tiger by the tail

i'm sick of the tiger woods thing.

there are many reasons, but here's the main one: i still feel like we're having half assed, immature discussions based on the wrong questions. it's time to go deeper; ask the questions at the root instead of getting stuck on the leaves.

first and foremost, no one outside a relationship knows what the folks in the relationship have decided to put up with from each other. therefore, getting all righteously indignant about who's a whore/skank/slut and who ain't is irrelevant.*

the world has changed, is changing, as we speak. with that, the way we live and love is changing.

wouldn't it make more sense to begin to define loving in a more personal, intimate way and then build supportive communities around what works? what grows your family and contributes to the expansion and edification of your heart, mind and spirit might not look like anyone else's situation...and shouldn't have to.

what many of us are taught to "strive for" is built on jacked up gender roles, rapidly shifting socioeconomic standards, and paternalistic abrahamaic religious mores. in the western ideal, cis men and cis women are essentially brought up to be polar opposites of one another--opposites that are supposed to bond, procreate and live the (american/euro) dream for the good of (old man) god, forever and ever, amen.

that's a pretty small box to fit into, but plenty of folks are still trying.  and the pressure to conform is leading to all kinds of lies and heartbreak. 

the white, western world is now re-learning what many ancient cultures have known for centuries: all the things surrounding love and attraction happen within fluid continuums, not in rigid categories.  manhood and womanhood are meant to blend into and compliment one another, with the true emphasis being on full personhood and soulhood.  yes, you need an egg and a sperm to create more human life, but the binaries typically stop there. 

but we're talking infidelity, so, for the record, here's my stance: if you are in an intimate relationship with only one other person, and both parties have explicitly agreed that said relationship is sexually monogamous, if one party has sex with someone else without their partner's consent, that's not cool.**  

yes, "emotional affairs" are also possible, but with a sketchier premise that begins to delve into insecurities, lack of communication, arbitrary limits on the range and manifestation of human emotion...in short, another damn blog altogether.  

so, someone cheats--whatever that means in your world. what you do about it is your business. my point is, there are other, more relevant questions besides, "why do _______ cheat??!?!?", such as:

how long does it take to openly and honestly discuss a problem?  e.g., an "emotional" affair can happen on your desk or over the phone, but takes time to build steam.  physical cheating takes effort:  you're going out, meeting, take clothes off...etc.  when and how are you dealing with your primary partner?

where do women learn to "let it slide as long as [zie-she-he] comes 'home'"?  conversely, where do men learn that the appropriate response is to hurt/maim/kill the other party?

why is the first assumption that it's all about sex?  people have many needs.

what barriers exist to dissolving a relationship where you feel disrespected? are they concrete/material? cultural? spiritual?

consider the money and power factor. what made tiger think these women would stay quiet when telling would also bring notoriety?  what made him think his wife would stay (she'll be well taken care of either way, apparently)?  

see where this is going? 

ultimately, reducing these issues to "men will be boys" and "mistresses are whores" is silly, at best.  if we're gonna talk about it, let's really talk about it.

*from what little i've read/heard, elin seems pissed, so it's probably safe to say the relationship was not an open one.  still, the high horses are startling.  none of us know the other women any better than we know her.  plus, as someone mentioned earlier on my twitter feed, there are babies to think of.

**essentially, somewhere between 18-25 or so, you learn that this needs to be made crystal clear if you intend to get what you need out of the relationship and/or have a case if someone fucks up later. it's starting to sound like too many folks make assumptions about the nature of a situation and wind up getting hurt.  communication is fundamental, at all stages.  in addition, i abhor the "if you're not married, you can't cheat" crowd.  how silly do you have to be...

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