Are We Biased?

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“She didn’t shoot any hoops, win a single game or do anything worth having half of that man’s fortune,” one of my good guy friends exclaimed to me over brunch regarding the much talked about divorce of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant. I shook my head at his ignorance and quickly reminded him that she had in fact done everything and more than most women could handle. Vanessa Bryant married at an early age giving up the freedom of her twenties, faced a great deal of humiliation in her marriage when a rape scandal made headlines across the world, dealt with a reported ten years of infidelity and raises his children. I’d say she’s done more than enough to deserve half of what’d he’s earned in ten years, wouldn’t you?

“How would you feel if we were married, you stepped out on me and the court ruled that you had to give me half of the fortune you’d worked so hard to earn,” my guy friend asked me. I’d never really thought about it like that until I heard about the recent news of comedian Russell Brand and pop star Katy Perry’s marriage ending. Reportedly the couple didn’t have a prenuptial agreement, which means disaster for Perry. The California divorcing law states: California is a community property state. Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property.

Perry is obviously the bigger star among the two with Grammy nominations, hit songs and a sold out tour in 2011 alone. She’s made far more money than her estranged husband, which means half of what she’s earned during the marriage will now go to him and possible spousal support. I cringed at the thought of Brand receiving what Perry had worked so hard to earn. He hadn’t written a single song, performed for thousands of people or got nominated for any awards.

Wait a minute; I’m starting to sound like my ignorant guy friend.

Perhaps it’s because rarely do you hear of a woman’s property and fortune being taken during a divorce. In fact it is more than likely us who receives custody of the children, ownership of the house, child support and spousal support. Generally, we seem to get it all.

It occurred to me after my friend’s statement that yes, women can be extremely biased when it comes to discussing who gets what during a divorce. We cheered on Juanita Jordan when she received $168 million dollars in her divorce settlement, stood to our feet when Angela Bassett proudly burned her husband’s car and clothes in Waiting to Exhale and cleaned him out in court. We adore Ivanka Trump and shouted halleluiah when Shelia Johnson received $400 million dollars in her divorce settlement (She earned it, though. She helped  create BET).

However, we get upset when we hear about stories like Perry and cursed when we heard Madonna had to pay her ex-husband Guy Ritchie reportedly $90 million dollars in their divorce settlement. “It’s just not fair,” many of us shouted. But isn’t it?

Why should men work a lifetime to build their empire and give half to us, yet we get mad if we have to do the same? It seems unfair on both ends and it is. Marriage is tough and divorce is even tougher. Be smart before you say I do, it sometimes comes with an unexpected price.

I don’t know about you, but as for me in the great words of Yeezy, “we want pre-nup!”

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    I don’t know if Brand is getting much; they were only married for a year or so.

    I am not at all biased. If Oprah and Stedman were married and she had to give him half of what she earned during the marriage, I would think it was fair. She has noted many times how much of a support he has been to her. Success is heavily dependent on having emotional support, family support, and just someone else picking up the slack in all other areas of life. Vanessa was put through a lot by the fool she married. She deserves more than half IMO. If he didn’t want to give her half, he had the choice to get a prenup, but chose not to.

  • S.

    I am not apart of this “we”

    I am not mad at the Perry/Brand situation
    I am not mad at the Vanessa/Kobe situation

    I do not believe in pre-nups

  • arlette

    i have been working since i turned 16. i have money in the bank because all i do is save save save. in 10yrs time i hope to be the manager of the company im working in. if some guy comes along, you mean to tell me that he is entitled to half of my earning if we had a divorce? im sorry by but that is bull i dont care if it is the man or woman doing the paying, i think its wrong. what i dont understand is why people dont protect themselves by getting prenups.

  • Vertigo Schtick

    Exactly. And kudos to you hard working woman!

  • Libby

    Call me what u what I don’t think anyone is entitled to HALF of everything I made. Kobe and Vanessa had martial problems, but the argument that she endured xyz and should be paid per pound of pain is ridiculous. There is a lot of room between half and fair settlement multimillion dollar fortune. It was not like Vanessa was living in a card board box while Kobe lived in a mansion. Vanessa lived a very, very privalaged life during the marriage and will continue after. She did not give up her freedom she got married. Now if millionaire and his wife divorced with no infidelity or the public humiliation should she get half? She did not endured what Vanessa did, right?

    First I don’t think Katey as as much dough as people claim and secondly he should not get half of her money either.

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