The Burden of Struggle Love

We all hear the popular phrase “ride or die” but did y’all know it’s an invention of bikers ? It’s original meaning was, “I would rather die, if I could not ride”. INTENSE. Sounds like a struggle.

man riding a black motorcycle in gray scale photography

Is You Ridin’ or Is You Dyin’ ?

The tagline “ride or die” isn’t exclusive to bikers anymore. It’s now an uncompromising standard that requires us to prove loyalty to an undeserving partner in exchange for something kind of like love. We’ll call it ‘struggle love’. Struggle love is now some type of badge of honor that determines the success of your relationship. It’s like long-suffering is now the most acceptable aspect of love. It’s like licking his nipples isn’t enough to earn love, you have to actually… GO THROUGH THINGS.

Why The Struggle ?

The question isn’t, ‘why do individuals continuously tolerate mistreatment in intimate relationships ?’ but it’s, ‘why are some people so inclined to mistreat their romantic partners ?’ I mean, the first one is a really good question too, we just aren’t going to discuss it right now. But if you’re in a relationship and you’re going through hella struggles, you should definitely ask yourself why you continue to let yourself be mistreated. In general, when did this behavior become acceptable in so many relationships ? Aight so boom, let’s discuss good old patriarchy *throws glitter*.

The Patriarchy

Google dictionary defines patriarchy as “a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.” The second definition takes it even further saying “a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.” Patriarchy in real life practice is hella ant-girl and woman.

Patriarchy is omnipresent af but tends to be most abundant in westernized culture aka the Americans n nem. In essentially every aspect of sex and relationships we deal with standards set by the mens. I mean, to be honest, James Brown said it best; THIS IS A MANS WORLD. Even when we look at same-sex relationships we see the same struggles as heteronormative relationships.

beard blur close up face

The Ideal Relationship

Insert eyeroll on the heading there. According to patriarchy, a successful relationship is when someone is a good woman to a man. Period. As early as childhood we teach girls to fall in line with that idea and to protect their virtue and be respectable or ladylike. We groom them to be a good wife long before they marry. We convince them that boys will be boys and that little boys who bully and mistreat us must have crushes on us.

We’ve also watched our mothers go through abuse at the hands of our fathers or even just her boyfriend while she remains relentless in love. In movies and in sitcoms we watch women either chase men as they frolic through lily fields with other women; or stay with men through spells of abusive alcoholism. We’re plagued with quotes about being a ride or die and relationships being ‘work’. Young girls are groomed to tolerate annoyances young so that we can love through mistreatment as adults. WACK. So why is patriarchy literally ruining everything ? Well, we’re gonna have to touch on hegemony too.

Hegemony, Patriarchy’s Bestie

Hegemonic romance is when there’s dominance from one partner over the other. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be a man overpowering a woman. Moreso masculine identifying and people more in tune with their masculine energy are the ones who win under hegemony. Masculine energy has always dominated feminine energy, which is naturally more submissive. Light on the ‘naturally’ part because I actually have no clue how true that really is. Stay woke. But the dominant partner has the all power in these situations and feels an entitlement in the relationship simply because they are them. The submissive partner has no access to the benefits or the dominant partners power.

The Irresponsible Tour

A recent and popular example of a hegemonic romance fueled by patriarchy is when Kevin Hart was caught creeping on wife, Eniko Hart in a car while she was pregnant. He was on the road doing the Impossible Tour when he got entangled.

In 2017 Kevin Hart was caught in the middle of an extortion scam but later came out an confirmed he did cheat also. In the various interviews conducted with Kevin and Eniko we see a recurring theme. According to sis Eniko, brotha Kevin has become a better person through this. Eniko has been endless applauded for how strong she’s been through it all. She’s reassured that it was all worth it. Both the seen and the unseen dirty parts of their relationship. She even made these statements: “I’m happy it kind of happened” and “It was a lot for me, but we’ve been through it, we’ve gone through, we’re past it, and he’s a better man now because of it”. YIKES.

In Conclusion, We Hate It Here

Hegemony grants the dominant partner waaayyy more grace than they deserve. Patriarchy tells feminine identifying people and people with more feminine energy that we have to prove that we’re worthy of love by sticking through the struggle. Whatever the struggle may be. This idea that Kevin needed to cheat to for character development is straight bullshit. I have personally never cheated on anyone because I am not a cheater. It’s literally that simple. Instead, Kevin Hart should have remained single until he received therapy or did individual shadow-work so he could unpack his issues with respect and commitment.

The fact that Eniko is applauded for staying in a relationship after infidelity because that’s strength is a bullshit too. This dangerous concept is the same one that gets people killed after remaining in physically abusive relationships. “We all accept the love we think we deserve. We must learn to love ourselves so that we fully understand that we don’t have to settle for someone who is immature and will continue to play games with our emotions. Even more, we must understand that leaving an intimate relationship due to blatant disrespect isn’t a fail. It’s not your fault and there’s no need for embarrassment.

Love Is Not A Struggle

Love shouldn’t be a struggle. Actually love ISN’T a struggle. Y’all be on some other shit that’s more adequately described as attachment, codependency, abandonment issues and the like.

What does real love look like to you ? Have you ever been a ride or die ? Have you ever seen a real love that wasn’t a struggle ? Let’s talk about it in the comments ! We might even shout you out on the episode.

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