My interest in the goings on in the world of entertainment – the domain of our so-called artistes – goes about as deep as a roadside puddle after a slight drizzle. But given the media circus surrounding the plight of Abby Abadi and her husband, Norman Hakim, I cannot help but get a whiff of what rightfully ought to be a private matter. OK, being celebrities they should expect a degree of exposure that goes above and beyond what is normal. This is not my contention. However, I am disheartened to note the seemingly unfair stance that society is taking on the matter.
The husband is caught gallivanting with another woman and the whole world cries, “Foul!” Women’s programmes drag her out and wring the last once of sensationalism out of the poor woman. And while we’re at it, the print media isn’t any way less ruthless than their electronic brethren. The message being exploited is: Men are useless little pricks concerned solely with how and when they will get laid next.
Well, in some cases this may be true. But that’s not my point. My bone of contention is this: Why the double standard? When a woman is wronged by her man, society is all too ready to take her side and cast the man to the deepest depths of hell. Norman two-times Abby and the world takes her side, wiping her tears with whatever remnants of self-respect he has left – and eventually with his bank account. Some other sorry excuse for a husband kicks the shit out of his wife, we are ready to tear him limb from limb and leave his remains at the centre of Dataran Merdeka for the crows to pick at. Well and good. I have no problems with this.
But for every woman whose husband screwed around, I can name a woman who did just the same if not better. For every pathetic husband who ever laid a hand on his wife, I can name a woman who did just as much damage to her husband with her words and actions (Question: You mean words don’t hurt as much as a slap?). For every marriage that went down the tubes because the man was an idiot, I can point to another that crumbled because the wife was a bitch.
So, what’s my point? Simple: Do away with all this double standard and hypocrisy. Our reaction ought to be just as vitriolic regardless of whether the man or the woman is at fault. Think about this for a second: Are we really fair when we are trying to be fair? Case in point: How come the world didn’t rally around Hans Isaac when Erra socked it to him? Or why doesn’t it protest vehemently, for example, when a woman leaves her husband to be with a minister/rockstar/whatever? Why are we all too willing to sympathise with down-trodden housewives and conveniently overlook the hordes of hen-pecked husbands who suffer in silence (allegedly in Negeri Sembilan or wherever it is that husbands are hen-pecked)? Cut a man and he bleeds red, too – just like any woman. Why do we forget this?
A wrong is still a wrong – no matter which gender commits it. Maybe its time to get a charter for the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Males…