by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 18 February 2007)
I had a conversation with a male friend recently who commented on the multitude of songs on the charts that talked about women getting revenge on her cheating man.
At the time we were watching Carrie Underwood in her video, “Before He Cheats,” as she thoroughly shredded her boyfriend’s truck out of revenge for his cheating ways. The more intense her revenge, the more the wind blew, windows shattered and streetlights flickered. Truly, hell has no fury like a woman scorned.
This is just one video of the many in mainstream media right now. Beyoncé has a fantastic video by the name of “Irreplaceable,” in which she is tossing her cheating man out for his wicked ways. This video is simply delectable as she sings, “Don’t you ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable.”
I told my friend who commented on this new trend of vengeful songs that for thousands of years women have had to keep their mouths shut as men did whatever they wanted to them. Those days are now long over and women have finally found their voice.
The reason these songs of revenge are at the top of the charts is because women identify with the sentiments of the lyrics. These songs give women the voice they have been denied for centuries. These songs say what every single woman who has ever been unlucky enough to be tied to a cheater has wanted to say.
We could go through all of the pathetic rationales of why a man cheats, but in the end all of those excuses make it seem like we are talking about an animal that has no control over his body rather than a human being. I refuse to stereotype all of manhood into such a small-minded role.
However, my ultimate concern is about those women who fall into tiny little pieces when her man’s attention is swayed to another woman. I have seen plenty of this type of woman too, and my heart breaks every single time I watch a woman lose her mind because her man cannot keep his pants zipped up outside of the house.
The most difficult ones to watch are those who have been married and have children with a cheater. When the light finally comes on for these women, their whole world crumbles as they come to the realisation that their precious family is about to fall apart.
This woman is forced to either turn a blind eye to the cheater’s infidelities – pretending like everything is fine so she can keep her family together - or she has to kick the pathetic fiend out on his keister and hope she can manage the family on her own. Neither path is an easy one.
The promises of love and honour until death ring in her ears like a she is standing two feet from a church bell. On the flip side, if a woman is unfaithful to the man, there are some places even today where she can be killed for the dishonour she brings upon him.
In some countries, there are still genital mutilations to prevent a woman from being sexually aroused, honour killings for women who have affairs (or is raped) and thousands upon thousands of beatings.
Yet everyone turns a blind eye to a cheating husband – after all, he just can’t help himself, right? There is not one woman alive who believes that nonsense. In fact, a cheating man brings immeasurable dishonour upon himself in the sight of all right thinking women.
Recently I spoke with an intelligent and beautiful woman who is but a shell of a person now because she is dealing with a cheater.
She is so depressed that suicide seems like one of the best escapes if it were not for the children involved. I tried to tell her to be strong, but she cannot even think straight right now, much less try to find the strength to consider a whole new future as a single mother.
It would be nice if there were a test to determine if a man is a cheater when he is tested for STDs, then a woman could walk away before her heart is broken and her life shattered.
However, although there is no test yet, there is a new Website for women to get the low down on her man – and to give it too. It is called Don’t Date Him, Girl (www.dontdatehimgirl.com) and any woman can go on this site and tell other women what her man has done to her.
I love to see women start to take their lives back into their own hands. I love to see women band together and take a stand against the ill treatment to which they have had to quietly submit for so long.
The winds are definitely changing in a positive direction for women - finally. It is so exciting to see women finally tell cheating men to hit the road.
Now we just have to deal with those insecure women who willingly subject themselves to the reprehensible position of being “the other woman.” But that is for another column and another day.