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Undressing Infidelity: Why More Wives are Unfaithful
By Diane Shader Smith
Adam Media Corp.
PB, 272 pgs. US$10.95
ISBN: 1-5933-7481-X

Infidelity chic

By Bernard Chapin
web posted November 7, 2005

Undressing Infidelity: Why More Wives are UnfaithfulJust when it no longer seemed possible for our culture to plunge any further into the black hole of dishonor, a book entitled, Undressing Infidelity: Why More Wives are Unfaithful, got released. Its author, Diane Shader Smith, embarked on a mission to record the stories of various adulterous women in the hopes of explaining why it is they cheat. She never fulfills her goal, however, as the work fails at every level. In the very beginning, the narrator destroys our confidence in her abilities by asserting,

In talking to these women, I learned that every woman thinks about leaving her husband. Or cheating on him. At least once. A woman who says she's never thought about these things is either married or in denial.

According to what universal principle could this possibly be true? Did Shader Smith complete a 145 million subject study of the American female? Nope. She gabbed with more than a few though. Given such an eventuality, why would she make such a doltish claim? Most likely it was out of a desire to feel normal herself. The author bookends her own personal story, of near infidelity, to these pages, and I'm sure it isn't pleasant for her husband and family to read. Of course such reasoning as hers is spurious and egotistical because saying "everybody else is doing it" is a valid justification for one's behavior in the minds of elementary school students alone. Right from the beginning, by judging herself to be a barometer of humanity on the whole, Shader Smith lets us know that she is not a person who can be trusted.

The author used to be a director of public relations, which partially explains why her writing is of such a poor quality. Before each woman's true confessional, there is a several sentence introduction provided, and these read as if the writer had a thesaurus sitting next to her while watching "Entertainment Tonight":

"A neat, practical-looking woman with brown hair in a short pageboy she stood out from the other patrons…With her cascade of thick, strawberry-blond curls, a dusting of freckles all over her peachy skin, and a robust, curvy build that looked great in her tight jeans and fitted shirt."

Such lines really should be accompanied by the warbling of John Tesh.

Infidelity is supposed to be pretty hot stuff, but this book fails to titillate. Certainly these tales are rife with deception, but sexy they are not. The wives are excellent examples of individuals who have gotten "heavily into me." They seem to know nothing about the world around them or society in general. Yet, for some reason, our author regards these clueless, self-destructive creatures as being "amazing." Amazing, no; banal and infantile, yes.

Actually though, some of these recollections are not commonplace as they are decidedly vile. Here's an example from a caring soul dedicated to promoting the interests of the sistahood:

One time I did something really evil–I slept with a guy whose wife had just had a baby. I knew it was wrong, but he really wanted to get laid and I was happy to help.

You Go (Blow) Girl!

As I just recently noted in another review, society showers women with accolades merely for having the right kind of gonads. Celebrating women whose greatest achievement is being able to perform oral sex and take names is yet another sign of societal rot. With such low expectations for personal achievement, one can anticipate future book titles like: I Don't Know How She's Able to Wake Up Breathing, and The Twelve Part Tale of a Heroic Woman Who Defied the Patriarchy by Learning How to Drive Stick Shift. If people really cared about equality, why wouldn't they expect the same levels of accomplishment from women that they do from men? Basically, as it is so non-judgmental, this book is merely a continuation of the forty years worth of applause women have received for simply being alive.

In reality, Undressing Infidelity is more boring than anything else. There is no allure within these stories. These women, like the Pac-Man character on the Atari game I played as a child, are never satisfied with what they have been given, and will chew and digest whatever one dangles before them. Relationships and men are consumed like entrees at trendy restaurants or vacation offers for the Caribbean. Many of these adulterous women discovered that marriage wasn't all about them, so they procreated elsewhere, but guess what, they still weren't happy. To corrupt Horace, they can change insertions, but cannot alter their natures.

I suppose that some may confuse these adulterous behaviors as being representations of Woman Power. That infidelity increases female potency is about as rational as thinking a bout of cancer makes one stronger. However, here again, like with so many other cultural and political issues, arises The Law of Unintended Consequence. Should female infidelity increase, then the eventual outcome will be that fewer and fewer men will submit to getting married which will exacerbate the already present societal trend.

What many of these women do not understand is that bragging about their "conquests" violates an essential law of hustling which is that no con artist should allow their marks to know they are marks. The increased coverage the media has given to philandering wives [1] will allow those men foolish or lonely enough to have once put up with them to realize that they are suckers and laughingstocks. This may give them the courage they need to walk away from their own personal Love Canals.

Everything in life has its price, and those who know these glorious adulterers may soon witness them turn into the, "I screwed up, it's all your fault," single woman with whom so many of us must deal. At that point, these boxer/brief chasers will cease to be "amazing women," and instead become enshrined into the bitterness Hall of Fame. Such a reality is one no self-help author will triumphantly record.

In America, we determine our own fate, and, of course, women have the right to do as they please. Yet, regarding those females with a mercenary bent, men should preserve their own right to choose by electing to have nothing to do with them–at least as far as permanent relations are concerned. Ultimately, even if books like these make for torturous reading, we should be pleased they exist as they yield soul preserving intelligence concerning radiation with which we might otherwise be exposed.

Bernard Chapin is a writer living in Chicago. He can be reached at bchapafl@hotmail.com.

Footnotes:

[1] http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5359395/site/newsweek/

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