The Anarchist Theory Under Which It's OK for Me to Cheat on Alicia
I loved reading the anarchist CWC’s treatise on why adultery is OK. Such choice entertainment! What’s my favorite bit? Well, gosh, it’s so hard to pick. The bit comparing monogamy to the exploitation of migrant workers is unforgettable. But really, the cherry on the sundae is the exclusive use of masculine gender (he, him, his) to refer to the person engaging in adultery, and the exclusive use of the feminine gender (she, her) to refer to the Other Spouse. Be bold, O Anonymous Author, and use the real names. Move from this:
Society, personified by his unfortunate spouse, demands that the adulterer be honest and frank about all things, when it will only punish him for this. It attempts to secure his compliance through routine interrogations (“who was that on the phone, dear?”), surveillance (“do you think I didn’t notice how much time you spent talking to her?”), search and seizure (“and just what the hell am I supposed to think this is?”), and more serious intimidation tactics: the threat of total expulsion from the only home and community he is likely to know.
Society, personified by my wife Alicia, demands that I, Charlie Thomas, be honest and frank about all things, when Alicia will only punish me for this. Alicia attempts to secure my compliance through routine interrogations (“who was that on the phone, Charlie?”), surveillance (“do you think I didn’t notice how much time you spent talking to Elizabeth?”), search and seizure (“and just what the hell am I supposed to think this is?”), and more serious intimidation tactics: the threat of total expulsion from the only home and community I am likely to know.
Oh, the tyranny of being trapped, trapped in a voluntary relationship of your own choosing. Oh, the humanity! Here’s one solution for you, Charlie: if you don’t want to be in a committed monogamous marriage, then you might want to think about not getting married. Or did society, personified by your then-girlfriend Alicia, demand that you be willing to get married to her if you were going to get into her pants? Oh, the oppression of you going ahead with the wedding just for the nookie! Oh, the unfairness of being forced to lie to get what you wanted!
Here’s another solution for you, Charlie: if you want to be in a marriage allowing you to to have romantic and/or sexual relationships with other people, then make sure you get married to someone who’s cool with it. Such an arrangement is called polyamory. There’s a whole community of people who’ve been thinking and writing about the ethics and practicalities of polyamory at a deeper level than sneaking around, being dishonest to a spouse, and getting snotty about it when you’re finally caught.