04 April 2010

Pride and Punishment?

David Brooks wrote in a much-emailed column last week about the alleged trade, for Sandra Bullock, between fame and fidelity.

It's been bothering me all week. If a man won an Oscar and then his wife cheated on him, I can't imagine any commentator suggesting that he could have either the award or a good woman. Brooks didn't actually write that it was winning the Academy Award that led to Bullock's husband cheating on her, but the suggestion lingered all around it.

In certain medieval narratives, a man has to choice between a wife who is hideous, but will be faithful to him, or one who is beautiful, but will run around on him.

Here, though, the choice is more mundane. If a woman stays within her prescribed sphere, whatever that may be, her man will stay by her side. But if she flies too high, let her beware.