Entire books could be written on the Hakimi divorce scandal… there’s so much to discuss here from his marriage at 19 years old to a 31-year-old woman to the endless rape accusations involving wealthy men in positions of power and prestige. One of the things that’s interesting to me is the euphoria and joy that met the news that he had outsmarted his wife by hiding his numerous assets under his mother’s name. What this reveals about the state of things between heterosexual men and women is what I’d like to explore in this piece.
Men vs women’s fear
Someone once said ‘Men are afraid that women will laugh at them.
Women are afraid that men will kill them.’
One of the most enduring misogyny-laced beliefs about women is they are just after your money. Women cannot be trusted. All and I mean all they want is your money, so you better keep it safe. Even men who have no gold to speak of live in perpetual fear of their non-existent fortunes being stolen. What’s interesting is while men live in this imaginary fear, women are living in real fear of being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by men.
In fact, this Hakimi story has a sexual assault component. Hakimi is currently under investigation for rape with preliminary allegations already lodged against him. The rape allegations were of no consequence for the men celebrating the wisdom of his fraudulent behaviour. It was inconsequential. It is of so little value that in an article about his indictment, they make sure to mention that PSG, the football club he plays for, will play all the coming matches as scheduled.
Money. Men are afraid women will steal their money, and worse legally have it given to them in the name of spousal support. Their worst possible fear? Becoming the laughingstock, a man who was taken to the cleaners by some woman and everyone knows. Women on the other hand are afraid of being on the wrong side of an assault, especially at the hands of a rich, powerful, famous man who people already like and default to defending. It never ends well for women. Ever. Yet men continue to think that their fears are valid, worse comparable with women’s fears.
Don’t spend money on women
There’s a rising trend of men talking about how spending money on women is a total waste. Men are encouraged to send the money to their mothers or build a house dammit instead of wasting it on women who just want to eat their money. This perception of women as greedy, deceitful people who just want to eat your money is responsible for countless murders of women. For men, money and human life are somehow equal.
Men refuse to spend money on women they are with, how much more women they are no longer getting something (sex) from? So Hakimi hides his assets, refusing to financially support his ex-wife, the mother of his two children, and prized sons. He can’t see that it would be for them. Supporting the mother of his children is supporting his children, but this does not appear to register for men.
This refusal to give women anything from gifts to the barest affection and respect makes me wonder if heterosexual men love women at all. I don’t mean women in general, I mean even their partners, girlfriends, and wives. One of the ways we demonstrate our love and affection for each other is through giving, our time, our resources, our affection… Giving is one of the key ways we demonstrate love. If men are in agreement that giving anything to women especially things that have monetary value is a waste, what does that say about the state of affairs for heterosexual relationships?
Mothers of boys
One of the key messages shared throughout the Hakimi celebration tour was how men should marry their mothers and trust only them. This is in reference to the fact that Hakimi hid all his assets under his mother’s name. She let him. She let him. She let him. She knew he was doing it to deliberately get out of supporting his partner and she let him. She worked with him to screw his wife over.
There’s something about birthing a boy in a society that celebrates men and demeans women that immediately raises mothers of boys to a higher status than mothers of girls. Mothers of boys become men-lite. They carry the disdain inherent in women but.. but… but they are a little better. These are the women who conspire with men, with the patriarchy to further oppress women, the wives of their sons. The pathology and internalized misogyny are difficult to make sense of. Hakimi’s mother when she finally broke her silence insisted that she didn’t know he’d transferred his assets to her but said it was the right choice. She agreed with him. She agreed with him. Men all over the internet agreed with him. This a reminder that men, abusive men in particular always have enablers. They always have people who co-sign their behaviour, excuse it, justify it, support it, make excuses for it and sometimes even celebrate it.
The argument can be made that Hakimi was just protecting his massive wealth and his mother was supporting him in doing it. That’s immaterial because we don’t have enough of the story to speak exhaustively on that. What we can talk about though is what the reactions say about men’s perception of women and the state of heterosexual relationships. Men are celebrating the fact that his wife will get nothing. Men refuse to acknowledge the alleged rape that is at the heart of the story, the rape that precipitated the divorce. This is the state of heterosexual relationships.
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