This instruction for this week’s Theme Thursday was to write about something controversial.
I should preface this piece by saying that I don’t really know much about Kristen Stewart. I know so very little about her that I actually had to google her just now to double check she is in fact KRIsten Stewart and not KIRsten Stewart. True story there, and no, that’s not the controversial part.
I read the Twilight books years ago, when they first came out, and I loved them. No, that’s not the controversial part either! I enjoyed the first one more so than the rest, but isn’t that always the way? I devoured it in two sittings and immediately went back for more. I’d had absolutely no preconceptions about the book, no one had recommended it, and I knew very little about it, other than that it was about vampires. So I was pleasantly surprised, and it was just what I was looking for at the time, something easy to read with a bit of escapism thrown in. I have never seen any of the Twilight films, because I don’t do watching films of books I’ve enjoyed.
I also don’t live in a cave though so I am aware that Kristen Stewart is an actress who is famous for playing Bella who also had (has?) an off-screen relationship with Robert Pattinson, who played Edward. That’s pretty much where my awareness of her would have ended but then she had an affair with Rupert Sanders, a married man with children. And suddenly people had all kinds of opinions they wanted to share with me, and I was seeing magazines everywhere with her face and his face, and his wife’s face, and Robert Pattinson’s face, and then some outsider’s view on what had happened, and what might happen next and who was right and who was wrong.I read a few of the articles and I listened to what people had to say, all the while thinking “What.The.Fuck?!”
I want you to know that I do not think it’s ok to have an affair. I don’t think it’s ok to kiss someone when you’re in a relationship with someone else, regardless of whether the paparazzi may or may not snap you. Unless you have an open relationship, and you know your partner will be cool with it, but in that case, it wouldn’t be an affair would it?! I don’t think it’s ok to sleep with someone, when you’re in a relationship with someone else. I don’t think it’s generally a good idea to have affairs with married men or women, and I think it’s really unfortunate when there are children involved too. Do you know what else I think? I think no one really knows what goes on in ANY relationship apart from the two people in that relationship. And do you know what else I think? I think that it takes two to Tango. And indeed, to have an affair.
A couple of articles I read made a vague, almost disinterested nod to Rupert Sanders involvement, how he was full of regret for hurting his wife and children, and hoping to repair the damage to his marriage. But for the most part it was about her. Kristen Stewart. The other woman, the homewrecker, the evil troll breaking the heart of one of the biggest teen heartthrobs in recent history. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to see Rupert Sanders dragged over hot coals. In fact, I’d have been happy knowing nothing about any of it quite frankly, but since I apparently had no choice in that matter, I would have at least liked to see some balance.
Something like: “a man and a woman who were romantically involved with other people, had sex with each other. This story is as old as time itself. It’s extremely sad for everyone involved. Both individuals are presumably equally at fault and (it would appear) very remorseful and keen to apologise. It’s really none of our business.”
I don’t think Kristen Stewart needs me to defend her. I’m sure (I hope) she had support from family and friends, who maybe said things like “Oh my god, are you okay? What’s going on? Do you love this guy? He’s a married man, with children…you might have lost your relationship over this, and damaged your reputation as an actress too. But you’re only human. We’ll be here for you when the media rip you to shreds. We’ll support you whatever you decide. We love you” or whatever. The kind of things I’d say to a friend, or sister in a similar situation. The kind of things I’d want someone to say to me under those circumstances.Of course, we, the general public, are not her friends, apparently we’re judge, jury and executioner of her private life and problems. But “Ah-ha!”, I hear you cry, “when she put herself in the public eye, she lost that right to privacy!”
Did she?! Yes she put herself out there for judgement- as an actress. So we get to judge her, as an actress. If she was an ambassador for fidelity maybe we should be suggesting her resignation. But she isn’t. She’s an actress. A 22 year old girl (she’s the same age as my little sister ffs!) She’s a human being. A fact that some of the people ripping her to shreds in the media and online seem to have forgotten.
The more people around me voiced their opinions on the matter, the more I began to see it as almost an issue of equality…
Men who have affairs, they’re philanderers, they get a slapped wrist, a cursory mention in the article, and are expected to hang their head in shame and keep in in their pants (for a while at least), but in a way, it’s almost like we expect it of them. And that’s actually really sad in itself, and probably an entire other post, hell book, would be needed to cover it. Women who have affairs on the other hand, they’re evil. The very root of all that is wrong with the world. Tempting a wholesome man away from his wife and children with their wiley ways and breaking men’s hearts. Is there no end to their wickedness?!
Erm. The last I checked it was March 2013, not Genesis 3.
Have we really not progressed beyond the idea of women as temptresses, who must be faithful and pure and held to higher standards than men?
I don’t condone people having affairs, although ultimately, outside of my own relationship, who does what with who is not really any of my concern. I don’t have any strong feelings, or indeed, feelings at all about any of the people who were involved in this particular ‘public event’, since that’s what it became. I don’t underestimate the consequences of an affair on everyone involved. But I also don’t think that we, as outsiders get to decide who are the “goodies” and “baddies”(to borrow my 3 year olds terminology there) in these very private, very personal (no matter how public) battles. Particularly when society appears to always demonise the cheating female regardless.
That was me, being deliberately controversial on my blog for the first time ever. Want more controversy?! Click the squiggly button! You know you want to 😉