Egads, not that again
The porn thing I'm nonplussed about. But this kind of thing makes me bananas. At Steve Gilliard's blog, they are talking about whether or not men's cheating is preordained or not. Steve is leaning heavily towards "yes", and some commenters are certain of it, like this one who puts it bluntly:
Listen to Steve. All men, if given an opportunity to get away with it, will cheat on their wives, girlfriends, etc.
This attitude is pretty self-assured. I would point out that if it actually gets roundly believed by women that they have to babysit their men 24/7 in order to prevent cheating, women will give up on men entirely, as a general rule.
But I don't believe men need babysitters. "All men do it," is the refrain of those who do it and want to be justified in their behavior. Or maybe they haven't done it yet, but they want an out if they ever do. Of course, since a majority of men have or will cheat at some point in their life, this is a common enough refrain. But a majority of women have or will cheat at some point in their lives, and we don't hear women flippantly telling men that they just need to get over it. In part, that's because we have a genuine fear of having potential infidelity used to restrict our freedom, something men don't usually consider as a possibility.
Look, if a man is going to cheat at the first opportunity, that means most men are cheating all the time. Opportunity is everywhere. And for men who don't have women flirting with them all the time, there are prostitutes. But a good number of men don't cheat. And there has to be a better explanation than their wives or girlfriends keep them on a short leash.
I feel very passionately on this subject--while it seems like it's advantageous to men on the surface to have this stereotype around because it's a free pass to cheat, it's not so fun for men to deal with a girlfriend or wife who is miserable with suspicions about something that isn't true. Whether we like it or not, these stereotypes seep into our subconscious and, at the first evidence of any wrongdoing, come roaring into our consciousness and can cause a lot of damage. And for no good reason, if someone is innocent. Yes, I've had bad experiences, which I shan't elaborate on. Suffice it to say, these stereotypes are very damaging and people shouldn't just non-chalantly toss them around. I treat every man who says that all men cheat given the chance as someone who is as good as a cheater himself. It's just a matter of time.