The XX Factor

A Wife’s Job

With all the coverage of Peter Elkind’s  Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer , the most interesting item I’ve found so far is a tidbit about the fallen governor’s wife, Silda Wall, from Brooke Masters’ Washington Post review ” ‘The wife is supposed to take care of the sex. This is my failing; I wasn’t adequate,’ Elkind reports Wall as saying.”

Elkind doesn’t say, or perhaps Masters doesn’t mention, when Wall uttered those words-whether they were said hours after learning about the infidelities or just before the book went to press. Whatever the case, it is heartbreaking to think that Wall burdens herself with the antiquated responsibility of the “wifely duty.” Perhaps this belief harkens back to her religious roots: A New York Times blog item from 2007, during Spitzer’s gubernatorial campaign, notes that on a visit to a Harlem church, he referred to her as ” my good Baptist wife .”

Disclosure: Eliot Spitzer is a Slate columnist.

Photograph of Silda Wall Spitzer and her husband by Al Bello/Getty Images.