This is a response to an article published today by The Telegraph, written by Judith Woods. You can read that here.
You see Judith, unlike you, I try not to take people on face value. I don’t decide what kind of person a stranger is based on whether or not they have changed their name by deed poll, how many children they have, their success when it comes to love or even if they brainstormed the Go Compare ads. Heck, if someone wants to change their name to Rocknroll, what do I care? It’s not going to affect me, and let’s just be frank here, he probably doesn’t want to be called Judith, so I guess you should both be pleased with your lot. I’m happy with my upbringing, my parents are still together and very much in love, but I don’t think I’m better off because of it. I have a wonderful partner whose parents separated when he was small. Aside from being close to his Dad he’s also had a wonderful Step-Dad in his life for over twenty years. Believe it or not, his biological parents still keep in touch and get along – looking after pets for each other when they travel, and chatting on the phone. As shocking as you may find this at a recent family barbecue we all sat around the table chatting quite normally and enjoying the sun and good food. It happens.
Of course I’m sure the majority of people who finally find the right person would prefer to have found them sooner, or wished for a smoother road, but life doesn’t always work like that. Furthermore, what worried me about your article was the assumption that it was Kate’s fault that her previous marriages hadn’t worked and that she was wrong to be committing to the person she is in love with. I didn’t see any judgement of Threapleton, or Mendes in your article, only Winslet. You even went as far as to suggest she ought not to bother putting the fathers name on the birth certificate since according to you “there’ll be another husband along shortly to take his place”. I do wonder, Judith, how you know so much about Kate’s previous marriages and are also able to predict the course of her life. If you do happen to be the owner of a modern day crystal ball, do let me know, because I might just start asking you to buy my lottery ticket, girl!
I can only speak for myself here, but in my world marriage is a joint commitment, and the same goes for parenting. Now, I’m not saying Kate has had terrible husbands and was without fault, I’m saying nothing at all because quite frankly it’s none of my business and I have never met any of them. The idea that a woman could be undermined as an individual and a professional by the fact that she’s had unsuccessful marriages quite frankly says more about the person undermining her than anything else. It’s pretty apparent from your piece that you hold the female responsible for the success of the marriage and that even if they do fall in love with the right person eventually, it’s better to sacrifice that happiness in case people find it, in your words, “tacky” they they dare to remarry. We live in 2013, and about the only inspiration I take from Mad Men revolves around a pencil skirt and a killer red lip.
Beyond the sexist and scathing article you wrote attempting to bring shame upon a woman based upon her love life, I implore you Judith to just be happy for another human being who is in love and carrying a child. If you wouldn’t do what she’s done, that’s fine, nobody is forcing you to. Calling a 34 year old male a “man-boy” and announcing to the world with no real proof that a woman “left behind” one “starter husband” and then ended things with her “trophy intellectual spouse” not only implies that she’s not intellectual herself, but is reducing to two grown men to throwaway toys that a wretched Winslet tossed aside. It really speaks more about you than any of them. If Britain is, as you say “broken”, articles like yours aren’t exactly the superglue that will bring us all back together. Unless it affects you, or the rest of us, let them get on with their lives and go about yours. You might want to read this post as a starting point.
Oh, and The Telegraph? I know this probably seems dreadfully exciting, what with all the page views and everyone talking about you now, but I wish you thought twice before publishing something like this, I really do. I hope you don’t see all this buzz as a good thing because the last thing we need is another Daily Mail. It might be a good idea to publish some articles by women who don’t hate women, and hey, if you’re struggling, I’m here.
Ps Judith? Never, ever, refer to Leonardo DiCaprio as a “dang, dying fool” – even if you are talking about a character he played. Thanks.
Update: The Telegraph have now published an opinion piece by Zoe Margolis (who speaks a lot of sense) Criticising Woods and her article. You can find that here.
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