Lately, there has been a barrage of stories of homewreckers (those of the famous persuasion) and their conquests of taking “other women’s husbands.” Is this a new trend? Something that has become more popular? The “in thing” to do? I’m not sure what is going on but I know that I don’t like it.
I read in the news yesterday of an accidental overdose of sleep aids and pain relievers of a very talented singer (read: alleged attempted suicide) and I was disturbed by the response to this news. This songstress has been called everything that people can think to call a woman who “goes after” another woman’s husband. I don’t agree with her behavior…but I disagree even more with the response that the general public (read: Black folk) has given to the situation. This led me to post the following status on Facebook:
“[Miss C. Jayne] really wants to know what’s up with the villainization of the “homewrecker”? Why harp on the women who sleep with the MARRIED men? I don’t get it…so someone explain it to me. Thanks.”
For people that know me, they understood that I already had my own opinion, I just wanted to see what others said (before I came to share my thoughts on the topic). I was genuinely surprised by one answer:
“I think wives feel as though the “homewrecker” has disrespected her as a woman by entertaining the attention of a husband. Whether the marriage is broken or not, the argument is that as women we should respect each other enough to leave a man who is “taken” alone until he has chosen to end his current relationship. It speaks to the idea of community among women, and assumes that men can’t control their actions so women have to control their own.” – C.P.
This was the ONLY answer that I wasn’t expecting (in hindsight, as someone that harps on the fact that Black women are responsible for the behaviors of an entire ethnic group, I should have seen this coming). Why? It delved into the intricate issues of communicating and relating to others within the Black community (which is another post for another day). Other responses (which were kind of comical) included:
– “What if the home was already wrecked? What does that make the homewrecker?”
– “These women are just the clean up woman.”
– “It’s society. That’s why James Brown wrote ‘This is a man’s world’…men can do what they want and women always get the bad rep.”
– Two people voiced that it doesn’t matter. Every wrongdoer in the situation deserves to have their ass kicked.
All valid points but here is why I think men don’t get the bad rep (especially in the Black community):
The men who are brave enough to marry are examples of “Good Men.” If he had no kids before he said, “I do!” then he is an even better man. And don’t let him have a job! He is the Holy Grail, the Chosen One, the 1 in a Million Love of a Lifetime that every Black woman holds out for.
Why do you say that Miss C. Jayne?
Simple – as a Black woman, I’ve engaged in many conversations with my peers (women and men alike) about what makes the perfect mate. There must be a willingness to commit, a drive to succeed at something in life, a relationship with God, and yadda yadda yadda. The list goes on but those are the “Big Three.”
So why villainize the unmarried women who sleep with Married Men and NOT the married men that sleep with Single Women? Whoa! Changes the focus doesn’t it? Who is really at fault when a man steps out on his wife?
1. The woman who used “every trick in the book” to entice him to come her way?
2. The woman who took a vow to have and to hold for better or for worse til death do them ‘part?
3. The man who pissed on his sacrament with God AND his Wife to go ahead and frolick in temptation with that single woman who is looking for her perfect mate?
My money is on number 3. Why? Well…because he’s the married guy with the wife and possible kids who is also sleeping with the single woman (this isn’t to say that there are some women who don’t go after married men, I’m not talking about them). But he doesn’t get blamed.
To blame him for his own actions is to treat him as an adult. It’s to acknowledge that he does, in fact, have control over his actions. It’s to admit that he thought of the possible consequences and decided that the affair was something he wanted to participate in. It’s to hold him accountable.
But what does it do for women (and this is where I think the issue truly lies)?
If we say that the Married Men who cheat were enticed by those loosey goosey single women, then it affirms that there are some good men still out there. In this day and age, it seems that women are settling for whatever comes their way. Oh, he has a job? He has 0, 1, 0r 2 kids? He believes in the existence of God and claims to have a relationship with said deity? He can read? He has entreprenuerial skills? That’s everything you’ve ever looked for in a man. He’s the dream. You’ve got him.
And we he decides to say “Yes” or “I do” or whatever at the altar in front of a Preacher and a host of witnesses, then you signal to your single girlfriends (who are probably 80% of your bridesmaids) that yes, they do exist!!! They are real! Good men are out there.
By shifting the blame from the truly guilty party, it continues to give hope to other single (especially Black) women.
And that’s really what all of this is about — allowing single, Black, successful women the freedom to dream.
~Miss C. Jayne
*UPDATE: While I don’t want to get into the nuances of a certain singer’s suicide attempt (that was not the intention of this post), I’ll just point out a very thoughtful commentary that I agree with. You can find it here.