Monogamy is unnatural

Monogamous marriages are unnatural. On this, I agree with the emailer below.

Now, behold these enlightening thoughts that I found in my inbox this morning:

Greetings Mr. Walsh,

I am a college professor, author, and researcher. It was obvious to me before you ever stated it that you are a man of little education and limited intelligence. Still, I commend your newfound fame and congratulate you on the enormous amounts of money you must be making.

[Five more sentences of insults and pretentious self-aggrandizement]

…You have become a hot topic in some of my classes and this very much worries me. It wasn’t until your name came up for a fifth time that I decided to investigate you. Your prose are rife with fallacies and Neanderthalic musings, so I could easily disembowel and discredit any part of it. But I’d like to concentrate on what seems to be your most common themes: heterocentricism and monogamism. Whether you’re writing about marriage, “stay at home moms,” abstinence, or any other “issue of the family,” you seem to think that there is only *one* way and only *one* sort of family.

The truth that either escapes you or frightens you too much to acknowledge is that the “monogamous heterosexual relationship” is a largely unattainable (and undesirable) myth. Sexual unions between humans are not meant to be permanent. As we evolve, so does our understanding of these truths. Monogamy is not simply unrealistic; it is unnatural. You do not find it often in the animal kingdom, and where you do it is generally born of an evolutionary necessity. The necessity of monogamy among humankind has evaporated. This is particularly true of men, who are simply not biologically fitted for the “one woman” life.

You could use your platform for good but instead you use it to make those in open and poly relationships feel subhuman. Beyond the latent racism and sexism in your writings, it is your constant reinforcement of archaic relationship models that really does the profoundest of damage. Before you jump to any conclusions allow me to tell you this: I am married. I’ve been married for 15 years and my wife and I both sleep with other people. We are honest about this, which makes our open relationship more healthy than “monogamous” relationships built on lies.

Judge my choices if you like, but when you inevitably cheat on your wife, and then continue to sermonize about the sacredness of monogamous unions, I will return the favor.

I don’t expect you to use this email as you seem to only respond to imbeciles and easy targets.

And here is what I wrote back to him:

Good Day Professor,

It will be a challenge to type this response to you, sir, while I tremble in the blinding light of your godlike intellect. Do you begin all of your lectures by reciting your resume and viciously cutting down your audience? If so, I can only hope that you don’t teach a communications class. But if you do, then I can tell you that I receive at least 20 emails a day from people who must be your students. They’ve taken your strategy to heart. You should be proud.

In any case, I will attempt to make a rebuttal, but I will first offer the disclaimer that I am not nearly smart enough to use phrases like “archaic relationship models” and “your prose are rife with Neanderthalic musings.” I also lack the power to magically create liberal buzzwords like “monogamism” out of thin air. No, my dear Professor, I am a humble man and I can only write in plain language, using words that, you know, exist.

Now, with my idiocy and your cerebral supremacy well established, let us commence with the discussion.

Monogamy.

Monogamy is “unnatural,” says the Professor. And he says this as a married man — or “married” man, I suppose. A married person who doesn’t believe in monogamy seems an awful lot like a Satanist in a church choir, or an existential nihilist performing lifesaving heart surgery. There’s a bit of a philosophical conflict of interest at work, wouldn’t you agree? In fact, I wouldn’t even bother to address such absurdity if it wasn’t becoming so widespread. What you people — you socially “progressive” academics — have realized is that you can not launch a salient attack against the ideals behind marriage, or abstinence for that matter, so instead you’ve decided to make the bizarre case that these things are somehow mythological. The more you say it, the more people believe it, and the more they believe it the more true it becomes. It’s a clever trick. You’ve succeeded, at least partially, in shouting at a reality until it disappears.

But there is SOME truth in what you say.

Monogamy is not natural. You’re right about that.

It’s supernatural.

It’s above our nature. It might not be realistic. Space flight isn’t realistic, either. If I wanted to be natural, I could live in a hole like a rodent, eat insects, and scamper from one mate to the next, until, after a life of nothingness, I die alone in the cold darkness, decomposing into the dirt without anyone ever noticing. That would be natural. It’s probably pretty realistic, too. So it is fortunate that I am a human being and I am given the chance to transcend the existence of a rat or a lizard. I have the opportunity to experience supernatural things like love, and sacrifice, and commitment.

You say that men are especially ill-suited for monogamy. We are not “biologically fitted” for it. What does that mean, Professor? Do you go about your day and, before deciding on any particular course of action, ask yourself if it is something you are “biologically fitted” to do? I would say we are biologically fitted to be rational beings. And, as rational beings, we are capable of attaining higher things. Monogamy and loyalty are higher things. But are they more difficult for men? I can’t fathom why that should be the case.

I have found a woman who will be with me until I die, even while my hair falls out and my skin shrivels and wrinkles, even when I stumble, even when I fail, even through the doldrums of daily existence, through bills and dirty diapers, through all things — joyous or miserable, pleasing or painful — through every day until death comes. Why should it be hard for me to simply refrain from tossing such a gift into the garbage?

It’s hard for men to be monogamous? What a cowardly, pitiful statement. Also, how incredibly obtuse. It ought to be easy for us. Especially for us.

If you won 600 million dollars in the lottery, would you go out the next day and break into cars to steal the change from the cup holders? That’s what sleeping around is like when you’ve already found a woman who will pledge her life and her entire being to you for the remainder of her existence.

You tell me that you are in an “open marriage.” I will probably be lambasted for “judging” you for it, but, sorry Professor, an “open marriage” makes about as much sense as a plane without wings or a boat that doesn’t float. Marriages, by definition, are supposed to be closed. Actually, I’m getting rather tired of people like you trying to hijack the institution, strip it of its beauty and purpose, and convert it into some shallow little thing that suits your vices.

If you aren’t strong enough to stay committed to one person, that’s your business. Walk down that path of loneliness and confusion, but you can’t drag the entire institution of marriage along with you. Personally, I like circles but I hate squares. Can I subvert the laws of geometry and suddenly decide that all squares shall henceforth be circles? No, because geometry is geometry, despite my strange square-hating quirks. Similarly, marriage is marriage, no matter how many college professors insist otherwise.

All that said, I must agree with one of your assertions: I only respond to imbeciles.

Thanks for writing.

-Matt

******

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2,191 Responses to Monogamy is unnatural

  1. RYAN VAUGHT says:

    Great response Matt, way to go! I was highly offended at the ideas and words of the stupid professor. He should not be teaching our young adults anything. How sad for him and his wife that they have both missed the whole idea behind marriage, and monogomy. It shows that neither the professor or his wife care at all for each other, that isn’t love. I am recently engaged to a wonderful woman who I am deeply in love with. I asked her to marry me because I want to spend the rest of my life with her, I want and need her love and respect, and companionship. I need it only from her. I could not imagine breaking her heart by going outside of our relationship to be with another woman physically or emotionally, no matter how charming or attractive another woman may be, no other woman could give me what my lady does. She has my heart, and I have hers. Its my responsibility and priviledge to take great care of that, always. I have been single for quite a few years and have slept around and had partners come and go, that whole time I wished with all of my heart for what I have now with my fiance. Love, committment, loyalty, friendship, and the sexual chemistry and passion to go along with it. She is all Ive ever hoped for. I trust her, and I have her trust. I would rather die than to betray her or cheat on her in any way, because I care for her and her heart, and I know how painful it would be if she ever did it to me. I can’t even imagine letting another woman touch me now, it would be such a disgusting and disappointing mistake. Sure, I still notice other women from time to time, but I smile now when I see a pretty woman because I know nobody could ever compare to my Dawn, in my eyes or in my heart. I couldnt live with the guilt and feelings that I betrayed something so sacred, so beautiful, and something that both her and I have waited so long to find. I simply love her, she is, along with my children and her son, my world. It’s also because of our children that I took such great offense to the professor’s unethical and immoral teachings. I want our kids to grow up in a world that values loyalty, honor, committment, and real, true, life-long love. Thank you Matt, for writing the perfect response to that idiot. We are not rats, we are humans and monogamy in marriage IS the only right way to go.

  2. Jamie Delehant says:

    Matt, God bless you! Keep up the fabulous work!

  3. Autumn says:

    Your logic is brilliant! Love your closing comment!

    When we trust someone enough to finally marry (or sleep with) them then honesty and responsibility are crucial!

    My best friend’s husband cheated on her. She didn’t discover this until he abandoned her the day after their third child was born. The infant had a terrible eye infection which turned out to be herpes (that he contracted from some piece of trash he was sleeping with.) I have a sister and several other friends who got herpes and other STDs from their deceitful, unfaithful husbands. One got AIDS. Many were fortunate to discover this before the birth of their children, however it resulted in them suffering through the pain, dangers & disfiguration of C-sections!

    Herpes can kill a infant, render them brain-dead or blind them. The infant my friend gave birth to was lucky enough to live but the infection blinded the child in one eye. This child’s life has been greatly impacted by herpes. Not being able to see out of one eye has limited what the child can do, or enjoy in life (sports, dance, driving etc.) Also, any further herpes break-outs may result in painful and expensive corneal transplants that this single mother cannot afford. A few moments of temporary sexual pleasure for the father has resulted in a life of pain and misery for the child and mother whom are now both infected with painful herpes out-breaks, and for the child, total loss of vision in one eye for the rest of their life!

    A woman’s reproductive environment must be kept clean. It is a warm, moist environment that bacteria etc., can grow and proliferate in easily if invaded. A man has a responsibility to respect/protect his wive’s body- especially her reproductive environment for obvious reasons. Being unfaithful has proved to be destructive and often fatal for women. Many women in third world countries, Muslim countries, India etc., (where cheating on one’s wife is culturally encouraged or acceptable,) are being killed or ravaged by STDs.

    We have the ability to develop a higher state of consciousness than the animal kingdom. Thank you for reminding this fool of that fact! He sounds more like an eugenisist or social engineer to me.

    It horrifies me at what passes for education these days! I dread the next crop of children once they have been dumbed down by Common Core Math. (Maybe you can blog this next?)

    John Taylor Gatto advises one cannot reform public schools. He states “public schools are functioning exactly as they were designed to!” Clearly at this point we can see they are not about academics but social engineering. This bloviated professor(?) is a perfect example of the damage and dangers plaguing our educational institutions!

    The federal government has no Constitutional Grant of Authority over education. If so, one danger being our educational system will be controlled by whichever way the political wind blows. The Tenth Amendment states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    • Bryce says:

      Quite right Autumn, when we form an intimate relationship with someone, trust is one of, if not the most important thing in that relationship. Lack of trust will stifle and inhibit all other aspects of the relationship.

      However, reading your comments, one could be mistaken for thinking that only males are the ones to be unfaithful. That is unfortunate, because in actual fact, I know more females that have cheated on their partners than I do males. In fact, two of my friends who had their wife(s) cheat on them are no longer with us, as they were so devastated by the cheating they took their own lives. Infidelity is not just something men do to women. The opposite is also true, and at just as higher rate.

  4. Wanda says:

    Thank you for being at least one man out there that believes in monogamy. Love and marriage is so binding. It is sad that some men decide that they should not have to be faithful to one woman for the rest of their lives, and usually during or after the woman has been through one of the toughest time of her life, menopause.
    God and or Mother Nature has this cruel trick that we all have to go through. We devote everything that we are to building a happy home and hopefully an opportunity to retire together and live out the rest of our dreams. But lo and behold, all of a sudden, it is unnatural to be devoted to the person that has been there for you through everything.
    It is disgusting.

  5. Tammy says:

    And THIS is why I love you Matt Walsh!! GREAT response!!

  6. Wow! Wish Oh WIsh I could have answered this guy so beautifully! Thanks for saying it for the rest of us!

  7. Johnny Mnemonic says:

    I have to say, Matt, that I am a little disturbed at the way you and the professor have been speaking to each other. I actually think both of you are talking past each other. If you can find common ground with the professor, and say something like, “But there is SOME truth in what you say. Monogamy is not natural. You’re right about that. It’s supernatural,” then that should be a good enough reason for you two to stop the insults.

    I agree with both of you on points you both agree on, but not on the ones where you and the professor can’t get along. I agree with both of you that monogamy is not natural, and I agree with you that monogamy is supernatural. Unless you were religious or believed in the supernatural, you would have no reason to believe in monogamy. Believing in monogamy is like believing in God.

    You have to realise that the professor’s disparaging remarks about you are likely the result of being provoked by your own disparaging remarks about him and his views. For example, you spoke disparagingly of his views of marriage. Can’t you see how you were provoking, maybe even insulting him?

    As for your analogy about the laws of geometry, I think this might be one reason why the professor may have said, “you are a man of little education and limited intelligence.” Again, I don’t approve of him insulting you. Ad hominems can ruin what can be a deep and thoughtful discussion. I don’t know what dialogue you had with him before that email, but it may have been a result of you trying to use metaphors or analogies that simply don’t fit.

    Human relationships aren’t a mathematical concept. Our lives cannot be reduced to the laws of mathematics. This is where your analogy fails. Of course, a square can’t be a circle. A square needs to be a square and a circle needs to be a circle because they are mathematical concepts that serve the purpose of reasoning logically about clearly defined concepts in our universe. A square is a square and a circle is a circle because of the purpose that these concepts serve in mathematics.

    What’s the purpose of marriage? What’s the purpose of monogamy? You see, these are harder questions to answer, and people would give different answers to these questions and have different opinions on them. People define concepts based on the purpose they serve in our universe. It’s easy to define a square or a circle. A square is a shape with four equally long sides in the same plane. A circle is a round shape where all points are equally distant from a common centre and all exist in the same plane.

    I am sure you have your own “orthodox” definition of a marriage and believe you are “right,” but it is easier to come to a consensus on a definition of a square or circle than a definition of marriage. Human relationships are not like mathematics. They don’t even belong in the realm of the “pure sciences” like physics, chemistry and mathematics. Relationships are a humanities concept relegated to the realm of “social studies,” and concepts in social studies are not as clearly defined as those in the pure sciences.

    The funny thing is, you and the professor can’t even agree on what kind of “monogamy” you two are talking about. A quick look at the Wikipedia article on “monogamy” shows that there are at least four kinds of monogamy: marital monogamy, social monogamy, sexual monogamy and genetic monogamy. There also tend to be three different dictionary definitions of the word itself: 1) only getting married once in a lifetime, 2) being married to one person at a time and 3) only having one partner at a time.

    The professor is definitely a marital monogamist. He only has one wife, and his wife only has one husband. It’s the other three kinds of “monogamy” that the professor doesn’t or can’t uphold.

    I can’t be absolutely sure what religion you follow, though after a quick glance at your blog, it seems you’re most likely a “Christian.”

    I therefore have a question for you. What is your interpretation of Jesus’ opposition to divorce? I ask that because I think it has major implications on your views on monogamy.

    Before I get deeper into discussions on Christianity’s views on divorce, I’d like to offer a disclaimer. I am no expert on the subject. I will, however, share a view I have been exposed to that has made a big impression on my understanding on Jesus’ view on divorce. A few years ago I came across an article discussing Jesus’ view on divorce. Assuming I didn’t bookmark it, I spent one or two hours doing a web search to try to find it or something similar to it.

    I’m assuming you’re familiar with the controversy. A bunch of Pharisees come to Jesus asking about his views on divorce. In his day there were two schools of thought on this. One was the liberal (Hillelite) view that was similar today’s no-fault divorce. The other was the more conservative (Shammaite) view that only adultery or sexual immorality was acceptable grounds for divorce.

    The article I found claimed that Jesus went beyond Shammai’s conservative view (even though he normally sided with the more liberal Hillelite views) on divorce, to the point of saying that divorce was completely unacceptable, that it was only God’s leniency and his tolerance of men’s “hardness of heart” that allowed divorce. I couldn’t locate the article, but this is the closest thing I could find.

    http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/divorce.html

    You’re probably wondering, what does this have to do with monogamy? I consider it relevant because with such high divorce rates today even among Christians, it means that a huge multitude of Christians are going against Jesus’ teachings on divorce. A common reason for divorce is adultery. I think there’s a causal relationship between the two. If you’re not the kind of person to divorce your wife if you found out she was cheating on you (or vice versa), there are plenty of Christians who would.

    The question I am getting at is whether you consider adultery worse than divorce. Of course, with your high standards, I might assume neither is acceptable to you.

    I doubt that Christians are any less likely to commit adultery, so whatever your standards are, they’re unrealistic even for Christians. The probability that a married Christian will never commit adultery nor undergo divorce is very low. Either or both happening is more likely than neither happening at all.

    So which would you rather, Matt? Would you rather have the professor get divorced or keep his wife (and vice versa)? To me, committing adultery and getting divorced is worse than only committing adultery. It’s better to sin once than sin twice. If you stay married to the same person your whole life, at the very least you honour her with the title of Mrs. Whatever, even if it’s just a piece of paper. Isn’t that the point of that passage in Genesis? Honour the woman you chose to marry? Cherish her? Isn’t that precisely what the professor is trying to do? I think the point of tolerating adultery is to stay married and avoid divorce.

    Furthermore, if the professor isn’t Christian, it’s not your business anyway how he conducts his personal life if you live in a liberal, secular democracy. If you stay out of someone else’s private and personal life, they will stay out of your’s. You wouldn’t want the professor hiring a private investigator to check if you’re cheating on your wife, would you?

    I also think you should be focusing your energy on the Christians who do stray, commit adultery and get divorced than a professor who clearly isn’t interested in a concept with supernatural foundations. Focus on preaching to the converted.

  8. Pingback: This is a great read!!! Because monogamy is unnatural. | Intriguing Readings

  9. shontel says:

    Absolutely wonderful rebuttal! So proud of you. Go Matt! A+

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  11. ribot says:

    “The truth that either escapes you or frightens you too much to acknowledge is that the “monogamous heterosexual relationship” is a largely unattainable (and undesirable) myth. Sexual unions between humans are not meant to be permanent. As we evolve, so does our understanding of these truths. Monogamy is not simply unrealistic; it is unnatural. You do not find it often in the animal kingdom, and where you do it is generally born of an evolutionary necessity. The necessity of monogamy among humankind has evaporated. This is particularly true of men, who are simply not biologically fitted for the “one woman” life.” Great articulating of the truth.

    • sassypatriot says:

      ribot you are an idiot. Just because you can’t lead a normal life doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. In many cultures women must be virgins when they marry and their husband is the first and last man in their bed. When one is innocent and in love humans do not to drop to the sub-animal level. The penalty for promiscuity is usually disease, psychological disorders, lack of self confidence, absence of ever knowing true love and loyalty to anyone. It often results in children that never know the love of a real family life with a caring mother and father. Just because you are an animal and hang with other predators doesn’t mean it is best for most of us.

      • ribot says:

        First of all; you attack me and my character by calling me a “idiot”. That’s immature and projects lack of emotional control, vocabulary and confidence in your convictions. I’m 40 years old and been married twice. I’ve fallen in love more than once, have been loved by amazing professional and open minded women and have a successful life. You don’t know me but you label me. I don’t argue with ignorance. You are a waste of sperm and it’s unbelievable that of billions of spermatozoids only you made it. Exactly the reason I support abortion in case of incest.

  12. melsbabysis says:

    This was right on the money! Well said!!!

  13. melsbabysis says:

    You are right on the money! Well said!!!

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