I’m creatively excited this week. When you’ve spent a significant amount of time observing a project you have 100% faith in grow from seed to tree, its day of release is a most celebratory one. I had the pleasure and good fortune of playing a consulting role in the conception of a new novel that will surely be one of 2010’s more engrossing reads. It’s called The Cheating Curve and hits shelves this week (Thurs April 1). Besides the author’s pretty pen and delicious storyline, what I love most is the book doesn’t blanket examine infidelity as a whole but instead slices into its many sides (Rarely do people view the offense as a Rubik’s Cube, considering all the variables). While I walked away from the read with a number of interesting perspectives on marriage and monogamy, one in particular stuck with me: should powerful men be expected to cheat?
Powerful cheating men rule today’s news (Tiger Woods) and gossip sites (Mathew Knowles). But they’ve always been here. Sometimes these unfaithful men are great men. Bill Cosby advocated scholastic education and broke down barriers to become the most powerful black man in television. His divine wife (Eddie Murphy voice) “Ca-mille,” raised his five children and earned a masters degree while helping co-pilot the flight of the Cosby empire (Coca Cola, The Cosby Show, Jell-O Pudding etc). That didn’t prevent Bill from stepping out on his wife with Ms Shawn Thompson Upshaw then paying Upshaw 40K a year to keep their tryst a secret. Martin Luther King, the face of the civil rights era, is viewed in many eyes as the greatest African-American man to have ever lived. His wife Coretta is amazing grace, beauty and strength. Yet it’s federal knowledge that MLK had a sweet tooth for southern belle threesomes (don’t shoot the messenger!).
The transgression isn’t restricted to race either. From John Kennedy’s litany of hoes (how funny is a tramp with the last name Mansfield?!) to Bill Clinton waterboarding his intern, it’s almost as if power and monogamy are oil and water. Even Tiger admitted to feeling his money and notoriety “entitled” him to whatever woman he desired.
When you take into account that the female animal, whether in a skyscraper or Alaskan tundra, naturally flock to the dominant male and couple it with the saying a man is as faithful as his options, considering a cheating curve for the powerful is at the very least worthy of discussion. Let’s face it: the tech guy at your job does not get daily vagina vouchers hurled at him. The new substitute teacher at your child’s school will barely get a second look from the female faculty. There’s just something about men in authoritative positions (CEO, lead singer) or even attire (uniform, tailored suit) that stimulates the female libido. So you can only imagine the volume of advances a world leader receives. These men––not the celebrities––wake up every day focused on saving the globe. It seems odd to watch a superhero lift a nation with his two hands then slap his wrist for getting head; even weirder to hold him to the same standard as a pizza delivery dude––the amount of discipline required for each to be faithful is ridiculously lopsided.
So I ask, should powerful men be graded on a cheating curve? And if so are the men who are powerful and monogamous the ones truly worthy of headlines?
Bonsu Thompson, The Rolling Stone 2001 “Hot Interviewer” has penned for mags like Details, XXL, Penthouse, SLAM and KING as well as notable brands such as MTV, VH1, Rocawear and Translation. Wanna keep up with the Brooklyn scribe? Follow him via Twitter.com/DreamzRreal