There’s no civil war around the pain of infidelity. When your partner is dishonest and steps outside the relationship, the hurt is real whether you’re a woman or man. It’s the public’s reaction that often tells the tale of a gender double standard.

In the span of two weeks, two celebrities faced their sins of infidelity under the glare of the public eye. Nas, who opened up about the demise of his marriage on his now #1 album, Life is Good, told VH1 his one regret was cheating on his wife:

 

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He experienced an outpouring of support for admitting his infidelity, which had long been rumored. People went as far to say that Kelis should forgive him and welcome him back with open arms as he’s clearly still in love with her. And he only had one transgression.

Kristen Stewart made the front page of Us Weekly for cheating on her boyfriend Rob Pattinson with her married Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. She released this apology shortly after the news hit:

I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.

The resulting onslaught was immediate. Kristen’s character and her love for her boyfriend were all called into question by the public, which generally decided she didn’t deserve a second chance with him.

Their cases are different. Stewart cheated on boyfriend Pattinson with a married man; Nas was married to Kelis. And the way they were regarded by the public before their transgressions has an impact on people’s reactions.

But too often, it happens that a cheating man is seen as a good person who made a mistake and is given a pass. And just as frequently, a cheating woman is judged harshly and dismissed as a bad person beyond redemption.

Do you think there’s a double standard? If so, how do you account for it?

–Jaclyn Marshall

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  • Paul

    Nope

    There is no sexual double standard when it comes to the different way male promiscuity is treated to female promiscuity.

    For example – no one is impressed by a woman who rates herself a top beauty by the number of men she sleep with, any more than they’d be impressed by man a who measured his strength/fighting prowess by the number of women he beat up.

    Why not?

    because in both cases there is a biological advantage – it’s easy for just about any woman to get just about any man to sleep with her due to men’s mostly indiscriminate sexuality.

    It’s easy for just about any man to overpower just about any woman because men tend to be bigger and stronger than women.

    That’s why we get more upset about male on female violence than vice versa, and we don’t call THAT a double standard.

    A woman who sleeps around while in a relationship is not only betraying her SO she is also exploiting her sexual advantage. She deserves to be called out as harshly as a man who beats his wife because like the wife beater, she is asserting herself in ways her SO cannot match.

    Simple.

  • Razt

    feminazis are something else really. in the case of kirsten stewart she didn’t apologize to the guy she just release a letter “to whom it may concern” and you think this is an apology? THERE IS NO double standard here, if she would have done things differently this wouldn’t be such a big deal.

  • Lamar

    There was no public support for Sanders AND HE CHEATED. (Nas has own subsection of fans who live in their own world). Google “cheating Double Standard” and you get this
    http://antifeministsite.blogspot.com/2011/03/cheating-double-standard.html
    which I think is more accurate than what you wrote. What about those women’s websites that list the names of cheating men BUT NOT CHEATING WOMEN. And why is there always and excuse when a woman cheats? its never her fault. Instead the guy “made” her cheat. But when a man cheats – its always his fault.
    Is there a cheating double standard? U bet – its a female double standard

  • missdouble

    Just the opposite now. Tiger Woods was lambasted for cheating and he lost endorsements. Heidi Klum cheated on Seal with little fuss.