Speaking on The Reality Tea podcast, Maya Jama called out the sexist reaction to her breakup – and expertly shut down the expectation for newly single women to feel “sad”.
Radio host Maya Jama seems like the kind of celebrity who you could genuinely imagine hanging out with and sharing a bottle of wine with while having a Netflix marathon. When she recently talked about the joy of just being in your house surrounded by friends and food – we all massively related.
But some people can’t accept that Jama has such a funny and bright personality, especially after splitting from former boyfriend Stormzy. In an interview on The Reality Tea podcast this week, she explained the sexist reaction to their breakup, and described how people expect her to be “crying” and “feeling pain” rather than being her happy and positive self.
“I used to think that sexism was dying out,” she said.
“Now, and recently as well – especially – I’m like, it’s still so loud. A guy can do one thing and get one reaction and a girl can do something and be like the wicked witch of the world.”
Jama continued: “Hopefully it will change. You just have to rise above it a little bit and just take it as it is. And try and speak out as much as you can. Like hang on a minute, question your actions.
“And I think for men as well, just to be like, would I have the same reaction if she was a boy and had a willy – maybe not.”
She also said she felt judged for her “excitable” and “energetic” personality post-breakup, adding: “It’s like you’re not going to be satisfied until I’m in my Insta live crying with a glass of wine. Like you really want to see pain. Like I’m sorry, but you’re not going to get it from me.”
Of course, it’s perfectly fine for people to cry – especially after a breakup. The fact is that we all deal with breakups in different ways, and there’s no right or wrong. But the infuriating point here is that there’s an expectation for women to cry over an ex.
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Jama addressed this, saying: “Just because one person will stay inside and cry during the break-up. The other person, it might have been the right time, like they might have needed that to happen and been really happy about the situation and then you’re not going to have the same reaction.
“So I just think, yeah, the internet is bloody weird and everyone will come to their own assumptions about things.”
Listen to BBC’s The Reality Tea podcast with Maya Jama
You can listen to the full interview on the BBC Sounds app.
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…