What should one do when he or she is already in a committed relationship and someone else tries to pursue them? A few options are at hand in a circumstance like this.
Solution one would be society’s norm of politely declining that individual’s offer out of respect for your current partner. Solution two would be to accept this proposition and entertain the second person of interest. Times have changed and solution two is becoming more socially accepted.
Today, in modern vernacular, the term “side-piece” has become popular to explain a love interest outside of the main relationship. Terms like side-chick or side-guy are gendered subdivisions to this term.
One of the most popular genres of music in the world - hip hop - has served to glorify men who have multiple women at a time.
Music videos like “Tip Drill” by Nelly (2000) and early ‘90s rap song “Pop That P*ssy” by 2 Live Crew (1991) show explicit music videos of men demonstrating power and happiness by having several women around them.
Fast forward to the current decade and the idea of flaunting multiple partners is more pervasive than ever.
Rapper 2 Chainz states in his song, “No Lie” (2012) “thug life, one wife, a mistress, and a girlfriend.” Apparently, boasting several women at one time is a favorable lifestyle.
This isn’t just exclusive to men, though. Musical artists like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have all demonstrated womanly superiority by having multiple members of the opposite sex at their disposal in their music videos, as well.
Can being exposed to this way of life over and over again suppress any desires one may have to fulfill a monogamous relationship?
To further explore this topic, the term polygamy should be defined. Polygamy is the practice of having more than one wife or husband at the same time. Polygyny is the most accepted form of polygamy where only the man is permitted to have multiple wives at a time.
Throughout centuries, different cultures and religions have permitted men to have multiple wives at a time. The history of Mormonism, a religious group founded in the United States during the 1800s, had once accepted the practice of polygamy but has revoked it from their modern-day beliefs.
Founder of the religion, Joseph Smith, received a revelation, or a spiritual announcement, that polygamy should be practiced. One of the main reasons this originated was because the church needed to jump start the growth of its members so that the earth would be multiplied and replenished.
Another reason was because they believed marriage was a factor that was required in order to enter the gates of heaven. Without that title, one would not be granted access into heaven in the after-life.
Therefore, this enabled more women to be eligible for the highest form of heaven. In 1904, the practice of polygamy was revoked from the religion, but nevertheless there are those who still practice it. That is just one example of a cultural acceptance of polygamy.
Culture and religion, notwithstanding, there are individuals who have still gone and violated the boundaries of their relationship’s limits without consent.
For instance, in 1998, former President Bill Clinton denied having sexual relations with his intern Monica Lewinsky, just to later be found guilty of committing sexual acts with her.
He’s not the only president to have been accused of promiscuity outside of his marriage either. There were rumors that former president John F. Kennedy had multiple women with whom he had affairs. Those were extramarital relations the public eye hadn’t accepted yet.
Barry University students and staff members were interviewed about their opinions on this topic of side-chicks and side-guys and they had some very opinionated ideas on this practice.
“I think that if you can have [side pieces] you should be single, so you can do what you want with whoever [you want] on your own account,” said forensic psychology major and junior Myiah McCleave.
Senior, Pa Sheikh Ngom, a marketing major said he believes that someone must have a low opinion of themselves to settle for being someone’s side piece, but agrees it is slowly becoming the norm.
“They must have really low self-worth, be lonely or be infatuated in order to be someone's side-piece,” he said. “Relationships are hard nowadays, so as much as I'm against being a side guy/girl, I understand that it can be hard out here (for a pimp). Thanks to songs like ‘The Weekend’ by SZA, we've come to the point where being a side-piece is glorified, so I'm expecting the day when it becomes the new norm.”
Resident Coordinator Karen Zuniga of the housing department sympathized with the “side piece.”
“I think we are quick to judge the side chicks/guys but never ask questions about the person who put them in that position,” she said. “We label them as home wreckers but half the time they don’t know they are the side piece.”
There are different ideas on the acceptance of side-chicks and side-guys, but whether it will ever be accepted remains to be seen.