ASHLEY MADISON is a website devoted to helping cheaters do what cheaters do best--cheat. Similar to typical dating sites, for a fee, the ASHELY MADISON site will supposedly match your profile to that of other willing philanderers looking to "hook-up" for an extra-marital affair. Consider their motto: "Life is short. Have an affair."
A group calling itself Impact Team hacked and then released the profile data of ASHLEY MADISON, along with the assertion that the “thousands” of the women’s profiles were fake. Enter Annalee Newitz, writing for GIZMODO, who took on the task of analyzing the data to find out how many actual women were using the ASHLEY MADISON service.
What I discovered was that the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots.
Newitz adds that the numbers suggest "Ashley Madison is a site where tens of millions of men write mail, chat, and spend money for women who aren't there."
The evidence, according to Newitz, suggests that the 5.5 million female accounts were not created by women wanting to hook up with married men. They were static profiles whose sole purpose "was to make men think that millions of women were active on Ashley Madison."
What? The 5.5 million women on the ASHLEY MADISON site looking to have a secret affair with a married stranger don't exist! Who saw that coming?
While the ASHLEY MADISON format might appeal to the male, nothing about it appeals to the female. This isn’t the fantasy of most real women--thus the scarcity of real women.
Perhaps the most fantastic part of this whole story is that anyone ever believed it was real. ASHLEY MADISON was selling a fantasy that only one gender was buying--apparently a significant point of gullibility for tens of millions of men.
One of the lessons of Ashley Madison is that women can’t be found in men’s fantasies anymore than men can be found in theirs. The real men of soap opera and romance novel fantasies are just as vaporous as the real women of ASHLEY MADISON. Sadly, members of both sexes waste way too much time and money chasing a phantom idea of the opposite sex.
This proclivity is exacerbated by a culture committed to ignoring and denying gender distinctions. The fact that ASHLEY MADISON has fooled so many illustrates just how far down the wrong road our culture has traveled.
But for those interested in a real world perspective, the Bible places sexuality in its proper place by assigning it to an exclusive experience of a committed couple in a traditional marriage relationship. The Bible also gives sexuality its proper emphasis by placing it after a love for God and as part of a commitment to place the needs of one's spouse before their own. Men and woman weren't meant to share the same fantasy; they were meant to share the same love commitment.
Stop chasing the world’s phantom idea of love and romance. A fantasy can only lead to a fantasy. But a real world perspective, grounded in the reality of God’s love, holds out the possibility finding a real world relationship with a real person.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25).