Does It Always Take Two To Tango?

BY CAT COX

Love Affair – Transcript – Flickr

It is becoming such an everyday occurrence that one may think that it is turning into a trend; celebrity men caught out cheating on their beautiful wives and girlfriends.  And the question on everyone’s minds is ‘Why do they do it?’ It seems incredulous that they could cause such hurt and devastation to their own girlfriend, wife and in most cases, their precious family. But what about the third party? The ‘other woman’, the ‘home wrecker’?  Increasingly there is more of a public backlash directed at the woman rather than the man himself.

The derogatory terms fired towards the lady in question seem to have no parallels where the cheat is concerned, apart from ‘love rat’ which some males could actually take in their stride. When Tiger Woods’ affair was revealed in 2009, he immediately denied it, then later apologised. Naturally, several companies re-evaluated their relationship with Woods; Gilette suspended advertising with him and other companies ended sponsorships. However what is shocking is that some companies stood by him. The likes of Nike and Electronic Arts supported him, which transcends to them almost condoning this behaviour. This paves the way for public forgiveness of the cheating husband; big companies hold big influence. The woman Tiger Woods was having the affair with was Rachel Uchitel. She stood accused of being the ‘catalyst’ that sent Woods’ life downhill; an extremely harsh assessment, after all, it takes two to tango. She has been reviled as little better than a prostitute, and a gold-digging marriage-wrecker. She was ripped to shreds by the media, which also began to attack her image, as if demonising her wasn’t enough already.

Another more recent example is Kristen Stewart caught on camera cheating on long-term boyfriend Robert Pattinson with a married film director. An overwhelming amount of the media coverage focused on how disgraced Kristen should be, rather than the married director who had a lot more to lose; his wife and two children. Stewart’s fans were baying for blood. They couldn’t deal with the fact that she had betrayed Rob and actually sent her death threats via twitter. Yes, what she did was wrong but should she have received death threats? The simple answer is no, no one deserves that.

The misogyny that dominates media representation, influence and public opinion is very apparent here. These women are demonised for making the same mistakes that men also frequently make and yet no one appeared to be calling for Rupert Sanders’ head. The fact that she has to live with breaking Rob’s heart and for it to be in the public eye should be punishment enough. The major reason that the media is lambasting Kristen is because she is a woman, it’s unfair but it’s true. It is much easier for men to earn public forgiveness than women, whether it is their charm or good looks, this crazy public misjudgement must be amended.

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