Gloria Steinem has famously said that only women get more radical with age. Boy Howdy, as they say in Texas, have we seen examples of that this Wednesday! And yet, on the face of it, you couldn’t find two more different examples of women our age making strong and controversial choices.

First, there’s Geraldine Ferraro, political pioneer and first woman on a major party presidential ticket in 1984. Here’s the controversy:

Late Wednesday, Ferraro resigned from her position with the Clinton campaign so that she could continue to speak her mind. Ferraro is passionate, and nobody is going to tell this woman what to say.

My thoughts? She is speaking the truth. The problem is that speaking the truth is not accepted in public life these days.

And then there is dear Silda Spitzer, again standing by her husband as he resigned from the New York governorship. She is silent. Some are criticizing her silence, her appearance with him, her choices. Everyone seems qualified to say what she should or should not do.

But here’s a truth to consider: Silda Wall Spitzer, a Steel Magnolia with a Harvard law degree, is going to have her say. In a place and time of her own damn choosing. Just wait.

Hmm. Come to think of it, Silda and Gerry — one silent right now, the other outspoken — may just have an awful alot in common.

Elaine L.

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  • Joanne C March 13, 2008 at 6:29 am

    It was very disappointing to learn that Gerry felt it necessary to resign from the Clinton campaign. She brings so much to the process, her loss will be felt.
    Gerry’s comments were hardly racist – she voiced what many of us believe to be true. Clinton is, by far, the more qualified candidate. Period. Gender and race should not but continue to be the issue.
    Silda Spitzer is to be respected for standing with her family in the face of the betrayal by her spouse. None of us has the right to comment one way or the other about her silence. She is in the most humiliating position a person can be in – and in the public spotlight, just to make it perfect. Most of us suffer these humiliations, infidelities and more in the privacy of our lives. Silda, like Hillary, has to stand up and present herself as a composed woman when who knows what is tearing her up inside.

  • Alison March 12, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Everyone may THINK they’re qualified to comment on the lives of people in the news; but in doing so, some reveal more about themselves then victims in their sights. Take Andrea Peyser, for instance. Sure, she’s got column and her picture in a New York City tabloid. That doesn’t give her the bona fides to write as if she really knew the history and present dynamic of a family in crisis.
    And if she did, where is it written that it’s a good thing to dump a load of tar and feathers on someone who’s already road kill? There’s no empathy, no inkling of the Good Samaritan, no interest in exploring this, or any other trauma, with sensitivity that could inspire us all.
    Why would she cast herself as a trash-talker, serving the needs of her own master, Rupert Murdoch, in the name of morality — when it’s all still about politics. Why feed the beast, when we are looking at Silda Spitzer, a woman who inspired everyone she met (well not Andrea, clearly), worked harder than anyone could have imagined possible for the youth of New York State, cares for and about her children and her larger family with an astonishing intensity.
    For the moment, Silda Wall seems to feel like not hiding, and not speaking. I’ve heard her speak often, with grace, with a quiet authority. Sometimes I don’t feel like speaking. Sometimes I do, and wish I hadn’t. Perhaps a time will come for Andrea Peyser, and others trying to crucify Silda Spitzer, will regret their rush to mouth off. Meantime, if you’ve got nothing nice to say, give it a rest.