Kim Kardashian’s Divorce Is a Perfect Example of How Women Take the Blame for Everything
Even when it isn’t our fault
In one of the latest episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian publicly addressed her divorce from Kanye West for the first time after filing for it in February.
While discussing it with her sisters, Kim broke down in tears and declared she feels like a 'f**king failure' and that Kanye 'deserves' someone who can follow him across the country.
That wasn't exactly what we could expect after the couple's stormy few years that included Kanye's unsuccessful presidential run, his numerous erratic rants, and Kim trying her best to smooth out his bizarre behavior.
But I can't say I'm completely surprised. It's not the first time a woman bends over backward to help a man, only to feel guilty afterward for not being enough and claiming they deserve better.
That's a tale as old as time.
The long-awaited end of 'Kimye'
Even before Kim Kardashian filed for divorce earlier this year, the golden age of 'Kimye' was long gone. Ever since Kanye was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, their dynamic seemed to be shattered.
Before that, the couple enjoyed a few relatively peaceful years of joint cultural domination, cross-promotion, and several magazine front covers.
Kanye pulled out all his Kanye-isms to exalt her. She was his muse.
Bizarrely, they made sense together. No matter how you felt about each of them, the Kim & Kanye combination felt entirely right and true. Until it all went down the drain.
Following Kanye's deteriorating mental health state, it became visibly challenging for Kim to keep up with his behavior. He has time and time again refused to take medication for his bipolar disorder or even help her care for their kids. The public acknowledgment of his condition added context to his bewildering actions, but it didn't give him a free pass to drag everyone through the mud whenever he felt like it.
And then came Kanye's MAGA-hat phase followed by even more bizarre behavior and controversial comments - like declaring that 'Slavery was a choice.'
But no matter how far from Earth Kanye got, Kim always stood firmly by his side. She defended him from getting canceled while Kanye descended more and more into incomprehensible mad man's buffoonery.
Men who hate women don't change quickly
After all the struggle Kim went through to defend Kanye, you'd think he would have at least some decency to save his family from his erratic rants. He didn't.
In 2020, he made comments about the couple nearly aborting North. Then he unleashed a series of tweets against the family, alleging that Kim and Kris were trying to 'lock him up' and calling Kris a white supremacist.
And despite all of this, Kim now appears to be taking the blame for how the marriage ended and claims Kanye 'deserves' someone to follow him around instead. It's hard not to find that attitude baffling. Perhaps it's just a part of Kim's public relations strategy, or maybe this is how she truly feels - a mix of self-blame and sympathy.
But does Kanye genuinely deserve it? He has been considered a public villain long before his 2016 breakdown.
His blatant misogyny, narcissism, and god complex were apparent to everyone ever since he rose to fame. That was his brand, rampaging across the pop culture landscape, searching for new trophies and young models to have sex with and treat like objects.
He might have fooled us for a few years with his family man facade, but it's apparent he hasn't changed much. Men who hate women rarely do, and it's about time we stop endlessly excusing their behavior and take the blame for everything ourselves. We've been doing that for far too long.
The self-blame attitude has to go
Women are still raised to believe they are inherently inferior based solely on their gender. The quintessential psychological result of misogyny is the feeling of shame and guilt that so many of us experience. And this leads to accepting the blame for whatever maltreatment we suffer.
"It's our fault."
"He deserves better."
I have heard these phrases one too many times. And they never cease to infuriate me.
NO, it's not always our fault. NO, he does not always deserve better.
And it's certainly not our job to carry the responsibilities of all the men in our life just because they didn't get the memo that they can't behave like kids anymore.
Women, you are not rehabilitation centres for badly raised men. It is not your job to fix him, change him, parent him. You want a partner, not a project. - Julia Roberts
Women should no longer be expected to sit and nod politely while men self-indulge in their erratic behavior just because they are socialized to believe it's ok for them to do so. And we shouldn't be there to pick up their broken pieces once the shit hits the fan if they never gave us anything in return. Love isn't a one-sided kind of a deal.
But I know it's easier said than done. We've been conditioned to behave like this for decades. It is also scientifically proven that we are a more empathetic gender; we care for others expecting nothing in return, almost as a default.
In a way, you could say we're both biologically and socially programmed to be a human version of a doormat, allowing men to walk all over us because we feel like they need that, and we think it's our role.
Still, it doesn't make it right.
Despite Kim's self-blaming attitude surrounding her divorce from Kanye, she appears to be slowly returning to her pre-Kanye self. Her social media is freer, funnier, and more authentic - showing more pictures of her kids and family than ever before. It's refreshing to see her like that.
And I hope her years-long struggle with Kanye will be a lesson to all of us dealing with toxic men - there comes the point when we can't keep defending their behavior and taking the blame on our shoulders.
We owe it to ourselves and to other women to break the self-blame curse society has imposed on all of us.
This story was originally published on Medium.