Blaming the nanny: Why the media needs to stop - The Hollywood Mag

Blaming the nanny: Why the media needs to stop

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The recent surge of Hollywood splits has got the media buzzing, and many news outlets are cashing in on these sad situations by reporting the same stupid story: one that’s rooted in sexism and a lame excuse about biology that lacks sound evidence. The story goes a little something like this – husband is in a seemingly great marriage; family hires a nanny to help raise their children; nanny is young, active and motherly, which is attractive to the husband; husband is bored with his aging wife and demanding children, and he bones the nanny; husband gets a bit of guff for it, but the nanny is branded with a scarlet letter. Today, Gavin Rossdale and Ben Affleck are the most recent celebrities accused of living this tale, and the media has blamed them for ending their marriages because of the nannies they employed to help hold their families together. The media loves to take the blame off the man for his wandering eye, and so many idiots still argue that a man’s unfaithfulness is rooted in his biological need to spread his seed and/or his abnormally high level of testosterone, but these are old school theories that need to stop being reported. Some studies demonstrate that a man who cheats has a higher level of testosterone than a man who doesn’t, but there’s still not enough evidence to turn this observation into an actual fact that applies to all men. ben And because the media tends to give men a scapegoat to do whatever they want (He couldn’t help it! His testosterone levels are SO high! He’s SUCH a man!), this often deflects the blame off the man and sheds a negative light on the woman linked to his bad behaviour. Rape, adultery, battery and murder; the media – and our society – pegs the female as the driving force behind a man’s uncontrollable rage, his insatiable need to hurt, and his biological drive to exercise his masculinity. Why is this still being reported as the cause to an effect? Why can’t men learn to control their behaviours like civilized human beings? Even with the feminist movement in full force and women working harder than ever to prove we’re more than just body parts to be objectified, we are still pigeon holed as the temptress. Blaming the nanny takes away the onus of a tragedy and puts the responsibility onto someone else – someone who is working under a family; someone who has significantly less power than her employer and, in a compromised situation, may be forced to engage in behaviour that she may not ordinarily want to. This isn’t to say all nannies don’t want to get down and dirty with their employers – because some totally do! – but the way the media is framing celebrity divorces by automatically blaming the nanny without any solid proof glorifies a situation that allows the man to walk away looking like a boss, while the woman is left in shambles following the ruthless witch hunt against her. Until the proof is in the pudding, the media needs to stop using the nanny as an excuse for bad behaviour because it perpetuates a gender divide, promotes socially constructed gender roles, and is damaging to what’s left of the relationship between the former couple that is going their separate ways.

Ashley Spegel has been writing all the words as a part-time, Toronto-based freelance writer since 2008, following her graduation from Ryerson’s School of Journalism. With a strong passion for written communication, she has been spreading the good word through various online media, touching on a wide range of topics including celebrity gossip, health and beauty and citywide events.

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