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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Silda Wall Spitzer, L.I.P.



Ever since the "affaire de Spitzer" hit the headlines, much speculation has surrounded Eliot Spitzer's wife, Silda Wall Spitzer. A Charlotte talk show host asked for callers to decide if Mrs. Spitzer was a "chump" for showing up at her husband's press conferences. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is a scent of sexism in that.

No one would ever accuse me of being an ardent feminist, but I adhere to certain beliefs about women that might run contrary to other men's. Or women's, even. A wise man in Ireland once commented to me that "anyone who thinks men and women are the same is a fool. And anyone who thinks men and women are not equal is a fool also. Men and women are different; while enjoying the difference we should never lose sight of the fact that we are equal."

As I told a friend recently, I have a mother, two sisters, a wife, and a daughter. Never in my life have I consider them or any other female as less (or more) of a person. If you want to talk about weight-lifting, sure, I probably have it over them. But life-lifting? No. What is life-lifting you say? It is the long and arduous task of not only giving life to other human beings, but providing that which allows those humans to grow and prosper. Very few women will stop short of death itself for their children. And then most also offer that life-lifting to their partners; in most cases to men whom they marry.

I don't know much about Silda Wall Spitzer. The photo I found shows her smiling, which she may do again someday. Right now, though, she ain't happy. Neither are the three children she bore with her husband.

What do I know about Governor Spitzer? In short, he's an egomanical, egocentric, hypocritical, lying son of a bitch. When I read that his "tryst" involves something north of $80,000, my first thought was: that's roughly the same amount of money someone on disability receives in a DECADE.

He's resigning as of March 17th. I'm sure that will be one happy St. Patrick's Day for his family. It isn't the betrayal of the citizens of New York that bothers me so much. After all, North Carolina or any other state always has plenty of volunteers to doubletalk their way into our hearts and wallets.

No, what bothers me is the perception that Mrs. Spitzer is some kind of putz for standing there next to her husband, humilating herself in order to provide support that is not warranted. That is for her to decide, not us. Rightly or wrongly Silda Wall Spitzer is carrying on a tradition that is as old as human society. She is providing that life-lifting that will carry her family through this mess, no matter the costs to herself. She's not "standing by her man".....not really. She's standing there displaying courage and a silent message to her children. And, to what friends she has who have enough perception to know her strengths.

So I say to Ms. Wall-Spitzer, and her children....L.I.P. Live in Peace. Whether you decide to continue your marriage is up to you, not us. You don't need three guesses to figure out what I'd recommend......or many others. But it is a life decision, a personal fork in the road that only she can make.

My grandmother bore five sons. Two died as children. The other three went off to war. One was killed in combat while the other two were P.O.W.'s of the Japanese for over three years. To her dying day she mourned the loss of her children and their suffering. But she was no wimp, no "chump." She was just one tough, compassionate lady.

Perhaps Silda Wall Spitzer is, too. Let's hope so.
Cross-posted at

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Blogger B.J. said...

A lovely tribute, Michael Linn. And, a nice respite after hearing the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn on Morning Joke this morning and reading about her comments on

Thank you!

7:51 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I have to agree with BJ on this one Michael. Great post my friend!

4:55 PM  

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