Can Critics Stop Mum-Shaming And Villainizing Sophie Turner?

Let the lady live, please.

The ink isn’t yet dry on the dissolution of Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ ‘fairytale’ marriage, yet critics are already jumping down her throat with thinly veiled swipes that she is not behaving ‘as a woman should’ (quote marks there because, actually, screw those expectations).

For context, Turner, 27, and Jonas, 34, have been married for four years, tying the knot in 2019. The pair went on to have two children together, Willa in 2020, and another daughter, whose name is still unknown, in 2022.

Despite the seemingly idyllic lifestyle the young family led, Jonas has now filed for divorce from Turner, stating that the marriage is ‘irretrievably broken’.

(Credit: Image: Getty)

While court documents, sighted by TMZ, do not place fault on either partner – in fact, Jonas requests shared custody of the children and fair division of their assets in line with their ironclad prenup – the hyena-like sources are already out there bringing Turner down.

So, why are people trying to paint Sophie Turner as the bad guy, and Joe Jonas as a saint? Let’s break it down.

What Happened Between Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas?

While Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner have now put out a joint statement about their divorce, the time between the news breaking on TMZ and the Instagram message was filled with drama. 

Their joint statement read, “After four wonderful years of marriage we have mutually decided to amicably end our marriage. There are many speculative narratives as to why but, truly this is a united decision and we sincerely hope that everyone can respect our wishes for privacy for us and our children.”

We can only assume those ‘speculative narratives’ refer to the online ‘sources’ that were alleging all sorts of nefarious reasons that the two are calling it quits.

It starts with the fact that Jonas, not Turner, was the one to file the divorce papers, naming the reason: that the marriage was ‘irretrievably broken’. Those who don’t know much about divorce wording could think it means that she broke the romance down, but really, that’s not at all what it means.

(Credit: Image: Getty)

In fact, while it varies by state, the use of ‘irreconcilable differences’ and ‘irretrievably broken’ is the basis of the so-called ‘no-fault divorce’ in the United States. It doesn’t allege any fault on Turner’s behalf.

Women Are Allowed To Party, Cry, Work And Also Be Great Mums

It appears that Jonas has been the primary carer for the two children recently. TMZ writes that “the two children have been residing with him [Joe Jonas] of late” and that “he’s been taking them with him on the road as he’s toured.”

Queue the ‘poor man’ public discourse as he’s forced to, *check notes* fulfil his fatherly duties.

The publication also shared, “Joe has been taking care of the children pretty much all of the time over the last 3 months. When it comes time to hash out a custody arrangement, he could ask for significantly more than 50% physical custody, and our sources say that’s likely.”

Then, there’s a suggestion from a TMZ source, “She [Sophie Turner] likes to party, he [Joe Jonas] likes to stay at home. They have very different lifestyles.”

Firstly, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a mum that likes to socialise. Enjoying time around other people, or being an extrovert, is not a crime.

But secondly, conflating Joe’s custody of the children with the suggestion that Turner is a ‘party girl’ seems a little pointed. 

This feels especially warped and out of context given that Turner has not been off partying, but rather working, in one of her first major roles since her childbearing years. For reference, Sophie has been filming a drama for ITVX, Joan, where she takes the lead role of Joan Hannington, a notorious British jewel thief.

(Credit: Image: Getty)

It feels like a kick in the teeth that after taking so long out of the public eye to carry and birth two children, her absence from family life is so publicly called out while she’s trying to re-enter the workforce. Many working mums would commiserate with this outdated take.

The final nail in the coffin that is the villain-troping of Sophie Turner, is the press’ choice to weaponize her mental health struggles. This is especially heinous given that she has been open about her mental health in good faith.

“FYI … Sophie has been open about her mental health struggles, telling Dr. Phil on his podcast she was sometimes bedridden with depression,’ TMZ reported in an article about her divorce.

This tidbit is from an interview she did with Dr. Phil about mental health, admitting that she experienced suicide ideation when she was younger and later struggled with depression after experiencing online criticism during her time playing Sansa Stark on Game Of Thrones.

We have one, glaring question. What on earth does her experience of mental health a decade ago have to do with her 2023 divorce? Linking the two is simply a cruel practice that undermines Turner. It’s just not on.

The Sophie Turner Critics Merely Emphasise Existing Gender Biases

(Credit: Image: Getty)

It seems that no matter what women do, they’re criticised.

Get married and have children young? You’re throwing your life away. Let your partner take care of the children? You’re not a dedicated mother. Like to party? God forbid, that’s not the mark of a ‘good woman’. Talk openly about your mental health? Well, you’re crazy. Get divorced? You made it happen.

This blow-by-blow delivery of thinly veiled and conflated details layer into a bigger monster: a takedown of a woman without any real basis at all.

It goes without saying that gender bias is insidious and that in many cases a woman is not entitled to be as multifaceted as a man. She is asked to be a demonstration of motherly dedication and submission to her marriage. If not, she is cornered, and judged, and demonized for having a semblance of self, for having ebbs and flows, for not being perfect. And she is tired.

I hope that the ‘sources’ leave Sophie Turner alone. Luckily, there has been some support on X, formerly known as Twitter, from other mothers that is heartening.

“Barbie was correct. Sophie Turner takes one small part for the first time in four year and Joe Jonas has to WATCH his OWN children!!!!! Say it ain’t so, he has to watch his own kids?? What’s the world coming to?,” one user wrote.

“Sophie Turner is a young, talented actress & a hard working mother. She has been working hard in the U.K. filming her new series ‘Joan’. She should NOT be ‘mum shamed’ 4 working as an actress while her children are looked after. This is what parents do!” another wrote.

Queue the female rage.

Related stories