In the wake of the Angelina and Brad Pitt split and the backlash that Angelina has received for it - namely the rehashing of the affair that happened 12 years ago, which has forever branded her a home wrecker - I thought I would investigate why, time and time again, women are always blamed for affairs.
Having been both a woman that has been cheated on and ' the other woman', as well as witnessing several of my friends in similar situations, it has always frustrated me that regardless of the situation, a woman is always blamed for leading a man astray.
Granted, there may be times a woman has genuinely gone out of her way to pursue a man, but I'm sure if there were statistics on this, they would be few and far between. What women either fail to realise or just blatantly ignore, is that the men are the ones in the relationship, not the woman. The women haven't cheated, lied or broken vows, the men have.
So why, does the woman always come out worse?
- It's easier to blame the woman - if you don't know her, it's easier to call her all the names under the sun and not feel any guilt. If you do know her you feel even more justification for doing so - a friend should know better. It's easier to blame someone that you have less emotional attachment to, than the person you have committed yourself to.
- You want to believe your partner - having been the woman in the affair, I have heard the ridiculous lies men spout in a desperate attempt to keep the woman they love. Of course, if a woman hears that the man had no choice, he was seduced - then he can walk away as a victim. Often the other woman isn't given the time of day to explain her side of the story and so it stays that way.
- The 'girl code' has been broken - by which I mean the unwritten rule of never chasing someone who is taken, or with someone you know. Regardless of whether you know the other woman or not, if she breaks the girl code, she is obviously not trustworthy and therefore all the blame can be placed on her.
- The alternative is too painful - and perhaps embarrassing. It can happen at any point during your relationship, when you are just dating, have moved in together, or are even married. To think that your partner could behave in such a dishonest way to you can be too much to bear, and so it's easier to lay the blame on the woman.
All too frequently, women are barrelling against each other, in a bid to fight over one's 'property.' By doing so we are not only encouraging the stereotype we, as women, should be challenging - that of women being objectified as using their sexuality to further themselves in life. We are also allowing the men to slip away blame free, when in reality, they are the ones in a relationship, and ultimately, some of the blame should lie with them. At the end of the day, if a man is truly happy and committed in a relationship, no matter what a woman does to try and seduce him, she won't succeed.
Perhaps we should start giving the other woman a chance. If we can move towards having a more open mindset in these situations, we may realise that perhaps this woman has helped us acknowledge that our relationship wasn't right all along.