#Hurtbae: What We Can Learn From the Viral Video


#Hurtbae: What We Can Learn From the Viral Video

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 drop cap men ain’t sh***t” is a common phrase iterated from women after watching the infamous #hurtbae video. If you haven’t seen it by now, take a look at the six minute clip by the Scene where two exes discuss the fall of their relationship. It mainly attempted to get at the heart of why the male in the video, Leonard, repeatedly cheated on his now ex-girlfriend, Kourtney. Not only did it garner the attention on Twitter and Facebook, but it also started a critical discussion about what women should expect from themselves as well as their partners.

  Like most, I was infuriated and very much in my feelings after the video ended. The man seemed to have broken this girl’s heart without a glimpse of remorse. He lacked the ability to simply state how many girls he cheated on her with. I nearly shed a tear when not only did he have the audacity to ask her why she never left, but when she eventually explained that she forgave him because he was her best friend. Thus, #hurtbae is the nickname the clip acquired because of the girl’s obvious wounded feelings.

After hearing a few friends ask exactly why this video blew up exponentially,  it appears that across the spectrum, this clip is relatable. No one has been spared the heartbreak that accompanies betrayal. Whether you’ve been cheated on or simply have been let down by someone close to you, we’ve all had a Leonard in our lives. We’ve all had that one person, if not many, that we forgave when we shouldn’t have.

Yet there were so many people who were willing to judge Kourtney. While acknowledging that Leonard was absolute trash, there was just as much criticism about Kourtney for staying with him for as long as she did. I’m all for women empowerment and sticking it to disrespectful, non-remorseful, cheating scumbags, but I don’t believe that it’s that simple to deem her weak for not being able to let go. As I stated before, I doubt that there are many people who can honestly say with conviction that they’ve immediately cut ties with a loved one who’s hurt them. When you’ve poured a significant part of yourself into someone you truly care for, it’s never that effortless to leave the first time they wrong you. There are many aspects that go into a relationship, whether it be one with a family member, significant other, or friend. I’d like to make the argument that the best way to gauge someone’s attachment to another is by recognizing how much that person is willing to put up with. Evident from the video, Kourtney was in love with the boy. She was willing to sacrifice her better self to deal with his worse. Were these actions problematic? Of course. But is it right to pass judgment on a girl who fell in love?

What the video largely presents is a girl’s search for her self-worth. However, so many viewers of the clip were quick to proclaim how fast they’d leave a man who did what Leonard did. The first time I watched the video, I remember jumping to that conclusion as well, and even becoming annoyed with her unyielding patience. The truth is that I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done in her position. I can’t say I would not have given the guy another chance despite the fact that he was not worth jack, so to speak. But in a society where girls are constantly told that what men do to them  is a reflection of who they are, it’s understandable that finding self-worth becomes a painful and disappointing journey.

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This discussion of self-worth is a prominent issue in the black community. When the media shows black girls as one-sided objects less-deserving of love and respect than their counterparts, it correlates with the real world. It has been proven with history that the black female always takes a backseat to the black male.  With every fight for civil rights, the black men were the ones leading and making the decisive decisions, despite the fact that  black women were putting in equal if not more work. Equality of the races has always been valued above equality of the sexes. As a result, intersectionality has had significantly less awareness. That is why black girls grow up being taught by society to defend the black man and put up with all of his bull crap, even if that means sacrificing themselves. Thus, we have cases where Coretta Scott King and Beyoncé, faces of black female empowerment, even fall victim to cheating men.

We don’t have a right to victim blame a girl who hadn’t yet realized her worth. Finding self-love, especially for a black female, is an intense and enduring process. It takes some of us longer than others as well. Therefore, instead of attacking, critiquing, and belittling females in her position, we should be building them up and reminding them that they are boss queens deserving of the world and more.

Regarding Kourtney herself, she is doing just fine with her life now and even expressed in an interview how much she has grown from the relationship. I think we should let this video serve as a reminder that sometimes you have to go through a couple of “Leonards” to realize that the only love you should be working towards is your own.

Images courtesy of: Mend.com and Raw Story.com


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