CITY GIRL: Being a politician’s wife is thankless, useless role
In my favorite TV series, Scandal, the gripping political drama that stars my favorite actress Kerry Washington who plays Olivia Pope — a fixer par excellence and the president’s mistress — one scene captures a heated argument between President Fitzgerald Grant (III) played by the devastatingly handsome Tony Goldwyn and the First Lady Mellie Grant, played by Bellamy Young.
In this scene the First Lady, Mellie Grant — a fiercely brilliant, Ivy-league schooled overachiever with a cunning political mind — is complaining of how bored she is as First Lady.
“The upsetting thing about being as educated as I am and as intelligent as I am is that being First Lady is profoundly boring,” she says. “Give me a war to run or the CIA or something!”
The president — bored to death by his wife’s bickering and tedious nagging and craving his mistress Olivia Pope —lashes out:
“No one elected you! You’re not the President! You don’t weigh in on foreign policy! Your opinion doesn’t matter! You are the First Lady. Your job is to plant gardens and decorate rooms and let them blog about your clothes. You’re ornamental, not functional. So, don’t come into the Oval and try to use your brain because no one cares.”
That’s it. I am sorry to say this, but I think the job of a First Lady, the job of being a politician’s wife, is the most thankless and useless job on earth.
In fact, I feel sorry for our country’s First Lady because I think being First Lady is a waste of a woman’s time and mind.
Unless you are some rural girl with a basic secretarial course married to a politician, the job of First Lady is utterly demeaning to a woman with a purpose in life.
As the wife of a mheshimiwa, as a First Lady, you are not remembered for being a woman that did something with her life. You are remembered as the wife of a man who did something with his life.
And when history is written, they will mention your name in passing and focus on your husband, that man you sacrificed so much for.
You see, when you are a First Lady, your role is ornamental, not functional. You are there to be seen and not heard. You are judged harshly by society for pursuing your own career because they think you should be supporting your husband.
So you are reduced to an unimpressive life, pursuing “causes” in between fending off pretty young things (PYTs) from your husband.
Don’t give me that nonsense that First Ladies are ‘doing a good job’ by championing causes that help women and children. That is drivel.
Don’t for a moment be misled to think that the cause is “humanitarian”, it is just a toy, a plaything that she has been handed to keep her busy as her husband runs the country, the same way you give your four-year-old a tablet to play childish games with as you go on with your serious work.
You have no life of your own. Your dreams and career goals take the back burner and the sole purpose of your life is to serve at the pleasure of your MP husband who is embarrassing you by siring wild oats with girls half his age.
Your brains are wasted. Your lustrous degree from the UK is useless and, suddenly, you are reduced to kissing and holding urine-smelling babies and keeping Sara Netanyahu busy as your husbands hold bilateral talks.
I wonder what the two first ladies did during the two days Netanyahu was around. Did they have mani-pedis and massages as they exchanged notes on how to cope with the boredom?
You pretend you love those akina mama gatherings while you really should be closing deals in heels in an air conditioned boardroom. You are thrust into the limelight, attending funerals of people you don’t know or care about because you are the mama wa constituency.
You kiss goodbye those breakfast in bed moments with your husband because you wake up to a long queue outside your gate full of beggars waiting to see mheshimiwa for handouts.
I feel utterly angry when I remember how Michelle Obama has been wasted, such brilliant brains, left to deal with simplistic causes that bore you to the bone.
No wonder former First Lady Lucy Kibaki (God rest her soul) resorted to her antics, slapping anything and anyone on her way. It was because she was bored and frustrated and had nothing better to do with her life. There, I said it.