One evening in Moscow, Tanya (not her real name) found herself at a dinner table with a group of friends, most of them married couples. One of the men started to tell a story about the coda to a recent guys’ night out. He’d stumbled home the next morning to his wife and two children—a 2-year-old and an infant—to find that he’d forgotten his underwear. Everyone at the dinner table, including the man’s wife, laughed at the story: the hijinks!
Wandering spouses have become a common trope for the women of Moscow. “Men’s environment here pushes them towards cheating,” Tanya told me, adding that, these days, a boys’ night out in Russia often involves prostitutes. Tanya and her friends are young, educated, upper-middle-class Muscovites, but talk to any woman in Moscow, and, regardless of age, education, or income level, she’ll have a story of anything from petty infidelity to a parallel family that has existed for decades. Infidelity in Moscow has become “a way of life,” as another friend of mine put it—accepted and even expected.
I’ve received a mostly positive response, like this one (from a man living in Russia):
Loved your article in Slate. I always have trouble reconciling the conservative moralising of my homo/xenophobic male Russian friends, who in the same breath will insist that ‘all men cheat,’ and that it’s just the way of the world. Nicely done.
And this one, from an enraged young Russian lady named Maria:
let me ask you where are you from to be able to write this BS about Moscow? I was certain that you were Russian from the very headline!
Me being a Muscovite have been very assaulted and ashamed that someone like you is bitching about our country and particularly Moscow.
Right now i’m talking on behalf on the majority of Muscovites. Majority is about 90% except those 10% for the jet set, who can afford buying Mercedes E class as you say so. You have such friends or maybe you were one of them and you have been cheated on???? Those 10% i agree got soo much freedom and lost their mind so they think they can “buy anything”, but in general the situation in Russia and in Moscow in particular is far from what you have described above. Yes, there are assholes who cheat but as many as in any countries! Shame on you writing about the Russian history as if it was the most abusive nation re: sex subject while China and some other countries are still socialistic republics (if you dont know) and still have the same restrictions!!! I assume you are too young to judge if it really was unbearable living in Soviet time!!
Let me ask you one more thing, have you really watched a “What men talk about” movie?? Then i suggest you to watch it one more time because you didnt f**n understand a damn thing what the main idea of this movie was!!! It has a completely opposite meaning and you unfortunately didnt get it! Yes, we can laugh and make fun of our flaws but it is what makes us human beings, but in the end men declared that “Family is the most important thing in their lives” and without making any mistakes they got back home to their wives. They might now have liked everything what they had in life but they cherished their families! And most of the people do! Do you???
I feel very sorry for you because you probably are trying to draw attention of the audience like that, but believe me it looks “very cheap”!!!
Yes, I wanted to post that in full. But I am also curious to see how you guys, my loyal — if sometimes hateful — commenters see the article, and what it describes. Speak on up, please!