R&B guys may know how to croon a love tune, but their actual qualifications to wax poetic about relationships seem a little shaky. Even legendary babymakin’ songsters like Marvin Gaye and Al Green had their fair share of drama when it came to affairs of the heart. Apparently just because you have a top 10 hit about it doesn’t necessarily mean you can be about it.
So when singer Tyrese was on the Wendy Williams Show, he floundered from a bad case of foot-in-mouth after he blurted that, when his daughter is old enough to start dating, he’ll share this pearl of wisdom with her: If her man cheats, it’s not her fault. “Don’t own the cheat,” he said. And that’s good advice.
Alas, that’s where common sense ended. Because he went on to say that it’s expected for men to cheat. Hey, dudes are raised to be skirt-chasing hound dogs. What can you do?, he shrugged. Way to pass on a good, ol’ fashioned cop-out, Tyrese.
Womenfolk are saturated with a lot of hand-me-down social poo-poo from the time we’re in Pampers to the time we’re on somebody’s college campus trying to figure out how we ended up with a roommate who wears hemp sweaters and smokes asparagus stalks. There’s been a constant conditioning through TV shows and song lyrics and movie scenes and even books (no! Not books, too!) that invade our subconscious or just overtly beat us over the head with falsities.
Like guys prefer wimpy damsels in distress to chicks who can do for self.
Women should be sweet and silent and wait for men to approach them instead of being bold and aggressive and making the first move.
Girls should stick to reading and writing and leave all that real tough stuff like math and science to the fellas.
Oh, and that guys should play the field and nail as many chicks as they possibly can, but girls should stay virginal and pure because nobody wants a woman who’s been around the block more times than the ice cream truck.
Shout out to the feminist powers-that-be on the frontlines, choking these archaic, super-duper old-school ideologies to death. But doing that won’t be nearly as effective as it could be if folks like Tyrese are at home teaching their kids that guys are somehow biologically programmed to be unfaithful and, even worse, girls should just accept it as a fact of life and keep their wits about themselves when it inevitably happens.
That kind of thinking is dangerous — it keeps women all bound up in relationships that are unhealthy, unsatisfying, and dismally dysfunctional. It’s setting her up to be OK with a pattern of disaster because she’ll take her boyfriend’s bedhopping behavior on the chin as something he can’t control when really, dudes are born with free will and the ability to reason out their actions just like Mother Nature intended. Ain’t no biological predisposition for men to step out on their women, Tyrese. And boo to you for telling that mess to your baby girl.
For a man to basically groom his daughter to be cheated on is even worse than the malarkey society at large is already shoving down her throat because what our parents teach us — especially what a father imparts to his girl child — leaves way more of a lasting impression than random encounters with sexism in society. So let me join the chorus of voices (including my beloved friend-in-my-head, Wendy Williams herself) roundly scolding Tyrese for saddling his little girl with that crazy thinking right at home. Heck, at the base of it all, there are too, too many diseases floating around here to be giving cheating a casual pass.
Should he set her up to be realistic? Of course. It’s very possible that, somewhere along the line, little Tyrese-ette will become an unfortunate member of the Social Order of Women Who Had the Misfortune of Dating a Dog. It’s a sucky club to belong to, but it’s darn sure got a sprawling membership wide and broad enough that she’ll never find herself alone. What he should be pressing on her instead is that she’s too fly, too fine, too fantastic to ever accept a man giving her less than his best — and that goes for a 100 percent effort to value her enough to keep his man parts in the gate.
So is Tyrese right for teaching his daughter to expect her man to cheat? Is it natural for men to stray?
Image via ianmalcm/Flickr