No, Selena Gomez Is Not “To Blame For Justin Bieber’s Behavior”

Celebrity gossip is not the place to look for nuance or thoughtfulness. A lot of it is downright sexist. Take, for example, today’s headline on New York Post gossip page’s Page Six column, “Selena Gomez ‘To Blame For Justin Bieber’s Behavior’.”

You’re probably aware that pop stars Gomez and Bieber were, for a time, a couple. They broke up. You’re also probably aware that Bieber has been losing it a little bit lately: arguing with his neighbors, showing up late/canceling concerts, trying to fight paparazzi, running around in gas masks, abandoning his pet monkey.

Apparently, all of that is his ex-girlfriend’s fault!

Page Six quotes gossip blog TMZ, where “sources said that Bieber is acting out because he is releasing some pent-up anger from the split.”

To be sure, all of us have something akin to pent-up anger following a breakup; non-famous folks are fortunate enough to do have privacy to do so. But that’s quite a different thing than Page Six’s outright statement that Bieber’s feelings have been hurt and “his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez could be to blame” for his “recent behavior” which “has been getting more attention than any of his music lately.”

The only person who is responsible for Justin Bieber’s behavior, no matter how many text messages Selena Gomez sends him, is Justin Bieber.

Our society loves to find excuses for why men, especially men acting out their anger, aren’t accountable for what they do. It’s not only insulting to men to suggest they can’t control themselves, it’s also a double standard with how female pop stars are treated. Britney Spears was doing her whole head-shaving-locking-herself-in-the-bathroom thing, we all knew Kevin Federline wasn’t the best dude in the world but no one said it was his “fault.” Same for Christina Aguilera when she was getting arrested for driving under the influence; I don’t remember her ex-husband being blamed.

Also, I’m pretty sure if it was Gomez acting out in the same violent ways and irresponsible ways following a breakup, it wouldn’t be Justin Biber’s “fault.” She would just be a “crazy bitch” who can’t handle a breakup.

[Page Six]

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