25 January 2010

Will We Care About Affairs In 2011?

It is harder to cover up an affair when the press no longer has a monopoly on the widespread distribution of information. One of the consequences of that is that a lot of high profile affairs are being revealed. Will these revelations reach a point where affairs become acceptable?

My inclination is that this wouldn't be a bad thing. There are real virtues to a frank society, as opposed to one where people have to contort themselves to keep secrets about relatively ordinary behavior. This encourages less destructive ways to deal with those situations when they are known.

As a University of Michigan scholar noted a few years ago (I don't have the citation easily at hand), it was the historical norm, until quite recently, for the rich and powerful to have multiple partners. It is also notable that this development comes a generation after the decriminalization of adultery and rise of no-fault divorce.

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