Many months ago I was having a conversation with a group of women about whether women could be good leaders. Yes, I know. Yes, in 2013. Anyway, I, of course, said yes, women can lead. Another woman said no, in fact, women would not make good leaders because they are too emotional (because of PMS).
Men, however, were not emotional, she reasoned. They are logical and rational and all things well thought out and planned. (Months later, she followed up that conversation to say that if she had to choose between two leaders, one man vs. one woman, that she, a woman, would choose the man because of something like men have more sense. Sigh.)
If ever that conversation comes up again—and I’m sure it will—I will use the recent antics of boxer Floyd Mayweather and former Scandal star Columbus Short to counter her poor argument. These two are the new exhibits A for men with mismanaged emotions, bad logic, and just plain poor judgment.
Last Thursday Mayweather, who should have been focused on his then-upcoming fight, decided it was a great idea to publish the alleged medical records of his former fiancee, Shantel Jackson, whom he broke up with a year ago. Mayweather posted a photo to Instagram of what he indicated were Jackson’s sonogram pictures with documents showing that she had aborted their twins. The caption read: “The real reason me and Shantel Christine Jackson broke up was because she got an abortion and I’m totally against killing babies. She killed our twin babies.”
Before you think Mayweather was having some pro-life act of goodwill, please note that his allegations came the morning after Jackson posted a photo of herself canoodling with rapper Nelly. He was in his feelings because his ex had moved on.
Maybe Mayweather thought that people would think his ex was a horrible person for having had an abortion, but the general sentiment of dismay was directed squarely at him. Viewers were appalled and found his latest stunt—the most recent in several antagonistic acts toward his ex—deplorable. For many who didn’t know or didn’t care why the couple broke up, suddenly it made sense why she wouldn’t want to be with him, because who does that to their ex? And for those who may have cared enough about their relationship to follow it and thought Mayweather’s ex was in it for the money, his latest actions did more to clear her name than harm it.
Can we talk like adults here? There’s a blueprint for rich, celebrity men and the gorgeous women who date them. Part of the architecture of these arrangements is the woman gets pregnant and attempts to guarantee herself an 18-year payday. Jackson was pregnant with twins by a multimillionaire. She chose to walk away from that situation with no strings attached. Instead of speculating about Jackson’s morals, as I’m sure Mayweather anticipated, everyone was wondering how bad Mayweather is as a companion that she passed on what many would consider a “come up.” His actions revealed a lot—in a good way—about Jackson’s character.
Short, amid a post-Scandal spiral, apparently missed Mayweather’s backlash, because on Sunday he took a page from Mayweather’s How to Be a Bitter Ex handbook and allegedly released video footage of his estranged wife—the same wife who recently alleged that he attacked her in their home and threatened to kill her and himself—fighting another woman. I guess he was trying to sway public opinion to show that he was the victim in their relationship. The video shows Short’s wife overpowering another woman and calling her a “bitch.” Out of context, it looks bad. But is it?
The alleged backstory is that Short was put out of the marital home after his wife accused him of beating her. The following day, he showed up to collect his belongings with another woman in tow, a woman who entered the house.
I’m going on record as saying violence should be avoided whenever possible. However, it’s a rare person who is going to find complete fault with a wife who goes off when another woman is in her home and refuses to leave.
As for Short, he looks even messier here than after his restraining order, getting arrested for a bar fight and dropping the n-bomb on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. (And this video footage does nothing to clear his name.) He brought another woman, who’s relationship to him is unknown to the audience, into his marital home, with his wife present, and when the women were fighting on the floor, he stood there holding his camera instead of breaking it up or defending his friend, who was being assaulted. All that video was missing was someone in the background yelling “WorldStar,” a reference to the popular site known for its black-on-black assault videos. Frankly, it looked like he set up his wife and his friend.
In trying to shame their exes, both men ended up doing more damage to their own reputations. And they both need to have several seats … in a therapist’s office where they can work out their anger and hurt over the demise of their relationships. Perhaps a therapist can also remind them that publicly dogging an ex is a bad move, and offer the advice that I’ve heard from many elders: Living well is the best revenge.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. Follow her on Twitter.