If it’s easy to label, it’s easy to excuse
Original story: npr.org | Monday, Aug. 16, 2010
Christin Munsch, a sociology PhD candidate at Cornell University, recently went before the American Sociological Association in Atlanta to explain the findings of her six-year study of married and cohabitating (straight) couples: that a woman making more money than her man can threaten his conventional breadwinner role, and that such emasculation may, in turn, drive him to cheat.
I understand Munsch herself suspects that a number of additional factors are also at work in many cases of spousal cheating, but sadly most people don’t need additional reasons to concoct perfectly transparent excuses for their behavior. My view is that a guy who is going to cheat on his wife is going to cheat on his wife, regardless of the role she plays in the family finances. Apparently this view is endorsed by Kim Cattrall’s Sex and the City character, Samantha, who believes “men cheat for the same reason that dogs lick their balls…because they can.” The guy’s got his reasons – and more often than not they have a lot more to do with him than with her. My point is, the sooner we guys can truly “man up” and take simple responsibility for that choice (and credit for notcheating), the sooner we’ll feel we have our balls back. (Um, to do with them what we will.)
Wait, aren’t we smarter than this? I thought we tossed a lot of these worn out ‘ol shoes that decide for us who is threatened by what in which kind of relationship and what personality type is the most likely to concede/rule/falsify/transcend or otherwise hop on one foot while devouring grapefruits at Nordstrom. So c’mon already, this is ridiculous. This just wheezes stale breath into the carcass of outdated B.S. like: “I’m entitled to take action at the thought of having my ‘gender identity’ threatened.” Is that so?
Anyone who abides by a study that says cheating is okay because someone feels sorry for him or herself will accept a ton of sorry explanations. And the culture that accepts multifaceted academic rationalizations like this one is made up of the same bunch of deciders who set the standard for what behaviors can be acceptably rationalized in the first place.
Translation: we have to do better than if it’s easy to label, it’s easy to excuse.