The Rhetoric of Women Wronged

It looked painful for her and it was painful for me:  Watching Silda Spitzer stand by her husband, then New York Governor Eliot Spitzer while he explained why his name was being connected to an escort service.   So it was a relief when Jenny Sanford didn’t subject herself to the same media glare when her governor husband rambled on about crying with his soul mate in Argentina.     Her absence showed a certain defiance.   But now Jenny Sanford is telling everyone how she is “staying true”  in her tell-all book by the same name.   Besides the obvious financial gains of writing a best-selling book, what good can come of her oversharing about the kinds of things better left for pillow-talk?

Now I am all for expanding women’s voices.  I live for it.  But what is gained by information like this? As a mother I cringe for her four sons.  They should come to their own conclusions about their father.   And Jenny Sanford no doubt could spend her considerable talent and energy doing something of greater import.

 I picture a glint in the eye of Jenny Sanford as she describes events that would better be left between the two of them.  Do we need to know about  how the governor returned a favorite diamond necklace  because he regretted spending as much as he did on it or how he left her alone while she underwent a tubal ligation to avoid the danger of a fifth pregnancy? The portrait of  Mark Sanford that emerges from this book is one of a narcissistic lightweight woefully lacking in the sensitivity department.   I already sensed as much without reading one page.

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February 2010
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