Stop telling women that it’s normal for their husbands to cheat

This reeks of double standards

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One of the most dated and sexist pieces of marriage advice (apart from making it your job to pleasure your man whenever he asks for it) is to let your husband fool around with other people so you can stay together, even if it’s not an open marriage. On Ogie Diaz’s July 7 vlog, Robin Padilla revealed that was what he told his daughter Kylie Padilla when he found out about her separation with Aljur Abrenica.

Apart from announcing the split before the actress confirmed the news and asked for the public’s respect, Robin Padilla alleged that the break up was due to a third party.

“Hindi naman imposible ‘yan. Eh, lalaki ‘yan,” he said. “Hindi ‘yan pwedeng hindi mangyari. Kalokohan ang hindi mangyari [ang pagkakaroon ng third party] lalo at nasa showbiz tayo.”

While Padilla stated in the interview that he didn’t want to meddle because of his “failed” relationship with her mom, he opened up about how he tried to comfort his daughter. 

“Pagdating sa marriage, ano ba ma-a-advise ko? Failure din kami ng mama niya. Ano’ng credibility ko?” he said. “Sabi ko [kay Kylie], ‘Pag-Muslimin mo na lang si Aljur.’” In previous interviews, it seems that the actor particularly relishes in reminding the public that he’s allowed to wed more wives as a Muslim convert.

Padilla also said that he hopes that the two will get back together for the sake of his grandchildren. “Sabi ko, ‘Mahirap ‘yung ganyan ang sitwasyon ng puso mo tapos wala kang gagawin. Dapat mag-ensayo ka, ibalik mo ‘yung fighting [spirit mo],’” he said. “Kung magbabalikan sila, ‘wag nilang patagalin. Kailangan kaagad.”

While cheating isn’t exclusively done by men, the conversations surrounding it remain gendered. One excuse for infidelity is how “boys will be boys”— a common response to brush off how patriarchal society inculcates disrespect of women in and out of personal relationships.

Emotional toll isn’t the only burden that this belief places on women. Perhaps married women still get the shorter end of the stick in laws as well as traditional and religious practices because this imbalance in power dynamics still remains and is even embraced to some degree.

So what can we do to change this? We can start by teaching our kids to respect their own boundaries and to accept nothing less than for others to do the same. Stop advising women to stick with cheaters, especially if you can already see how it has negatively affected them. Stop telling men that they have to give in to their base instincts—this robs not only their partners, but also them, from the chance to have emotionally fulfilling relationships.

 

Art by Pammy Orlina

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