convince ourselves of, we knew that we had crossed the line and from that moment no good would come of it. Were we young, yes. Immature and wounded, of course. Even though I am grateful I can say I learned and grew from the experience (albeit one of the most painful lessons I ever had to learn), I remain deeply saddened by the grief it caused his wife.
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20 years later:
So how did we as a culture get from there, where most of us would feel horrified, even paralyzed, at the mere thought of anyone finding out you were having an affair (which again, is a normal reaction, no matter what lies you tell each other or yourself) to here, with some of us shouting from the rooftops, “Look at me, I am having sex with a married man, how do you like me so far?” How f-ed-up are we as women, that we would humiliate not only ourselves but take womankind down with us in one trampy media swoop? To what level have we sunk, that our self-esteem is so low that we would actually believe such a flagrant, disgusting violation of integrity was a good thing? With no care for what it does to the other human beings? Have we lost touch with our souls, our humanity? And for what? Why, for example, would all those women come forward and give detailed accounts of being with Tiger Woods? Or the grotesque accounts of Sandra Bullock’s cheating husband? Who would do such a thing and why? How did we digress so exponentially?
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The answer is truly almost as sad as the heart-wrenching breakups themselves. The one difference being, the latter seems almost unforgivable. For the money, what else?
So, my friends and countrywomen, yes, it has come to this. “I will show you my vagina, and maybe, hopefully, at some point, you will pay me,” is the latest fad for economic growth among women of a certain age and type. The new breed of prostitute, as it were. Which is the answer to the question, “What is the difference between a tramp and a whore?” The prostitute gets paid.