Good Enough Mother is going to need more than her requisite glass and a half of Pinot Noir to get over this day and for a change, it had nothing to do with the kids!
One of my Facebook friends said she saw former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on The View today. According to this friend, the topic of conversation turned to marriage and the longtime, single Rice said something to the effect that she hadn’t found the right person yet. My friend then asked people in her status update to name the kind of man she needs. REALLY? What kind of man she NEEDS??
So of course, I responded by saying “Why is it that a woman can be accomplished, globe-trot, sit across from world leaders, negotiate difficult deals in some of the world’s hottest spots and yet still have an incomplete life unless she has a man to come home to?” Well let me tell you that got a whole ball of stuff started. My Facebook friend is a newly married and religious woman. I consider myself to be more the tolerant, spiritual type who getting ready to cross the 17-year mark in my marriage. You can probably see how we would be polar opposites on this. But today’s back and forth came on the heels of ANOTHER question – this time by an insensitive oaf who asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton what were some of her favorite designers. Yeah, just AFTER she finished answering a question about how female lawyers could get ahead in Kyrgyzstan.
Here’s what Hillary said in her speech:
“If you are in the courtroom or you are presenting a case, it still is a fact – and this is not just in Kyrgyzstan, this is everywhere – that when a man walks into a courtroom it’s rare for someone to say, “Oh, look what he is wearing.” (Laughter.) But if you walk into a courtroom, or any young woman walks into a courtroom, people are going to notice. And that will be an additional requirement that you have to meet.”
And straight after this she’s suddenly asked THAT boneheaded question. Sweet baby Jesus, you gotta be kidding me right? Of course, Secretary Clinton handled it with aplomb, using the ol’ Velvet Hammer to put him in his place. With a chuckle she asked the moderator if he would have asked that question of a man, to which he responded “Probably not.”
Back to Condoleezza Rice. Have you SEEN her bio? Diplomat, professor, accomplished musician, first African American woman to be Secretary of State among her many other accomplishments. She has been seated at the table where complex negotiations were conducted on some of the most pressing matters of our time; she has dined with world leaders, written books, oh my gosh I can’t even go on. And yet to some that all takes a backseat because there is no one in her life to hold her at night. Excuse me while I hurl.
(Here’s another clip from the show – this one about Condoleezza’s decision not to have children)
I have two issues with this. First of all, why is she being asked this question all the time? I see it over and over again, in magazines where she’s featured, TV shows, what have you. Who cares? Can someone explain to me why on earth this is even relevant? Maybe she’s not married because she hasn’t found the right person yet (which, according to my Facebook friend, is along the lines of the answer she gave today). What if she doesn’t WANT to be married? My friend insists she’s lonely. Ha! If that’s the case then I would willingly give my eye teeth to be that kind of lonely. But the bottom line, whatever the reason, it’s none of our business. Would we dare ask a man of similar stature and accomplishments the same question? Very doubtful.
Another problem I have with this question is that I feel it reduces her and diminishes her accomplishments. So basically she felt so empty and all alone after performing with Yo-Yo Ma at the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal Awards? Wow, how on earth did she get over the fact that there was no man to hold her after that? (Yes, heavy sarcasm here).
This is a woman who has made a career out of being first and don’t be fooled, she still has a very full and rich life. But when my friend said that she needs to also consider her biological clock and that “I doubt that she wants to be alone… I am sure if she wants to be with some one… it is the normal way of things…” Well, that’s just about the time my head popped off. So not only is a woman defective because she’s not married, she is not incomplete until she pops out a kid? Oh I need wine right now.
You know as parents we’re always looking for “teachable moments” and I seized upon this one. Driving back from Target, I told Casey and Cole what had transpired online and those two little kids, hell raisers when they wanna be but undeniably bright, said “Yeah, but mom, what is normal? Because what’s normal for one person might not be for another.” Thank you, GOD! Even in their youth they saw the fallacy of that argument. I took it a step further. “Casey do you understand why it is so wrong to be asking this question?” Casey said “Yeah mom, it’s condescending and makes it seem like she’s nothing until she’s a wife.” (God, I do love these kids).
I say more power to Condoleezza Rice, who may go home every night to her house where everything is intact, with no one in her personal space, no one to get in her business except people asking questions that are completely irrelevant. But I don’t think she sits at home alone on a Friday night pining for a man. Not even for one minute.
For my Casey I have already instructed her to, at the cocktail party being held in her honor because she won the Nobel Peace Prize for finding the cure for Breast Cancer and someone asks her if she’s married, to gingerly lift up one Jimmy Choo laden foot and plant it squarely in their backside. Perhaps it will knock their brain up to where it should be.
Surely I cannot be alone in thinking this way. Lemme hear you Good Enough Mothers. What say you?