Misogyny Is Not A Mental Illness

Blaming Ye’s abuse of Kim Kardashian on “bipolar disorder” demonizes mentally ill people while letting abusers off the hook.

Jude Ellison S. Doyle
5 min readFeb 17, 2022

--

The face of a guy who has definitely said some less-than-ideal things about women before 2022. Photo by Tinseltown on Shutterstock.

There was a time in my life — there was a time in everyone’s life, wasn’t there? — when I really loved Kanye West. I loved how his mind worked, the aggressive confidence he displayed in the face of a world that wanted to humble him, the way his work charted a soaring and agonizing arc between “I am a god” grandiosity and eight-minute-long epics of self-hatred.

I just loved Kanye West, and when female friends of mine would point out that Kanye West did not love women, I dismissed them. Lots of male musicians didn’t like women, and some did worse than dislike them; there was a reason that Kanye was a culture villain and John Lennon or Steven Tyler were beloved. For me, Kanye fit an established archetype, the Difficult Genius, the guy who may have rough edges and deep flaws, but who is nonetheless able to mine gold from his imperfections in ways that more “likable” artists never could.

It’s the year 2022, and Kanye West, now named Ye, is terrorizing his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, in public. The harassment includes, but is not limited to, publishing all her private communications, sending a full truck of roses to her front door, and instructing his fans to confront her new boyfriend, Pete Davidson, in person, until Kardashian reportedly worried for his safety. This fits a pretty clear pattern of domestic abuse.

Yet instead of looking back at Ye’s long, long track record of concerning statements about women — or acknowledging the women who took the trouble to point them out — critics and defenders alike are choosing to pin the whole thing on Ye’s “bipolar disorder.” In so doing, they’re not only demonizing mentally ill people, they’re letting abusers, including Ye, off the hook.

--

--

Jude Ellison S. Doyle

Author of “Trainwreck” (Melville House, ‘16) and “Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers” (Melville House, ‘19). Columns published far and wide across the Internet.