I read something that broke my heart today. Prominent singer (and old kinda sorta friend) and his gorgeous wife Daniela are getting divorced. But that’s not the bad part. Why they are getting divorced is the part that broke my heart. Abuse, of the verbal, emotional and physical nature (allegedly).
I want to start by saying that if this is all true, then I’m extremely proud of Daniela (and every other woman out there going through the same) for making such a brave move. Being both African, female and married, believe me when I say I know how hard it is to get up and say you have had enough and actually walk out of a marriage. Too many of us stay trapped in marital prisons in the name of societal ideals, status, religion, financial security and a host of other reasons. My question today is, though, when is it all too much? At what point is it okay to say, “I will not be doing this anymore. I wasn’t born to suffer and I do not deserve this,” then pack your bags and move on? And will we, as a culture, ever be ready to accept this reality? That contrary to popular belief, women are not punching bags?
I saw someone comment on the story saying that barttery, torture and emotional abuse were not grounds for divorce and that Danielle should go back and cook for Chameleon. My heart broke into tiny little pieces because so many people think like this. I thought of all the women out there whose relatives and friends share this person’s view and I silently wept on their behalf. Are our feelings, our emotional well-being that unimportant? Are we really only good for cooking and cleaning?
In that moment, my heart went out to Daniela (and I don’t even know her) and I silently thanked God that she was brave enough to rise above all the bullshit advice and make a move in the direction of better living and better mental health. Because absolutely no one should ever have to tolerate what she [says she] did. Not for financial security and certainly not for children. I know for a fact that I’d die first before I let my children be part of a situation like that.
I pray for a day/life when we’ll stop minimizing and trivializing women’s issues.
I also pray for a day when men who do things like this will seek help. We can blame the alcohol all we want but there are underlying issues here that need to be addressed. By the time a grown man chooses to beat on a defenceless woman, instead of defending said man’s actions and encouraging the woman to stay, we should try to understand and get to the bottom of why it is happening. And then get said man some help.
Let’s stop this trend of woman shaming and instead put our heads together to end things like this.