Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meow! When Female Columnists Attack.

No, you haven’t been experiencing Groundhog Day: you have been seeing Elizabeth Edwards everyday on TV for the past week. On all sorts of tribunes and formats, Mrs Edwards has been promoting Resilience, her latest book. Recounting a life that has little to do with ordinary, she shares such transforming events as the lost of her son, her battle and momentary win over cancer a few years ago and today, a new battle against a cancer that seems terminal. Much of the book recounts her relationship, partnership, kinship with her husband, former presidential pretty boy, John Edwards. Obviously, there was no way she could escape writing about John’s much publicized affair and possible love child with a one of his staff member.

Because she’s still standing, I suppose Elizabeth Edwards was expecting well-deserved cheers. Instead, her book has been received with a chorus of jeers, lead by such tenors as New York Times’ Maureen Dowd and The Daily Beast’ Tina Brown. Brown & Dowd have been throwing stones at Edwards, questioning her loyalty to John & blasting her attacks on the mistress. Why are these women concentrating solely on that aspect of Elizabeth Edwards’ life? What about her brilliant career as an attorney? Her role as a mother to kids of different generations? Her role in American politics? Dowd and Brown instead chose to kick someone who’s down and still found strength to talk about it.

How a woman responds to infidelity is as particular as her DNA. I’ve never been married and can only imagine the pain, humiliation and betrayal one must feel. I also know that often, staying in the union takes more strength than leaving it. On the flip side, I choose to see Elizabeth Edwards as a master strategist. Would her book have generated as much buzz had she left John a year ago?

Round 1: On CNN’s AC 360

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