Tiger’s personal life isn’t my business – so I’ll broaden the scope and comment on the situation as it applies to me and my history of dealing with cheating jerks. I’m the norm rather than the exception these days, it seems. Men in relationships see no legal obligation to act morally, and married men consider their oath of marriage to be mere guidelines open to interpretation in the event that one feels overcome by the urge to date around. Of course some women act like this as well, and this isn’t a man-bashing column – but I’m speaking here from personal experience.
There is often no way for a woman to tell if the man she is dating is married. I’ve seen men construct double lives to avoid disclosing the reality of their situation. There is no paper trail to prove bachelorhood – just divorce (and I always ask men who claim to be divorced to produce the paperwork by the second date). There isn’t any sort of database you can check. Wouldn’t it be nice if men who cheated on their wives had a public record of doing so?
Adultery: the most underrated crime in society. Yes – crime. In Tiger Woods’s state of residence, Florida, adultery is a criminal offence – a second degree misdemeanor punishable by 6 months in prison and/or a $500 fine. It’s a law that hasn’t been given much, if any, use. Police are hesitant to enforce something of which they’re probably just as guilty. And the wording could use some amending: “Where either of the parties living in an open state of adultery is married both parties so living shall be deemed to be guilty of the offense.” Tiger shouldn’t have to be living with each of his babes for adultery to reach the level of a crime.
It’s time for the books to reflect the “common sense” definition of adultery. I’m not saying to fill the jails with cheaters – just give them a little slap on their wayward willy and a searchable criminal record at www.cheatingjerks.gov. Then women won’t have to set up their own www.idatedthisjerk.com websites at great legal risk in an attempt to reclaim their own lives as victims of fraud.
I’m not saying men shouldn’t be able to play around and enjoy variety. But if you want to do that, get divorced. Or do what George Clooney does: stay single and be honest about what you’re looking for. If an “open marriage” (oxymoron) is your thing, then why get married in the first place?
I’m not keen on legislating morality – unless those morals do serious harm to others. Adultery more than fits that bill. Prostitution could even be decriminalised if adultery laws were enforced – taking the onus off the woman making a living, and forcing the paying john to think about himself in the case where he obviously doesn’t care about his wife or kids at home.
I like to tell people that even though they may not subscribe to religion, society would still do well do know and abide by the Ten Commandments, given that they’re just basic rules of respectful conduct in civilised society. But since it seems to be increasingly too much to ask people to behave decently towards others out of free will, perhaps a bit of deterrence wouldn’t hurt.
If adultery was universally treated as the crime that already is in some jurisdictions, then maybe the deterrence would be enough to keep all but the most insane ones in check. The rest could be searched via online database – and avoided.