Actually, I try to avoid the word patriarchy as much as possible. It has become a thousand-things cloth, a term that is used in almost every piece written by a woman, the Stef Blok of feminism, so to speak.
But yeah, now I can’t get around it. Because on Thursday evening a story was told on television of which you can say: look, that’s how it works, that’s patriarchy in action.
Jaimie Vaes, the ex-partner of Lil ‘Kleine, joined Khalid & Sophie† The interview was important for several reasons, not least because domestic violence can no longer be hidden behind the front door with this place at the talk show table, with a well-known woman talking about her experiences with a well-known man. Vaes had received many messages last year from women who are in the same situation, or from children whose mothers were abused. Domestic violence is not a private problem, but a social problem – it has been discussed here before.
In Khalid & Sophie Vaes looked back at the video she made with Lil ‘Kleine after the alleged abuse in Ibiza, May last year. What looked like a disturbing semi-hostage video at the time turned out to be more or less so.
Their management thought that the film should be made, Vaes said on Thursday evening, ‘a signal not to let it escalate further to the disadvantage of my friend’. She did not support it, she had also stated that, she was ashamed of her family and friends who knew better. But unfortunately: his career had to be saved. They were given a text that they had to spoon up in their own words, a few videos were recorded and the best was distributed.
This was the best, apparently.
That’s how it goes in patriarchy: Namam, Nathan Moszkowicz’s management agency, pressured a vulnerable woman to go beyond her own borders in front of the nation, to lie, to humble herself, basically. Everything in the service of his career.
Vaes’ performance fell in a media week that was in any case dominated by domestic violence. HP/The Time revealed that the ex-fiancée of Johnny de Mol was recently interrogated by the police, after she had made a report a few years ago. During their relationship in 2014 and 2015, he is said to have seriously assaulted her three times, including an attempt to strangle. She has photos of her injuries as evidence, a visit to the hospital and a note from the GP. Screenshots of WhatsApp conversations have also been added to the report, as well as a sound recording in which he admits that he had ‘handled her’.
Pretty convincing, you’d think. In any case, sufficient reason for a pause. But in Hilversum they just didn’t know it yet. Programs like RTL Boulevard had the greatest difficulty finding people who wanted to say something about the matter, there was some shooting at the talk show tables. De Mol denied and just continued to present his daily program on his father’s channel. “Of course they have money, so they are easy victims,” entrepreneur Michel Perridon said in a statement Jinek about the De Mol family. And also: “Doesn’t seem like a bad boy to me.”
De Mol is of course much more cuddly than Lil ‘Kleine. And also a member of the most influential media family in the Netherlands. The accusations against him could be the ultimate test of patriarchy.