Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Monday, 25 April 2016

Why Is No-One Talking About Jay-Z In This Beyonce/Lemonade/Rachel Roy Thing?

Why Is No-One Talking About Jay-Z In This Beyonce/Lemonade/Rachel Roy Thing?

The Debrief: When it comes to cheating, why does the debate only ever centre around the women involved?

Just in case you were really drunk for like, 48 full hours this weekend (no judgement), something pretty drastic happened over at Camp Beyonce.

On Saturday, Beyonce released a short film and an album entitled Lemonade. The film aired on HBO, the album on Tidal (standard), although it's now also available on iTunes.

As fans are wont to do, much analysis was made of the album's lyrics; especially several that seemed to imply that Beyonce had been cheated on. These lyrics were:

'You know I give you life, if you try this shit again you’re gonna lose your wife.'

'You can taste the dishonesty / It's on your breath as you pass it off so cavalier'

'Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks'

And the one that's got everyone talking:

'Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home / Today I regret the night I put that ring on / He always got them fucking excuses. He only want me when I’m not there. He better call Becky with the good hair.'

See, later on, one Rachel Roy, mate to Kim Kardashian, fashion designer and ex-wife of producer (and ex-partner of Jay-Z) Damon Dash, posted a picture of herself and her friend with the caption, 'Good hair don't care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths always. Live in the light #nodramaqueens'.

Fans were quick to react, claiming that this proved Rachel was 'Becky'. While completely unsubstantiated, it's not a totally bonkers conclusion for them to jump to. In the past, sources have alleged that Solange Knowles attacking Jay-Z in the elevator was over Jay-Z's relationship with Rachel.

Last night, Rachel, who's been the subject of a lot of hate from Beyonce fans, tweeted, 'I respect love, marriages, families and strength. What shouldn't be tolerated by anyone, no matter what, is bullying, of any kind.' Obviously, this only garnered a whole lot more hate.

By and large, the main focus has been on the two women in the situation. Jay-Z's part in this modern day Greek tragedy has come under very little debate; something so earth shatteringly predictable that it seems stupid even getting upset about it.

TBH, who knows whether Jay-Z cheated on Beyonce. We don't know these people and we'll never know the inner workings of their lives. Perhaps the whole thing is some publicity stunt, Rachel, Beyonce and Jay might be together now drinking Dom Perignon on Beyonce's balcony laughing at our stupidity and watchng the millions for Lemonade roll in.

However what does matter in the situation though is the pitting of women against women. Comments under Rachel's aforementioned tweet ranged from the Rachel Roy slut shaming 'Wear your scarlet letter thotchel' and 'That whore knew they were married' to the Beyonce victim blaming, 'Jay Z just verified that @Beyonce ain't all that and can't satisfy a man for long.'

If the situation as the fans percieve it did take place, then there are the two guilty parties involved. Yet we're so quick to blame the single woman who slept with a married man, we forget that it's the married man who betrayed his family's trust. Time and again though, we're so quick to place the blame at the wrong door. 

When Monica Lewinsky was accused of having an affair with Bill Clinton, the debate raged not around the actions of the 50-year-old married father-of-one who also happened to be the leader of the United States, but rather on the 22-year-old intern who was referred to, amongst so much other stuff as 'a ditsy, predatory White House intern who might have lied under oath for a job at Revlon' - that one came from a female columnist for the New York Times BTW.

On the other side of the debate was Hilary Clinton's failing as a wife. Even now, over twenty years later, presidential candidate Hilary can't post on Instagram without recieving at least one derogatory comment about the scandal like, '#MonicaLewinsky2016. She got the "job" done when Hillary couldn't.'

For whatever reason, we give men a free pass when it comes to matters of cheating. In place of blaming men, we create tropes like 'the other woman' and the 'predatory femme fatale' to shoulder the blame, wildly unfair when considered that that cheating is something that takes two willing parties. In English, we refer to a woman in an affair disparagingly as a 'mistress' while male cheaters get the somewhat whimsical term 'lover'.

Why do we always blame the woman in situations like this? For starters, sleeping with another's woman's husband is seen as an affront to the 'sisterhood' - a problematic concept in itself. We started the sisterhood as united front against male oppression. Men can't break it, but women can, meaning that it's a concept which again shifts the blame away from men and puts the onus for equality on the shoulders of women.

Secondly, it's because over time, we've come to expect sexual indisrections from certain men. When extramarital affairs website Ashley Madison had it's confidential data breached, it was estimated that some 70% of the users were male.  Its why men are encouraged to be sexual and are rewarded with comments like 'lad' and 'player' whilst sexual women are called 'whore' and 'thot'.

The way we talk about infidelity needs to change, and fast. With online dating, the findings that 42% of marriages in this country end in divorce and a more relaxed attitude to sex, cheating is sure to rise. To move forward then, we need to remember to examine the culpability of both involved parties, if only to save the trope of 'the other woman' from becoming more firmly cemented into our daily rhetoric.

Like this? Then you  might also be interested in:

Everyone's Freaking Out About Beyonce's Ridiculously Attractive Cousin

Amazing SNL Sketch 'The Day Beyoncé Turned Black,' Parodies White People's Reaction To Beyoncé's 'Formation'

Anti-Beyonce Rally Planned In New York Because '#BlueLivesMatter'

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons



Tags: Beyonce, Music