When Tammy Wynette recorded ‘Stand By Your Man’ in 1968, the country crooner was catapulted to superstardom. But her icon status certainly didn’t extend to the feminist world; the song was widely condemned for advocating the idea that women should be subservient to men and tolerate their bad behaviour.
Forty-five years of feminism later, the lyrics seem more outdated than ever – and yet the concept of standing by a cheating man is still by no means unusual.
So is it not possible to be a forward-thinking, modern-day feminist and give your man a second chance? Is forgiving a cheating partner necessarily a sign of weakness? And until you have experienced infidelity first-hand do you really know how you would react?
Hilary Clinton ironically slammed Wynette’s contentious philosophy in 1992, during her husband’s first campaign for presidency. She told '60 Minutes' in an interview that she wasn’t “some little woman 'standing by my man' like Tammy Wynette."
Yet five years later, she did exactly what the song suggested, and stood by her man when he had not only cheated on her with his 22-year-old Whitehouse intern, he also lied to her about the affair for months.
When faced with the question, ‘Will you stand by your man?’ as opposed to ‘Would you stand by your man?’ the answer was quite different.
Of course, there are plenty of women who operate a zero-tolerance policy on infidelity. Courteney Cox and Halle Berry gave short shrift to their self-proclaimed “sex addict” husbands, David Arquette and Eric Bené. While other more forgiving souls, such as Sienna Miller, Yvonne Keating and Cheryl Cole, found that the demons of the past were too much for them to overcome, despite their best efforts.
But the women below have weathered the storm and chosen to stand by their men despite their behaviour. Do you think they have done the right thing?