Saturday, March 22, 2008

Men of Power, Women of Patience

A friend of mine based his senior thesis paper on the inability for men (of any position) to be monogamous, since we are in fact the only species that practice monogamy. In his opinion, men of success, since they attract an overwhelming amount of attention from females because of their status, are being extremely idealistic, and even unreasonable in attempting monogamous relationships.

The notion is something that has surfaced in light of the accused and admitted infidelity of a number of men in a variety of successful positions. I wonder if all men of power have had to make a choice of whether or not to cheat. I also wonder how many of them still live with the secret of their choices, since all but one of the most recent men have been ousted, as opposed to confessing.

What is the most interesting in these situations are the female members of these relationships, their ability to stay with the men that have publicly humiliated them, their patience, and their willingness to forgive. Any time I think of being cheated on my mind runs to the scene in the movie Waiting to Exhale when Angela Bassett burns the clothes and car of her successful husband. I’m beginning to realize, however, that maybe those reactions are only of Hollywood, and not the reality in which we exist. The reality is that most women that date successful men who may be unfaithful stay in the relationships. In a recent article by Ruth Houston, the following reasons are given as to why women stay in unfaithful relationships:
• Love
• Convenience
• Financial reasons
• Not willing to give up lifestyle
• Insufficient proof of infidelity
• For the sake of the children
• Fear of change
• Low self esteem
• Bad timing
• Thinking the cheater will change
• To achieve career goals
• Hoping counseling will help
• Fear of being alone
• Loyalty
• Religious beliefs
• Desire to keep the family intact
• Belief that it won't happen again

The following is a list of men of power who have fallen to infidelity, and the women of extreme patience who continue to stand by their side. Is it worth it?

In November of 1991, Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced to the world that he was HIV positive and was retiring from professional basketball. After almost 17 years of admitting the infidelity that led to him contracting the disease, Cookie Johnson stays by his side.

After winning the Academy Award, Halle Berry was envied by women all over the world. She was beautiful, successful, and in a happy relationship. It wasn't until after her divorce to Eric Bennett that it was confirmed that he was unfaithful, and that Halle stayed by his side even after realizing the fact.

Kobe Bryant was a spiritual, talented, and intelligent basketball player that no one assumed to follow the unfaithful culture of most professional athletes. After being accused of rape when he cheated on his wife with a hotel worker, the case was one of the most famous scandals of our time. He publicly apologized, crying, with his beautiful wife by his side. The two remain together.

Bill Clinton was the man in the 90s. Unemployment and gas prices were down and the economy was booming. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal surfaced, it cost Clinton his position. It didn't, however, cost him his wife. Hillary Clinton not only stayed with him, but the husband and wife team are now aggressively fighting together for a democratic nomination for Hillary in the 2008 presidential races.

Music video "actress" Karrine Stephans ousted dozens of public figures in her 2001 tell-all, Confessions of a Video Vixen. Among those included on her long list of affairs was Shaquille O'Neal, while he was reportedly in a relationship. Later on, when the Kobe Bryant scandal occurred, Bryant mentioned O'Neal as an athlete that was doing exactly what he did (cheating), a statement that supposedly ended the friendship. While repeatedly accused, O'Neal's wife stayed by his side. In late 2007, Shaunie Nelson O'Neal finally filed papers for a divorce from the basketball star.

When Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was first accused of infidelity, he denied it under oath. When text messages were revealed proving his unfaithfulness with Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, he then made a public apology to the people of Detroit and to his family and wife. Last week, the Detroit City Council passed a resolution asking Kilpatrick to resign as mayor. His wife remains with him.

Before a whistle was blown on New York Governor David Paterson, he admitted this week to adultery with multiple women while he served on the NYS Senate. He proclaimed that his infidelity had been years before and that he is now in a happy and committed relationship. His wife, Michelle Paige Paterson, stood by him as he confessed his past to reporters. One of his former mistresses continues to work for him.

-Wayetu Moore


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