Much can be taken away from last night season’s finale of Love & Hip Hop—per usual. But what stood out the most for me beyond the usual foul language from glossed-up mouths and cattiness, I saw a group of women who opened up about their fears. From a pregnant Kimbella Vanderhee’s fear of not having the stability she desires with a now-locked-up Juelz Santana to Olivia Longott apprehensiveness of not being taken seriously in the music industry. Yet the most compelling and alarming displayed fear came from Chrissy Lampkin who all but said that her fiancÃ© Jim Jones could cheat as long as he cheated respectfully. Really?
“Unfortunately, this rap world is crazy. Girls will give you their body before they give up their name. A man is gonna do what he’s gonna do, but he needs to be smart enough and loyal enough for you to never see it or feel it.”
“I’m not accepting and I’m not blind. I’m just realistic. I know that things happen. But you better not ever let me find out. Ever, ever, ever, ever.”
There’s a respectful way to cheat? But doesn’t cheating while in a monogamous relationship denote disrespect? When we begin to rearrange definitions (hence respect) to align with cowardice, then there’s a real problem. She’s giving her man permission. Chrissy you’re-going-to-respect-me Lampkins holds certain standards to the other women on the show (remember that stiff kick she gave Yandy Smith because she thought Yandy was being disrespectful?), but not the man she plans to stand before God with? And while I don’t condone violence, I’m conveying how Chrissy feels when disrespected. Well, unless you’re her man cheating in hiding.
Chrissy isn’t the first woman to give such advice to Emily Bustamante. So, what gives? Do women expect powerful men to cheat because there are women who are willing to do whatever, whenever? Well, apparently some women do, but what has brought forth this warped thinking?
There has been this longstanding old time way of thinking that men are expected to cheat because they are, well a man. And let’s not throw money and power into the mix; it’s an open bar for him to do whatever. Wait, I forget, for some, as long as he’s respectful.
“At one time my ex-wife Shaunie and I were happy, but I admit it— I was a guy. I was a guy with too many options. Choosing to be with some of those women, well, that’s on me. In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully, but obviously I shouldn’t have done it all…”said Shaquille O’Neal about repeatedly cheating on his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal.
While I do think men and women are different, there isn’t a set of terms for men and a varied set for women. Respect has the same meaning across the board. This warped thinking comes from some women who don’t want to do away with the time, the dedication, and tears they have put into their relationship. I get it. I can respect a woman who doesn’t want to walk away from a relationship because she doesn’t want to fail at her relationship. It’s hard work having to start over again—getting used to a person’s habits and having to dissect his character. It’s life. Love comes easier for some than others. I don’t know why, it just does. However, if a woman wishes to forgive her unfaithful partner, then she is within her right to do so. Still, she has to be honest with herself and the dynamics of their relationship to know when to walk away. But giving a man free range to cheat because of his position and power is the most cowardice advice a woman can give and abide by. And these women create the safe haven for the “loose” women they wish to protect their relationships from. These two groups of women essentially feed the lives they both harbor.
How do you define love, loyalty and respect in a relationship?
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