This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt is “Peeping Tom”. Normally I would work it into one of the stories in my draft folder, but considering the issue that came out last week, this seems appropo. So…to steal a phrase from Monty Python…
…I’ve always wanted to use something from the Python’s in a Wicked Wednesday post…this tickles some.
Many that read anything about sensual lifestyles and habits have heard about the latest big hacking scandal by now. The odds are good that most people in western society have heard about this one. Ashley Madison markets as a discreet way for attached folk to play outside the bounds of fidelity. Proving the severe bias of the media, many stories immediately refer to it as a website of cheating and sleaze…they’re not wrong as it does sit in one of those gray areas that leaves the site open to attacks on the grounds of morality. However, by extension, each of us that have been members should be painted with a large scarlet A on our foreheads.
Yes, I said us. I was a member. Being an atheist sex blogger, I have accounts in places that would cause religious-right eyeballs to cross so fast that they’ll pop from heads and become dangerous projectiles.
I recommend y’all duck now.
Sorry, getting ahead of myself here.
I had intended to use the site as part of my upcoming review on swinging sites. After joining, I quickly discovered how useless the site was. My main critique of AM was going to be about the number of fake female accounts they use to lure men to the site. The secondary point was going to be on the ethics surrounding a fee to delete the account. A third point was how, unlike other swinger and dating sites, this one eats ridiculous amounts of money and then demands more for access.
It’s not a swinger’s site. Think I spent about $40 on the account and then gave up on my own eyes rolling. My account description included the detail that I was in an open relationship…before anyone gets morally righteous on my ass, there was no cheating intent on my part. Then again, the idea of an open relationship is enough for some to do that. This was research and, had anyone expressed interest, they would have met Mrs. Stranded and I before anything happened.
Again, being the atheist sex blogger that I am, I am not judging those that have used the site, as it is not my business why they are there.
As for AM’s creation of the concept of cheating, however…we must stop them before…!
What? I’m sorry, did you just say that infidelity was around as a concept before Ashley Madison? Did the site at least open the door to start it?
Sleazy as it may appear, AM simply filled a niche desire. Unlike some cigarette companies that added addictive chemicals to hook users, AM cannot be blamed for people using it. The fake female accounts are dishonest, but they are pretty easy to see through, so we cannot hold it to the same standard.
Those using the site, believe it or not, have a choice.
There is a problem, however…a big-ass problem that was confirmed only after the hackers pointed it out.
These righteous hackers suggested that the $20 fee to delete account details was simply pocketed and no deletions took place. Avid Life Media, Ashley’s mother company, initially denied the rumor when it was first discussed, but last week the hackers released the details on a couple of allegedly deleted accounts.
At first I, like many others, assumed that this “Impact Team”…the name given by the hackers…was some morally righteous group that wanted to out those using the site without trial. 37 million users were to be painted with that big fat A on their forehead.
Now, however, there is a very different spin that involves fraud on the company regarding promised privacy and services rendered. Add in that they have allegedly kept the credit card details on deleted members as well, there is even more potential for fraud yet.
I used PayPal, by the way, so they have no credit card data on me and I have de-authorized the account from any future payments off this site *wipes brow*. Being the hackers should not have any current credit card info on me, I am writing none of this from fear of being outed. I am writing it out of anger at another corporate fraud.
This is where people should be judging the company as sleazy and cheating. Yes, they preach infidelity and dishonesty in their marketing…but it seems that has also slipped into their business plan.
Yet the braying for the blood of AM’s members continues above all else. Why? One FOX News story puts stats at the highest I’ve read. It suggests that in the United States 70% of married men cheat in one form or another on their wives…and 50-60% of women do, as well. Sounds a bit high for such a theocratic morally righteous country…and, again, it is FOX who know how to sensationalize things.
Assuming these numbers are true, why is there this massive cry to out them?
Do we need the spectacle? Do we need to take the fornicators to the town square, put them in the stocks, and brand them with that big letter on their foreheads? Is this a new witch hunt?
These self-proclaimed protectors of morality are simply peeping toms. They peer over their fences at their neighbors because nothing interesting is going on in their own backyards…and they need to make sure the neighbors aren’t doing anything untoward either. They are the adult equivalent of the schoolroom tattle-tale.
Infidelity is a symptom of a much bigger problem that these peeping toms would prefer to ignore. The solution does not fit their traditions or beliefs, so the idea that monogamy is not good for all is cast aside as quickly as possible.
Now, AM and their parent company Avid Life Media, are far from blameless. All things considered, the lawsuits that should follow will be fun to watch. Allow me to be sleazy for a moment and say that I’d love to partake in one simply for the windfall potential.
Who wouldn’t want the cash?