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Home > Media

Infidelity: Very bad when women do it

18 December 2004

As infidelity rampages through our society, destroying families, lives and careers with a wave of its deliciously tempting come-hither hand, the Daily Mirror this week ran a feature entitled 'Are You Doomed To Cheat?' The article, written in a hurry by Rachel Murphy, used the dubious findings of a survey by Tim Spector, author of Your Genes Unzipped, and Director of the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas' Hospital, London, to launch into a moral crusade which will hopefully have us all sleeping much more comfortably in our beds this festive season, rather than sleeping less comfortably, but perhaps more excitedly, in the beds of our lovers.

Spector's study states, Mirror-baldly, that 'if your mum or dad cheated on their partner then you are much more likely to do it too'. Or in other words 'they fuck you up your mum and dad'. It's all lurid rot and nonsense of course, but the Mirror couldn't give a fig. Interestingly, the article is illustrated with a photograph of a sexy femme fatale-type, kissing one man whilst staring flirtatiously at the camera. Could it be perhaps, that the Daily Mirror sees adultery as a problem only when it's something that women do? Men's fidelity is only a bit of fun after all. Women's infidelity on the other hand, destroys lives. What's that you say? Hand-wringing paranoia? You're probably right. Probably also a coincidence that the celebrity case studies further illustrating the damage of innocent life by adultery all feature women - Amanda Holden, Ulrika Jonsson, Paula Yates, Zoe Ball and Natasha Richardson. (The Mirror evidently didn't have the balls to include Kimberley Quinn, but you just know they really really wanted to.)

Relate counsellor Paula Hall offers the following advice: 'If you believe you are at risk of having inherited so-called infidelity genes, use that knowledge to help improve your relationship.' So now you're asking yourself, 'But how do I know if I'm high risk?' Thankfully the Mirror is one step ahead and supplies a handy guide. (Don't imagine for a second it's just a matter of asking yourself the question, 'Have I ever been unfaithful before?' After all, you might lie.) So what you must do is 'look as far back as you can in your family tree'. Then discard all family members beyond your grandparents, as they are all you'll need. Then: 'If at least one grandparent plus at least one parent was unfaithful and/or divorced, consider yourself a high risk.' There you go. There's really no hiding from tabloid science. But what on earth do you do if you are high risk?

Well, this is where the Mirror forgets itself. 'Avoid wearing sexually provocative clothes. Never have deep emotional conversations or spend time alone with men you aren't dating. Be open with your partner and tell him if you're feeling bored or vulnerable.' There you have it. This is not an article about infidelity at all: this is an article earnestly beseeching women not to be unfaithful, but to stay at home, maintain a strong family unit and give regular blow jobs to their spouse or lifetime partner, even if their hearts are not in it. If you're still in any doubt, look at the advice for Low Risk cheaters: 'Don't be complacent. Just because you don't have your eye on somebody else doesn't mean your relationship is perfect. Keep working on it.' As for No Risk: 'Who are you kidding? We are all capable of infidelity. Never wear a skirt to work and if you ever have thoughts about another man, just remember Les Dennis's poor little crumpled face and be thoroughly, thoroughly ashamed of yourself.' (We might have made a bit of that last one up, just to hammer home the point. Apologies if we did.)

Still, the point stands. Well done, Rachel Murphy! You're a credit to misogynists everywhere.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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