I just saw a news story that made me cringe. I guess the Kansas City Chiefs are getting a new head coach. Heh. I’m being facetious there. Of course they are. If you lived here, you would know that because apparently there is no other news this week. So, this morning I watched a story about the new dude’s wife. Now, most of you know I could care less about football, but I was waiting for the forecast, so what was I to do but watch the piece? The fact that the anchor introduced the story by saying, “we all know that behind a good man is a woman” really, really bothered me. Is it bad that as a woman, that offends me? It’s totally ridiculous, first of all, and it’s offensive to both women and men.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m married. I get the cliché, or the saying, or whatever it is, but it’s really, really stupid. I mean, first of all, why can’t the woman be in front leading the way? Are men really that stupid (as this cliché supposes) that they need a woman to tell them what to do? And more to the point, if any of you seriously believe that Andy Reid really chose this job in KC because his wife told him it was a good idea, I have a beach house to sell you in the arctic. I’m certain that they discussed this decision, but I imagine that she is going to go wherever the money is. Why wouldn’t she want to come to KC after being wined and dined at the Capital Grille and on the Country Club Plaza? I mean, her life will already afford her these things, why would she say no to more of that in a new city? Andy Reid wanted a job. He needed a job. Do you think the “woman behind him” is going to say no? On what grounds? The life she might live here wouldn’t be up to par? I doubt it.
Maybe that is why this story struck a nerve. When I think of women who “stand behind” their men. I think of Coretta Scott King. I think of Hilary Clinton, I think of Eleanor Roosevelt…women who, in their own right, are strong, smart and successful. Why should a woman’s place be behind a man? I take no responsibility for my husband’s success. I think that would be selfish and ridiculous, really. We talk, we share things and we create a life together, but we are separately successful and I would be offended if anyone referred to me as the woman behind her husband’s success. I hope he would be offended, too. Just as I assume he wouldn’t take credit for my successes. That is not to say that we aren’t a team, but behind each other’s successes? No way.
I don’t know. I suppose I wanted to hear that Reid’s wife Tammy was going to practice law in KC. That she was a doctor or a teacher or would relocate her profession here, too. Instead, I heard a news story that included nothing personal about her: though it seemed as if it would go that way. I had to do that research on my own. (A “bling” jewelry business raising money for high school football, in case you wanted to know.) Because, as it turns out, of course no one cares what the hell Tammy Reid thinks as long as her husband is here. She’s in her rightful place, don’t you know? Behind her man.