I sat, listening with incredulity as the ladies chatted animatedly. Each cutting the other short with quick interjections, obviously in a bid to offer a superior explanation on a position they all agreed on. That all men cheat. Regardless of social class, education or religious inclination, a man would still feel the need to explore, sample, taste or any other verb you prefer. But what worried me the most was not the superfluous examples each person gave to buttress her point, but the quiet acceptance, the silent but deafening defeat that had thundered through time, passed on from one generation to another, like a life defining legacy.
It has been years since that incident occurred but our relational conversations still trickle down the route of that narrative, validating the male specie and giving them a reason to celebrate their testosterone induced crotchet. Consider this ‘typical’ scenario for instance. Boy meets girl. They fall in love, get married, have two cute kids. Five years later, his biological innate DNA kicks in, conveniently with an ex or a co-worker and the inevitable happens. Wife finds out, husband begs forgiveness. And all is forgotten; not because the wife is so charitable but because social rationalization expects her to forgive a man who is bound to cheat. Think about it, it hardly seems fair to condemn a man for doing what we claim he was born to do, right?
I read a story about a lady who had enough of her philandering husband and ran to her father’s house. In the words of her mother ‘he has done what every man is wont to”. This narrative that has defined infidelity as a brave act of manhood rather than the cheap, distasteful weakness of spoilt boys it is, has taken substance because of the endorsement it receives from those who should vehemently discredit it.
Let me quickly mention that this article is not against men. It is against the assertion that men are wired to cheat. Or rather, that men are biologically incapacitated from having monogamous relationships. Women cheat also, on an alarming scale I must mention, but nature does not validate them, and when she does, society calls her a whore.
Now that said, there are men who are in fulfilling monogamous relationships. Who would die first before they embrace the concept of unfaithfulness. Men driven by conviction, faith or self principle. They are a rarity but I know quite a number. But you see, this group of people are also victims of this stereotype. They are constantly reminded that they are the exception and thus have to live with a burden, a sense of loss, or of not being completely ‘African’. Whatever that means.
I know a lady who called a man ‘weak’ because he was in a happy relationship and turned down her sexual advances. On another hand, some of these men who do not cheat, shove it down their spouses’ throats with arrogant claims of superior virtue. Believe it or not, you actually hear statements like;
You are lucky to have married a man like me.
If not for my faith, I will go after the countless women I am exposed to.
Can’t you see these babes chasing me about?
The result is usually an emotional blackmail of the most condescending nature. Thus, a woman is unconsciously in a fight to keep her man whether or not he has a promiscuous history. He may have declared undying love and passion for her, but he remains helpless to the whims of his biological mix up. Invariably, there is a woman out there who has just enough bosom to stir up his errant urges. So she puts on her fighting gloves and jumps into the boxing ring. Her blows and strikes are diets, anti aging creams, prayers . . . anything to keep out the devouring vultures clawing away at her man.
It really is quite unnecessary. And the way to put an end to this psychological drama is to change the narrative. We need to tell another story; one which is more authentic than inconclusive, lopsided biological theories.
This is my perspective. Dear man hiding behind half baked social theories, if indeed nature has twisted your arm and forcefully thrust you into lust with the female species, why don’t you get to the market and snatch the first woman, dragging her down the street for a sexual expedition? Because it’s illegal and every blood stirring cell in your body knows it too. Imagine a rape case where the perpetrator claimed ‘biological wiring for sex’ as a defense. Ha!
When you meet a lady you’re attracted to, and you conveniently hide your wedding band, flirt and woo with flowers and eventually go for the kill, it is not because you are wired to do so. It is because you know you will get away with it. Society will excuse you and your woman will forgive you!
The views expressed are entirely those of the author.
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