Sophie-Joe Jonas, Manju-Dileep, Samantha-Naga Chaitanya Divorce: STOP The Mom-Shaming!

Mom shaming in a divorce means that women will only end up staying in abusive marriages - think of the long term implications for children's mental health!

Celebrity couple Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas are getting divorced, and gossip tabloids are having a field day. For the unversed, Joe Jonas is a musician and one of the Jonas brothers (His younger brother Nick is married to Priyanka Chopra). Sophie Turner is an actress best known for her portrayal of Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones.

The couple announced their amicable split on social media, requesting privacy for them and their two young children.

Once the split was confirmed, the speculation and the mom-shaming began

It was alleged that Sophie had left her two young daughters with Joe in the US while shooting for a movie in the United Kingdom, and that Joe, the dutiful father, cared for his daughters even while he was performing while on tour in the US. While Sophie was painted as the “party-going irresponsible mother” who cared about herself more than her family, Joe was celebrated for being “a good father” and taking care of his children. Netizens called out the misogyny, with many wondering why gender stereotypes still existed.

Sadly, such sexist narratives are very common.

It’s 2023, and we are still confining women to the age-old mold of being the primary caregiver. God forbid if she musters the strength to walk out of a relationship that isn’t working out! She has only one name; that of a ‘bad mother.’

This is not just a phenomenon restricted to Hollywood.

Manju Warrier – Dileep

In India, down South, Manju-Dileep were a celebrity couple. Their fairy-tale romance, their elopement, and marriage were the talk of the town. Manju was in her heyday, an actress who had delivered hit after hit, and a much bigger actress than Dileep at that time. She stepped down and maintained a low profile as Dileep’s wife, making only fleeting public appearances, and then later raising their daughter, Meenakshi.

Sadly, this fairy tale did not end happily.

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It came as a shock to many when the couple announced their divorce after years of marriage. But that’s when the mudslinging began. Dileep got custody of Meenakshi. Manju was rumored to have relinquished rights over her daughter, favoring a comeback in cinema. The PR machinery swung into play.

“My heart breaks when I see Meenakshi waking up at 5:30 am, braiding her hair alone and getting ready for school,” Dileep said in an interview, reinforcing Manju’s tag as one who had abandoned her daughter to pursue her dreams.

Samantha Prabhu – Naga Chaitanya

Yet another high-profile divorce case in recent times is the Samantha-Naga Chaitanya split.

Speculations were rife; Sam was the one who didn’t want to have children, and that was the reason behind the divorce. Such unsavory rumors prompted Sam to release a statement:

“Thank you all for showing deep empathy and concern, and for defending me against false rumors and stories that are being spread. They say I had affairs, never wanted children, that I am an opportunist, and now that I have had abortions. A divorce in itself is an extremely painful process. Let alone allowing me the time to heal. This attack on me has been relentless. But I promise you this, I will never allow this or anything else they say, to break me.”

More power to Sam! It takes two tango, and holding just one responsible and piling on the mom-guilt is just not right.

These cases make it easier for people to troll ordinary women undergoing divorce

Ordinary divorces are no different from celebrity ones, when it comes to the shaming, guilt-tripping, and vitriolic judgement. A celebrity is more likely to survive the onslaught; they have the financial means for legal action. But what about the ordinary woman who has neither the strength nor the financial means to fight back? Naysayers scream, demanding why she is selfish and not thinking about her children.

What they forget is that it is not healthy for children to be in a broken home; one where the mother and father do not see eye to eye. Co-parenting peacefully is a much better option than subjecting children to constant disagreements and arguments.  That way they can have two happy homes, rather than one unhappy home.

The long-term impact on the mental health of the child needs to be considered. An acquaintance shied away from any kind of commitment because he had seen the constant tears and fights at his home, and dreaded what his future would look like. While his parents complimented themselves for holding it together for the sake of the children, the scars remained. Imagine children normalizing this kind of behavior, that you stick around no matter what because this is what love or being around for the family means!

A divorce is a breakdown of a relationship and only the parties involved know the reasons. Subjecting them to moral policing or judgment, irrespective of gender, only adds to their trauma. Let’s respect privacy, and allow both parties to heal and move on, without trying to speculate needlessly. This Mom-shaming has to stop!

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About the Author

Lalitha Ramanathan

Lalitha is a blogger and a dreamer. Her career is in finance, but writing is her way to unwind! Her little one is the center of her Universe. read more...

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