I can’t believe I used the E word in the title of this post (because I swear ya’ll ran it in the ground), but I digress. Why is everybody (mainly men) so up in arms about Jada’s “entanglement” with August Alsina? Is it because we’ve chosen them as couple’s goals for years on end only to find out that they’re just like the rest of us? Is it because Will was visibly hurt down at that red table and there was NOTHING we could do but keep watching (ie. be nosey)? Or is it because no matter what… women are supposed to be the loyal partner—come hell or high water? I think it may be the latter. Sit tight and let me unpack.
Why have we normalized men’s infidelity and villainized women’s? It’s all wrong, isn’t it? Specifically, in the black community, I’ve heard many a hotep give the excuse that during slavery, male slaves were bred by using the strongest, most virulent, men to impregnate as many women slaves as possible. This then became innate to them. Let’s say that IS the reason. Are there not F-boys in EVERY race running rampant? Does that also mean that black men have to accept the “role” white society theoretically gave them during slavery? No.
They’re stronger and smarter than that, right? We’ll go ahead and throw that logic out of the window.
Maybe the issue here is the attitude that a boy/man’s promiscuity is a rite of passage, but a girl/woman’s is a scarlet letter (badge of shame). This attitude leaves unlimited room for mistakes for men, while women are publicly shunned to avert further mistakes, promptly. Think about how, in several households across the world, male and female siblings are raised with totally different methods. There’s a bias that leans toward women being nothing less than perfect—prudent even.
…but why? Is it because we’re the only gender capable of human life and thus MUST be trained to be “responsible” from childhood? Hence, we must deny sexual promiscuity because we’ll be bearing the burden of child-rearing, should there be an unplanned pregnancy. (Trust me, that’s an actual sentiment.)
I guess that stems back to the idea that men always have a level of deniability in a situation of conception (at least until the DNA test results come back). Women on the other hand cannot just pretend to not have been “involved” with someone—as she physically shows the evidence and bears the child. If that’s the case, we have literally been conditioned to judge women harshly because of an ability they may or may not choose to employ.
According to this theory, women should be more mature, calculated, and in control of their urges. Hogwash! (I always wanted to say that.) This has endoctrined men to think they have less of a responsibility to their own children, wives, and (most importantly) ACTIONS! (Can we stop this?)
“It’s the dog in me,” men say. The dog, as in animalistic urges that you can’t control? Those are the same urges boys aren’t taught to control through lack of penalty growing up.
On the flip side, when a woman shows a sign of fault and finds herself in “an entanglement” (as our good aunt Jada described), she’s nailed to the cross by women and men alike. Why, because we’ve been trained to believe that women aren’t supposed to fumble in that regard.
Was aunty wrong? Yes, on so many levels, but it’s NEWS because she stepped out of her marriage. This is something we’ve become desensitized to men doing, but with her… it’s top news. Several men joked, “She should have cheated up!”, as if garnering the affections of a man of higher stature would make her blemish more acceptable. There’s that mentality, again. To salvage her value, her cheating partner needed to be a male of higher quality. Meanwhile, men habitually cheat downward—gleefully.
So, what exactly makes women’s entanglements hit harder? The short answer is misogyny. A woman’s infidelity is viewed as the man’s lack of what’s considered to be natural control. He hasn’t influenced submission in his partner and thus must be “flawed as a man”. Afterall, women have been trained to be in control of their urges their whole lives. The lack of that in a relationship, brings her male partner’s dominance into question. That’s the “hard hit” we’re seeing here. It’s all about how when a woman makes her own decision to cheat, it calls her male partner’s dominance into question by other men. MISOGYNY… there’s your answer.
(Side note: I’m not a man-hater, but this HAD to be said.)