Female Ashley Madison User's Case Holds a Lesson

Glenn Greenwald: It's too easy to judge from afar
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2015 9:33 AM CDT
Female Ashley Madison User's Case Holds a Lesson
File photo of Noel Biderman, chief executive of Avid Life Media.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

In the wake of the Ashley Madison hack, Glenn Greenwald has been making the case that a couple's infidelity trouble is nobody's business but their own. Now, at the Intercept, he's printed an email he received from an anonymous female user of the site to amplify the point. The woman writes that she is in a "loveless, sexless, parenting marriage" and hasn't been intimate with her husband in years because of his cancer treatments. "I went on AM out of loneliness and despair, and found friendship, both male and female, with others trapped in terrible marriages trying to do right by their children." One wrinkle: She previously wrote about marriage law policy and was in the business of "encouraging traditional marriage for the good of the children."

Does that last part make her a hypocrite and thus worthy of public scorn? She expects to receive it in full measure, and Greenwald thinks that's a shame. "The private lives and sexual choices of fully formed adults are usually very complicated and thus impossible to understand—and certainly impossible to judge" from afar, he writes. But worst case, let's say this woman does fall into the "hypocrite" category. "It's worth remembering that even in these 'easy' cases, human beings are usually far more complex than the good/evil caricatures we're all tempted to propagate in order to undermine political adversaries and inflate our own self-worth," writes Greenwald, so pause before pointing your finger. Click for his full column. (More Ashley Madison stories.)

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