Here's your make-you-hate-humanity story of the day: A new website called She's a Homewrecker is dedicated to exposing and shaming women who hook up with married men. No mention of the men involved in these affairs, because we all know men just can't help but cheat (it's evolution!), right? At least that seems to be the operating principle of She's a Homewrecker. And the worst part? This site is run by women.
"They say if you can’t beat them join them, but we say if you can’t beat them, EXPOSE them!" write the site's lady proprietors. She's a Homewrecker "is exposing everyone from the Hollywood Homewrecker to the average white picket fence destroying women who just can’t seem to let go of your husbands and boyfriends!"
I don't even know where to begin with the errors in this perspective. There's the fact that many women who become involved with married men might not even know their paramour is attached (I've heard that, on occasion, cheaters lie about these things). There's the fact that even if they do know, it's not other people's jobs to police your partner's fidelity. And then there's the fact that this site lets the cheating partner off the hook entirely. Married men who cheat? Meh. But mistresses? Homewrecking hussies. We all know it's up to women to control where men's penises go.
Even though some stories on the site do acknowledge that it takes two to you know, cheating husbands are spared public shame while their lovers have their pictures, names and other personal information broadcast and characters defamed online. "The overall message is clear," Amanda Marcotte at Slate writes. "The job of keeping a man faithful belongs not to him, but to the entire population of women that he could encounter at any time."
Unfortunately, the idea that women (and only women) should be held accountable for affairs is not limited to a few (or a few hundred) beleaguered wives seeking revenge. The She's a Homewrecker Facebook page has nearly 250,000 likes. It's full of stories like this one:
I created a fake fb of a girl to see if my husband would cheat..or try to. I have trust issues with him because he has lied to me a few times before. So I started messaging him asking if he wanted to hang, out and stuff. It took him awhile to reply but he finally did agreeing to meet up at the nearest walmart
The site seems is maintained by a woman named Ariella Alexandra, who also keeps a blog called "I'm in Love with a Serial Cheater." As Jezebel's Kate Dries writes, "most of the women who have posted on this site are clearly super fucked up from getting cheated on ... But despite the horrible stories they tell, you can't help but feel like they're the mean ones, not these whores sleeping with their partners."
If you're upset about a cheating partner, leave. Or don't. Get mad at him or her, or don't. Every relationship involves tradeoffs. There's no right way to respond to cheating — but there is a wrong way. And I'm pretty sure She's a Homewrecker epitomizes it.