I would like to preface this by saying that I was pretty reluctant to further the amount of media coverage that you are getting. I stood back and I thought about it for a minute and I decided that the particular absence of this voice, a sympathetic voice, a woman’s voice, in the narrative, merited my being a small, negligible drop in a bucket of disaster. I hope that you will understand.
Marital problems are very individual and personal, but I feel like I have some small amount of perspective on this deal as a person who is married with one very young child and a strong preference for monogamy. My life has been peppered with infidelity here and there and it, at times, has been quite devastating and at others, something pretty insignificant. Like you, I also opted for marriage counseling at some point to help me heal from the pain of infidelity and to help my husband address his personality problems. In our case, that worked very well. I hope you experience a positive outcome as well, whatever that looks like for you.
I want to say that I have the utmost respect for you, on the merits of your impressive accomplishments, as opposed to basing my opinion of you on whatever context you occupy and whatever choices you make related to your husband. I know that I wouldn’t want to be parsed primarily as my husband’s foil and people who are doing that to you, in my opinion, should really stop. You are a worthy headline on your own, and seem like a really interesting person. I would love to read an interview with you that is based on your career and experiences as an individual and I think I’m not alone in that.
I’m writing this because I see a certain part of my situation in yours. I can’t seem to stop myself from imagining what it would have been like if I had the added baggage of all of this press and career instability on top of what was already a difficult time for me. It seems like a lot to deal with, to put it mildly. The media, in my opinion, is being very cruel to you and I am sorry. I don’t doubt that your family rival, the media executive who is not super important to this narrative, has a hand in that and I hope he really feels the blowback from that in one way or another. The public is consuming the hell out of this cruel media (I have refused, in solidarity) and for that, I am also sorry.
I want to put it out there that you and your life are not public property. It doesn’t matter who you’ve married or what you do for a living. You’re a person with a whole, complete life and I’m sorry that you’re being parlayed into political capital against your own family. That is very unfair to you. Not all of us want to crawl inside all the vulnerable corners of your life. We really don’t. We’re not all monsters with an endless voracious appetite for human suffering. I’m sorry that you have seen so much of that from the public and I hope it does not damage your self-image or your ability to trust people. I think people just maybe don’t realize to what degree they are fucking up, if you’ll pardon my language.
I also want to say that you don’t have to take this. If you are feeling contempt for the public or for the media, who have earned it, it’s okay to say so. You’re a dignified, classy woman in an undignified situation with classless people. None of that, and however you choose to deal with it, reflects poorly on you.
A lot of this marginalization you’re experiencing reads pretty sexist to me. People would treat you with a lot more consideration, I think, if they had not sort of superciliously objectified you. I, and others like me, will keep you in mind in day to day battles against sexism. I hope that feels solidary to you.
Finally, I wanted to thank you for the other parts of your public figure. It is so valuable to have women role models, particularly of color, who have reached a high level of career success. As a mom, I am also always encouraged by moms who keep their career on track. It can be really difficult to get the momentum in your career going again after the birth of a child, and positive messages of success are really helpful. Thank you for stepping into that need that is so dramatically under served. I hope you have some space in which to be proud of these things. We are proud of you.