On the 7th September 2018, Mac Miller (real name Malcolm James McCormick) was found dead of a suspected drug overdose in his LA apartment at the tender age of 26. A respected and talented rapper, singer and record producer, the music world went into a frenzy when the sad news made its way onto the Internet.

Meaning it didn’t take long for people to start playing the “blame game” for Miller’s death.

And who did they start to antagonise and point fingers at?

None other than his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande.

Angry and devastated fans of Miller took to Twitter to attempt to blame Grande for his death, due to her getting engaged to comedian Pete Davidson a month after her and Miller announced their split. Apparently, Grande falling in love with another individual shortly after their split (despite Miller openly stating that there were was no hard feelings about Grande’s quick engagement) provides the grounds that allows people to blame her for Miller’s drug addiction.

Ariana Grande has been known to openly argue on behalf of women, as she’s been attacked a fair few times on a lot of her actions. She’s been attacked for having relationships, singing about sex, wearing revealing clothes… pretty much anything. Back in May, a Mac Miller fan tweeted “Mac Miller totaling his G wagon and getting a DUI after Ariana Grande dumped him for another dude after he poured his heart out on a ten song album to her called the divine feminine is just the most heartbreaking thing happening in Hollywood,” Grande was quick to respond in her standard quick witted, elegant and honest manner:

How absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship because he wrote an album about them, which btw isn’t the case (just Cinderella is ab me). I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be. I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem. Let’s please stop doing that…

Grande’s response has amassed over 245,000 likes and has triggered a discussion about the use of women as scapegoats in men’s problems. This isn’t the first or sole time female celebrities have been blamed for actions of their famous male partners or been a target of emotional scrutiny. Yoko Ono was accused by The Daily Mail newspaper that she was apparently profiting off John Lennon’s murder in the 80’s, and supposedly appeared far happier after his death.

So why are women so often used as scapegoats in order to not only examine and comprehend men’s issues, but to excuse them? It’s extremely rare that a man will be blamed for his own issues – it will often consist of bringing up any interaction or relation with a female in his past and using that to determine the root of the problem. “He had an alcoholic mother”, or “he had a crazy girlfriend”, would be an accurate example of women being used as scapegoats so that men are not held accountable for their mistakes and actions. Whether this has developed from the concept that women are the weaker sex and therefore they are to blame for all of men’s flaws, is not entirely clear. However, surely this counteracts that notion? If women are constantly being condemned for errors that they are not to be blamed for, then surely this says milestones about the emotional and mental strength of women. Are men not mentally or emotionally capable or able to be cognizant of their own mess ups? As women, are we expected to be there to catch, clean and sweep away the consequences of our male counterpart’s issues?

Grande’s words about not being a babysitter or a mother to a man reflect the roles on which society has given to both women and men and how they interact. Women are constantly expected to be the carers, the givers – to be soft. But softness doesn’t mean weakness, and neglecting your own problems and taking on others for the sake of fulfilling the expected soft role of women is ludicrous and quite frankly, outdated.

It’s the 21st century, not the middle ages. We are better than this.

So let’s act like it.

Photo: Kristoffer Abildgaard

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