Sunday, June 21, 2009

WTF John Edwards???

I recently read the Elizabeth Edwards interview in Oprah magazine. I thought she seemed great; strong and loving. To hear how she talked to her children about her terminal cancer was amazing. And to be able to go through something so personal in the public--that must be an absolute nightmare. Not the cancer (although that too) but her husband's affair. It amazes me that people are so down on women (Edwards, Hilary Clinton) who make the decision to keep their marriage together after their partner has been unfaithful. My sister told me once that she had no respect for Hilary Clinton because she didn't leave Bill when he had an affair. I read Hilary's memoir and she said it was one of the main things women asked her about when she was running for the NY Senate seat. I cannot imagine going through what must be heartbreaking pain and absolute humiliation and have everyone not only publicly judge you but also feel that they have the right to ask you (or just inform you) about your choices. But that's a whole other rant.

What I'm amazed about is that John Edwards has no interest in finding out whether he has fathered a child with this other woman? I just do not understand this mentality. Elizabeth Edwards said over and over what an amazing father he is but unfortunetly he's only an amazing father to the children who were born to the correct mother. I find this infuriating. He made the mistake. He and the other woman had an affair and she possibly has his child. But who will pay for this mistake? That child. This is how he fixes things? By turning his back on his child.

And the thing is no one mentioned this point. Oprah just kept asking how would Elizabeth Edwards feel if he had a child. I hate that we live in a society where it's perfectly acceptable for men to abandon their children. No one is saying he should play a part in this child's life. No one is calling him out on this. All anyone is saying is how could you do this to your wife and your family. And these to me are valid questions but why isn't anyone asking about this child?

I suppose I'm being hypocritical for judging John Edwards after saying I thought it was so unfair to judge the wives of unloyal politicians. I just imagine this child growing up knowing that (s)he has a father who is known for being a kind, caring, compassionate family man. And that this man didn't want anything to do with him or her. Do you think that child won't internalize this and feel unworthy, unloved, etc? It is so unfair to dump this on a child so that you can avoid dealing with the consequences of your actions.

I just want to shake John Edwards and say, "You had the affair. And however it happened (there's nothing worse that the she did it on purpose argument--still not the baby's fault) you have a child. Own up to what you did and show some responsibility. Do right by this child."

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