Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Client 9's Girls

We were going to bring you a fun little piece on a European city where it's legal to have sex in the park. But then another politician got caught with his hand in the, uh, cookie jar. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer likely spent as much as $80,000 with a call-girl service where he was a regular customer identified as Client 9. This being a blog for women, let's talk about the women most affected by his capture.

First, there's his wife, Silda, is a Harvard Law School graduate and former high-powered corporate attorney. He also has three teenage daughters. Just imagine the humiliation, disillusionment and feelings of betrayal. Will they ever be able to trust a man? Can someone please explain to me why political wives stand silently next to husbands who have betrayed them so thoroughly? Just a few of the political wives who have most recently stood in martyred silence next to their disgraced husbands: Dina McGreevy (whose man admitted he was gay), Gayle Haggard, Suzanne Craig, Wendy Vitter (who once said she'd pull a Lorena Bobbitt rather than a Hillary Clinton if her man strayed. He did. She didn't.)

Some say it's part of the package of being a political wife. Uh, so is fidelity, which these women's spouses didn't honor. Doesn't that sort of nullify the pact?

Cynics (and possibly realists) say these women have struck some kind of deal before they go in front of the cameras in a show of solidarity. If that's so, I hope they got a high price. If Eliot Spitzer can pay $80,000 for hookers (not to mention the cost of a VIP suite at the Mayflower) then Silda should be able to buy a right fine tropical island for herself and her daughters on what her husband owes them.

Just once I'd like to see one of these wives take the microphone after her husband finishes issuing his lies, excuses or apologies and say something like this:

I'd like to tell all the women and girls out there listening that you have a right to expect your husband to respect your marriage vows. You deserve respect, fidelity and honesty in your relationship. My husband has consistently shown me none, so I am divorcing the lying bastard. It's all well and good for our churches and moral leaders to tell us to turn the other cheek, to forgive and forget, to preserve the sanctity of marriage at all costs. I've turned the other cheek until my face is bruised. As for forgiveness, I've forgiven him more times than you know. Do you think this is his first betrayal? It's time for me to admit that what he has done is not a single, isolated transgression, but a pattern of disrespect and dishonesty.

And as for preserving the sanctity of marriage at all costs? He has already violated the marriage several times. There is no sanctity left to preserve. And the cost is my dignity, my life, my daughters' self-respect, and the idea that both partners are responsible for keeping a marriage alive. I'm divorcing him for all the women and girls out there who mistakenly believe it is somehow honorable to stand by a husband who lies to you, exposes you to disease, and then expects you to share his public humiliation.


Flick said...

Hear, hear, Susan. I agree completely. It does send the wrong message. I'm from the UK, so I don't know the people you mention, but it's exactly the same with our politicians. I wonder if the wives become as power crazy as their husbands and that's what they won't let go. One taste and they're hooked?

Anonymous said...

I think hunger for power may be part of it, flick. It certainly seems to have been for Hillary Clinton. I think she knew back when she first discovered Bill's philandering that she wanted a political career and she had already hooked her wagon to his star. I honestly do feel sorry for these women and don't want to blame them for their husbands' transgressions, but as public figures, they do bear some responsibility for the message sent by their behavior after the facts are out there.

Anny Cook said...

I don't think anyone has enough money to "fix" what the wife/children have to deal with. That being the case, I'm with you. But I suspect that money is the least of what they get.

Anny Cook said...,0,1840948.column

The above link is for an article in the Baltimore Sun that discusses the sliding scale fees for Client 9...

Anonymous said...

Entertaining column, Anny. She asks what a prostitute could do that would be worth $5,000 an hour. I think just letting a stranger touch her is worth at least that much. If she has to touch him back, double. If it involves her mouth, quadruple. I think prostitutes should be very highly paid because of the high danger and ick factors involved.

Oral Sex Rep - said...

Hi there. I have to say that's very well said. I never understood why women stand by their husbands when they have clearly betrayed them, until I met my girlfriend. She had a child with her ex, and had to stay with him until she got a good job to support herself and her child. I think it's the same for many other women. Compromise.

Anonymous said...

You're right, OSP. I used to work at a domestic violence shelter, and we learned fast that a lot of women stay with their abusers because they are trapped by their financial circumstances and don't see a way out. I do have to give Elizabeth Edwards kudos for the courage she found to reveal her process of forgiving John in her new book.