Roland Warren: Why Aren't We Mad At the Mistresses?


Roland Warren, President of the National Fatherhood Initiative, looks at the neglected side of adultery:

Anthony Weiner is just the latest in a long line of famous men who have strayed: Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, Tiger Woods and Eliot Spitzer also have been publicly excoriated for their disgraceful behavior.

But the women with whom they cheated, who all knew they were getting involved with married men (all but one of whom were fathers), have not drawn similar criticism. In fact, the opposite is true: They have been celebrated.

We are, as a society, a long way from making such women wear a scarlet “A.” But it was not so long ago that the community of mothers was organized and vocal and got fighting mad at women who were a danger to their families [...] Our society needs similar values today.

Back then, women who preyed on other women’s husbands were shunned, shamed and excluded, not made into media darlings. They were publicly pointed out as “those kinds of women” to young girls as examples of what not to become, and to young boys as the type of women not worthy of their attention.

... Mothers knew that these women were as much predator as they were prey. That’s why they were called ‘‘home wreckers” in polite company and worse when the kids were not in earshot. These angry mothers, while rightly holding their husbands and the fathers of their children to the pledge of fidelity, realized what would happen not just to their families but also to society if this type of behavior were celebrated rather than confronted. --Washington Post