All day long I teach kids about secrets, and trust and communication in healthy relationships. At many of my presentations I hear murmurs from the teachers that they know a few adults who need to see the video on dating violence that I show to youth. It is easy when working with children to forget that adults also often have a thing or two to learn about healthy relationships and we take this for granted.
As often happens in the office, we were talking one day about things that particularly “irk” us about the way society constructs and condones various kinds of violence. One website that came up was http://www.ashleymadison.com, a dating website designed to facilitate “discreet” extra-marital affairs. Their catchphrase is “life’s too short, have an affair!”
My biggest frustration with Ashley Madison is rooted in the promotion of secrecy and deception as part of a “healthy relationship.” Additionally while they say that they promote respect of women, they repeatedly use objectifying language in their articles and blog posts. On such quote: “Most reviews come from satisfied customers who treat women the way they want to be treated…like they matter.” Hmm…yes for all those pesky women out there thinking that they matter and that they deserve to be treated as such, don’t fear because if you use Ashley Madison you can be sure that you will get a man who feels the same way.
Ashley Madison and sites like it reaffirm my belief in how important it is to remind ourselves that in fact secrecy and deception are NOT parts of healthy relationships, and that children and adults can always use a good reminder of this.
To view Joy Beher’s interview with the CEO of Ashley Madison and others you can follow this You Tube link.