April 17, 2024

Kim Kardashian Shouldn’t Have To Answer For Kanye West’s Actions

It’s something we’ve seen play out time and time again. Following news of Bill Clinton’s affair with Gennifer Flowers in 1992 (not to be confused with his subsequent, more iconic Monika Lewinsky affair) Hillary Clinton was wheeled out in front of cameras for a one-hour joint interview in which she defended her husband against the allegations.

The interview is thought to have saved Clinton’s presidential campaign and was the world’s first proper introduction to Hillary. It was also the first of many instances in which Hillary, the proverbial airbag in her husband’s string of car-crash affairs, absorbed the impact of Bill’s wrongdoings.

Even when the women themselves are direct victims of the hurtful act, they’re still expected to put a brave face on for the media and in some cases, to absolve the men of guilt.

Similarly, women like Melania Trump and Jada Pinkett-Smith have also been called to comment on things they did not do. When Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars earlier this year, people couldn’t understand why Jada didn’t speak out, until she eventually addressed the incident on her Facebook Watch talk show, Red Table Talk, saying: “My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have the opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile. ” And, well, the actions of Melania’s husband for which she was hounded need no explanation.

In the UK, women like Martha Hancock and Colleen Rooney have also faced undue media attention for their husbands’ cock-ups. When news of both Matt Hancock’s and Wayne Rooney’s various affairs broke, it was their wives who had to face the hordes of paparazzi.

Whether still together or broken up, women are often the collateral damage when prominent men in their lives do or say outrageous things. Even when the women themselves are direct victims of the hurtful act, they’re still expected to put a brave face on for the media and in some cases, to absolve the men of guilt.

Yes, we should expect adults to surround themselves with people whose values reflect their own. But we must also understand that nobody is responsible for the words or actions of another. In a world that holds women to higher ethical standards than men, women who date men face more of a challenge in finding a partner that is equally yoked, morally speaking. Through no fault of our own, many of us have probably dated at least one person whose questionable or disrespectful views didn’t surface until later in the relationship and if they surfaced publicly we may have felt the same pressure as Kim to speak out on their behalf.

We need to progress past hounding women like Kim Kardashian for the mistakes of the men they associate with, for the sake of us all. Having these expectations of women not only leads to disingenuous statements and apologies but it also shifts accountability and attention away from the men who are actually at fault. Instead of eagerly awaiting word from the wife, girlfriend or ex of a famous man who has done a terrible thing, we should look to fixing the cultural landscape that affords men the audacity to be so brazenly disgraceful in the first place.

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