A story in the Herald this week was headlined ‘I’m not proud I stole my best friend’s wife’. What can this mean?
Did said bloke just pick her up, sling her across his shoulders, tether her tightly in his compound? Did she have no choice or initiative in the matter? Wives are no longer chattels. In law anyway. Some men may still hanker for ownership of them. Let’s hope the celebrity dinosaur’s new partner brings him to his senses smartly, rebuts the passive role he has allocated her and puts him solely in charge of looking after their baby at night.
Language of this sort is grotesque. It implies women have no autonomy. Media outlets prissy about the use of swear words need to accept responsibility for endorsing patriarchal cliches which may have tragic consequences.
Male narcissism is dangerous and may be on the increase. Even now too many men, young and old, kill ‘their’ women because they strayed. The new partner may also be killed. When the roles are reversed women are found to rarely kill. I’m not sure what language women use when we make off with a best friend’s mate. Maybe we show better judgement and remain silent.
This sort of tale tale is not uncommon. Ideally we should try to minimise the hurt, humiliation and anger that can follow. Portraying women as the property of men has seen them treated as loot, degraded, raped and killed in the context of war. The language and actions of ISIS?