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Letter to the Editor:
Married Men Dating


Society has not been kind to women, typically preferring to typecast men in the clutches of unmarried young women and placing the blame for married men straying upon their supposedly accidental victims.

Only recently have remarks been made that indicate a degree of accountability that suggests that in adulterous situations, married men are "dating."

In recognizing that "fact," it's possible that (especially men) but also society is beginning to awaken to the fact that when married men initiate, solicit, or agree to meet with "other women," they are dating. In a discussion between Donald Trump (because of his marriage), and his past history, he stated that "this time around," he expected to be both a "good husband" as well as a good father - [as remarked] - by not dating other women.

Extramarital trysts have not risen in society to the point, typically, where they are considered dating, presumably because married men are not recognized generally as free to date. Therefore, it is only the unmarried women who are presumed to be "dating."

This misperception has greatly aided the standards by which married men are judged for their fidelity, or lack of it, and their excuses appear to have been well received by society as "accidents, or mistakes."

Because it takes "two to tango," regardless of their status, it's healthy for society to recognize the mutual responsibility of both men and women when the topic arises to equalize the liability and to place judgment on both parties, if there is a requirement to judge either. The gender bias of assuming it is the woman's fault incorrectly presumes that she has authority, or control over the breach of trust to whom the male is accountable.

Although women are characteristically suckers for their willingness to assume the liability and guilt in these circumstances, it's questionable whether that guilt or shame is correctly assigned in the circumstance where an unmarried female chooses to see a married man. She has no obligation to the female supposedly harmed since she has no "relationship," legal or otherwise, with the married spouse of the person who strays.

Therefore, in placing the blame upon the woman as a "home-wrecker," etc., considerably more justifiable self righteous but unearned bias and discrimination is placed upon women than men, perhaps in an attempt to "protect the legal territory" of married women by encouraging others, both males and females, especially, to honor it, irrespective of the good or bad relations between the married couple.

It's possible that the decision and actuality of males (or females) who stray is very much a "private affair" between the parties, and although subject to gossip, not appropriate for public judgment by virtue of the possibility of an innocent party who, if single, is presumably free to see whomever he or she pleases without the burden of society's recrimination.

It is a slippery slope, however, since society typically considers blame to be psychologically necessary, and by tradition, it falls upon the uniquely vulnerable party, often the extra man, or more frequently upon the extra woman.

While few would consider this a civil rights or a human rights issue, it just may be that it has been overlooked as one of the most basic issues that has yet to be identified and resolved as such. Most consider it a religious or a moral issue but, in reality, it might be examined more closely within the confines of the "rights of association" that any human is entitled to under our Constitution. Our founders never specified in that amendment that only unmarried persons were entitled to the rights of association. It cannot be read in that manner, and it should not be read in that manner.

Can society benefit from asking such elementary questions?

If it is our obligation to minimize or curtail the abbreviation of bias and discrimination of human rights or civil rights, it may well be within the kinds of inquiries that are appropriately examined and resolved since it may lie at the heart of all human relations upon which human standards must be built as fair, equitable, and rooted in dignity of the person attempted to be regulated. Why would married men be exempt, despite the patriarchal society we promote.
~ Pat R.

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