Thursday, 21 February 2008


On Monday just gone Paul Sheehan had an extremely silly article encouraging bored and frustrated middle-aged women to be unfaithful to their husbands.

Today in the Sydney Morning Herald Andrew Cameron, ethics lecturer at Moore College, has a response.

From Andrew's article:

In his clarion call for "middle-aged" women to leave their arid marriages, Paul Sheehan effects the posture of gallant ally to unhappy women in the struggle against "routine, obligation, fear, guilt and the dogma of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious tradition" ("In praise of desire and infidelity", February 18).

But sexual politics can blind us to the obvious. Put his rhetoric of liberation on hold and consider: what would we have thought if the cardigan-wearing cynic, and the fat slob with the remote, were women? What if men were urged not to pretend they are "middle-aged", and to go forth and renew their sensuality with nubile young things?


In an argument throughout the Gospels, Jesus attacks his contemporaries for their divorces of convenience to remarry young things, and "everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew chapter 5, verse 28). The point is not to amplify male guilt. He wants men to direct their sexual energy toward their wives, as in the ancient proverb "Take pleasure in the wife of your youth … be lost in her love forever."

and other good things!


One Salient Oversight said...

I have *never* liked Paul Sheahan. It does the SMH no good by continuing to employ him as a writer.

Anthony Caruana said...

Articles such as the one by Sheahan say a lot about the writer. Marriages go through many stages and to suggest that breaking a marriage or pursuing infidelity is an antidote to boredom is simply mad.

Then again, given the self-centredness and hedonism of modern society perhaps Sheahan is simply reflecting society's new values.

However, being married and Christian, I see that marriage is a wonderful journey filled with joy, happiness, great sex and even the occassional argument.

It would seem that Sheahan is telling us that if it's not all going our way we ought to get out rather than try to repair whatever is broken.

Anonymous said...

Good call Gordo. Andrew's piece was spot on.