Sunday, November 08, 2009

Can we discriminate against mistresses?

A mistress has won a payout of $100,000 from her former lover under the new Family Law Act here in Victoria. Under the new law, a mistress can claim maintenance or a payout if she can prove she has been in a long-term relationship.

What this very clearly shows is that the term "family" has been radically redefined to mean anyone in a relationship with another person. Where a family was once defined in terms of a married couple and offspring, it can now mean not only a de facto couple, or a same sex couple, but even a man, his wife and his mistress.

From the Herald Sun report:
The new federal laws for maintenance and division of assets for de facto couples, mistresses and same-sex couples came into effect on March 1 and any disputes are heard by the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates' Court.

The laws give some mistresses, as well as de facto and same-sex couples, the same rights as married couples. [So this is what it has come to: "The laws give some mistresses ... the same rights as married couples."]
And from the mistress:
The woman, who has not been named for legal reasons, said not only did she deserve the money, but others should follow her lead.

"I gave him the best years of my life," she said ...

"So this is also about giving our relationship a validity. It is a recognition that I have added something of value to his life."
Yes, according to the new law being a wife is valid, being a same sex partner is valid and being a mistress is valid. They are all equally valid, as all that matters is being in a proven relationship.

It's difficult to see how the line can be drawn anywhere. If a mistress is considered to be in a valid family relationship, then how can the law continue to exclude or discriminate against second wives? If all you need is a relationship over time, and a man is in a relationship with a second wife, then why won't that eventually be recognised by the state as valid also?


  1. That's insane. Sounds like the only safe sex to have in Oz is with hookers.

  2. I wonder if regularly seeing the same prostitute over the requisite period qualifies under the same rules?

  3. " If all you need is a relationship over time, and a man is in a relationship with a second wife, then why won't that eventually be recognised by the state as valid also?"

    Yes it follows. If the legislation is for the protection of women in relationships it seems unlikely that second wives or second wife equivalents would be excluded.

  4. Feminists continue to further destroy relations between the sexes. If avoiding marriage is no longer proof against a woman stealing from you via family court, rational men will avoid long-term relationships with women altogether. Short-term is the new game, with the attendant coarsening of the culture. No doubt we will hear a new round of whining about "men who can't commit". Feminists will not, of course, see any connection between the policies they push and how men act; it's all men's fault after all.

  5. This was the inevitable outcome of recognising de facto relationships. Once the rights and responsibilities of marriage are granted to others, consistency requires a liberal (broad) application. In countenancing unmarried couples of any sort, the state started its slide down a very slippery slope. I too find it difficult to see how a line can be drawn without being inconsistent (or reversing current laws).

  6. Mark Richardson says:

    It's difficult to see how the line can be drawn anywhere. If a mistress is considered to be in a valid family relationship, then how can the law continue to exclude or discriminate against second wives? If all you need is a relationship over time, and a man is in a relationship with a second wife, then why won't that eventually be recognised by the state as valid also?

    Spot on. This judgment effectively legalises bigamy and polygamy really, if it comes to that.

    It also rewards adulterers and penalises lawfully wedded partners who remain faithful. Not to mention issue of such unions.

    This is yet another stage in the moral degeneration of (post-)modern liberalism.

  7. If all you need is a relationship over time, and a man is in a relationship with a second wife, then why won't that eventually be recognised by the state as valid also?

    The only large group here who wants polygamy are break-away Mormons. Since they tend to be very conservative, partiarchal and Christian(many will disagree, but Mormonism is clearly based on Christianity as opposed to Islam.) This presents a real conundrum for moral relativists. Supporting anything goes relationships will help a marginalized segment of their arch-enemies. But this would be the only logical and consistent outcome of such a view of marriage.

  8. The only large group here who wants polygamy are break-away Mormons

    Muslims do too.

  9. Someone tell me why he has to pay her ANY money at all? There aren't even any kids! The bitch should GET A JOB. This is crazy.

    As randian says, you can't let the "relationship" last too long, or she'll have the right to pick your pocket. The new rule is pump and dump.

  10. 1) Does a one night stand count as a consummated relationship?

    2)Mark I may have accidentally deleted your comment at my blog. I have reposted it.

  11. One way of looking at it is that it's a punishment for sin, although the liberals don't care to see it that way. But God once used a donkey to rebuke Balaam.

  12. Master Richardson's analysis is, once again, incomplete. The condemnation is of licentiousness, not the award to the mistress. If anything the award encourages fidelity and commitment to the family by presenting a disincentive to the philanderer.

  13. Anonymous, you don't get fidelity through such means.

    The rich man will simply pay up. But if the arrangement has been validated and formalised by the state, then the rich man will be much more open to going just one more step - and accepting the idea that his legally validated mistress could be recognised instead as a second wife.

  14. Marriage can be seen as a legal/property relationship. The wife enters and in return is given property rights should the marriage fail, based on the assumption that she surrenders various income options by marrying. Tradditionally the women has been in the weaker financial position, however, according to this formula property rights should also go to men should they be the financially weaker party (although I don't know how this goes in practise).

    Recogntition of misstress rights is merely saying that they acted as a quasi spouse and therefore should be given financial rights or financial protection. The idea is a little dated now that women participate in the workforce nearly as much as men.

  15. Jesse, "quasi spouse" is a good term for the new legal position of mistresses.

  16. Legalized polygamy just will never happen in a liberal Western society.


    Divorce. Why would any woman raised in the West consent to be a second or minor wife? Some fringe types might want to be the senior wife/head of a household, but these are marginal personality types.

    Even in the case of a very rich man, most women would be better off with a divorce settlement than sharing the household with other wives. Though again, some fringe types might like the arrangement.

    Religious or ghettoized cultural groups are obviously different, as there is pressure to stay with the group for the support networks and so forth. Legalized polygamy in minority groups might happen in the West; but, because of entrenched divorce, will not spread to the greater culture.

  17. Anonymous, fair point. I certainly agree that most Western women right now would not accept the arrangement.

    But I still wouldn't rule out the possibility. There do exist some pressures toward polygamy. For instance, the fact of well-educated middle-class women waiting till their 30s to take marriage seriously means that there is a large cohort of women in a predicament. There simply don't exist enough suitable men left for these women. Some of them are unhappily partnering down.

    The same phenomena also leaves numbers of upper class men without the number of children they would prefer to have.

    The sexual revolution means that there is less emphasis on the close emotional bonding of a traditional marital coupling.

    Then there is the issue of some careerist women wanting wives - in other words, thinking that it would be good to have a woman doing the more domestic things at home whilst they work.

    Then there is the growing influence in the West of groups, such as Muslims, in which polygamy is considered acceptable.

    Finally, there is less reason for rich and powerful men to accept the imposition of monogamy. Presumably, they once did so partly from a sense of the larger benefit of monogamy to the society they identified with. But what happens in a radically individualistic society? Won't rich and powerful men be tempted to act more selfishly?

    I don't think we can assume that monogamy will always be there. Yes, it's the form of marriage most associated with civilisational advance. It's a higher form of relationship, but one requiring significant levels of self-discipline and civilisational effort.

    What happens when that civilisational effort declines? What happens when sexual liberation is taken as an ideal, so that young people become oriented to cruder forms of self-expression?

    If these social trends continue, I don't see how the tradition of monogamy can remain in a position of strength. And polygamy is the "next step down" arrangement, the one that a less civilised society is likely to devolve to.

    This is certainly not inevitable. And things might change in unpredictable ways. But I think, at least, it's a possibility.

  18. Recall how illegitimate children once lacked inheritance rights?

    This custom likely functioned to protect the wife and legitimate children from being further damaged by a husband's adultery when it came time to divvy up his property.

    The practice was probably necessary for a world in which divorce was extremely difficult.

    Imagine how much more ire a father's adultery will spark in his wife and kids now!

  19. There is an attendant benefit to monogamy that is favored by secular elites; centralized power in the state. Extended kinship groups tend to rely on family for protection and challenge the state for power.

    The LDS Church in Texas is a prime example. It is the intent of the state to break polygyny because it threatens centralization of power.

  20. I think this is law is wonderful! One reason men are so easily inclined to be unfaithful is there is no REAL heavy hitting consequence. But now that they know that having another woman will also cost them (in addition to any divorce the wife may bring) they'll have to decide if following their penis is worth the obliteration of their $. If men decide to have a string of short term relationships then fine, they won' t waste a woman's fertile years when they're not marriage minded to begin with. 2. And as for Polygymy, part of the appeal of Polygymy for guys is that the men have all the power. As it stands now if he has a "second wife" in any form, she's at his mercy because she has not legal right to anything. If he has to worry about "second, third, etc..wife" being eligible for his money then the idea of multiple wives becomes pretty scary. 3. Another good thing is that for the law gives legal wives more foundation to investigate their husbands questionable behavior, ex; "I was having a detective follow John because I had to make sure he wasn't putting our children's college fund in jeopardy! " Now even a wife's anxiety over her husband's wondering eye will be given legitimacy. " Sure Bill is a faithful guy, but doesn't he know that his wondering eyes is scaring his wife? I mean just the idea of him making a mistake and costing their family everything, no wonder she gets nervous and upset" Suddenly women won't be marked as "paranoid" when their intuition (which is ussually right) tells them their husband is cheating. Now it will be seen as a form of protecting their family (which it always was, but because it's a man's world no one saw a husband's interest in other women as really bad because the wife was suppose to just be happy that she was being financially supported. Now that that interest threatens the loss of lots of $, which is a language all men understand, now it's okay for a wife to be worried because it will really take serious $ from her and her children).

  21. Christine,

    The reason men are so easily inclined to be unfaithful is that men have powerful sex drives that are not easy to contain within monogamous marriage.

    If monogamy worked in the past, it was because culture and society worked as a whole to support it.

    It's not good enough to set up a whole series of anti-male and anti-family measures which encourage male promiscuity but then seek to restrain this promiscuity through a kind of financial penalty.

    That will only change the form or outlet of the promiscuity.

    What you need to think about is the issue of why men traditionally did place voluntary restraints on their sexuality. What might make a man do this?

    Was there a different understanding of morality in the past? Of honour and vow making? Of the availability of sex within and without marriage? Of the purpose of marriage and the male role within marriage? Of masculine virtue? Of a commitment to the family as an entity through time? Of marital love?

    If you tell men that they live in a world without inherent meaning, apart from the pursuit of their own will without impediment, with marriage being an oppressive institution, and sexual fulfilment being a key human right and purpose - then you are going to have a hard time maintaining the traditional ideal of monogamy (amongst men or women).

  22. The prevailing vice of the modern age is not lust it is phariseeism. The problem is not so much the idea that someone should have some mercy to a mistress that he once had. The problem is that a status which in past times was at the fringe of society should demand not just reasonably decent treatment from her lover but respectability from society. Being a mistress is a sign of lust. Demanding that rules change to meet your standards is a sign that one cannot even sin without insisting that ones self-righteousness be flattered by saying sin is not sin.