Roger Vadim was a French director known for starting the career of Brigitte Bardot, whom he married. He was also married to Jane Fonda and Catherine Deneuve .
According to this article on cracked.com, he ditched his lover Catherine Deneuve when “my shy adolescent had blossomed out into a hard-headed woman ruthlessly in control of her own life,” as he put it. The whole point of Brigitte Bardot as a sex symbol was the natural, unabashed charisma she exuded as a confident woman, but it didn’t do anything for Vadim, who said, “From the moment I liberated her … the moment I showed her how to be truly herself, our marriage was all downhill.”
This is another example of male privilege. Here, the man tries to assume control over the woman by “liberating” her.
There are two main pieces of douchebagery going on here.
The first is that this cretin has the arrogance to assume that he somehow caused the “blossoming” and personal growth of his wives, when in all likelihood, they simply matured naturally (they were fairly young when they married him, after all).
The second, and this is the really despicable act here, is that once they had become their own person, or in his eyes, stopped deferring and relying on him so much, he completely lost interest in them.
To the sanctimonious Mr. Vadim, his wives were conquests, pure and simple. Everything about these women only had value to him as long as he was able to see himself reflected in their actions and affections. Once they became “truly themselves”, and were able to control their lives, it was, for him, all downhill.
This kind of sense of privilege is more than just the plain, ingrained male priviliobes (a unit of privilege that I just made up that is similar to a microbe in that in infects the host). There is also a large amount of ego to be contended with here. I haven’t read anything about Roger Vadim except what I read on cracked.com and wikipedia.com, but I suspect that he was a ripe asshole in his other dealings with his fellow humans. Unfortunately, while you might be able to educate men to recognize their male priviliobes in order to help them rid themselves of them, being an asshole is a lot harder to cure, taking a willingness to admit you are an asshole and years of therapy.
I can only hope that his ex-wives were able to figure out that it was themselves, not him, that lead to their own growth as persons.