The XX Factor

John Edwards, Sex Victim

Meghan , I think Maureen Dowd’s column on the Edwards debacle now chronicled in Elizabeth’s new book, Resilience , is spot-on to call the media spectacle the book has spawned a wife’s public flogging of her errant husband. What I find off about Elizabeth’s take on the matter is her seemingly recurrent positioning of her husband as a victim of a wanton woman. After John revealed his affair to her, she called for him to “protect our family from this woman.”

“It didn’t occur to me that at a fancy hotel in New York, where he sat with a potential donor to his antipoverty work,” Elizabeth writes in her book, “he would be targeted by a woman who would confirm that the man at the table was John Edwards and then would wait for him outside the hotel hours later when he returned from a dinner, wait with the come-on line ‘You are so hot’ and an idea that she should travel with him and make videos. And if you had asked me to wager that house we were building on whether my husband of then 28 years would have responded to a come-on line like that, I would have said no.”

Targeted? Rielle lying in wait? Give me a break. When it comes to adultery, women too often posit the other woman as the enemy, their husband as the victim, the affair the two had some kind of sordid transgression that never would have happened were he not coerced by this Jezebel. Too bad that in her attempt to share the truth, Elizabeth got mired in the quagmire of not vilifying her husband for his misdeeds enough .