Apparently people (read men and other people who are influenced by patriarchy) are upset about Vanessa Bryant being the recipient of $75 million after her divorce with Kobe finalizes. I’ve heard people say that she has “hit the lottery”, that she “got his ass”, etc. as if she plotted against him in the pursuit of a fortune. One of my twitter followers even went so far as to say “Vanessa Bryant, MJ & Tigers ex wives, symbolize everything wrong with our society & judicial system. I’m seriously upset”
Not only does this rhetoric demonize women, it also undermines the principles of marriage. Which in my opinion, are embarking on a life journey together, sharing lives, loving one another, etc. And in the event that the marriage ends, you split the life you had together (unless you signed a prenuptial agreement, which is another conversation in itself), and go your separate ways. One person’s success within a marriage should not alter this process. Nor does it make one party, who was not as successful, a villain or user.
When we subscribe to this rhetoric, we do not acknowledge the years that Vanessa and other women put into their marriages. Supporting and loving him during times of infidelity, raising their children, time away from home and abroad, rape accusations, scandal, etc. are worth noting. She did not just sit on her ass and ignore Kobe while he made millions. And now, she no longer wants to be married to a cheater, so she left. And she deserves the money she is about to receive, because Kobe Bryant made money for his family, which she was once a part of.
If I can dig into the root of the issue, I think that we, as a patriarchal society, do not like to see women self empowered, regardless of circumstance. Vanessa Bryant had access to the entire $150 million when she was married to Kobe, and we did not consider her a gold digger or some plotting leech then. In fact, when Kobe was cheating on her, we thought she was the pinnacle of a “down ass bitch”. But now that she is an independent agent, with access to only half of that, she is somehow wrong. Kobe Bryant will STILL be a millionaire when this divorce is over, and will have the opportunity to make even MORE money. He was cheating on his wife for the majority of their 10 years (which is longer than I would have put up with that bullshit). He is NOT a victim.
Let us please get our panties out of this bunch. There are much bigger fish to fry, especially in our “judicial system”, than a rich man who is paying his dues in a divorce settlement.