It would be a sin not to post Marriage #8 today.
This Italian Proverb brings up a LOT of issues. First, why is it not the opposite? Why isn’t there an Italian Proverb that says ‘If the husband sins, the wife is not innocent.’? I think it is safe to assume there isn’t a proverb like that because no one really believes it. People believe that if a man sins, (by the way, for purposes of our conversation here, sin equals adultery), he does so for his own reasons. If a man blames his wife he can pretty much assume he will be seen as an even more complete douche bag than if he has the affair and blames himself.
So, why is the proverb about the wife? I think it taps into an assumption. The assumption is that women are better than men. They are more moral, more loyal, more faithful. So, the thinking might go that, because of this superiority, they will not easily fall into adultery just from being horny or egotistical. They won’t jump some guy just to prove they can. They have to have a better reason. And that reason is emotional. And if they have the emotional need to have sex with another man, the fault lies partly (if not completely) with the husband for not meeting her emotional needs.
Sexist or True?
So, the question is simple. In your personal experience, or in lives you have witnessed, is this proverb true? Or is it perhaps sexist to assume the woman is less responsible for her ‘sin’ than a man is? What do you think?
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Drawing and Commentary by Marty Coleman
Quote is an Italian Proverb