Blaming The ‘Other Woman’
Recently, Michelle “Bombshell” McGee (the woman Jesse James, Sandra Bullock’s husband, had an affair with) stopped posing with swatiskas to say:
“I want to say the rest of the country, ‘Stop taking it out on the mistresses and start taking it out on the men who are cheating on their wives.’ Why are these men getting off scott-free when the mistresses are considered whore and we’re stepped on and we’re booed and we’re called nasty names?”
Okay, well let’s break this down into two parts: She’s kind of wrong, and kind of right.
On one hand, no, we should not stop ‘taking it out’ on the mistresses. Affairs involve two people, and when both are very aware of the affair, its both their faults. Also, men are not getting off scott-free. Jesse James and Tiger Woods’ images have been tarnished, definitely, but the difference is this: the other woman is usually a ‘nobody’, only famous for sleeping with a married man, while in most cases (Clinton, Spitzer, Woods) the man already has a prominent career and can continue on working in the spotlight. This is why the women are called nasty names, what can we redeem her for when her life was insignifacant to us beforehand? The men’s indiscretions can be pushed aside in favour of what they were famous for in the first place.
But McGee does make a huge point-too often, in and out of the tabloids, we place a huge amount of blame on the other woman. We place the labels of ‘whore’ and ‘slut’ on women who had sex with a man who happened to be married. Is it the woman’s fault that the man sought after another woman? Did the woman lure him into her vagina with magic spells and withchery? No. By immediately attacking the other woman and labeling her a dirty whore, we are only reinforcing the disgusting stereotype that men cannot control themselves and it’s the temptation women purposefully provide that cause them to commit infidelities.
She makes the point that society goes along with the boys will be boys notion, expecting women to hold the control of what a man chooses to do. Since the Tiger Woods’ affair, I’ve heard many, many people say, ‘Who cares? He’s good at golf, a lot of men cheat on their wives and its not my business‘. But I haven’t heard a single, ‘Who cares? Michelle McGee is someone I don’t know and its not my business’. These same people who have justified Tiger’s actions are also the same people who turn and call women sluts. Double standards much?
Sure, its pretty unethical to sleep with an attached dude, but she didn’t take the wedding vows, what responsibility does she have to respect them? Why is it that when men cheat, its labeled as ‘sex addiction’, but when a woman does it, it is her just being a whore?
No doubt, boning a married guy is what most would deem whorish, but has our society tipped the scales too far in favour of forgiving the man? Afterall, he was who made the ultimate decision to cheat. What do you think? Sound off in the comments, Twitter, or on Facebook.
[Note: This post is only in regards to the recent splash of cheating men in the news. Before any of you jump down my throat, I am very aware that women also cheat.]
[Note 2: I am also very aware that McGee’s argument is a little hypocritical, as she ran to the media to tell all about the affair and is now unhappy with the response she has gotten.]