A few weeks ago, Premier League footballer Wayne Rooney was caught driving while three times over the alcohol limit. To make matters worse, when he was arrested in the early hours, he was driving the car of a woman who was not his wife. It emerged that he had claimed they had decided to “romp”. Infidelity in marriages is not new, and neither is sexism in tabloids, but there is a specific kind that becomes increasingly apparent since the Rooneys became the centre of the media.
Since the incident occurred, the media have been placing pressure upon pressure on the Everton player’s heavily pregnant wife Coleen to stay with him. Social media users have reminded her that “millions of men” have done this and urgently pressed her to help her husband be “better”: it’s her duty.
Headlines of Wayne’s “week of turmoil [taking] a turn for the worse when his wife was spotted out and about without her wedding ring” seem a little ironic. Shouldn’t it be Coleen’s week of turmoil? It was her who had the father of her unborn child nearly cheat on her and “humiliate” her so that she feels, according to media reports, that “the whole world is laughing at her”.
It’s ironic how lightheartedly Rooney’s indiscretions against his pregnant wife are treated, especially by The Sun, which created a ‘hall of shame’ where women who had cheated on their partners could be called out and publicly humiliated.
What’s even worse than this casual brushing away of Rooney’s cheating is how the blame is shifted onto Coleen. Why hadn’t she taken fewer holidays? If she had been at home with the kids, not off with them in Majorca, this never would have happened! Why hadn’t she placed stricter rules on him or offered stronger ultimatums after previous transgressions? Doesn’t she know that Wayne is a “manchild” whose every need and want must be met by her, as he is so reliant and incompetent? Despite how outlandish many of these questions sound, a lot of them have been asked with a serious expectancy that Coleen should answer them.