Another man interrupts a woman in the middle of her job to perform yet another poorly-thought romantic gesture.
Cardi B. was at work, headlining the Rolling Loud Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday -- performing for the people, telling it like it is -- when her estranged spouse Offset decided to just show up to apologize to Cardi in front of a whole lot of people, right in the middle of her show.
"I just want to tell you I'm sorry, bruh," pontificated Offset. "In person. In front of the world."
\u201cOffset crashes Cardi B\u2019s set at @RollingLoud.\n\nThe rapper brought out flowers and a cake set up that spelled out \u201cTake Me Back Cardi\u201d on stage. Cardi B was not feeling the gesture and had him and the set up removed. https://t.co/MBh3xUWrls\u201d
Offset, in what was assumedly supposed to be some grand romantic gesture, had a gigantic sign onstage, begging Cardi to "Take Me Back." This was, of course, after it was revealed Offset had been cheating on Cardi. Their child, Kulture, was born in July.
Cardi had to shoo him off the stage to continue her milestone show -- she was in fact, the first woman to ever headline the festival.
Disturbingly, the organizers of the Rolling Loud Festival may have had some knowledge that the stunt would happen. According to Monique Judge at The Root, the organizers warned fans on Twitter in a since-deleted post, "whatever happens" on stage that night was going to go "viral. Make sure you're there tonight for Bardi." (In a statement, the festival's organizers say, "We were tipped off that something was going to happen, but had nothing to do with the organization or execution of it.")
This whole debacle is akin to the stunt some guy pulled a couple of months ago during the New York City Marathon, in which a man was rightfully shamed for jumping out in front of his girlfriend in the middle of her race, to ask her to marry him. To be fair, some people might say it was indeed romantic. The couple seems to have celebrated after and they will probably get married and live happily ever after, icebags and all. But you try stopping your mental focus and physical momentum after 16 miles to experience one of the biggest moments of your life, and then have to run another ten miles. He couldn't just wait until she crossed the finish line to make his grand gesture, so as not to detract from her marathon? This is the New York City Marathon, after all, one of the premiere races in the world. Qualifying to run it is a feat in its own right.
Later, Cardi asked fans on Instagram to cool it -- no one needs to go after the Migos rapper with torches and pitchforks. But this all begs the question, what is it about straight men that makes them think storming in on a woman's big solo moment is supposed to be somehow romantic? At the least, it's an intrusion into a woman's work, then forcing the woman to carry the emotional labor of the situation (putting someone down in front of thousands of people, if not millions of people paying attention online? Sure, no pressure).
In more insidious instances, though, these acts could be considered harassment. The situation still requires the woman to do the emotional labor of managing the man's expectations that he's thrusting upon her.
But in the worst case scenario, she's also negotiating potential harm. As author and academic Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD, said on Twitter, a man may think his actions are romantic, but being confronted with unwarranted shows like this constantly can feel "unsafe."
\u201cI have had someone follow me around making grand public displays after I broke up with him. It isn't cute. It feels unsafe. And that stage is her job. You don't harass people at work.\u201d
There's nothing wrong with romantic gestures -- in the age of Grindr and Tinder, the world could probably use more romantic gestures -- but why must it come at the expense of a woman's work or, perhaps, at the expense of her safety.