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July 22nd, 2015

Ashley Madison Hack - Not A Laughing Matter

When the Ashley Madison hack happened earlier this week my Facebook feed was filled with gleeful and sarcastic texts about it. Most of them implying some variation of "The people on that site are monsters who deserved it. Yay!"

Now, if that's the way you feel I think you are a horrible person. And if you call yourself a feminist and feel that way, then I think you are a complete piece of shit.

Here's why.

Ashley Madison is a safe space where people, particularly women, can go if they are in a relationship and want another partner. And that safe space is needed - and isn't only or even mostly used by "cheaters."

Here's what happens when a woman who is in a poly relationship goes on OkCupid or a similar "traditional" dating site:

1. She gets called a "slut" or various other similar things.

2. If she and her partner are not open about being poly for career or relgious reasons she risks someone from her life finding her profile and ruining her life.

3. In some countries she risks jail if it comes out if she's poly. In other countries she faces the death penalty.

On a site like Ashley Madison none of that happens. Guys there have to pay for their membership with a credit card and it's made very clear that if they are shitty to a woman on the site their membership will be cancelled and they'll still have to pay for the rest of the year. This means they are very, very unlikely to start slut shaming her.

Beyond that only paid members can find her profile, and they are not going to out her at work or to her family, because they'd have to admit they were there too and then either out themselves as poly or in some other way looking for people who are not their public persona profile.

Now, let's look at another type of situation. Say a woman loves her husband and her marriage is mostly good but for whatever reason her husband has no interest in having sex with her. Maybe he's impotent or on anti-depression medication that  has killed his libido. Or for some other reason she does decide to have an affair.  You know what two super likely outcomes are if she's outed by these hackers:

1. Her husband beats the shit out of her.

2. Her husband rapes her.

So, yeah, isn't it silly that many women may be beaten and raped.

Here's another example of how the site is frequently used. A gay man and a gay woman live in a country or culture where homosexuality is greatly frowned upon or else illegal. Coming out of the closet would put their lives in danger. So, they marry each other with the understanding that each of them can be with members of the gender they actually prefer.

If they get outed from the hack they could at the very least lose any and all contact with their family and friends. They could easily lose their jobs. And they could be beaten up, jailed and sentenced to death.

Point being if you are gleeful about the hack you don't have respect for people in the poly community, you support women being beaten and raped and you support gays and lesbians being beaten and killed.

I hope you feel fucking good about yourselves.

The Marketing Of Ashley Madison

When I've tried to tell people recently that AshleyMadison isn't primarily for people who cheat, the reaction I've gotten is "Well, that's how their advertised!"

No. That's how they are advertised to you. Here's how Ashley Madison is actually marketed/advertised.

1. There are those garish "Life Is Short - Have An Affair!" ads. They are not really meant to bring in members, nor are they want prompt most people to sign up. Their entire purpose is to let people see that they are a big site with a lot of real members and that if you are married it's a place you can go.

2. Then there is affiliate marketing. This is what gets most people to sign up and if you are the type of person who might get offended by a non mono relationship you've probably never seen it. What happens is that AM pays a commission to a site that can get people to sign up for it. What these sites do is target the real demographic - poly people, cuckold relationship people, gay people in beard marriages.

What the sites do is offer helpful information in general for people new to these types of situations. Because people in these situations need to find out how to meet people to date outside normal dating channels. The sites that offer solid information are very popular because people need this information. Then, in the articles themselves it is pointed out that Ashely Madison can help them.  Another variation of this is that the site will have erotica based on these scenarios (because people may choose to read erotica before they look for real advice) and then have customized Ashley Madison ads on the pages of the site.

Now, if you are  not one of the people who needs Ashley Madison for these non cheating reasons, there it is unlikely you've seen those affiliate ads, which are the most common ads for the site, becuase you haven't gone to pages that would provide you with those links.

This is why you may think that most of the people on the site are cheaters and that is who the site is for, but you'd be wrong.  The truth is that it's marketed much more extensively than that.

Rules For My Blog

1. We don't give each other shit for the purpose of giving each other shit.

2. Gay, straight, queer, whatvs, we are all people.

3. Do not give shit to people who have affairs. Seriously, this is a major issue for me.

4. Many people who comment on this blog are escorts (both male and female) and they deserve your respect.

5. Even more are in relatiionships that would not count as "traditional."

6. If you give a shit who fucks who I fucking hate you.

7. There is a guy who says he is a nazi who has been commenting on my blog for years. . I have not banned him because he shows more respect for women than the people who have given me shit today.

8. So, seriiously, when I ban you, it means I think you are worse than a nazi.

9. Love, Bart

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