Kristen Stewart is reportedly mad as hell that she’s “taking all the heat” in the wake of her affair with Rupert Sanders. She feels she’s being demonized by Hollywood and her career is being placed in jeopardy while the Snow White and the Huntsman director is being treated comparatively gently. She has a point.
According to TMZ, “Kristen can’t believe the public isn’t painting Rupert Sanders as the bad guy.” She thinks he’s the more culpable because he occupied a “position of power over her” due to his superior age and his position as the director she worked with and would presumably work with in the future. Furthermore, Rupert Sanders was the one who was legally married with children, and she can’t understand why hers is the only career that might be destroyed. She feels she doesn’t deserve that.
And she’s absolutely right. But sadly, the former Twilight heroine is learning a hard lesson. Just as countries still exist where adulterous males are punished with imprisonment or public flogging, while females convicted of the same “crime” are stoned to death or beheaded, so a woman in this society will be branded a pariah and her career destroyed while a man will be publicly reprimanded and secretly admired. It happened to Ingrid Bergman back in the 1950s, and things don’t seem to have changed much since. Of course, unlike Stewart, Bergman was married with children when she had an affair with her director, Roberto Rossellini. Although she and Rossellini divorced their spouses, married, and had children of their own, La Bergman was banned from Hollywood for almost 10 years. She was able to work only in Europe. Hopefully, the same thing won’t happen to Robert Pattinson’s feckless ex, but it might.
Sixty years after Ingrid Bergman’s blacklisting, America is still, even in the wake of Internet porn and reality T.V., a puritanical place. In this society, a woman may be many unpleasant thingsÂ—a drug addict, alcoholic, liar, con artist, thief, or murderessÂ—but she may not be a sexual being. For that she must be vilified or preferably destroyed. The good news for KStew is that all she stands to lose is her career, not her head. The money she’s earned and, hopefully, socked away cannot be taken from her. Whether she’ll regain her pre-cheating scandal popularity remains to be seen. Hopefully she will.
In the end, the question is not “Who’s the real villain or villainess,” but rather “Why is this such a big deal?” “Cheating” is like steroid use among athletes. It’s not the exception; it’s the rule. Some people are just careless enough to get caught, like Stewart and Sanders. However, since apples and oranges are being compared, as Kristen Stewart has pointed out, she and Robert Pattinson were not married or even engaged, and they had no children. They were just a boyfriend and girlfriend. Those flimsy couplings crash and burn almost daily, even when they’ve dragged on for years.
George Bernard Shaw once wrote about romantic relationships: “That game’s been played and lost. And the woman always gets the worst of it.”
Take heed, KStew. And, from now on, either avoid entangling alliances altogether or just be more discreet.
Seriously, hang in, Kristen. This too will pass.
Â© Hope Carson 2012