We don’t pay enough attention to the cuckolds. In the tabloids, it’s all, Justin Cheats on Jessica! or Ashton Left Mila and the Baby for Vegas! On Lifetime Television for Women, you’ll get a whole Saturday of movies with the word “Secret” in the title: Her Husband’s Secret, His Secret Lie, Secrets of the Lying Husband. We watched Michael Douglas, and his weird mouth, slob down Glenn Close who, we all know, later boils a rabbit because, presumably, the sex was so good in that elevator she lost her mind as soon as it hit the ground floor.
Our society has Pavlov-ed us into hearing the word “cheater” and, immediately, thinking of men. It suits us because we’re more comfortable thinking of men as sexual aggressors so aggravated by a need to procreate, more ass all the time is requisite.
But, as I’m sure many men know all too well, women cheat, too.
In the guy-cheats-on-girl paradigm, the girl is the victim. She needs cookie dough and Kleenex and copious amounts of Yeah, girl, she a skank ho. In the girl-cheats-on-guy version, it’s his fault, too. A girl’s got needs. If only he had known what to do with his tongue. He’s less of a man. He’s been cuckolded — the verb, by its very nature, rendering him passive.
Cuckold, n. 1: from the old French cucuault; perhaps an allusion to the parasitic cuckoos that lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.
Essentially, then, the cuckold is not even the cuckoo. Not one of the other birds. Not even the nest. He’s the sad piece of lint the cuckoo saw after someone slapped a rug on a balcony to get the dirt out. The cuckold isn’t enough of a something to be dishonored and shamed. Sad. Just sad.
It’s his fault the female had to lie somewhere else. Did we feel bad for Richard Gere in Unfaithful, when Diane Lane cheated on him with fine-ass Olivier Martinez? No. Did we get behind Gere when he exacted his revenge? No. We felt bad for Diane because she’d never again feel Olivier slide his hand down the back of her jeans in a diner.
And remember, last year, when that clip of a girl who got caught with her side piece at a baseball game made the rounds of the internet? We were all, Yeah, get it girl! without an Aww, what about her man who’s casually watching ESPN, not knowing that he’s about to see her hug up on someone else?
I made a man a cuckold once, and legitimized it by reminding myself he cheated on me first and often. Some days, and it’s been years now, his cheating still stings a bit; but, even at the time when he was all Why? I thought I was the only man you’ve ever been with and will always be with, I didn’t feel a single gust of guilt, not even a passing breeze of Baby, I’m sorry.
So, we women get to spread our wings, our broad chests never burdened by that pesky scarlet A. Is this fair? Is all fair in the battle of the sexes because we’ll probably lose? Nature is strong and it always wins. Nurture’s for pussies.