Oh dear, is that paragraph too long for online writing?
Anyway, I'm trying to write again, though I'm not sure what, and then I came up with something to say. I thought about saying it on Facebook, where I say lots of short things that aren't meant to accomplish anything except entertaining my friends, which they do, but it's a bit long for Facebook. I tried to write it as maybe an essay, that might boil in the Huffington Post stew (Huffington Post standing here for places more official than a blog where you still write for free...ah, I should have said Medium, see, I keep up), but it went nowhere, and I was discouraged. This, I thought, is something I used to bang out in 15 minutes in a blog post, and then I thought, hey, I could just write it on my blog, where probably nobody will see it anyway, so here I am.
And I promise, it won't be worth that buildup.
It's about Thurston Moore. It's the kind of thing that everyone is writing about: Jezebel and Pitchfork, all those places that didn't exist back in the day when we just blogged at each other to share our thoughts and craft some writing and blogs weren't businesses or the media or anything more than the place where we wrote. And if I was really returning to the blogging world, I would link to those other people, and probably to Thurston Moore's website, if he has one, though he might not be the kind of guy who has a useful website. I could always link to Wikipedia, which also did not have much of a role in the world back when we blogged. I could certainly link to the interview where he talked about how in love he is with the woman for whom he left Kim Gordon, the woman with whom he was having an affair for several years before he left, and I could link to Kim's comments, in Elle, and in the New Yorker, if those comments are on line. But I'm not going to link.
I'm going to say the thing I have to say, which is: I feel the same way about middle-aged men who leave their wives for younger women as I do about working mothers who decide to stay home with their children.
Yes, I do. Sure, I think those men are assholes, when they leave my friends, and those women are better women than me (in their capacity to do something I would not be capable of doing). And I realize that those men usually hurt lots of people when they do what they do, and those women usually help people, at the very least their children, when they do what they do. But what they have in common, usually, in general, yes, I know I'm generalizing, is that they insist that they are just doing what they want to do, and both tend to say they are doing it for love, when in fact what they are doing is deeply political.
When you leave your wife for a younger woman or you choose to stay home with with your children, you are following a cultural script that has political implications. Or should we just call them implications for feminism, because they certainly aren't feminist implications. To leave your wife for a younger woman is to participate in a cultural script that says older women are not attractive, are used up and useless, and younger women are the object of desire - even if you think your first wife is just dandy and are only leaving her because you fell madly in love with a woman whose age you never even considered. And do I even need to work through the implications of choosing to staying home with your children? Even if you did it because you couldn't bear to be away from these specific bundles of being whom you love so much, and you completely support your friends who are working mothers (work-away-from-home mothers, if you will).
And to be clear: I get why men leave their wives for younger women, and I get why mothers stay home with their children: you have to do what you have to do. What I hate, what I can't stand, what makes me utterly disdainful of Thurston Moore, who spent half his life with Kim Gordon, for god's sake, and should know better, is when people insist their decisions are solely personal. Because they're not.
And that's why, like Jezebel, I think Thurston Moore is a dick, not because he left his wife, but because he won't acknowledge what that means in the greater scheme of the world.