I was on a HuffPo panel about infidelity recently, and one of the commentators made an interesting observation to us fellow panel members before the program began. She was a shrink and she said “Oh, you guys will come on here and admit you’ve been affected by infidelity? Huh. Most people don’t out themselves.” I joked that not only did I “out” myself, I publicly call myself a “chump lady.”
But it got me thinking. She is absolutely right. People don’t talk about this. Maybe they do anonymously on online support forums, or in the privacy of their shrink’s office, or on comments on HuffPo (also generally anonymously), but in real life people have a veil of shame around infidelity. That’s understandable if you’re the cheater, but betrayed people also keep their mouths’ shut on the subject. And who can blame them when you consider some of the idiocy out there. So far on HuffPo I’ve been told I’m the reason my ex cheated — I must be fat, sexless, and bitter.
“Bitter” is the go-to slur of choice. Often it’s dressed up as patronizing concern. “I’m sorry for your pain, but please let go, you’re bitter.”
If I were teaching self defense to people who had been mugged, I wonder if people would consider me “bitter.” Oh, that’s just muggers! So you got pistol whipped and had your wallet stolen? Jesus, move on already.
I suppose that is why a lot of people don’t confess to anyone they’ve been cheated on — they probably want to prove their stoicism. I’m not going to dissolve into a puddle of tears and tell you of my greatest pain — you’ll call me bitter, or think I caused this.
And betrayed people often believe this about themselves (I caused this!) and need a lot of therapy to learn otherwise.
So I understand why we don’t “out” ourselves about infidelity. Especially those folks who reconciled (do you really want people to hate your spouse or gossip about you?)
But I think our silence must end.
If you want to turn the tide of a public culture that thinks infidelity is a big shrug and Mistakes Were Made and you brought it on yourself and if you say otherwise you must be bitter — you need to SPEAK UP.
“Bob’s a pathetic loser for cheating on Darlene.” Or “I was cheated on and I dumped that motherfucker.” Or “No, I did not cause this. Maybe her penchant for hooking up with strangers on Craigslist caused our divorce, ever consider that?”
As Nomar phrased it — start speaking Truth to Stupid.
Now what does all this have to do with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)?
Between 1970 and 1990, the consumption of HFCS increased more than 1,000 percent. That’s like a tsunami of sweetener. Arguments have been made on both sides, that it’s just like sugar, no big deal. Or no, it’s a highly processed ingredient that wreaks havoc with your body because your system just free bases the stuff and turns you into a diabetic.
Anywho, whatever your personal feelings about HFCS, the Corn Refiners Association has spent millions and millions of dollars to convince you that HFCS is natural, delicious, and benign.
The opposition? They have a face book page.
Guess who is winning? More than half of Americans (according to a recent New York Times article) think HFCS is hazardous to your health. And marketers have gotten on board and reformulated their products to state “No high fructose corn syrup.” All because of public opinion.
One of the wealthiest lobbies in Big Ag has lost consumer hearts and minds on this, all because people said essentially “Ew, gross.”
Imagine what we could do to public opinion if when cheating was mentioned, if instead of staying quiet, we said “Ew, gross.”