Why Are So Many Men In Their Feelings About Ciara and Russell Wilson’s Marriage?
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There’s a saying that if you want to avoid volatile conversations you should never discuss politics, religion, and money with strangers. Well, judging by the reaction to rapper Slim Thug’s latest comments about Ciara and Russell Wilson’s marriage, we may need to add another topic to that list. During an interview with Houston radio station 97.9 The Box, Slim Thug doubted the authenticity of Ciara’s love for her husband because, in his opinion, Wilson isn’t cool enough for the R&B star. “Do a woman who used to talk to Future really want a Russell Wilson?” Slim Thug wondered on the radio, but quickly answered his own question. “I don’t believe it. I think it’s all for financial stability.” While Slim Thug insisted that he wasn’t hating on Ciara and Wilson’s marriage — in spite of initially calling the NFL star “corny” — he stuck to his opinion that the couple’s marriage is all for show because “I don’t believe a girl coming from a street dude could even adapt to” a “square” like Wilson. Ciara pushed back against Slim Thug’s comments on Instagram in a pair of posts — one defining the word “cool,” and another touting the benefits of personal growth. “Repeating the same bad habit over and over again is a form on insanity,” one post read. “There comes a point in your life when you know better, and you have to do better.” The debate over Ciara and Wilson’s relationship has raged on since the couple first stepped out publicly. And while no one should care what two consenting adults do — except those whose lives are directly affected by their choices — celebrities like Slim Thug, and regular folks on social media, feel more than comfortable weighing in on Ciara’s choices. Most people — men and women alike — are happy for the Wilsons and their too-cute blended family, but there seems to be a vocal contingent of mostly men, who vehemently object to Ciara’s relationship decisions, and I don’t understand why. Recently, one Twitter user shared a post from a man, who was so triggered by Ciara’s decision to #levelup her in her personal life, he decided to give some advice to women who choose to exercise agency over their own lives. The man’s assertion that women like Ciara, who may have made questionable relationship choices in the past, should not be able to learn from their mistakes and be rewarded for their personal growth by having a loving union, is, unfortunately, quite prevalent. Men are often allowed to date multiple partners, engage in promiscuity, mistreat their significant other, and still be seen as a “good man” once they acknowledge their faults and claim to have overcome them. Meanwhile, if a woman (particularly a famous woman) is even seen with more than one person, or has dated multiple partners in the past, she quickly becomes “used,” “damaged goods,” or denigrated for having a supposedly high “body count.” Though Ciara has only been publicly linked to a few men over the past decade, her previous engagement to Future — the father of her oldest child — seems to really set some people off. Perhaps it’s because there are few examples of Black women with children “leveling up” to snag a handsome, rich, wholesome celebrity after being with a “street dude,” as Slim Thug called him. Or maybe it’s because Future is a popular artist with his own “hive” of fans (and he’s also bad mouthed her publicly in the past). Either way, the reaction to Ciara and Wilson’s marriage seems far too personal to many men who don’t know any of the involved parties. It’s hard to decipher why these men find Ciara’s marriage so disdainful, but I’d wager one reason is because they feel threatened by women who exercise autonomy over their own lives, and on their own terms, and in ways that do not take into account the feelings of men. Many of the men who balk at Ciara’s marriage also may believe she doesn’t deserve a happy ending because she realized her worth and decided to make better choices. But more importantly, she encourages — and inspires — other women to do the same, thus cutting off their ability to run game. But here’s the rub: Ciara’s charge to “level up” isn’t about women making themselves more palatable to men, but rather women stepping into their own power to become the women they’ve always wanted to be.