Of course, somebody called my attention to the New York Magazinestory by “Michael Sonmore” (obviously a pseudonym) who uses feminist arguments to rationalize his wife’s adultery in their “open marriage.” I commented briefly on Twitter but wanted to ignore the story because (a) yuck, and (b) I suspect the story is a hoax. Like Rolling Stone‘s UVA rape hoax, “Michael Sonmore” tells a narrative that is too perfect in its exposition of feminist themes. For example, “Sonmore” describes himself as “an economically dependent househusband coping with the withering drudgery of child-rearing.” Really? Here is a guy in his 30s who is quite obviously well-educated, yet he is “economically dependent”? Times are hard, maybe, but surely they’re not that hard. Maybe a guy with a liberal arts degree can’t find work in whatever field he considers his specialty, but he can still work, right? Well, “Sonmore” tells us, he chose this dependency: “I quit working to stay at home with the kids,” which he describes as his “total withdrawal from the economy and the traditional sources of masculine identity.” See? Too perfect.
If a story seems too good to be true, it’s probably not true, and I suspect “Sonmore” is a hoax designed to elicit reaction — particularly, sexist reactions from men — which will then be cited as proof of what misogynistic pigs men really are. And here’s your big clue that the editors are pulling our collective leg:
She didn’t present it as an issue of feminism to me, but after much soul-searching about why the idea of my wife having sex with other men bothered me I came to a few conclusions: Monogamy meant I controlled her sexual expression, and, not to get all women’s-studies major about it, patriarchal oppressionessentially boils down to a man’s fear that a woman with sexual agency is a woman he can’t control. We aren’t afraid of their intellect or their spirit or their ability to bear children. We are afraid that when it comes time for sex, they won’t choose us. This petty fear has led us as a culture to place judgments on the entire spectrum of female sexual expression: If a woman likes sex, she’s a whore and a slut; if she only likes sex with her husband or boyfriend, she’s boring and lame; if she doesn’t like sex at all, she’s frigid and unfeeling. Every option is a trap.
OK, that’s the point at which I called “bullshit” on this story. Whose “sexual agency” is “controlled” by monogamy? Both partners are equally obligated to fidelity in marriage, but to suggest that this is “patriarchal oppression” driven by “a man’s fear” of “a woman he can’t control” is a psychological projection, a reversal of reality.
It is the male’s (relatively) greater sexual independence — a natural fact of biology — that has been the underlying source of feminist resentment for more than four decades. Anyone who believes otherwise is deluded, and so we must ask, could there actually be a “Michael Sonmore,” a man so thoroughly brainwashed by feminist theory that he can’t see through this ideological falsehood?
It’s possible, perhaps. But this recitation of feminist jargon — “patriarchal oppression” and all that — is simply too perfect.
Ace of Spades calls our attention to the implicit racial context of this story. The wife is hooking up with “Paolo”? Too perfect.
UPDATE: Great minds think alike:
Never underestimate feminists’ infinite capacity for deception. Feminism is like a gigantic Ziggurat of Hatred built entirely of lies.