If you’ve been anywhere near a computer during the past two weeks, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the issues facing the two couples. But, just in case, here’s a quick recap:
Right before the New Year, the world got wind that basketball star Dwayne Wade had proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gabrielle Union. Just a few days later, it was also revealed that Wade had fathered a child with another woman while he and Gabby were on a “break.” The child was born only a short time before his proposal.
It seemed like we blinked our eyes and then comes a strikingly similar story involving another high-profile celeb. Apparently, rapper and actor Ludacris also fathered a child while on a “break” from his longtime girlfriend, Eudoxie.
The media has run wild with these stories, especially because Wade and Union seem to be in engagement bliss and moving on from this. I’ve read a lot of the media commentary and people offering their 2 cents in the comments sections. The gravity of both situations is so immense and these are both very dynamic, complicated issues that when I first heard of them back-to-back I didn’t know what to think. My mind was running a mile a minute.
But as I’ve read people’s responses, comments and opinions, I think there a few important things people are missing. I just wanted to add my 2 cents about three things I think this being on a “break” business also produced…besides baby:
I’m sure the media doesn’t care about this as TMZ and urban blogs “break the news,” but these stories are more than just sensationalism and juicy, scandalous details. Let’s take a step back and understand that these are two women—real, life human beings—whose betrayals are being put on full blast. Their embarrassment, their pain, their humiliation.
I know some say they’re in the limelight and can’t expect full privacy, but I’m saying as women, let’s take a step back and assess the situation. Imagine if you discovered that while on a “break” your lover impregnated a woman. We’re talking having created a situation that will forever affect your life, if you choose to stay with him. Babies are for a lifetime.
The majority of us can go through our struggles and dealings with men without the world watching us. Imagine having major news outlets display the details of your private life all the while commenters saying how stupid and dumb you are to accept a proposal. I’m sure it’s not easy.
And that is all on top of the fact that you have to personally deal with this situation, your feelings about it and make a decision to move forward or move on. You have to deal with a feeling of brokenness.
These stories angered and saddened me because I sat wondering, “Do guys really just not get it?” After personally witnessing so many women go through things like this with men, I’m convinced that many guys just don’t get it. They don’t understand just how they’re actions and selfishness can affect a woman in relationships. How men can “break” women down mentally and emotionally by their actions.
Do you know how much Luda’s and Wade’s actions must be mentally weighing on these two women? And may do so for quite a long time? Of course, women aren’t to be so caught up in men that they cannot function, but let’s be real. If you’ve ever been in a committed relationship where you loved and gave your all to a man, and he betrayed you and did something just so vile, then you know how this can break a woman down.
It just hurt my heart to see what both men did to these women, especially so publicly, because this is unfortunately a common occurrence (that is, the act of men hurting women) in every day relationships, and I feel for them. To be betrayed, to feel broken: this is no walk in the park for any one. I think people should consider this aspect of the situation(s) more.
2. An epidemic of children being born to unwed mothers in the Black community.
This may sound drastic, but it’s real. The CDC reported that last year, at 67.8 percent, black and/or African American unmarried women who gave birth were in the group with the highest numbers of unwed mothers. The two women Ludacris and Wade got pregnant just added to the statistics.
No one is focusing on this. More and more black women are having babies with men they are not married to and this is a huge problem. I even read that D. Wade’s baby’s mother already has children by a Wayans brother, yet she isn’t married to him.
I’ve seen it in my family, old friends and girls I went to high school with. Little black boys and girls keep being raised in single-parent households. And it’s not helping them.
Wade and Ludacris decided to lay down unprotected with women they were not married to (nor had any intention of being committed to) and produced children who now have to be raised by single mothers. And these women are just as much to blame for their irresponsible actions.
The media needs to be reporting on that. Forget about the scandal; what about the fact that people’s selfishness and irresponsibility keep causing children to suffer? It’s not a game, ladies. We must do better than to keep thinking it’s okay to put ourselves in situations to procreate with men who aren’t even committed (or legally) obligated to us.
3. Victim bashing
This point is more for Gabby’s story. The comments I’ve read by other women (especially black women) have been saddening. They keep talking about karma, getting what she deserved, how they don’t feel sorry for her and just how dumb and foolish she looks. Just all around bashing her.
Whether or not you think she broke up a marriage is your opinion, but wrong doesn’t equal wrong. Even if she was in the wrong with D. Wade and his previous marriage, how does bashing this woman and calling her names make anything right?
A friend of mine once said that women are so afraid to be honest about what they’re going through, but she wishes they would, because others seeing how a couple overcame issues would help people so much more than covering them up and acting like they’re relationship is perfect.
I do think transparency in relationships helps others, but it’s no wonder why women shy from being open. Look at what other women are saying about Gabby and her decision to move forward? (Then again, depending on your perspective, people could be saying this because she’s not directly addressing and still acting like everything is picture perfect.)
Again, there are so many things one could say or speculate about these events, but I believe we should also take time to focus on the “hidden” products of these situations. Perhaps they’ll help us all gain a different perspective before adding another 2 cents.
Service is her passion, writing is her platform, uplifting women and the Black Community is her purpose. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: http://shalamarks.com/.