A lot has been written, spoken, and discussed about women’s rights, freedom, the ongoing struggles against misogyny, and several other issues of relevance in today’s knowledgeable yet regressive society of ours. However, here is a news story that drove me into a chain of thoughts on what can be called the downside or misuse of the freedom that women have been craving since ages. Irrespective of being happily single, I have always looked upon the institution of marriage as a sacred unison of two individuals, the reason why this news story of a woman who has had an open marriage for a year, and proudly bedded more than a dozen of men and women, almost shocked me to death. Adding to the jolt is her memoir and proud revelations of the yearlong escapades that forced her and her husband of 18 years to part ways and never look back. While I do agree on her right to live her life on her own terms, the disagreement lies in her way of exalting her 12 months long shenanigans in the pretext of freeing herself from a disastrous marriage.
While she happily savours the bygone moments on her memoir and in the entire set of interviews on print and visual media, I cannot help but wonder what exactly she is trying to glorify through penning a chronicle on her yearlong sexual adventure. In spite of having several other reasonable options including an amicable divorce which could have been the easiest way to bid goodbye to someone who mercilessly dashed her hopes of motherhood by doing a vasectomy, much to my surprise, she has no reason to say on why she failed to choose a legal separation, and instead opted for an open marriage, or in plain words, cheating on her partner with his permission, while living her weekends like a dutiful wife. Boredom of routine sex life, the miniscule list of lovers, and the unquenchable urge to have a child, the reasons to justify the morality depletion are many. Though I am no one to question her need for an exceptional sex life, I find all her reasons to be hypocritical and pretentious, no matter whether it’s the loss of opportunities of bedding more men, or her unwillingness to go to grave with no children. An over the edge decision, a yearlong flings with strangers, and a handful of experiences to cash on, she did make it big with her reckless living, but could have avoided reasoning it as her yearning for motherhood, as she could have embraced parenthood even without the uncontrolled living she has had, and is proud about.
The narrative and the author’s perspective of spicing up or bringing energy and excitement to marital life have been narrowed down to having sex with random men and women, which I believe is downright ridiculous and absurd. While I do admit that I lack the real-life experience to authentically argue on the state of a mind of a woman who is robbed of her chances of motherhood, I can undoubtedly say that that neither was this woman keen on embracing motherhood, nor was she interested in getting pregnant with a stranger’s baby, as she has openly described her sojourn as finding the passion for living. Then again, rekindling the innate connection with one’s own feminine self can hardly be defined as having several one nightstands with random men and women. It only quenches one’s carnal hunger and never ends the quest to rekindling the bondage with one’s own womanhood.
As her hook-ups, steamy sex, and intimate encounters are getting sold as hot cakes, I wonder what she has achieved in return of the risk her marital life through an over-the-edge decision. Her marriage sputtered out, her motherhood dreams failed to metamorphose, and yet she calls it an exciting year go by. I might be ridiculed for my old-fashioned rationale; however, the entire story looks completely irrational to me, mainly because she has badly failed to successfully flaunt her reasons in the much-needed perfection. Her explanations are more like self-praising and self-congratulatory narratives, than her longing for motherhood or self-fulfilment. The story even fails to extend to the contours of feministic perspectives, the reason why I cannot fathom the exact reason why she wanted to publish a memoir on her sexual escapades as well as the men she slept with outside her marriage. Rather than calling it a passion-filled tale of physical gratification, I am tempted to call it a cautionary narrative that has to be re-titled as ‘How to wreck a marriage’. She is keen on cashing on a bunch of sexually explicit stories, yet describes herself a die-hard feminist. But I believe she has terribly failed to reach the realm that a true-blue feminist deserves to be in, because, with a bunch of reasons-for-reasons-sake, she embarked on a midlife infidelity for a year, and is now on a deliberate attempt to glorify the adultery she has committed.
With an entire range of verbal juggleries that she desperately embraces to unfold and justify her unorthodox living, the story never empowered me but instead left a feeling of absolute blankness. Neither can I fathom how sleeping with many people make her feel good about not having a kid, nor do I understand the name and the page dedicated for the baby girl she hoped to have. If that was what she has always wanted, options that she could have chosen were endless.