Brightening up my Monday morning (not) is an item carried at CNN.com last Friday whose headline basically tells loyal, faithful spouses that they're nature-defying freaks who in the vast majority of cases are ignorantly honoring an institution which doesn't make any sense.
Meghan Laslocky doesn't have the gumption to use those words. But what else are we supposed to conclude from a column entitled "Face it: Monogamy is unnatural"? Not that there isn't some inadvertent humor, which I'll get to after excerpting her column (HT Hot Air Headlines; bolds are mine):
Face it: Monogamy is unnatural
... It's time for our culture to wake up and smell the sex pheromones: monogamy is not natural for many, or probably even most, humans.
With people living longer than ever before, a greater tolerance toward the human impulse to experience sexual variety is needed. Whether a person succeeds at being sexually monogamous depends as much on biology as environment.
History and biology suggest that strict monogamy, which has social advantages, is not a "one size" fits all proposition.
... for most of human history, marriage was primarily a socioeconomic transaction. Spending the rest of your life with someone was more about the protection of property and the sharing of labor than it was about romance.
The side effect of the rise of marriage as a romantic proposition was that sexual jealousy became a more prevalent ingredient in marriage than it had been previously. Over time, sexual fidelity has come to be regarded as the barometer of a successful marriage -- regardless of what science tells us about natural human inclinations.
... Only 3% to 5% of all the mammal species on Earth "practice any form of monogamy." In fact, no mammal species has been proven to be truly monogamous.
... "once a cheater, always a cheater," might have as much to do with brain wiring as with a person's moral compass, upbringing or culture.
The bottom line is that flings are far from folly, at least in the animal kingdom.
A series of eight examples from the animal kingdom are presented to reinforce Laslocky's point.
One of them has the following description: "Love birds mate and 'love' for as long the other mate stays alive. If one dies, the other develops a bond with another individual." Uh, excuse me, that means that love birds at any given time are loyal to each other, i.e., they are monogamous.
But the raucous, inadvertent humor comes from Ms. Laslocky's self-description:
... one's perspective on monogamy is not necessarily an indicator of one's personal practices. Many people have incorrectly assumed that because I've read, thought, and written about the problems with human monogamy that I am myself promiscuous.
For the record, nothing could be further from the truth. Nor am I, as many commenters on this Yahoo post suggested, a Satanist or a whore.
I am just a woman with a healthy respect for science.
Laslocky wants us to believe that she's just a mainstream gal who has seen the light, and that anyone looking for information that might contradict that assertion would be totally wasting their time.
Well, here's her bio at her peronal web site (links are in original; I won't even try to bold any text):
Meghan Laslocky’s first book, The Little Book of Heartbreak: Love Gone Wrong Through the Ages is a cultural and social history of not-so-happy endings that will be published by Plume/Penguin in January 2013. To this project, she brings considerable personal expertise: She has been dumped at least a dozen times, including by one Willem Dafoe doppelgänger, one Anthony Edwards doppelgänger, one farmer, one bartender, and at least three published authors. Laslocky has been ditched after moving across the country to be with someone, via email and over instant messenger, in a Honda Civic, on her birthday, and in her own kitchen while making dinner. (To be fair, she’s fairly certain she’s countered by breaking the hearts of three or perhaps six men, several of whom barely spoke English, and one of whom she almost regretted dumping because he really did have great taste in music.) She also brings her years of obsessive reading of history and literature to her study of love gone wrong.
Meghan is attracted to off-beat stories about love and sex, relationships, and gender and has profiled men who have relationships with love dolls and a stylist for transgendered women. As a food blogger in San Francisco, she’s bucked writing about cheese and locavores in favor of taste-testing edible sex aids and creating highly unusual cocktails. Since writing about wacky things doesn’t typically pay the bills, she works as a freelance writer, editor and producer for KQED public broadcasting.
See, she's right. There's nothing unusual at all about her life story, activities, or interests. Of all people on earth, CNN.com found the best and most reliable authority to weigh in on the validity of others' relationships and their harmony with nature. Couples out there who take that "love and honor until death do us part" stuff seriously are obviously complete, science-dishonoring fools. (/sarcasm)
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.