Dina Matos McGreevey—former wife of the former New Jersey Governor who came out as “a gay American” and admitted to hiring a sex partner for a job for which he had no qualifications—writes in the New York Times Op Ed page (3/12/08) that standing by your man is a “personal decision. There’s no right or wrong answer.”
It’s really not that simple. Yes, it is a personal decision and you have every right to stand by your man or not. But, by standing by your man you are engaging in a rhetorical act; you are giving credence and respectability to lies and illegalities that you know to be lies and illegalities.
If Dina Matos McGreevey—and Mrs. Larry Graig—didn’t know about their husbands’ gay activities—as they both claimed—then we really have no use for their opinions; they obviously have their heads in the proverbial sand and their perceptions of reality must be suspect at best.
Silda Wall Spitzer—like Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Roosevelt, and Mrs. Clinton, to name just a few—by standing by her man, made a rhetorical statement. To my mind, the statement went something like this: “Look, I’m really the most injured party here and I’m standing by my man and even holding his hand; it’s not all that bad. If I can be forgiving, you should be too.” And this is fine if that’s what she wants to do. But, it should be recognized that the act of standing by your man is a powerful persuasive, rhetorical act. And by doing so, you are part of the deception.