Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that Tristan Thompson *may have* hooked up with his kind-of sister-in-law’s best friend, Jordyn Woods, last week. Since that fateful night, the internet has been living for all the drama as it unfolds, giving us some of the best memes of 2019 so far. It’s also left us with a lot of questions. Was Jordyn really feeling loose off the goose—I mean, hennything is possible—and did the alleged hookup take place? Does Khloé have a right to feel surprised when this is very similar to how her relationship with Thompson began? And should any of us really be shocked by Tristan’s behavior, given that this is the same dude who made out with a girl in a club while his baby mama was on the verge of giving birth? (Sidenote: I need celebrities to be smarter about the way they cheat. Did you think we wouldn’t find out bro, really? We found Bin Laden in a cave, you didn’t think we would see you bringing your thirst trap in through the front door of your hotel?) But I digress.
I’ll admit it—I have been eating this sh*t up all week. If Kris Jenner cooked this story up, someone get this lady her Pulitzer, because this is the stuff of Shakespearean tragedies. Betrayal! Lies! Infidelity! Borderline incest! There’s something that makes this cheating scandal particularly juicy, in a way that others haven’t been. On some level, I think a driving force behind the internet frenzy is schadenfreude. Until last week, Jordyn Woods had it made—free mansion living, lavish vacations, partnership deals with already-established brands. I’m sure all of us would like our friends to hook us up like that! Jordyn Woods had the easiest job on the planet, and all she had to do to keep it was not hook up with three men in the entire world: Kanye West, Travis Scott, or Tristan Thompson. (Let’s be honest, if she hooked up with Scott Disick we wouldn’t be mad at her—we’d be mad at ourselves for being shocked in the first place.) To see someone so expertly f*ck up the sweetest, easiest gig in the world, while we’re sitting here in our not-mansions, earning meager salaries, is pretty sweet.
And yet, we could make the same jokes about Tristan, but we aren’t. Tristan also committed a betrayal, and f*cked up a sweet arrangement, and I have not seen nearly as many people dragging him for it. I mean, he’s averaging 16 points per game for a team that has one of the worst records in the NBA. He’s making a ton of money, but he could stand to benefit in the future from being linked to figures as public as the Kardashians. Instead, he effectively ripped Khloé’s family apart (and his own) by hooking up with someone in her inner circle, nuking his own shot at permanent fame and wealth in the process. (Where do most good-looking athletes go after they retire? Television—only Tristan has now ended up on the sh*t list of one of the most powerful families in Hollywood.) Of course it was f*cked up of Jordyn to hook up with her best friend’s sister’s man. But isn’t what Tristan did just as bad, if not worse? It takes two to tango, but the only person in this equation who had a responsibility to remain loyal to his relationship was Tristan. The person who actually stepped out on his relationship was, you guessed it, Tristan. Where are the memes about him f*cking his way out of that? (The only ones you’ll see on the internet right now are from his last cheating scandal.)
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I’m not exactly shocked, though. I mean, think about all the conversations you’ve had with your friends about the f*cked up things men do. Do you ever notice that those usually end with someone going, “he’s a f*ckboy, what do you expect” or “I know better now”? These sentiments loosely translate to my least favorite phrase: “boys will be boys,” a phrase that, according to Google, is “used to express the view that mischievous or childish behavior is typical of boys or young men and should not cause surprise when it occurs.” It gives men a blank check for their actions, literally from childhood. And we know that allowance doesn’t just stop when men hit adulthood—it is used to explain away the bad behavior of adult men. On an extreme end, it can be invoked to excuse Supreme Court Justices’ alleged sexual assaults. In less severe instances, like here, it’s used (even subconsciously) to minimize the hurtful actions of a man whose choices have negatively impacted his family.
Jordyn Woods, however, doesn’t have the luxury of a “girls will be girls” dismissal (even though she’s 21 years old to Tristan’s 27)—instead, she has to go to the media to try to defend herself, while Tristan has been able to remain mum ever since the story broke. It’s proof that she’s being ascribed more responsibility for an incident in which two people are equally to blame, mainly because she is a woman. In her interview, she and Jada briefly commiserated over the difficulty of being a black woman in the public eye. It’s easy to try to write that off that as “playing the race card” (whatever that is), but I think she has a point. Right now, Jordyn is being characterized as a home-wrecker (even by Khloé Kardashian in her recent tweet).
Why are you lying @jordynwoods ?? If you’re going to try and save yourself by going public, INSTEAD OF CALLING ME PRIVATELY TO APOLOGIZE FIRST, at least be HONEST about your story. BTW, You ARE the reason my family broke up!
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) March 1, 2019
On the one hand, I get it—Khloé’s extremely hurt. It’s easier to lash out at the “other woman” rather than direct that anger toward the man you put your trust into. But whether she likes it or not, this is playing out in the public eye and is bigger than just her and Jordyn’s Instagram followers misery. To me, this implicitly calls upon the jezebel stereotype of black women, which dates back to the 1800s and implies that black women are inherently more sexual than white women, and are seductresses who break up marriages and families. Kardashian did eventually acknowledge Tristan’s own culpability, but it came as an afterthought, after days of publicly shading Jordyn.
Instead of having empathy, we shame women into staying in harmful archetypes that we claim we want to do away with. Why aren’t we instead shaming a f*ckboy so disloyal he will (allegedly) hook up with practically his own in-law?? It’s because we still don’t hold men to the same standards as women, in pop culture or in our personal lives. This scandal started out fun, but it has quickly revealed that even though we think we’re progressive in 2019, we’re still treating women like it’s the 1800s. If we’re demanding equality, we need to dish it out on all ends, and that means I better see more memes, tweets, and articles dedicated to flaming Tristan’s bitchass and revealing him for the piece of shit he actually is.
When Tristan Thompson says “I’ve changed” pic.twitter.com/bxMZrgyEmU
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) February 28, 2019
Images: Shutterstock; @idealpiper, @khloekardashian (2) / Twitter; @girlsthinkimfunny / Instagram