The GEM Debate:
WHAT? A Woman Should Do THIS Before Remarrying?!
Oh Come On…
CONGRATULATIONS to Katie Couric! Couric has announced that she has found love again! She is engaged to 50-year-old John Molner, a finance executive who proposed to her on the beach in east Hampton last week. I like Katie Couric and am happy for her. So what’s the debate?
When the news broke initially, I read the posts as well as the comments, the latter of which I found fascinating and somewhat depressing.
You may recall Couric’s story. Couric was married to Jay Monahan for several years and had two daughters. Monahan died of colon cancer in 1989 and Couric shared her pain with viewers (at the time, she was the co-host of The Today show). The popular TV personality remained single, working and raising her daughters in the meantime.
Fast forward several years; Couric’s daughters are grown and she’s the host of an eponymous talk show. It’s her time, right? Right. Which brings us back to the comments I mentioned at the beginning of this piece. As I said, some of them really took me by surprise, namely the ones that stated Couric, “did it the right way; raising her daughters first before finding love.”
But wait.. that’s the RIGHT way? I didn’t even know there was a right way. Is that what is expected of a young widow with children? Does she have to wait until her kids are grown and gone or almost gone, before taking care of herself?
Personally, I don’t think so. Maybe the reason that rubs me the wrong way is because of the gender disparity. If a young husband lost his wife, society would be asking not if but when he was going to remarry; GEM contributor Dave Manoucheri even talked about that in a previous piece.
So wait, a man who loses his wife not only can, but, as Dave intimated in his piece, should remarry, but a woman should toil away, devote all her time to her kids and then, when they’re grown and gone, turn the attention back to herself?
WHAT? What an antiquated and outdated way of thinking.
I think that does a tremendous disservice to both men and women. Dave Manoucheri’s current situation is far from ideal. But there is nothing to suggest that he needs a woman to help him raise his kids. Would it be easier? I can’t imagine how it would not be. But his kids are healthy, strong, thriving and surviving under his solo parenting.
By the same token, is a woman who is widowed only to tend to her children and leave her happiness or the pursuit of it, on the back burner? Again, this way of thinking presupposes that women can’t have both. Yeah. Um. No.
Okay, this rant is officially over but I’m dying to know what you think of this? Is that a fair way of thinking? If you don’t think so, why does it persist? Anyone been in this situation before? Tell us your story!