Divorce: The New Pop Culture Topic

nora ephron bookI love Nora Ephron and her take on pop culture. When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies. I felt her pain in Heartburn. I don't think her neck is too wrinkly and she has a killer sense of humor.

But Nora and I have to part ways on the issue of divorce. I caught her on Morning Joe talking about her involvement with a new Huffington Post project -- a page dedicated to divorce. For her, she said it was important to find humor in the hard things in her life.

But not everything about divorce is humor-worthy. And that's my concern with the new divorce page -- that portraying divorce as a pop culture topic will diminish how we view the uglier aspects of divorce, like domestic abuse, where there is no humor.

That thought hit me hard as I listened to Ephron and looked at the new HuffPo page. I don't talk about it often because it was a lifetime ago, but I divorced my first husband because of domestic abuse.


I may be giving away my age here, but it's been close to 30 years since my divorce. It's been almost three decades since my ex-husband pushed me down a flight of stairs. A good long time since he pulled the butcher knife on me and I was able somehow to make my way past him to the door, leaving that apartment for the last time and wondering where in the world I was going to go. I worried about the stalking and not being able to get a restraining order, which was a big concern because I was a broadcast journalist in a pretty small town -- it was easy to find me even if I didn't live with him anymore.

I still haven't been able to find a piece of humor in any of that.

In her introductory post for the section, Arianna Huffington says she hopes the new page will be sort of an "everything you wanted to know about divorce but were afraid to ask" resource. But domestic violence isn't a topic that fits in well with pieces like Seven Oddball Divorce Stats or how to act on those post-divorce dates. But it is a very real part of the topic of divorce.

I hope Arianna will have the courage to allow this new section to become an actual resource with fewer celebrity stories and make room for those that could be a true resource for spouses, mostly women, to turn.

I hope, as my good friend Julie Marsh believes, that it will. But for that to happen, the writers must have the freedom to write about the side of divorce many don't like to think about -- the violent side.


Image via Amazon

Joanne Bamberger is the author of the political blog, PunditMom and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post Politics page. Her book Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media Are Revolutionizing Politics in America will be released in early 2011.

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