Thanking your wife is now a sign of being a sexist. Ryan Gosling won a Golden Globe for his performance in “La La Land” and chose to thank his wife, Eva Mendes, for being a good wife, mother, and support for the rest of the family.
Instead of this move making him conscientious, supportive of his wife, or a sweet husband, apparently it instead makes him a sexist and misogynist, someone who is upholding the patriarchy and holding down his wife. The world has truly gone mad when a husband can’t love his wife without being slagged.
It might be shocking to some, but tiny humans can’t breed and reproduce themselves, and they can’t raise themselves after birth. Someone has to keep them fed, cleaned, and safe from danger. Someone has to love and nurture them, because we know that attachment is necessary for mental and physical health. A family with children needs an adult to parent, and that adult is usually one of the two people who agreed to make that child.
Sometimes fathers are the primary parent, and sometimes mothers are. With babies especially there are biological arguments for why it makes sense to have mothers be the primary parent. Mendes is currently pregnant. She has a toddler. She also has a brother fighting cancer. Mendes is also a popular and talented actress, and her choice to stay home with her children is one she’s making because she loves her family, not because she has no other options.
Nope, This Isn’t The Onion
Instead of acknowledging that Gosling credits his wife with his success because he actually appreciates her, the Independent chose to get ridiculous: “Despite the swooning on social media for his Notebook-esque outpouring, I can’t help but feel that Eva Mendes, an award-winning actor in her own right, took one for the team and provided the emotional labour needed for Gosling to further his own career. Gosling’s appreciation for his wife, may be genuine but it plays into structural inequality women face in the workplace, least of all Hollywood. Yes, Mendes has agency, and the decision to put her career on the back burner for the sake of her husband’s was hers, but why did she have to make that decision to begin with?”
Wait, what? In case this seems like a post from The Onion, it’s not. Michael Moynihan, a national correspondent with VICE, shared the article and opined: “So many sizzling takes from the GGs. Upside is that Ryan Gosling’s wife Eva Mendes now knows she married a sexist.”
I’m sure Mendes is thankful for The Independent’s criticism of her personal life choices and reproduction. I guess reproductive choices are above reproach, beyond critique, totally a woman’s purview… until they’re not. Mendes, in choosing for the time being to adopt a traditional gender role, has opened herself and her husband to attack from those who deny the importance of family and children.
Do Something Else With Your Platforms
Seriously, America, we’ve got issues. Instead of micromanaging the marital decisions of a single Hollywood couple, let’s talk about all of the families without two parents. Let’s talk about the families that don’t have the option of one parent staying home with the kids, or hiring a personal nanny.
Or we could focus on the struggle of supporting family members diagnosed with cancer and the uncertainty of long-term prognosis and health. Gosling and Mendes have the right and ability to make the choices that are best for both of them and their family. Right now, that choice is Mendes putting her career on the back burner and spending the bulk of her time with the children.
The thing about childhood is that it’s fleeting. It passes quickly, and those moments will never return. First smiles, first steps, first words—once these moments are gone, they’re gone forever. Mendes is fortunate to be able to be present for her child’s firsts, and Gosling is physically unable to be pregnant in her stead, so why is he sexist for thanking her for all she is doing and will continue to do? The answer is that he isn’t.
Correction: This article previously misinterpreted a comment from Michael Moynihan. We regret the error.