InsecureHBO and The Double Standard of Infidelity

Lawrence and Issa

The authenticity of HBO’s Insecure discusses:

  • the Black female friendship, which is missing in television, so it’s likely to believe it’s non-existent in real life
  • the dissolving romantic relationship
  • male sexual-fluidity
  • and cheating girlfriends, which people also believe to be non-existent in real life

It’s been 2 weeks since the season finale but it spoke to me personally. Although I never did any physical cheating, I’ve been emotionally detached from a boyfriend or two for the same reasons as Issa. I was in a four-year relationship and held on to this person because of our history, the friendship, the comfort zone. This person knew and accepted my flaws and I didn’t want to start over. Of course I loved him but that’s not always enough when years go by. I started to think about the expectations I had and could have been missing out on with other people. How come that is okay for men but not for women?

“Blah blah …that’s why y’all get cheated on!!” — Men

Like we were put on Earth to be for their service and happiness. What’s crazy is, women tend to ignore their own. What’s crazier is, there is a stigma with being a single Black woman. If you are a single Black woman, men in general don’t care why. Men don’t think, “Oh, she’s waiting for the right person”. Majority typically use this to insult women as being worthless. And what’s crazier than THAT is, a lot of women are desperate to not to be in this category, even if that means dating actual worthless men.

On Insecure, men saw Lawrence as an unemployed couch potato who jagged off his woman’s birthday plans because he failed his job interview, and they heard Issa say he was no longer putting it down in the bedroom. But once he got cheated on, these same men had the nerve to applaud his rebound fling with Tasha who clearly was throwing herself at him from the start, even knowing he had a girlfriend. That is not a win. “She accepted him”, some of them said, forgetting all the shit Issa accepted. This proves a lot of men desire these mother-figures in their women; their women should stay loyal, be supportive and nurture them through the good and bad of their lives, while being laxed on what they should be providing as a grown man in a serious relationship. Maybe they rooted for him so hard, because many of them are “Lawrences” themselves. It’s an epidemic of fuck boy shit in this society and we allow it.

Infidelity is not a man-thing. My old coworker has been married to his wife for a very long time, but he had no hesitation to share with us his past behavior with various women. During a conversation about my ex and my notion of him being faithful, he interjects with, “You don’t know what he did”, like he may not have been during the course of it. Perhaps, but that’s a false assumption and quite misogynistic for him to think every man cheats on their partner, because he did on his. Like, do some men believe attracting another woman while with one is an accolade or something? Is the idea of cheating used against women to put us down? But then when I jokingly throw out the possibility of his wife perhaps having a confidant on the side, then I’m speaking in foreign language to him, but, “you don’t know what she did” though.

Issa & Daniel

The reasons women cheat or emotionally detach themselves:

Lack of attention + boredom — We are emotional, duh. Women don’t find just anyone off the street to talk to. Just like it’s gradual to leave, it’s gradual to cheat. When women are unhappy in relationships we become more intimate with men we already knew: the male friends we put in the friendzone, coworkers, and the “Daniels” from high school who made us feel special when we wanted it.

Revenge — Because the cheated hasn’t process their pain properly. I had a friend do some revenge cheating. The reasonable thing to do would be to forgive or leave. As sad as it was to watch Lawrence just take his things and leave the Best Buy shirt behind, I was kinda for it. Cheating was a deal breaker and he left.

Outgrowth + Boredom — Four years is a long time. We are not the same people after four years. We shouldn’t be. When I started dating my ex, I was working in the food service industry and looking to get into a professional environment. I re-enrolled in school. In addition, I had a child so there was already a lifestyle difference. I also had creative aspirations which I at least wanted to try to get off the ground. It’s difficult to achieve everything while holding on to someone who doesn’t have the same ambition. Women are go-getters. We will get a different job for better pay since we primarily care for our children. We are quicker to go back to school. With men, usually if it’s no threat to their comfort, they aren’t quick to change their situation. Today, I’m in corporate and still thinking about future opportunities. A man who isn’t on the same level mentally isn’t going to help an ambitious woman. This is why women choose to date up. Men should stop acting like it’s wrong for a woman to have standards. Coincidentally I left the relationship once I got that professional job.

Physical Attraction (or lack of rather)— What one views as attractive is subjective, but everyone wants someone they are attracted to. Women don’t like when men fall off either. Being careless when it comes to your presentation is not what’s in. I feel if I kept myself up while being single, I should keep myself up for a boyfriend. You are what you attract and who wants a sloppy reflection? And a lack of physical attraction affects libido, it did mine.

Bad Sex — Women don’t say anything because we love the men we are with. Women have needs and enjoy sex just as much as men. We don’t want to hurt feelings either, so there are men who are walking around getting by and don’t know what to do with their penises. Both partners have a role to play in the bedroom but in my opinion, if a woman is a “lazy lay”, it’s something about that man or their connection that isn’t making her as comfortable with him as she could be.

Add these scenarios with runner-ups such as, finances (girl, he broke!), being drunk, female sexual fluidity, etc. who knows… This may be why female infidelity is so hurtful to men because it’s various reasons as to why it happens. We aren’t necessarily looking for an ego booster. Art imitates life. Men became emotionally invested in this television relationship because they saw themselves, their girlfriends, and their actual situations. They finally saw the result of when you don’t get your shit together.