They post articles about how sexist our president is. And op-eds decrying Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood. They are all about #metoo hashtagging. (These are not bad things! Just wait to see my point.) They are my friends on Facebook (which is why I’m writing this here rather than on my “IRL” blog, because I’m not ready to be that publicly confrontational yet).
When one of my friends shared an article about Colin Firth and his wife, Livia Giuggioli, separating several years ago and she had a romantic involvement with another man during that separation, I shouldn’t have been surprised, although I was, to see all the comments criticizing Giuggioli. They were appalled that any woman lucky enough to be married to Firth would choose to sleep with another man. They have this idea of Firth being a perfect man and since they love the image they have of him, any woman who would deign to think differently must be crazy. The judginess of it all, after everything they’ve posted about sexual assault and misogyny, was more than I could stomach.
I called them out on it. There was no response to my comment but also no new comments on my friend’s post. Did I get through to them or did the conversation naturally lose momentum by the time I’d made my comment?
Ladies, we have to stop doing this. After all the outrage and revelations of sexual assault in the workplace last year, we can’t turn around and judge a woman for choosing to separate from her husband or have an outside romance (with a consenting adult) no matter how dreamy we find the public persona of that man. One person isn’t always the right person for someone else for eternity and everyone has the right to assess their relationships and make decisions about staying with a person or not. Also, these are people we don’t know personally. We know nothing about the reality of their relationship.