I keep trying to tell people that I am capable of admitting when I’m wrong. Here’s me doing that. After having listened to Beyonce’s Lemonade about 3 more times, and having watched it at least 2 more times, I think I have to admit there is some benefit to it.
Do I think it is, as one author put it, a “masterpiece?”
No. For one thing, I still can’t get past how in “Don’t Hurt Yourself” she has that line that says “Who the f*ck do you think I is?”
But I can agree that it is opening the door to a really important discussion: Men’s infidelity.
I have always believed in the idea of negotiated infidelity. I am a person who doubts the possibility of some people to be monogamous, particularly in this day and age of instant gratification. I’ve seen too many relationships fail because a wandering eye turned into wandering hands… or some other appendage. Too many married men have hit on me and told me that I deserve to be loved by someone who will treat me right, while they themselves are trying to cheat on their spouses.
I don’t know if I believe any man is capable of monogamy!
Obviously there are some women who aren’t capable of it either, though you hear about it less often. I don’t know if that’s because women are sneakier, or if we’re more inclined to be monogamous.
I know that for me personally, I don’t really like splitting my attention between more than one lover at a time. It’s difficult, and I’m too honest. I end up telling them about each other, and sometimes that doesn’t go over so well.
Either way, what I have noticed for sure is that there is this idea that women should take their cheating scumbag lover back. That very message was one of the reasons I didn’t particularly think the #Lemonade video/album was as amazing and wonderful as the rest of the world seems to think it is.
But, like I said, after a second (and third, fourth, and fifth) chance, I do see how it could be a useful tool to start a very necessary discussion! I also saw an article where a woman was explaining how she used the video to have an important discussion with her husband. So it was helpful for exactly that purpose.
In the article, she talks about how her first husband cheated on her, but she knows her second husband won’t. She knows he won’t because he learned his lesson when the woman he was cheating with tried to kill him. Not figuratively, but literally tried to shoot him in a strange murder-suicide situation! That “straightened him out…”
Which brings me to the point: Why are men so likely to cheat? And why are women so likely to accept that as just the normal way of things?
I know that historically there have been places whose soul purpose was to give men a place to have a little no strings attached fun. Those places still exist, and women on street corners still make money. Prostitution is the oldest profession, as they say. I’m not so naive to believe that it’s ever going to go away, either.
But the thing is, I don’t think it’s just about the sex anymore.
The Bartender told me a couple of times that I made him unbelievably happy because of how freely he could talk to me. I also seem to remember seeing on a show about prostitution that there are some whore houses that offer the girlfriend treatment as part of their services. And the woman who coined the term (to the best of my knowledge anyway) “negotiated infidelity” talks about how the men she would take on as her sugardaddies would pay for the girlfriend experience: the conversation and home cooked meals and dates to things they enjoyed.
They want to be able to talk and feel no stress. They want something that lacks responsibilities, but still gives them the interaction they had early on in their marriage, or more likely even before that; they want the interaction they had while dating!
They want the fun, the intrigue, the getting to know one another. They want the sex, and the closeness, and the intimacy.
But then they want to be able to walk away and not have any of the emotional attachment.
I’ve yet to meet a woman who could have the intimacy without the emotional attachment.
That includes myself.
The physical act? I can separate that from my feelings, but where the Bartender went wrong (since it is more than obvious that he never wanted anything serious) was that he forced me to have the intimacy. He wanted to snuggle, and would tell me that what we had was more than just the physical. Even told me that he enjoyed the just talking more than the other.
It gave the illusion of something more than what he said he wanted. It made him look like he was unsure of what he wanted. Of course, now I’m sure all of that was a lie, but he did give me a fantasy version of exactly the type of relationship I’ve always wanted.
Which is why, for a while, I was sure that if he came around, I’d have taken him back. And even though the fight was really really bad, and I did do something that I’m not 100%proud of, I was still a little bit convinced he might. If there had ever been any truth to the love he said he felt, I believe he would have.
See, that emotional attachment is so important for us women. I would hope it was important for the men as well, but the frequency with which they disrespect that connection makes me doubt it.
So, thank you Beyonce, for bringing this issue to light. How do we get men to understand that cheating is unacceptable? Do we move in the direction of polyamory? Do we just accept that men are going to cheat, so we should make it open for them to do so?
Is it the woman’s responsibility (like it was claimed to be in the old days) to make sure her husband is happy enough not to want to cheat? I really hope that’s not the case, because I’m not doing it!
You would think in this day and age, where women are fighting so hard to be equals in the workforce that we wouldn’t still be seen as the ones responsible for maintaining the balance and happiness of a marriage. Seems we’re going backwards. Somehow, even though it’s understood that women enjoy sex as well, it’s still the wifely duty to do what’s necessary to keep her husband from straying.
In that regards, it’s kind of like the conversation about rape: why does what the victim was wearing matter at all? Instead of teaching our girls to worry about what they’re wearing, why don’t we teach boys not to rape? Similarly, instead of teaching women that they have to keep their man happy and accept that he strays because we didn’t do our job, teach men to value monogamous relationships as much as women…
Don’t know if it will ever happen, but I kind of wish that it would. I’d really like to believe that one day I can meet a man who will love me for me, and won’t toss me aside for someone else. I am ready to settle down and have my children. But I don’t want to raise them on my own.
And I don’t want to be alone forever, though it’s starting to feel like that’s what’s going to happen.
It’s just frustrating! I can’t imagine a man who actually seriously dated me having time to go out and “smash” with someone else, because I have the libido of a teenage boy… There’s no need to go elsewhere! But, I’ve yet to find one who’ll stick around long enough for me to test this theory…