I agree with Ezra and, more surprisingly, Ross: The New York magazine cover story on male adultery is a piece of infantile self-justification. Not only that, but it's full of casual classism, sexism, and historical revisionism. Author Philip Weiss idealizes Victorian prostitution and "ancient aristocracies" in which "rich men had courtesans for pleasure and concubines for quick sex." In actuality, both were sordid, disease-spreading systems reliant upon the exploitation of women without other economic options. Weiss then recounts a conversation with an equally lust-addled married male friend over dinner at a New York restaurant. Weiss suggests to him "that we could change sexual norms to, say, encourage New York waitresses to look on being mistresses as a cool option." Yeah! Because after all these millennia, it's still super fun to imagine that working class women are the sexual playthings of affluent men!
Weiss continues by admitting that he and his friend's wives, to whom they don't feel like being faithful, "make our homes" and "manage our social calendar." Have they considered that picking up a few chores around the house might improve their marriages and sex lives? Just a thought.
The article goes on to traffic in completely unproven insinuations that European women don't mind being cheated upon, because they're so evolved and sophisticated. No actual European woman is consulted on this theory. As Ezra said, "Bleh." I can't understand why a guy who normally writes thoughtfully about the Middle East and American Jews would have added this particular piece to his journalistic oeuvre.
cross-posted at TAPPED