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[Let’s Play the] Blame Game
A friend of mine came across an opinion piece in the 24 Hour paper about the abundance of gold diggers in Vancouver. He brought the topic up while he was visiting at our offices. The article is actually titled “Gold digging doesn’t pay off” [Unless you’re Kanye West] by Amy Chan and posted on November 29.
My friend agreed with the author about the “type” of women we have in this city. My response to him: “to each, their own.” Through the years, while we both can agree on certain things, such as human trafficking is wrong, we have had many opposing views on love, relationship, and the battle of the sexes. This last debate between him and I on this subject incited me to share a different perspective on the perception of women and “gold digging.”
Gold digging has been around longer than RHOV or Keeping up with the Kardashians. It has even been around longer than the invention of TV. I don’t think television is to blame for the age-old, and cross-cultural tradition of women relying on men for sustenance. The same could be said for the pattern of older men dating or marrying younger women that is common across cultures and through time.
So, why does this custom continue to persist to this day and age? Do we blame the media or do we blame society? Do we blame the men or the women? Or do we blame human nature and natural selection? After all, isn’t man’s historical role is to be the protector and provider of the family? (Now here’s another Kanye reference: [let’s play the] “Blame Game.”)
Though society has reshaped the traditional gender roles significantly since the rise of Madonna, it still is a man’s world. The prevailing attitude in society remains, in which both men and women, continue to blame the woman over a man. Rather than questioning the integrity of a man who relies on his wealth or cash flow in order to have sexual relationships with women (sometimes younger than his own children), the target of blame and shame is always the woman. She is the scapegoat.
Lynne Namka explains scapegoating as:
It seems as if we humans as a species seem to need someone to vent our anger on and make wrong. Scapegoating is a projection defense. It is the ego saying “If I can put the blame on you, I don’t have to recognize and take responsibility for the negative qualities in myself. What I can’t stand about myself, I really hate in you and have to attack you for it in order to deny that I have the same quality.”
Men continue to get away with very bad behaviours, but not women. Even women who settle in traditional gender roles are subject to criticism. And the Kardashians and cast of RHOV are branded the label “gold diggers” even though the Kardashians were born rich (similar to Paris Hilton but to a much lesser extent) and the RHOV are mostly happily married (some of which, to very handsome and loving husbands) with kids.
Modern feminists expect every woman should be educated, intelligent, self-reliant, independent, liberated, and financially self-sufficient. What is forgotten is that it takes more strength and courage to give up one’s personal gains for the betterment of those she cares most for. A woman’s power lies in her strength of generosity, sacrifice, and selflessness. It takes a stronger person standing below to support the person standing on top.
December 6, 2012