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March 18

Behind every woman behind every man…

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 3:40 pm

Now that Eliot Spitzer has resigned, we can put this sex business behind us and get back to BUSINESSbusiness.

Oh, wait.

First we find out that a former aide to former New Jersey governor James McGreevey has come forward, classily, to allege that he was the third wheel, as it were, in a series of three-way “sex romps” with Mr. McGreevy and his ex-wife-to-be, Diana Matos McGreevey. (Or, more to the point, that she was the third wheel.) My first reaction to this revelation (which the missus has denied, by the way) was a resounding “TMI!”

Then we hear about the Patersons. We hear a LOT about the Patersons. Boils down to this: things got rocky. He had affairs. So did she. They dealt.

Then I realized: this is more than a matter of TMI. The universe, my friends, is trying to tell us something. That we should focus as much as possible on the prurient details of politicians’ private utterly human failings — failings that are not at odds with their ability to govern or gain public trust — instead of on ending poverty and war? No, the other thing: remember how easy it was to judge Silda Spitzer? With these new revelations (regardless of their veracity) we are reminded: you never, ever know.

Now can we please get back to work ?

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March 11

Other than that, Mrs. Spitzer

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:01 am

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: With every breaking political sex scandal — and the ensuing awkward press conference/photo opp — it becomes more and more tempting to imagine little thought balloons over the heads of the apparently stoic, forbearing wives. (“Well, this explains a lot.” “Game face game face game face.” “Dude. Diapers?”)

And man, is it easy to judge. The wives, not the husbands. (Well, them too.) What are they doing at the press conference at all? What sort of public display of solidarity do they possibly owe these guys? Can they really be such doormats? Why aren’t they home changing the locks?

In situations like these, though, I think we’d do well to remember the wise words of Bridget Jones’s friend Magda. “No one from the outside ever really understands what makes them work.” Really, who knows what has gone on Chez Spitzer? Maybe she is cheating too. Maybe he promised her a quick and clean divorce if she’d do just this one thing. Maybe she is even acting out of savvy self-interest, as Anne Applebaum suggests at Slate: “I can see one clear advantage to this option: It’s all over quickly. And no one asks you for a follow-up interview. You appear onceā€”and then you vanish forever, along with your husband’s career. If you’ve been clever about it, you’ve kept your maiden name and can thus return to your own career. Those who make other, more attention-getting choices will later be forced back into the limelight to explain themselves, which is gruesome.” That, or if you simply don’t appear at all, you can bet they’ll come after you.

I’m not saying she should or shouldn’t show up; I’m just saying that in a scandal such as this, her conduct, of all people’s, is not for us to judge. (I’m talking to YOU, lady I just heard on WNYC saying that this whole thing was Mrs. Spitzer’s fault in the first place because she didn’t kink things up enough.) The real thing to question is not each wife’s motive, or her backbone. The real thing to question, I think, is why these women are expected to show up in the first place. (And what will happen someday when the “stoic wife” is the husband.)

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