Stop Blaming the Woman


Mac Miller, born Malcolm James McCormick, was pronounced dead on Friday 7th September, the result of an apparent overdose. In the days that followed, something became clear. A woman was getting the blame for an unexpected, tragic death. Miller, who lived to only 26 years old, had been increasingly open about his addiction, acknowledging it shortly after releasing his debut album and recognising that he had started abusing drugs over ten years before his death. Most recently, he was charged with a DUI after totalling his car with a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit. 
  A Twitter user called it “the most heartbreaking thing happening in Hollywood” and swiftly blamed it on Ariana Grande who had recently broken up with Miller and had since become engaged to her current fiancé Pete Davidson. Grande rightly called this rhetoric absurd, labelling her relationship with Miller as toxic and stating that though she cared for him and supported his sobriety, she was not a mother nor a babysitter and no woman should feel the need to be. 

Now, following Miller’s death, Twitter is once again filled with accusations towards both Grande and Davidson. Even news outlets, such as TMZ, are reporting his overdose “in wake of his breakup with Ariana Grande”. Other news outlets are referring to Miller as “Ariana Grande’s ex-boyfriend”. Twitter users are looking to “beat up Ariana Grande’s new boyfriend”, and calling her a “dumb ass cunt”, whilst the comments on her recent Instagram posts are calling her “the reason”, “Mackiller”, asking her if she’s “happy now”, or telling her to “stop killing people”. She has since disabled her Instagram comments.

"Mac Miller wasn’t just an ex-boyfriend, he was a talented artist in his own right; a rapper, a conversation-starter, an innovator, a multi-faceted man who deserves his own credit, and referring to him by his previous relationship is disrespectful to his career, his legacy and his passing."

There are two things wrong with this conversation. First of all, by mentioning Grande in every single article regarding Miller’s overdose, media outlets are diminishing his merit as an artist and taking away from what should really be talked about — drug abuse and lack of help for those who suffer from it. Mac Miller wasn’t just an ex-boyfriend, he was a talented artist in his own right; a rapper, a conversation-starter, an innovator, a multi-faceted man who deserves his own credit, and referring to him by his previous relationship is disrespectful to his career, his legacy and his passing. 
Secondly, Ariana Grande did not kill Mac Miller. The woman is seemingly always the scapegoat, always at blame, always the one who could’ve done something more, who should have stayed and helped in spite of what the repercussions of her partner’s addiction and his detriment meant for her and her own health.

The fact that Grande was forced to deactivate her own Instagram comments, the fact she even trended on Twitter in wake of the news is entirely off topic. It takes away from what should be a conversation surrounding drug abuse and what can be done to prevent more young people from falling into the pattern of addiction and instead makes it about a third party who had nothing to do with it. 
  Mac Miller killed Mac Miller, as much as it pains me to acknowledge this - as I have always been an avid listener and supporter. His struggle with addiction was nobody’s fault but his personal battle with a multitude of demons, and this is always the case when it comes to addiction, period. Nobody but the afflicted can choose to get help or get clean and blaming it on another person, especially someone as influential as Ariana Grande, delivers a message that it is okay to put the blame on someone else. This message is not only being delivered to addicts who might then feel entitled to the people in their lives who have stayed despite the circumstances but also to those that have been put in a situation where they feel they have to be the carer, the mother, or the babysitter. The conversation is unfounded, unfair, and blatantly ignorant and if read by someone in Grande’s position might be interpreted as “I can’t leave or it’ll be my fault”. 

The aforementioned are just some of the negative ramifications of blaming Grande for Miller’s death. It showcases the way a vast majority views women, as those who can’t just be partners in a relationship but must also be responsible. When women, or anyone for that matter, are held accountable for other people’s actions they become equal parts guilty and equal parts victim. By acting as if though Miller and Grande are inextricably linked, the media is ignoring Miller’s artistic skill and insinuating that he wasn’t enough on his own but had to be someone else’s partner. This also takes away from what should be an opportunity to respectfully acknowledge someone’s passing whilst also commenting on the dangers of drug abuse, something that is become the cause of death of more and more people around the world. Mac Miller’s death is incredibly devastating to his family, his friends, and his fanbase and at a time like this social media should be used to pay respects instead of as a megaphone for backwards rhetoric.