Skip to main content

'She's a Homewrecker,' a site for bullies

By Peggy Drexler
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
Peggy Drexler says women who post photos and slurs about their partners' mistresses should remember it takes two to tango.
Peggy Drexler says women who post photos and slurs about their partners' mistresses should remember it takes two to tango.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Betrayed women post details about partners' mistresses on "She's a Homewrecker" site
  • Peggy Drexler: "Other women" called "life-sucking whores," "skanks" who "steal" men
  • Drexler: Women never blame the men; posts seem to be attempts to regain control
  • She says posting details, photos on "She's a Homewrecker" is simply cruel bullying

Editor's note: Peggy Drexler is the author of "Our Fathers, Ourselves: Daughters, Fathers, and the Changing American Family" and "Raising Boys Without Men." She is an assistant professor of psychology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a former gender scholar at Stanford University. Join her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @drpeggydrexler.

(CNN) -- "The father of my child began cheating on me with this whore on July 14th, 2013," begins one post on the website "She's a Homewrecker," on which scorned women publish the names, photos and, in some cases, contact information of women with whom their husbands and partners cheated, along with detailed narratives of how the affair went down.

The website, which has 250,000 likes on Facebook, operates under the guise of offering important reader service or, as the tagline goes, "Exposing the women who choose to become involved with an involved man." Who knows if any of these affairs actually happened.

But no words are minced here for the so-called "other women" who are, invariably, "life sucking whores," "homewrecking sluts," "tramps" and "skanks" who "stole" someone else's man.

Peggy Drexler
Peggy Drexler

But wait -- doesn't it take two to tango? Of course it does.

Although sleeping with a married man is of questionable morality -- and that's, of course, assuming the woman is even aware the man's attached -- the job of staying faithful belongs to the man who took the vow. And yet on "She's a Homewrecker," the men get off largely scot-free. They are not named or pictured. In many cases, they are forgiven, even in cases where the man "abandoned me and my child ... He then kicked me and our baby out of the house and onto the street to be with her," as one woman writes.

Another woman writes about the "twit" who started "talking to her husband at work." After the "twit" got pregnant with the husband's baby, the woman says she and her husband fought for custody of the child and won.

She writes: "Our marriage is now the best that it ever would have been because we have worked through issues that we didn't even know we had. We are a happy family ..."

Despite this, the "homewrecker" still must pay, and does, in the form of having her name, details of her life and no fewer than six photos of herself splashed all over the site.

Although sleeping with a married man is of questionable morality ... the job of staying faithful belongs to the man who took the vow.
Peggy Drexler

The fact that this site exists, and was created by women with the sole intent of bullying and shaming other women, is especially notable given the recent discussions about how to deal with the problem of "revenge porn," in which scorned people -- men, mostly -- post explicit, formerly private photos of their exes online without their consent.

States are working to criminalize both the posting of such photos and the host sites, with advocates saying that under existing law, it's nearly impossible to get remediation or the pictures removed.

Revenge porn exists to belittle and shame women and to "put them in their place." But what's happening at "She's a Homewrecker" is just as misogynistic; that it's women targeting women doesn't make it any less so.

Bullying among grown women has often happened out of public sight: undermining in the workplace, whispers during the PTA meeting. Although sleeping with a married man is of questionable morality -- and that's, of course, assuming the woman is even aware the man's attached -- the job of staying faithful belongs to the man who took the vow.

As Jennifer Aniston told Glamour magazine this summer, "We're living in a time where, whether it's the Internet or tabloids, being sh-tty has become a sport."

With revenge porn and sites such as She's a Homewrecker, the damage is tangible: intimate photos and character attacks that may turn up with a simple Google search of a person's name.

Despite the women's stories of betrayal and humiliation and the sympathy they hope to elicit, humiliation is exactly what they intend to dole out, continuing the cycle of meanness. They play the victims while making victims of someone else, bullying others in the name of "just desserts."

The whole M.O. of bullying is, of course, to gain leverage and power. At least some of the women posting on She's a Homewrecker do so, it seems, out of desperation to regain some of the control they lost when they were betrayed by their partners. But that doesn't make their retaliatory actions defensible. For one thing, it doesn't explain why the cheating men aren't taken to task.

What's happening on She's a Homewrecker is bullying. In many cases, it's illegal -- it's flush with defamatory comments -- and not without consequences.

By turning on their own gender and by encouraging a community based on judgment and fear, women sabotage their ability to develop strong female relationships. They promote the idea that other women are untrustworthy. And so, instead of finding empowerment and community just when they need it most, women who use and read sites like these will end up feeling more alone than ever.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Peggy Drexler.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
If Obama thinks pushing out Hagel will be seen as the housecleaning many have eyed for his national security process, he'll be disappointed, says David Rothkopf.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
The decision by the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney to announce the Ferguson grand jury decision at night was dangerous, says Jeff Toobin.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 0857 GMT (1657 HKT)
China's influence in Latin America is nothing new. Beijing has a voracious appetite for natural resources and deep pockets, says Frida Ghitis.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 2151 GMT (0551 HKT)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in the capital Tehran on June 14, 2014.
The decision to extend the deadline for talks over Iran's nuclear program doesn't change Tehran's dubious history on the issue, writes Michael Rubin.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1925 GMT (0325 HKT)
Maria Cardona says Republicans should appreciate President Obama's executive action on immigration.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
Van Jones says the Hunger Games is a more sweeping critique of wealth inequality than Elizabeth Warren's speech.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 2329 GMT (0729 HKT)
obama immigration
David Gergen: It's deeply troubling to grant legal safe haven to unauthorized immigrants by executive order.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0134 GMT (0934 HKT)
Charles Kaiser recalls a four-hour lunch that offered insight into the famed director's genius.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
The plan by President Obama to provide legal status to millions of undocumented adults living in the U.S. leaves Republicans in a political quandary.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0313 GMT (1113 HKT)
Despite criticism from those on the right, Obama's expected immigration plans won't make much difference to deportation numbers, says Ruben Navarette.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
As new information and accusers against Bill Cosby are brought to light, we are reminded of an unshakable feature of American life: rape culture.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 2256 GMT (0656 HKT)
When black people protest against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, they're thought of as a "mob."
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 2011 GMT (0411 HKT)
Lost in much of the coverage of ISIS brutality is how successful the group has been at attracting other groups, says Peter Bergen.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1345 GMT (2145 HKT)
Do recent developments mean that full legalization of pot is inevitable? Not necessarily, but one would hope so, says Jeffrey Miron.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
We don't know what Bill Cosby did or did not do, but these allegations should not be easily dismissed, says Leslie Morgan Steiner.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
Does Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have the influence to bring stability to Jerusalem?
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1759 GMT (0159 HKT)
Even though there are far fewer people being stopped, does continued use of "broken windows" strategy mean minorities are still the target of undue police enforcement?
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0258 GMT (1058 HKT)
The truth is, we ran away from the best progressive persuasion voice in our times because the ghost of our country's original sin still haunts us, writes Cornell Belcher.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2141 GMT (0541 HKT)
Children living in the Syrian city of Aleppo watch the sky. Not for signs of winter's approach, although the cold winds are already blowing, but for barrel bombs.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
We're stuck in a kind of Middle East Bermuda Triangle where messy outcomes are more likely than neat solutions, says Aaron David Miller.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
In the midst of the fight against Islamist rebels seeking to turn the clock back, a Kurdish region in Syria has approved a law ordering equality for women. Take that, ISIS!
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0407 GMT (1207 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says President Obama would be justified in acting on his own to limit deportations
ADVERTISEMENT