Last month, I reported on states that are trying to ban a practice called “revenge porn,” in which men punish women for cheating—or often just for the “crime” of dumping them—by publishing naked photos the women gave them in good faith, often with the woman’s address and real name attached. Turns out that a lot of straight women want in on the game of publicly shaming people they blame for their broken hearts. The twist is that these women prefer to focus their anger and harassment efforts not at men, but at other women.
Kate Dries at Jezebel reports on a popular website—250,000 “likes” on Facebook!—called She’s A Homewrecker, where women can publish the names and photos of women with whom their husbands and partners chose to cheat. Emphasis on “chose,” because while some of the tales of woe on this website do involve women bothering to be mad at their cheating spouses, the overall message is clear: The job of keeping a man faithful belongs not to him, but to the entire population of women that he could encounter at any time.
The belief that women are the ones mainly, if not solely, responsible for men’s choice to cheat is made all the more apparent when you realize that the cheating men are spared having their information made public, often because the women writing in want to keep the relationship together. One entry features a photo with the woman described as a “home wrecking slut” cuddling with the man in question. His face is blanked out, and the cheated-on woman writes, “She will never have his heart like I did. EVER. I will love that man until the day I die.” One photo caption reads: “A pathetic excuse for a female. Knowingly, continuing to try and bed a man that is taken.” Another woman writes about how her “perfect marriage” was ruined because her husband decided to join a gym, where he met the other woman. The result: That woman gets her name and picture published on the website. The cheating husband, however, gets anonymity and forgiveness, since he “quit the gym and all he does is spend time with us.”
Look, I’m not going to defend a woman who makes the crappy choice of sleeping with a married man, but this retrograde belief that men can’t control themselves in the face of a woman who tempts them makes it clear the work of feminism is far from done.
People of all genders and sexual orientations and kinks and familial arrangements: If you’re old enough to have your heart broken, you need to be mature enough to handle it like an adult. Party inappropriately. Sleep around. Whine to your friends—that’s what they are there for. Listen to sad music while curled up in a ball crying on the floor. Fantasize about getting your revenge, if you want. But whatever you do, don’t actually try to get revenge, either on your ex or the woman you blame because you’ve absorbed the idiotic notion that anyone other than the man behind the penis is responsible for where the penis goes. The only person who looks bad when you do that is you.