Last night's episode of The Colbert Report featured Philip Weiss, author of the New York Magazine article "The Affairs of Men". According to Weiss, he identifies, as a man, with politicians like Eliot Spitzer who seek sex outside of their long-term marriage, and he thinks that marriage norms should be examined more closely in our society.
My issue with Weiss is not what he has to say about American morality when it comes to marriage. In fact, I thought he had a lot of great insights about his generation, and the fact that they did away with many of the taboos surrounding premarital or homosexual sex, yet they will not apply that same sense of sexual revolution to monogamous marriages. Although it's hard for me to say because I am not married myself, it seems like he is probably right that we as a country should be more open-minded when it comes to sex and marriage.
Where I had a problem with this article lies (surprise!) in its misogyny. Much like medications prior to the mid-1970s were tested only on men and then said to be safe for everyone, Wiess is claiming that "Americans" need to change their attitudes, but then he examines only the behaviors of men. What about the women in these marriages? Where is their agency? Weiss claims throughout his interview with Colbert that he is talking about married couples, but he is in fact only speaking of married men and their actions. Women have sex drives too! Women are in marriages too! When are we going to rectify the sexism present in marriage and start reflecting upon the experiences of both husbands and wives?
Take a look at the video and tell me what you think: