Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Back Down on the Earth

Back down on the Earth
My sympathies and condolences to Lisa Nowak and her family, the NASA and the Navy, and to our country. I hope that the judge will find that Lisa was suffering a major depression episode or PTSD and needs psychological treatment and counseling more than she needs being sent to a jail cell. One could argue that she committed a major crime, and yes, I agree, but do you not think that her sudden fall from grace is punishment enough? Surely she will never fly again, let alone be an astronaut, surely she will be retired by the Navy, may be after a small punishment under UCMJ. She would have been going places, as a professor in a military college, or a high level position in NASA, or a consultant. And for a great loss to the little girls everywhere, to whom she will never be invited to speak about the space and the stars and careers, about dreaming big. Now she is going no where, literally.
A genuine star has fallen.
How much more punishment does she deserve. And who among us does not know of a case or two where the system let a few pass through with a slap on the wrist, and if any one ever deserved a break I thinks Lisa and her children have earned this one.
I really do feel sorry for the other girl also, and hope she recovers fine from her shock and can continue, happily, with her own life.
What has bothered me the most about this incident is how it reflects upon the women under stress, in authority, and on our culture.
I personally know, and who does not, of many many incidents of spousal infidelity, even within the ranks of our military, of which I am a part of. I also am a father of two daughters that I would like to see go places, to be the lawyers and doctors and senators and judges. But I would also like them to have some sense of morality, decency and a modicum of modesty, even at the risk of sounding a bit “old fashioned”.
It is not that I am a religious being, I do “however” fully believe that it is the morals and the decency and the self control and certain standards of conduct, that make us humans, superior to our other fellow animals.
I also do not believe that one should be stoned to death, or even jailed for a romantic indiscretion, divorced, yes, murdered, no, even if that is what the “gods” have decreed.
But what, if any part of the blame for what Lisa did can be laid at our own feet as a society, we told her she was great, she could do things that ordinary humans don’t do, she was not an ordinary human being. But at the same time, we also live in a society that preaches “it is all about me”. That you can have “everything” you want. We are a society that says if you are a successful woman you can also have any man you want, whether you are a CSI girl, an Alley Mc Beal, or just a “Desperate House Wife”.
And it is not just the women that are doing it, from Newt Gingrich and John McCain and Rudi Giuliani to Bill Clinton, all have had the same idea. Is this the cost of progress? We are willing to destroy lives, destroy relationships, destroy families. I hope this is not a watershed, I hope that we decide that women can also progress without losing their sensibilities, I hope my daughters are still given the opportunities to succeed to the best level of their own capabilities. I hope that our daughters and sisters and mothers and wives are no longer taught that their only mission in life is to get sex, or just to satisfy another person sexually.

No comments: