Side Chicks and Man Sharing Are Old News

Prince Williams/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Ebony's Josie Pickens says this "twisted representation of polyamory" existed long before Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

What VH1 attempts to play up as some sort of polyamorous coupling may not be "new," but our attitudes towards the representation certainly may be. I wonder, as I watch and attempt not to break my television by cursing A LOT and throwing things at Stevie J's virtual image, how our views on the "main chick/side chick" dynamic have changed since the days of our mothers and grandmothers?

For starters, many women, in accepting their rights to sexual freedom and choice, are far less ashamed of those choices — even when they are generally seen as indecent.  I'm not convinced that it's a bad thing that Mimi and Joseline are at least capable of confronting one another and their issues with each other and Stevie.  Unlike yesteryear, I also don't feel that women who are involved with men in romantic relationships with other women should be ridiculed or banished out of sight — which only allows us to gloss over this issue of "sharing" or pretend it doesn't exist. Instead, what needs to happen, which Joseline and Mimi pull off in a very telenovela-esque way, is that we place men, who seem to benefit most from these relationships, into a space that forces accountability and honesty.

Although, as I mentioned earlier, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta presented a very twisted representation of polyamory (as real polyamorous relationships require that all parties involved not only know about, but agree to multiple-partnered relationships), it does brings about conversations on these semi-open relationships. Actually, one can hope that by viewing the show, we can gain perspectives on the other woman's point of view, and place blame, if there is blame to be placed, where it belongs — which in this case is with Stevie J.


Read Josie Pickens' entire piece at

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

Josie Pickens is an educator, culture critic and griot whose work focuses primarily on race and gender. Follow her musings on Twitter

Share This Story