Cassandra: on keeping promises

Villainous Company: Adultery: Plan B For The PoMo Female?

It was never lack of interest that kept me from cheating during those long years when my husband was overseas, or in the field. Nor was it some spellbound sense of female submission, or pleasure avoidance.It was the knowledge that something precious would have been violated, even if I got away with it (and I almost certainly would have – I never got caught as a teen, when leading my friends through this or that crazy scheme). I would have known that the promise had been broken, even if no one else ever knew. And aside from all the other very good reasons not to do an obviously wrong and destructive thing, aside from not wanting to lose something I valued, there was simply this: I would never look at myself or my husband in the same way again. I would become, like Laura Kipnis, one of the disappointed who settle for illusory promises they don’t believe in, then find themselves feeling unsatisfied because they have ignored one of the oldest truths in human existence.

Read the whole post. She writes in dismay at some feminist or other who thinks we all ought to toss away the very notion of fidelity, embrace adultery, and scratch every itch whenever it itches. I turn to amateur psychoanalysis in moments like these, because the normal tools for diagnosing vapidity fail: people who say things like that must have been betrayed by their parents at an early age.

Dear God in heaven, think about where it all ends. Our society is now fleshing out the ethic that integrity is bad — a view that once would only have been emitted from the mouth of the devil in some tired byronic college drama. Now, we’re officially toying with the cosmology that There Is No-one In The Universe Other Than Me. When you become a liar to maximise your pleasure, you kill the ones you love, whether you actually have time to see them die or not before you die alone.

The courage to Be, you say? Why not just take it all the way? If you can betray your spouse for a shudder in the loins, why not drown your children in the bathtub for an afternoon of quiet? Why not?

Can you begin, now, for the first time in your life, to imagine that when Genesis says God looked down from heaven, saw that every thought of man was evil, and repented that He made man — can you begin now to see that was not “just poetry”?

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