August 4, 2008


Feminist Guilt Over Not Defending Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller has taken off with Balthazar Getty. He has four kids, including a baby under a year old, and a lovely wife named Rosetta who is probably going through hell right now. I usually don't blame the other woman. She isn't the one who promised to love someone (The "wronged woman") forever in this situation. While I have never had an affair with a married man, I have been the other woman, and the way I was othered and told what I was doing was "wrong" by my closest friends really irked me. I was NOT the moral agent. I was NOT the one with a prior commitment. I was not the one who was betraying someone.

When I was the other woman, I lost friends I only regained once the affair was over, and I sunk into a debilitating depression the likes of which I have never seen again since. I felt worthless. I was society's punching bag, the archetypal slutty bitch who'll steal your man (yeah, steal. As though he had no choice in coming along with you)For years to come, I have sympathized with "other women." I have done nothing but defend Angelina Jolie for over three years, insisting the fact that Brad Pitt left his wife for her is not HER fault, because she was not married to Aniston, he was. She did not bewitch and beguile him into leaving. Even if she tried to seduce him, he was the one who was supposed to be committed and in love with somone else, and made the decision to hurt Aniston by abandoning that commitment. I feel an affinity for the "other woman," the femme fatale, the witch, the bitch, the woman all other women seem to love to hate. She's a scapegoat when it comes to the end of your marriage or relationship, so you don't have to hate the person you really should, the man/woman who betrayed you and his/her commitment to you. I have always supported the other woman, and yet, a few weeks ago, when I read about Miller and Getty taking off together, I supported the media's villification of her.

Don't get me wrong, I want Balty to be villified at least equally to Sienna, if not more, but I still think she deserves some of the blame. But why? Why is ths wrong, when I never thought Angelina was anything other than in the right? Is it because I'm older? Is it because children (4 of them!) are involved? Is it because When Rosetta Getty fled to Italy to get away from the American media, the two of them followed her there, and then had sex in public, where the media could so easily record it? There is no visible effort to be sensitive and subtle. Some say Balt's marriage was already over, but others don't, and even if it was, his kids will have to see those pictures some day, and know that when mommy was heartbroken and nursing them in their sadness over being seperated from daddy, Daddy didn't seem to be missing them at all...Yes, what Getty was doing to his family should have been foremost in his own mind, but am I being anti-feminist and woman-hating to expect Sienna to have thought about these things too?

Whose the moral agent here, in this smutty, media-infested situation? And Should Sienna have to be one at all? Is this hypocritical of me to see and difference between her and Angelina Jolie, who didn't immediately pose for nude pictures with Brad Pitt, who did NOT have four (let alone any) children? Maybe I'm just becoming a worse feminist in my old age?

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