Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I'll make this quick. The subject admittedly deserves deeper thought and a much more analytical and articulate tone, but I just don't want to get too far into it.
I rarely like to generalize when it comes to the supposed differences between the sexes; it's so often the stuff of hack comics and the authors of mindless self-help books. But what I'm about to bring up we've witnessed far too often in our culture to simply dismiss as a few random coincidences.
Would somebody please explain to me why when a man cheats on his wife, women seem to come from out of nowhere to shout about how it's another example of men being untrustworthy pigs; to rally around the victim with words of encouragement that always go something like, "You don't deserve that, you can do better than him"; to link arms and stand in solidarity with their "girlfriend" -- but when a woman cheats on her husband, even serially and in a way that causes the maximum possible humiliation, the man is often expected to plumb the depths of his own soul to try to ascertain what he might've done wrong in the relationship that would lead to his wife feeling that she needed find love or sex outside the marriage?
I ask this because a quick skim of the blog posts popping up like rodents in a game of Whack-a-Mole over at the Huffington Post reveals that -- surprise, surprise -- a whole lot of women seem ready to dole out advice to poor Sandra Bullock these days. Granted, I don't know a damn thing about what did or didn't go on in the home of Bullock and her husband Jesse James, and yeah, I'm the first one to blame the hell out of James for what he did; it was reprehensible. But if the roles were reversed and it was discovered that she'd been the one rampaging through the bedrooms of half the city, would people -- women particularly -- have been as quick to come to his defense? And if a man dared to say to Jesse James, "Dude, fuck her -- you don't deserve that," wouldn't that person automatically be tagged as some kind of one-dimensional sexist ass for not digging deep and considering the reasons she might've strayed?
I get the impression that with women, there has to be an excuse -- with men, it's just the way things are, and maybe the male sex bears a lot of responsibility for stupidly perpetuating that ridiculous stereotype.
Now of course Bullock's a celebrity and therefore almost every rubbernecking fuckwit who's parasitically attached him or herself to that community feels like they have a stake in what happens to her -- like it's their God-given right to stick their nose into the whole sordid mess. And maybe it's simply a case of the person who's more famous being the one coddled; if James were the Oscar-winner and his wife had cheated, people might be rushing to his defense. But when it comes to the way men and women react to infidelity, the response we're seeing right now really does seem like a kind of macrocosm of the way a lot of cases like this go.
So again I ask -- why?