Monday, March 10, 2008

The Role of Women

I just finished watching Mona Lisa Smile. I know, I am SO behind, but it's a movie I'd always wanted to see and I think I was stuck in a post-partum trench at the time, but I did remember to put it on my blockbuster list.
Anyway, I loved it. I loved to watch the fencepost that we walk each day as a woman. The intellectual individual versus the wife and mother. It seems like we always feel like we need to put our peg in one specific hole. I loved how this movie showed you how one part of you can be on each side of the fence -- putting your whole self into each activity but sharing at the same time.
Another thing I'd wanted to talk about was the Governor caught-up in the prostitution scandal, Elliot Spitzer. My heart bleeds for his wife. Not that she was lied to, not that she has scum for a husband/help-meet/provider. The fact that he felt she was a pony to be trotted out to remind his constituents that all was well -- that she trusted him, so we all could too. The fact that she felt she could stuff every ounce of pride she had into her stiff jacket and stand next to him as he told us he spent over 4k on sex with a prostitute.
The fact that we think that's OK.
It's not OK.
I feel that his is a larger louse for making her do that. He should at least love her, and her pride enough to say honey -- regardless of the STD that may be growing within your loins this very instant, this is one press conference you can watch from home (most likely bawling your eyes out). Whatever happens between them is between them, but I know that there are many press conferences she has not attended. I hope the press lights into him for this. She should not have been there. She is his most private and precious posession. Obviously, that's not how he feels, but he should.
And this brought my thoughts back to the movie. What inside her made her feel that she needed to go? Who could've been a better role model, a better friend, a better confident to say no -- regardless of the ring on your finger you can show your individual worth. Show that you're not OK with it, by simply staying home.
Instead she probably had someone like Kirsten's Dundst's mother in the movie -- that she should paste on a smile and act like everything's OK. I hope I'm never that role in anyone's life.
I just thought her standing there was so sad. I wish her well. I hope she can unfurl her pride and stand proud someday. Good luck to her.


  1. Watched that movie on a plane to Hawaii. I remember being disgusted at Kirsten Dunst's charachter's situation and so glad I live when I do.

  2. I too felt bad for the Govenor's wife... my wife broke for her... I don't know that I'm strong enough to stand next to a cheating husband and act like everything is ok.

  3. Ok, I'm a dork... my wife did not break for her... my heart did... sheesh.

  4. I have been mulling over your post.

    As for the governor's wife, I watched her stand by him at his swearing in just a couple of years ago and I contrast that to the woman who stood beside him a few days ago and I was amazed at the change in just a sad, short period of time.

    As far as standing by her man. You're right. He should not have put her through that. But at the same time, I think that as women, we are far stronger than we think we are, and I can see circumstances where I would be willing to "stand by my man" and do the dutiful, good wife thing. Even if I didn't feel like it at the time.

    I don't know if this is one of those things that I could do that, but I think it took real backbone and courage on her part to do so.

    Later, she may regret, but always she can be proud of how strong she was.

    Hopefully, that strenght will see her through the rest of it.


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