I know that women marrying wealth and power is probably as old as the first herd of sheep (or was it goats?) But lately it galls me that there is such an endless supply of women who are well-groomed and have no self-respect. I’m not going to name a single one of the political wives whose husbands lately have been shown to be serial sexual abusers. You all know who they are. Most importantly, they know who they are. No matter how deep the denial, some part of them had to know this could not turn out well. But they bought into the facade long enough, almost to a woman, to get a cozy life, raise their children, and earn a nice “pension” in the form of alimony. Yes, I know they are victims, too, of the same social stratification that makes it hard for anyone with a vagina to become wealthy on her own. But, please, let’s take Oprah Winfrey as our example. Not exactly to the manor born. But here she is, in this same year of Arnold and Claus (I didn’t say I wouldn’t name the perpetrators), “retiring” her show after earning many millions. Yet not all of us have Oprah’s talent, or her chutzpah, for that matter. So maybe the problem is that women who perceive themselves as having no talent have few routes to fame and fortune? Oh, please. A certain wife of a certain philandering governor was a news anchor before she married him. Maybe she got there partly on her family name, but she had to have some talent to last for a while. So maybe it’s not about money, but about power? News anchors are famous, but not necessarily powerful––at least not until you reach “Uncle Walter” status. Maybe these women would do better to put their shoulders to the wheel with the rest of us, and try to move that boulder of sexual equality just one more notch up the hill. Or at the very least, they could do penance by spending their next twenty years––or however long they spent defending their husband from those “questionable” allegations––volunteering in a sexual assault crisis center. I am working very hard on finding some compassion for the wives. So far, it’s not happening for me.
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