The mistress role hurts the women’s movement

March 20, 2007 at 11:27 pm 17 comments

cheating.gifWhen I talk about issues that effect women, 99 percent of the time my focus is rightly on how the current patriarchal system has twisted reality to the point that both men and women often mistakenly believe that females are less valuable to society than males.

However, this time I want to touch on an issue that is very harmful to women worldwide and that – although it is still a by-product of patriarchal rule – is perpetuated by women. I am speaking of women who willingly chose to enter into a relationship with a married man even when she knows he has a wife and family.

The mistress role is one of the most degrading relationships in which a woman can choose to become involved, yet every day millions of women do it willingly and in the process hurt the cause of women severely.

The mistress role is the perfect example of a woman being used for sex – and very little more. Those sold into slavery for sex have no choice in their situation at all and prostitutes are often just trying to make some sort of money to live. Contrarily, a mistress allows herself to be used for sex even when she knows she will gain nothing in return but hurt and heartache.

In the meantime, while she is allowing some man to use her for sex, the cheating husband has a wife at home who most times knows full well about the affair and must decide on whether to confront her husband and kick his sorry ass out or keep her mouth shut because she cannot bear the idea of trying to raise their children on her own.

There are many reasons why a woman might decide to allow herself to become a mistress, but low self-esteem is at the crux of every reason because she likes it when he makes it seem that he has chosen her over his wife, even when this is not truly the case. This makes her feel as if she is better than another woman.

Additionally, the mistress might hope for money or gifts in return for her silence. She might want power if the man even has any power to offer. Or there might just be a real connection between the two people, or a sex appeal, or she might even love the man.

Quite frankly, not one of these reasons I have listed, or any others that someone else might think up, are good enough to break a family apart. None of these reasons provide any would-be mistress with the justification to move in on another woman’s husband or to respond to that husband’s advances toward her.

I am not going to cite religious verses about sex outside of marriage because they are just control methods from the patriarchal system to make women feel guilty for having sex. However, speaking purely from a social standpoint, marital trysts cause too many women to face single parenthood, which hurts the children and contributes to poverty (single mothers make up the majority of the poor in the world)

When a man and a woman get married and have children, they have made a vow to each other that should be honoured. If either person does not feel he or she can adhere to that vow, then the problem is easily solved – just do not get married in the first place.

A single person, male or female, can have responsible sex with whom ever they please without hurting anyone else. A marital affair hurts so many people and has a negative impact on society at large.

Worst of all, the mistress has positioned herself in a very degrading role and has betrayed her own gender – specifically, a fellow sister who is trying to do right by society and raise her children in a family setting with a mother and a father. Every single mistress needs to ponder the fact that she too may one day be a married mother who wants the father around to raise her children.

Of course, there is always the mistress who naively believes her lover will leave his wife and family for her one day. Sweetheart, you are being used in so many ways already, please do not let your heart overrule your common sense, too.

Even if he does leave his wife, is that the type of man with whom you want to have children? Do you really want to be with someone who balks at his responsibilities as a father and husband and takes up with the next young, pretty face to come along? I can assure you, he will do it to you too when you start expecting him to act like a father and a husband.

I believe every cheating husband has one thing in common, he would rather find a fresh new face that is naïve about relationships and use that girl for sex and intimacy before trying to work through a tough marriage relationship (which is probably tough because the man never knew how to develop and foster a truly caring relationship in the first place).

Women have enough to deal with in society – inequality, sexual harassment in the workplace, physical and mental abuse and social marginalisation – thanks to thousands of years of male rule. The last thing we need is a woman hurting another woman.

Women need to stand together to make the world a better place for ourselves and our daughters. If we cannot trust the men to do right by us, we should at least be able to expect women to do right by each other.

When women finally start coming together instead of hurting each other and pushing each other away, that is when we will be able to change the present course of history and form a whole new way of life for all women worldwide.

Keep this column in mind, Ms. Mistress, next time he comes knocking on your door. You are not creating a future for yourself when you are rolling around in that bed. You are actually destroying your future and the futures of so many other women and children.

Entry filed under: feminism, feminist, misogyny, Stella Ramsaroop, women, women's issues. Tags: , .

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. goodnite  |  April 29, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    I appreciate this information. My ex bf who I was engaged to left me for a neighbor and I have been devastated and depressed. When I asked him why, he got upset with me and told me the relationship was already over and this gave him a out. When I first met the other woman prior to my ex being with her she told me that she only dates married men or men who are taken and she knows that she “can break anyone up”. I feel like she ruined my life with my ex. I was with him for ten years my son calls him dad. I am still depressed it has been 6 months since the break up. I think about my pain every single day. I am 30 years old the woman he left me for is 22. My ex is 30 years old as well. Last I heared my ex and the other woman were making plans for a future together. I need to boost my self esteem because I was very confident prior to this and since he has left me I dont feel as pretty anymore. Thank You for this article it helped me understand the psychology behind this madness.

  • 2. Kiuku  |  May 7, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    This is the “mistress as seducer” archetypical belief which I think is 1. mysoginistic and 2. harmful to women. It is not up to women to morally police the actions of men. It never will be, and yet women never cease to get the blame for it. You say, if it were not for that woman, that mistress, this man would have never left his wife. More accurate would be if it were not for that woman, that mistress, that man would have found another woman. So is it really up to all women to say no to that one man in order for men to make moral choices? Or is it clear that the social institution of marriage and the social legislation of male necessity is harmful to women and is the largest contributor to female poverty?

  • 3. stellar1  |  May 7, 2007 at 4:22 pm


    Interesting point of view, thank you for sharing and do give more insight.


  • 4. Kiuku  |  May 8, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Hi Stella,

    Well one thing to recognize about it is that in an adultery a woman is actually assigned a role by society: “Mistress”. When women are the ones committing adultery in a marriage, there is no role assigned to the male in that case beyond perhaps some vague term like “lover”. Mistress is a title and a role and it only exists to describe the other woman in an adulterous relationship. The fact that there is a socially defined role for the other woman in the adulterous relationship examples societies archtypical belief of women as seducers, as playing an active, responsible part, in the adulterous relationship. There is no such role for the other man. In this case of a woman cheating on her husband, the woman is always punished, socially. Yet when a man betrays his marriage for another woman, that woman is punished socially, far more than the man. How is that? Why is that?

    Especially considering it is infinitely more horrible for a man to cheat on his wife since women are (forced to be) financially dependant on men.

  • 5. beth  |  May 29, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    my husband left me and my son because of another woman in canada.Its so sas that even she know that my husband is married still she let herself get pregnant.I am helpless, she is there and im not there, they make my husband happy while me and my son is here in philippines hoping that he will come back for us.But i think that will not happen. Sometimes i wonder, why is it theres a woman who take advantage of man’s longingness to his family…But God is good, i know there is a place for people like them,.

  • 6. kira  |  May 30, 2007 at 5:37 am

    i am a mistress.
    because i chose to be one instead of marrying my married boyfriend.
    he is a muslim and in his religion, he can take up to four wives, of which, he definitely can, because he can well afford to do so.

  • 7. Sue  |  December 15, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    I think as long as there are women who have no respect for themselves there will be mistresses. When a woman openly has an affair with a married man and continues she must have no respect for herself. Thier relationship must be hidden so in a sense is not real. She spends her days and nights wondering how many times the man makes love to his wife on a daily basis.

    For those of you that are having affairs with married men let me give you a little advice. They are coming home to thier wives waiting on them hand and foot and making love quite often. We are by their sides at social and family events as we are their other half in public. Does this sound like a man who does not love us no matter what they may tell you?

    The difference though is I like many wives when we learn of an affair want to move on when it is continued. We know that there are men out there that are honest, trustworthy and sincere. As wives many times we are the ones to leave these men as all they are doing is wasting our time when we realize that financially we can live without them. The reason being that we as wives have respect for ourselves or would have never married in the first place. So many of us put them out to pasture to be with whoever they want while we find a trustworthy and healthy relationship.

    Why do you think they always want to return to the wife ? They are afraid we will be happier without them, which is almost always the case , be more productive and much more confident that we made the decision to end it. It takes respect to end a marriage when you learn that a spouse will not change. So to all of you mistresses enjoy you rminutes but really you should wise up and show some respect for yourself by finding an available man. If you yourself are in an unhappy or unhealthy relationship make the conscious choice to divorce first and then find a person that you can be compatible with in a real sense.

  • 8. Beck  |  January 9, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    A standing ovation for the article and the comment by Sue.
    I too have experienced the effects of my husband having an affair. The “other” woman knew that he was married and had a family. She didn’t care and now that I have left him with my children, they are publicly seeing each other. In the meantime, it was only I who found out about the secret affair they were having. My husband was abusive to me and my children and the affair was just adding to my problems. When I confronted him about the affair, the arguments would escalate to violence. I left when it was safe. I am very happy with my children and are moving on. Meantime, the other woman has moved in with her own children. She has heard about the abuse and accepts him for it. I know that it will be just a matter of time, when the honeymoon is over, that she will experience the same pain. I do not wish this upon their new relationship and hope that maybe she will have the magical powers to change him.

  • 9. Anonymous  |  February 28, 2008 at 2:08 am

    I have been in poverty for my entire life because of a mistress type thing. Well, it’s just acted out in a secondary family, anyway. My “mom” is giving me the blame resulting for her panic disorder and more hard to diagnose, her paranoid schizophrenia. But, my dads’ jealousy of my real moms Hot Blonde husband of her entire life is acted out by my “sister” who is bought off by abusive exes? Well, at least one, because “mom” mom was talking to the first ex, only. But the last ex anyway is messing with “sister”. She is suposed to symbolize shamefully and painfully for me the Misstress forced on me by my dad because of his jealousy that my real mom is happy with a “hot blonde”. It has been a long strange trip, to quote the Greatful Dead. I used marijuana to escape but now am trapped in the exes and “mom” and Dads mental illnesses. Oh, and the ex with the secondary Mistress has videptapped me, bugged me, and spied on me in my car so I feel indescent. But, for lack of proof the audultress comparison goes on until they get caught, get help, or get revenge????????It really hurts because the point thaT i WAS MAKING ABOUT THE VIDEO MONITORING IS THAT IT WAS USED TO FRUSTRATE THE FRUSTRATED. SO, EVERYWHERE I GO TO LOOK FOR A JOB THE GIRLS ARE MANIC AND FEELINGLESS JUST LIKE MY ABUSERS. IF YOU KNOW THE PSYCHIATRIC DEFINITION OF “FRUSTRATED” ANYWAY. iT MEANS THAT THE PEOPLE, OR GIRLS, ARE CRAZY TOO. ONE, OR TWO OUT EVERY PLACE I GO TO HIRE WHWERE YOU CAN JUST WALK IN AND APPLY SAY SOMETHING PSYCHIOTIC.

  • 10. Maggie  |  December 22, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    It’s “affect” not “effect”.

  • 11. Cara  |  January 8, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I don’t think that I’ve betrayed my entire gender by having an affair with a married man. A woman should maintain her independence, and retain the strength to leave any man who doesn’t treat her the way she deserves to be treated. That said, a woman who enters into marriage, and neglects her husband such that the marriage becomes a cage for him, should re-consider her position of righteousness. If I neglect my dog, and he runs away, whose fault is that? The dog’s?

  • 12. Alilah  |  January 29, 2009 at 6:20 am

    I think all women who are dating married men know what they are doing. They know that at the end of each day that particular guy will be home with his wife & kids….but if that guy is missing his mistress then there’ll be a problem at home. The truth is mistresses keep married man SANE we like it or not. Moreover, some mistresses do benefit in that kind of an affair, she’s not wasting her time. Some of us don’t wanna get married and we just want someone who will be there for few hours and go home. and in that case married man are victims

  • 13. joy  |  March 10, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    after 32 years of our married , i discover that my husband has a children w/ his mistress, right now he left me w/ my 5 kids and go to his mistress, they lived in the same roof. if im going to sue them what will happened to his mistress and to my husband , the eldest is 20 years old.

  • 14. Ergeine S. Tuna  |  March 19, 2009 at 11:22 am

    My husband a respected license engineer named Abraham T.Tuna Jr have a japayuki mistress named Jackie Lou M. Ugsang. I knew their kept secret both their family. As a legal wife and my daughter was on abusive relati0nship in our family. Karma will come to them.. I kn0w God is with us.. I will s0ön take a legal acti0n to this to my husband and her japayuki mistress. Thank you and God bless. Ergeine S. Tuna legal wife

  • 15. quickielove  |  May 8, 2009 at 7:46 am

    My now bf and i met 8yrs ago online. He courted me back then but i said no for he lives a thousand miles away from me. and back then i wasnt a believer of long distance relationships. i found out that he had a new gf and got married 4yrs later. we met again nov2007. him and the wife just had a baby boy. but he would always tell me that they would always fight and that he is unhappy. we had an affair, an on and off kind of an affair because i couldnt accept the fact that he’s making me his mistress. he told me that he was gonna leave her he just wants to sell their new house first. i waited. but then the wife found out about us and filed for a divorce. i am now 6mos pregnant with our son, my bf said he wants to marry me before the birth of our son. but the divorce proceedings is still ongoing. i think the wife just wants it to go so long as forever because she knew about my pregnancy and wants my unborn son to be illegitimate. i know that she’s still inlove with him. my bf once read to me a letter she wrote for him on his bday. saying that she still loves him and if he decides to leave me for them she’s willing to take him back and that she doesnt mind if he would just send me money for our son. and now im a bit worried, because he still goes home to their house every weekends to visit his son with her. he sleeps over there. hes saying thats he sleeps on the sofa and his son and his wife sleeps in the bedroom. i want to believe him but my gut is telling me otherwise. i dnt want us to get married just because he got me pregnant. and im scared to get married too basically because of karma. i know what i did was wrong, i knew it from the very beginning. but he was so determined and persistent with me and complains about his wife a lot i felt that i have to rescue him from her. he wasnt my type at all! i couldnt understand why i fell for this guy. he just makes me feel important and he treats me like a queen. and now im scared that i might lose him and he would go back to his family before the divorce is finally settled. we live in different parts of the world. hes in the US while i am staying here in the philippines for the rest of my pregnancy. he’s coming over to be with me before my EDD. we plan on getting married a few months after giving birtrh when i go to him to the US. but im having doubts now. i think it will be best for us not to get married. our lives are complicated already. it would be more complicated if we get married for the wrong reasons right?

  • 16. Mickii  |  May 15, 2009 at 2:13 am

    I am a proud Mistress. I wear that title with pride. I am not breaking up a home. I am approved of by the wife.She is one of my best friends. Why this arrangement? She works very hard, I get bored with my husband (yes, he knows of this arrangement), and the receptor of my attentions gets cranky with out sex. So, to make her life easier, I oblige everyone with providing my favors. Does this still degrade other women, or does it strengthen the Sisterhood?

  • 17. Tawna  |  October 10, 2014 at 7:42 am

    This is so true…. This is more than incredibly painful. We never married but tried to stick together for nearly 5 years. We have a child together, and he raised my daughter as his own… and this girl who was pregnant with another mans baby fell hard in “love” for my sons father and slept with him right away while we had an infant at home & could have worked on our issues. We lived together for months during their affair. About 6 months after the birth of that child, she got pregnant from my sons father. He stayed with me for most of her pregnancy. I kicked him out for sleeping with her again. I didn’t know I was pregnant when I kicked him out & found out at almost 6 weeks. I lost that baby a few days before the birth of their child. She found texts between him & I about the pregnancy & told his family that I went out of my way to tell her so she would be hurt. So not only have I lost the man who was once my best friend, future husband, my partner in raising our children, my hopes & dreams of our future, but I’ve also lost 80% of the people who mattered most to me in life, & their children that I’ve watched grow from birth… My daughter has been forgotten alongside me by them… And they praise this girl & love her so much without batting an eyelash that I’m gone. And of course, I have to wrestle with all the feelings on my own with no one to understand me because they think if they went through the same thing, they’d pick up and leave with their hair blowing in the breeze, off into the sunset…. You have to maintain a smile with the “fake it til you make it” attitude, and yes, you can smile & feel good. But there’s so much loss that you can’t even comprehend it so you pretend it isn’t there. He tries to come see me & tell me he wants to leave her & be with me but I can’t allow myself to believe that’s real. Thank you, mighty homewreckers for not considering for a moment that you kill greatness in people and in the world. You hurt children, yes even your own…. Just to “win” and feel better about yourself. It’s sick.

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