OPINION: Women who divorce: Tragedy or Daring?
Does divorce=female empowerment?
By Brittany Radakovich
It seems like you can’t even turn on the TV these days without hearing about some celebrity couple who is getting divorced due to the husband’s lack of commitment and adulterous tendencies. As more men cheat, more women file for divorce. From Sandra Bullock to Kate Gosselin, women are taking a stand and getting divorced. This seems to be an emerging new trend over the recent years and it’s about time.
We all remember the affair between President Clinton and his intern, Monica Lewinsky, in 1998 that eventually led to the President’s impeachment. We also remember that Clinton’s wife, Hillary, stood by her husband and never divorced him. Back then she was looked at as courageous for standing by her husband in such difficult times. Today, it’s a whole different story.
When news broke out about Sandra Bullock’s husband, Jesse James, having an affair with not one, but multiple different women, she filed for divorce. Just like when reality star Jon Gosselin was accused of cheating on his wife of ten years, Kate Gosselin; she divorced him on national television no less. Now, people are applauding these women for not sticking by their husbands.
I think by getting a divorce these women are setting a new and improved example to women everywhere. It’s an empowerment to women that you don’t have to stand by your husband when you’ve been cheated on. It shows that you can be more respected as a woman if you do get a divorce.
Personally, I don’t understand how any woman could stay married to someone who has cheated on her. If he cheated once, he’ll do it again. I got cheated on once in high school and my mother would always say to me, “a leopard never changes its spots.” Then again she also said if my father ever cheated she would divorce him. I think having role models who don’t back down and who aren’t afraid of divorce is especially important.
It’s even more important when these women are famous celebrities. It’s showing women everywhere that you don’t have to stand behind a man who has cheated on you. I mean, It’s hard enough to go through a divorce in private, could you imagine going through it for the whole world to see? I think it’s a good thing.
Since filing for divorce, America has applauded Sandra Bullock for her bravery and whole-heartedness as a woman. She even received a standing ovation at MTV’s Movie Awards this year. Going through a divorce in public is hard, but then again she is also showing the world that it’s okay to get a divorce and still be a powerful woman.
Getting a divorce as a woman shows a sign of independence and strength. Could it be a new wave of feminism? It sure is changing the game.
According to divorce magazine 57% of women initiate the divorce, not the husband and 79% of women would divorce their husband if they found out he was cheating. These statistics don’t surprise me. Long gone are the days when wives feared breaking their vows and looked at divorce as socially unacceptable. Today, women who get a divorce are being celebrated!
Some people might say that it isn’t at all empowering for a woman to get divorced. That it’s not for the better because she is breaking a vow she made instead of trying to commit to making it work. I do agree that it can be heartbreaking to watch a woman get divorced after being cheated on but it also shows the strength she has to keep going without a man. Yes, she is breaking a vow by quitting her marriage, but didn’t he quit long before when he cheated? It takes more nerve and courage to get a divorce than to make a marriage work that’s already failed.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s all men who cheat either. Yes, woman cheat too but it’s not unusual to hear that a man is being unfaithful. What is uncommon to hear, is that a woman decided to leave her husband because of his infidelity.
This recent trend of women divorcing the men because of adultery is sending a good message not only to women everywhere, but to our youth as well. It’s teaching them that divorce can be an empowering thing for a woman, and that it takes more guts not to stand behind your husband. Maybe it won’t completely change the way women look at divorce and infidelity, but it is a positive start in the right direction.
Editor's Note: The wedding photo is a royalty free stock photo.