Thursday, March 20, 2008

Brave Women

Much has been debated and commented upon lately about Governor Spitzer’s wife, Silda, and the supporting role she played as he resigned from office. Had I been standing in her sling-backs, I’m not sure my knees would have held me upright during his speech. Nor would I have kept my hand from flying away from my side to smack him in the back of the head while I said through clenched teeth, “You idiot!”

My friend Wila wrote me a few days ago, and she told her husband that “if he cheats with a prostitute when he is Governor of New York, I will not be standing by his side sweetly. I will be standing beside him wearing a T-shirt pointing in his direction and reading: I'm No Longer with Stupid."

I’m sure Silda Spitzer was tempted. Where are those open-all-night T-shirt printers when you need them? I remembered seeing Dina McGreevey on Oprah talking about her appearance by her husband’s side when James McGreevey, the former governor of New Jersey, resigned from office after a scandal over his homosexual affair. She said she did it for her daughter, and she’d do it again today if she had to.

There are many things we do for our children that put their feelings before our own. And if one of them is standing beside their father when he makes a mistake, then women like Silda and Dina shouldn’t be questioned as to why they stand by their husbands’ sides. I don’t think we are judging them. Instead we are standing in awe at their ability to publicly cope with something so private. It would be hard enough to get through such a scandal in the privacy of your home. I can’t fathom putting on a brave face in front of millions.

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