The Yoko effect
On Instagram this morning I saw an interesting post by Rolling Stone, the magazine. It said:
When Mac Miller tragically died last week, Ariana Grande’s name was immediately trending. Not only did many dilute his legacy to be that of a once-boyfriend to a popular singer, but others decided to once again place the blame on Grande. In our new feature, we look at the lasting legacy of the ‘Yoko Effect’ and the powerful—and damaging—myth that women are responsible for their male partner’s actions.”
More from the Rolling Stone article, “Fan claims such as these stem from the most dangerous branch of pop culture’s continuous fascination with the so-called Yoko Effect and its desire to connect female partners to actions they may not comprehend. These claims and conspiracies—often solely perpetuated but the most toxically masculine fractions of fandoms—sometimes never disappear. Even Courtney Love is still fielding social media comments and blog conspiracy theories that she not only was the reason Kurt Cobain became addicted to heroin (she was not) but also that she had actually murdered him and faked his suicide (also untrue). Cobain died two decades before these social media platforms even existed, yet the fact that Love’s comments can still attract a rogue claim like this speaks volumes to the way society continues to expect women to be caretakers for the men in their lives and reacts with fury when they apparently cannot absorb their partners’ pain.
Following Mac Miller’s DUI where he totaled his G Wagon, “fans” were quick to jump the gun and say, “Mac Miller 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 Devine feminine is just the most heartbreaking thing happening in Hollywood.”
Ariana Grande after went on to reply with, “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 by the way isn’t the case (just Cinderella is about 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 and 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. Of course I didn’t share about how hard or scary it was while it was happening but it was. I will continue to pray from the bottom of my heart that he figures it all out and that any other woman in this position does as well.”
Of course the term “The Yoko Effect” comes from the portrayed influence of Yoko on John’s relationship with The Beatles and the breakup and all of that animosity that was so public. This “you did this to him, or you made him do that” mentality is so messed up. Everyone is accountable for their own actions. But of course, we all need support.
Food for thought. Miss you Mac.