Temptation: Infidelity's Double Standard

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The sun blares through the blinds of an unfamiliar room. It takes a few blinks for you to put together the pieces of your night. The disheveled room décor is a pretty good indication that fun was had. The light snore of the person next to you is comforting but their scent is one that is unfamiliar to you. This is not the person you are used to. They are not your significant other.

The remnants of the night confirm your infidelity.

I suppose it happens to the best of us. Even if it is something that seems as innocent as an emotional affair, someone has to play one of two roles—the one who was cheated on, or the adulterer.

The media has obliterated the notion that people are capable of remaining faithful. Movies and down-on-bended-knee R&B songs have almost killed that idea as well. But here is where my issue is: A man cheats, and it was the woman’s fault. A woman cheats, and something is wrong with her. Society has justified a man’s behavior, as “boys will be boys.”

I hate that phrase. Saying that boys will be boys will never allow men to be men.

I’m not saying that I want women to be just as socially liberated when it comes to unfaithfulness. It should be taboo for both sexes.

Let’s take Tyler Perry’s latest film Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor as an example. I won’t ruin the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but just from the trailer it is clear that Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s character is doing something that seems absolutely unheard of. Between the heartache splashed across Lance Gross’ face, and the crippling tone in which Smollett’s on-screen mother says “He gon take you straight to hell,” it is apparent that a cheating woman is a no-no.

In 2013 is it really still taboo for a woman to cheat on her husband, when it’s almost a “natural” thing for men?

In a contemporary world that has tried to tell women that it is okay to “think like men,” is infidelity an exception?

The evolving paradigm of womanhood could easily confuse the masses. Now, we are expected to be the moneymakers, the caretakers, and aggressive yet sexy beings. In our attempt of being Superwoman, we are reprimanded for behavior that seems to come too close to those exhibited by men.

If certain behavior is inexcusable for a woman, what makes it acceptable for our men?

Where is our quirky saying that justifies condemning behavior? “Girls just wanna have fun” isn’t good enough.

Kristin Corry is a Print/Online Major studying at Howard University.

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