Yesterday it was revealed that large caches of data had been stolen from Avid Life Media, parent company of online cheating site AshleyMadison.com. The hackers, who refer to themselves as the “Impact Team”, have threatened to release the data unless Ashley Madison and sister sites like Established Men are shut down permanently.
As a man who has been married for the past 10 years and who has never strayed, I insist that we tell the Impact Team that we will not negotiate with terrorists and instead just give them whatever they want.
As a man still happily betrothed to his wife, who is still as lovely as ever even though she has gained some weight in recent years, I do not share the compulsion to have an affair. Why would a man (or woman) look for no-strings attached sex with other people while his wife is at home looking after the baby, even though you haven’t had sex in a couple of months and Goddamn you know she’s been up all night but can’t she just give you a quick handjob, you’re going to explode here?
But just because I would never cheat on my wife with some stranger I met on a website, several times, at Hotel By Hour on the corner of Pitt St, does not mean that those who would are not entitled to the same security and trust that they’re not willing to give to their marriages.
We live in a free society and that includes the freedom to pursue sordid ends, even if some people think it’s immoral. Sure hacking is great when it’s a movie company’s emails or a hot celebrity we want to see naked pictures of, but when it starts affecting you or I (definitely more you than I, since as it’s been established, I would never have an affair), then we have to say “no more!”
Marriages are hard work. Some people open up dialogue and pursue therapy. Others take a long, hard look at their own actions and begin to address how they may be contributing to the breakdown of their marriage. And others conclude that the previous two options are too difficult and maybe they’ll just look for tail online. These are all equally valid options and one is not better than the other.
I would understand your skepticism if I had something to protect by stopping this information from being released. However, as someone whose fidelity is as strong as “NineInchNail” is an awesome online dating pseudonym, you can tell my motives are pure of heart.
Ashley Madison has 30 million profiles. If 30 million marriages are destroyed because we did not have the strength to give in to these hackers’ demands, then the marriage equality movement will truly have succeeded at destroying the sanctity of marriage.
Let’s not hand those LGBT fascists another victory.
Matthew Farthing is an editorial contributor to The (un)Australian. During basketball games, he often plays the position of insisting that he’s happily married who still advises the romantic lead that he’s making a mistake by not playing the field.