The most fascinating fallout from the Ashley Madison hack: It's proved that "gender stereotypes" actually reflect reality.
Gizmodo's Annalee Newitz did some analysis of what must now be the world's most famous database and came up with the following:
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.
Those millions of Ashley Madison men were paying to hook up with women who appeared to have created profiles and then simply disappeared. Were they cobbled together by bots and bored admins, or just user debris? Whatever the answer, the more I examined those 5.5 million female profiles, the more obvious it became that none of them had ever talked to men on the site, or even used the site at all after creating a profile. Actually, scratch that. As I’ll explain below, there’s a good chance that about 12,000 of the profiles out of millions belonged to actual, real women who were active users of Ashley Madison.
The female–or should I say the "female" users of the adultery-facilitating "dating" service get (or perhaps "got"–although if you want to be a sucker, you can still sign up) to use the site for for free, while men have to pay–which meant that Newitz couldn't use the credit-card data that made the male users easily identifiable. Instead she dove into the e-mail and ISP addresses of the 5.5 million supposed females. There she discovered that the vast majority of those looked as bot-created as the Alfa Romeo that your sister bought after making $9,000 in a month working part-time on her computer at home. Others seemed to be easily traceable right back to Ashley Madison itself.
Out of 5.5 million female accounts, roughly zero percent had ever shown any kind of activity at all, after the day they were created.
The men’s accounts tell a story of lively engagement with the site, with over 20 million men hopefully looking at their inboxes, and over 10 million of them initiating chats. The women’s accounts show so little activity that they might as well not be there.
Sure, some of these inactive accounts were probably created by real, live women (or men pretending to be women) who were curious to see what the site was about. Some probably wanted to find their cheating husbands. Others were no doubt curious journalists like me. But they were still overwhelmingly inactive. They were not created by women wanting to hook up with married men. They were static profiles full of dead data, whose sole purpose was to make men think that millions of women were active on Ashley Madison.
All this, of course, is infuriating to feminists, who insist that women' sexual tastes are identical to men's–or would be if only society weren't so misogynistic. Here's Gloria Margolis at The Week complaining (the day before Newitz's piece appeared that the seixist media aren't paying any attention to women's lusty Ashley Madison desires:
Is it really so hard to believe that perhaps some female signups also drooled lustfully at the prospect of covert extramarital sex? And that they were so blinded by the horn that they too entered indiscreet personal details? But journalists are scouring the hack list for famous men, like noted family values hypocrite Josh Duggar, and seem unconcerned with exposing Ashley Madison's female customers.
To stubbornly ignore the role of women who use the site gives an incomplete picture. Mentioning Ashley Madison's female clients merely to dismiss them as an insignificant minority implies that it's only really men who coldly seek affairs. We can't accept that women can also be sexual predators — or, at least not women who are in their right mind. The media loves to paints females who assert their sexuality as "out of control" or damaged.
Well, now you've got your answer, Gloria.
It's not that women are are by nature chaste, monogamously inclined lily stalks waiting to be plucked by good men or crushed by wicked ones. It's that they clothe their desires, including adulterous desires, in the narrative of romance novels. They seek "relationships," including the illusion of relationships, leavened with high drama. They obviously didn't respond to antiseptic, carefully monitored cheating world of Ashley Madison. And the more you look at that database, the clearer it is that differences between the sexes are vast and real.