I Cheated

Opinion

“Let us begin to deal with people in accordance to their fuck up and not on how much good we have ascribed to them on the basis of their gender alone”. I wrote this in my notes a while ago and it resonated with me. As unusual as the quote above may seem, I’m basically…

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“Let us begin to deal with people in accordance to their fuck up and not on how much good we have ascribed to them on the basis of their gender alone”.

I wrote this in my notes a while ago and it resonated with me. As unusual as the quote above may seem, I’m basically using this post to make a case for the screw-up, or better yet, the expectations of the screw-uper. Yes, I also just made that word up.

Today, the conversations surrounding feminism and gender roles/expectations have become more common. There are different types of feminists, fighting for the cause in different ways. There are feminists whose primary focus is equal wages between men and women, just as there are those concerned with the sexual liberation of women.

And while both of these (as well as many other aspects of feminism) are important to me, what I’ve found myself increasingly fascinated by is the gender roles/expectations aspect of the cause. You see I find that this part permeates almost every other aspect of feminism, and is in fact what inspired the quote above.

When I wrote that quote, I had been thinking about gender expectations with regards to infidelity in relationships. I considered the fact that often times when a man cheats in his relationship, the woman he cheats with is labeled a home wrecker. However when a woman cheats on her partner with another man, there really isn’t a label for him. In the same vein, it is often said that when men cheat, they are capable of doing so without there being any emotional attachment. As you can imagine, the same rules don’t apply to women. Now while I know that there are a number of reasons people cite for cheating, I know better than to buy into the idea that gender is somehow related to the reasons behind it.

Basically, I’m tired of us determining people’s motives/emotional dispositions based on their gender alone. I want us to get to a place where we realize that while society influences a lot of the way we see things and even believe we should react to things, there is no innate emotional disposition towards certain situations based primarily on gender. Not only is ascribing emotional/character traits to people based on their gender alone wrong, its problematic in that its also limiting.

Not all men are capable of being with a woman only in a sexual manner (trust me lol), the same way that not all women are incapable of being with a man only in a sexual manner. But before I get too distracted and lose my point, let me just state it here. I’ve come to realize that women for whatever reason are unjustly awarded the morality trophy. Women are expected to be a lot more morally upstanding than their male counterparts, and in my opinion, this is wrong. It is the reason why women are not only labeled home wreckers when they have relations with men in committed relationships, but they are even expected not to/feel bad when they do.

I’m not sure how many women on this platform have been with a “not-completely-available” man before, but for the ones who have, I have a question. Did you honestly, (truly) feel bad? Or did any apprehension that you may have felt come purely from self preservation? Self preservation because there’s a high chance that you might get hurt in the end. And if you did truly put an end to things, or felt bad simply because you thought about the other woman, I’d love to hear from you as well.

My theory here is that a lot of people (male/female) that engage in relationships with individuals committed to other people feel bad mostly out of self preservation. I truly question whether or not thought is given to the partner of the person they are cheating with.  And it sounds fucked up (because it is) but hey.

You see, society doesn’t enforce this “think of the partner/their feelings” message on men the same way that it does with women. It instead tells women that on the basis of their gender-infused (but of course false) moral superiority, they should feel terrible. They should consider the other woman, and not engage a man that’s already in a relationship. They should consider the fact that they are bringing unhappiness to another woman, and that alone should be a deterrent. But I think we really need to get out of this way of thinking. It paints a false, or at least an incomplete narrative.

It’s false because it assumes that for a woman most especially, considering the other woman (whom if we are being honest, she owes nothing) should be a big enough deterrent for her. It is false, most importantly because it places consideration for another individual over self-interest. And the truth is that people, male or female, will almost always put their self interest first. So we need to stop. Stop telling women that they are especially evil for engaging unavailable men if you are not telling that to men. Stop telling women that they owe the other woman something, simply because they’re women. STOP for goodness sake ascribing moral superiority to women, and stop in the process dehumanizing men.

Because that’s what this line of thinking breeds. It breeds continuous excuses for men- it says because they are men, they are expected to do fucked up shit that will in one way or the other be excused because, man. Stop limiting women, and telling them that they are supposed to be better beings because they were born with vaginas. Tell everyone instead to be better humans, and judge them on the basis of their humanity. Scold them on the basis of their fuck up, and not the false expectations you’ve placed on them because of their gender.

Responses

  1. phykshun
    You made total sense!…
    On a second thought…. Not totally.
    (that’s not an insult)
    Am in no way saying all u said aren’t on point, in fact I believe women are being short changed or robbed as regarding this issue. But then, maybe, just maybe, the remaining sanity (chastity, morality.. etc) we have left in our society is resting on the fact that the system hasn’t been favorable to the women folk in this regard.
  2. Isy
    This is a good one,Temi.
    It is going to be tough for people/society (those conformists 😏) to accept this opinion of yours and you already wrote why.
    People bring up ‘karma’ to guilt trip the women that date/shag married men. So, does it mean that the girls sleeping with the married men are the wives’ karma?

    Posted from TNC Mobile

  3. Raymond
    Your definition of the problem I agree with – men should not be held to a lower standard. You solution was however dodgy and very Nigerian. One of the comments above has a better idea which is hold everybody to the same standard by raising the expectations from Men and not lowering it for women except you are saying people should cheat and no one should be accountable?

    That being said what I disagree with is the basis on which your argument is predicated. You assert that behaviour, character, predisposition etc as related to cheating play no part at all whether its a man or a woman. Meaning you assume both gender are exactly alike. Now the argument is in two parts. First I submit that men and women are not the same inherently through differences in genes and dna which is a verifiable fact. Secondly, as difficult as it is to accept, our physical and biological makeup also influences our character, abilities, behaviour, predisposition etc. Scientically proven fact since the first studies on personality traits in relation to physical composition of people. Recently some people have developed new habits after receiving transplant of some organ from another person. In summary if men and women are physically different (obviously) and the physical influences the emotional responses (arguable) then you were wrong to dismiss gender roles/expectations so flippantly

    1. Temi Niran Post author
      I’m actually not dismissing gender roles- I just think they need to be evaluated more closely. I agree absolutely that men and women are different- biologically. However, I think most behavioral differences are taught by society, as opposed to being innate.

      Regarding my argument, I’m basically saying that the only reason why women are judged a lot more harshly than their male counterparts can be tied to gender roles/expectations, which as I mentioned earlier are learned, socially. Treat everyone equally- if you’re saying its “morally” wrong for women to do certain things, then criticize men for also doing it. If you’re upholding any standard of morality, make sure that you’re holding both genders EQUALLY accountable. If you can look at something a man does, and try to understand why he does it, then do the same for women. Women, like men, are human and will also make mistakes. However if you think something is immoral, but you’re only criticizing women for it, then your problem isn’t with the issue or “immorality” itself. It is with women.

  4. Female
    I had an affair with a married man a few years ago, my first one. At the time I had thought that was something firmly outside my principles but it happened still. It lasted for about a year or so before I called it off. I called it off because I got a boyfriend, and obviously my married partner did not find my reason tenable.
    Over time, i had to deal with feelings of ‘remorse’ and ‘regret’ while I was growing as a person, and i finally came to a realization.
    I had no regrets and I truly don’t feel bad, the opinions I thought I had then were a reflection of societal expectations which I had ‘imbibed’ over time.
    I have come to realize that I had no thoughts for his wife in the slightest. I owe her no duty or responsibility. Her husband is the person who made an oath to her and that’s his business, my duty is to my boyfriend and which I why I called off the affair.
    1. Temi Niran Post author
      Thank you so much for your honesty. It’s actually what I was trying to get at when I asked the above question. I honestly feel like most people don’t feel bad because they don’t believe they owe the partner of the person they’re cheating with, anything. I think society tells women (moreso than men) that they should feel bad, simply because they’re women and they’re supposed to be better. It’s stupid.
  5. She
    In the past, I met a man who ticked all the boxes for me, and we hit it off like spark and gun powder. Was great till I discovered he was married, and to a lady I knew and admired. I ended it immediately. Not because I particularly felt bad for her or guilty even, but because I had a personal policy not to dabble with married folk.
    Presently, I’m seeing someone, and I just discovered again that he’s married, with an “offsite” family. However, I’m hesitating on ending this one.
    Do I think about his wife and kids? Not at all. In fact, we talk about them and their antics, and I laugh at his gists about them. I don’t feel “anyhow”.
    Yes, that whole “women should be more sensitive to other women’s plight with husbands who have wandering penises” was also fed to me as a young growing female, but I threw it right back up.
    To each, his/her own.
  6. A
    I’m currently trying to get out of an entanglement with a married man. I’m doing it for myself because I feel bad and it’s not like he’s considerate of me anyway. I think about his wife but that doesn’t make me feel bad. I feel sad for her sometimes; like she’s there thinking she has a great husband. Then i realize that he actually is a great husband to her. My guilt is from my morality and religion. Now, i’m just trying to not feel guilty and to be sure it’s not holding me back from finding love.
    Contrary to the general thought, I didn’t expect him to leave his wife (didn’t even want him to) or marry me or anything. I just liked him like I’ve liked other people in the past

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