Reevaluating toxic relationships through the Kardashian-West divorce
By Cissie Brotzman
Kanye West, who recently changed his legal name to Ye, wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post, “I can afford to hurt u.” The post was directed at D.L. Hughley, an actor and comedian who claimed West’s actions toward his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, and her new boyfriend, comedian and Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member Pete Davidson, were concerning and worrisome.
While parts of society might blame Kardashian for West’s actions, asking why she did not just leave him before their relationship got serious, West has shown that he can be dangerous when it comes to this situation.
This February, West began using Instagram to bash Kardashian’s parenting skills. Kardashian and West share four children together, and since their recent divorce in early March, West has been actively making posts about the reality star.
Dating rumors between Kardashian and Davidson started swirling after the couple shared a kiss during an SNL skit that aired in October. Once the dating rumors started, West began hating on Davidson, while still discussing Kardashian’s parenting skills.
“Upon my wife’s request please nobody do anything physical to hurt [Davidson] I’m going to handle this situation myself,” West said in an Instagram caption.
On multiple occasions, West has mentioned hurting someone else. However, because of West’s massive fan base, many people blame Kardashian for the situation. Kardashian’s decision to divorce does not excuse West’s actions. When situations of toxic relationships arise in the media, many people blame the victim. A question that is often asked is, “Why didn’t you just leave earlier?” The reality is that leaving a toxic relationship is not that simple.
Despite Kardashian’s fame and wealth, it still may have been difficult for her to leave such a relationship. With her very public life, Kardashian most likely has a bigger support system than someone who is not a celebrity. Going through a public breakup is still hard, and West’s decision to blast the divorce all over social media does not help. But someone who is not in the spotlight at all might have a harder time getting support to leave the relationship.
Society needs to change the narrative when it comes to toxic relationships. Instead of blaming the victim, and questioning why they did not leave sooner, we should take a deeper look at the situation. Many people have theorized that West, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, may be struggling with his mental health during this time, which could have made it difficult for Kardashian to end their relationship. Kardashian herself asked fans to show “compassion and empathy” toward West due to the disorder back in February.
In another deleted Instagram post, West used a photo that showed pins on his daughter’s backpack. He said, “This was on my daughter’s backpack when I was ‘allowed’ to see her last week…” This post came after weeks of West’s posts, and Kardashian finally decided to respond.
“Please stop with this narrative, you were just here this morning picking up the kids for school,” wrote Kardashian in the comment section of the post.
This post and Kardashian’s reaction prove that we never know what is going on behind the scenes. Even with a family as famous as the Kardashians, what happens behind closed doors is unknown to the public. It may be very difficult for someone to leave a relationship if their significant other shows any signs of violence or instability.
The situation between West and Kardashian is happening in the public eye, which is a very different experience than a toxic situation happening without eyes at all. Kardashian and West each have their supporters, but, despite their fame, there should be no blame at all on the victim.
Many women and men deal with the struggles of toxic relationships every day. Society should erase the narrative of blaming the victim, for no one ever knows what the reality of the situation is.
Cissie Brotzman, sophomore journalism major
Originally printed in the 4/6/22 issue.