Thursday, April 24, 2008
In Defense of Tricia Walsh Smith- The YouTube Divorce Lady
By now, most web-News junkies, like me,
have seen Tricia Walsh-Smith's YouTube
masterpiece. It caused a tsunami reaction
last week, but it was the cruel way the
media and individuals chose to respond
to her which affected me the most.
The Heather Mills association was unavoidable.
Both are attractive youthful blond British trophy
wives, married to older powerful and successful
men who dumped them. The two wives are
absolutely hated, called "gold-diggers", "hookers,"
or worse, while the men who dumped them are curiously
spared criticism, and are viewed sympathetically.
Heather Mills has harmed herself with
some of her antics, but, the public's hatred
of her is disproportionate, without understanding
that she was literally thrown out of the door by
Paul McCartney, as in he threw her wheelchair
and her outside his home and kicked her out!
Heather has her flaws, but, she didn't cheat on
him or commit any heinous act. She loved
him and was the mother of his breathtakingly
beautiful little girl.
McCartney did nothing to mitigate or defend
Heather who was being torn apart daily and
trashed, by the media. He may have fanned
the flames, feeding the press, while preserving
his facade of unreproachable dignity.
Our society continues to be divided by
huge disparities between our tolerance
and attitudes towards women vs. men.
It's the same old double standard, on
steroids in today's world, when things
should have progressed forward.
A gutsy woman like Tricia is not embraced for
being a warrior, but, reviled and ridiculed, compared
to a parasite, not a partner in a marriage who
deserves to enjoy the privileges of her union with
a successful wealthy man .
An appalling number of people seem to derive
glee in commenting cruelly, while following her tale of
misfortune. Schadenfreude is a human frailty, but,
as women, we should have far more mercy
and compassion for eachother.
I'm not implying Tricia is a flawless saint,
or Heather Mills is not guilty of alienating
people by her own actions, but, it's fascinating
how their male counterparts are usually spared
analysis or criticism, while these women
are summarily put down. The hyperbole
used to condemn them is sometimes
Heather complained that she receives
harsher condemnation than a pedophile
and murderer, and she was right, she
does! Her tears were mocked as she recounted
with real emotion how it feels to be treated
as such a worthless entity. She was mocked.
She has some real virtues which are seemingly
invisible to the world. She's tried to
help others with disabilities, and has
participated in animal and vegetarian
causes. She has tried to compensate for
a reckless youth by spending the last 20 years
in doing good works. Maybe she exaggerates
these things, but, they're still worth
attributing to her in the plus column.
No one is interested in validating anything
positive about her, or recognizing her
value as a human being, when it is
sporting to plainly despise her. This
will greatly affect her young daughter's
self-esteem and values as well.
Mills seems to be a devoted and loving
mother, but, her only association in many
people's celebrity lexicon is that of a
despised, gold-digging" Mucca mess.
Paris Hilton has 10 years to go before
she is ridiculed, and condemned, so she better
pay attention to her future...
Actually, I prefer to isolate Tricia's life
from Heather's experience. Apart from
some common bonds, especially their physical
and nationality similarities, they have
completely different cases. Heather
left her marriage of four years as a very,
very rich woman, with many career
options left for her, even though she's
disliked. Because she's controversial,
she can continue to profit from her
her association with a global mega-icon
like Lord Paul. She will never be without
the insulation of extreme wealth and status
in her life.
Unfortunately, Tricia's fate is uncertain.
Now, because she had the instinct to fight
for her rightful reward for being a good
wife for ten years, she is as despised as
Heather Mills, without the hope of gaining
security for her future.
Tricia had no other weapon at her disposal,
and it's ludicrous to believe that a woman
without funds can defeat a powerful man with
millions of dollars and teams of cunning and
ruthless attorneys. She was not willing to be
discarded, dismissed and dispatched to the streets
without making a stand: To Hell with popular
I was gobsmacked when I first saw Tricia's
YouTube video, but, so intrigued. It was shocking,
but, compelling and hilarious, although behind it,
there was a misery that was all too real .
She reminded me of the brilliant
actresses on "Absolutely Fabulous"
- the awesome British sitcom from the 90s.
With the angel tarot cards, her guardian angel
(The Archangel Michael who promised her "victory" !)
her biting wit, brutal revenge, random
ranting and jaw-dropping story, she was an
instant hit, winning the number 1 place on
YouTube's most viewed list within days, getting
3 million hits, which were actually higher since
so many saw her video on blogs, news sites, and
on mirror videos which aren't tabulated. It
was discussed on major stations and all the
cable discussion shows. What's there NOT
Talent. Guts. Grit. Ingenuity against
After watching it for the Nth time, I realized
how truly innovative, ballsy and clever she is.
I also think she's charismatic and really beautiful.
She is an inspiration for women over 40, at
least she should be.
While the video is edited in a clumsy manner,
it seems to work in the context of a spontaneous
documentary.... Her choice of beginning in
the kitchen, the "woman's classic domain" and
going for a tour of her home was absolutely
brilliant and engaging. It captured 6 minutes
of purely innovative theater, presenting a
wealth of information in a tiny frame of time,
without actually giving many details....
She is a playwright, and not many have credited
her for a masterpiece of contemporary drama
in the quintessential new medium of communication
in our times.
She is the first of her kind, and made huge
ripples in the cosmic cyber karmic sea
of modern civilization last week.
For that, she should be regaled, not hated
and dismissed as a crackpot. What she did
was amazing, in my opinion.
I don't expect struggling middle-class people
to identify or empathize, because too many
claim they would be thrilled to get what
he was promising her, which was 750,000,
but, put in context to the life she has lived,
this is not what it seems... She had no idea
how this would be delivered, if ever. In the
end, he wanted her out for 25,000. There
were no guaranteed future payments.
In reality, her situation is similar
to the plight of other middle-class wives,
confident in their husband's income, who
are cast out, unable to sustain their budgets
and thrust into poverty.
According to her, all of her projects dried up
with her husband's diminished fondness
towards her. Even a novel she was writing,
which had been enthusiastically received by
an agent, vanished after her husband got wind
This man married her at a vulnerable
time in his life, similar to Paul McCartney.
They both lost life-long beloved companions
to cancer, and were struggling to go it
alone. They both picked vivacious and
stunning younger women who spiced up
their lives at miserably lonely times.
They both regretted it, and they both
dismissed their wives, like they would cut
off an unsatisfactory employee, not a
partner in holy matrimony.
Yet, the men receive sympathy.
My mom used to say to me, "It's as easy to
fall in love with a rich man as a poor man."
I know it sounds cynical, but, many women
DO find rich older men sexier. I'm not going
to judge them for that. We are attracted to
people for different reasons. Their attraction is
no less real than the pure lust of two hot
young people who are flooded in hormones.
I believe she loved him in her own
way, which she has a right to affirm without
derision. Why couldn't she truly be infatuated
with a powerful Broadway force, as a
woman who loved theater and wrote plays,
loving acting and the thespian world?
He was at the peak of power in this
elusive industry, where all her life-long
Why isn't her love taken seriously?
She was with him for 12 years, married
for nine, never cheated on him, and seemed
to look content on his arm, publicly.
At one point, the comment section of her
YouTube video had a fascinating
exchange between Tricia, and who
she believed was her evil step-daughter,
who was vicious towards her. Tricia states
that she loved this man, and was his partner
for 12 years and asks:
"Don't all our yesterdays mean anything?"
She has a right to expect future security as
the wife of a multi-millionaire. It is a real
possibility for him to have a lingering
incapacity. She was treated like the ugly
red-headed step-sister, not an equal partner
and wife, by Phil and his daughters.
He gave his daughters 1 million apiece
2 years ago, while she got an allowance
of 400 bucks a week and a credit card
which she used to buy clothing and wares
which were essential to her role as his wife.
Occasionally she was berated for over-spending
on yummy expensive shoes, or similar
treats, and according to her, was told that
she was "spending his daughter's cash."
Why couldn't he have given his faithful wife
a similar gift to his daughters, rather than
pit them against one another?
He married Tricia, and owed her respect,
protection, and decency. For a very rich
man with a limited lifespan, he could have
easily acted in fairness to both his daughters
and the woman who shared his life for ten years,
and who he chose to marry in holy matrimony.
She had a great opportunity to live like a
queen for those years, and it must have been
grand. Is she to sustain herself on those memories
alone for the rest of her life, while facing a very
uncertain future, discarded as something despised
and rejected? Many seem to resent her for not
just slinking off and being grateful for having
had a few stellar years in the limelight.
This woman is faced with having no home, doors
shut for her future plays and creative projects,
so why isn't her plight obvious? Why
was there resounding condemnation instead
of support and sympathy for her from other
We long for brotherhood, but, maybe the
key to peace in the kingdom is sisterhood
and unity within our own bodies and gender
I feel Phillip Smith did such a dirty thing in secret,
(not the Viagra and porn) but, evicting her through
a summons, throwing 25,000 at her, less than
Elliot Spitzer gave his hookers for one weekend
of sleazy sex, and then telling her that down the line
more money will be doled out.... who knows when...
and who knows how much? Yet, the women are
the ones scandalized, not the men who perpetrate
increasingly more hateful acts of misogyny and
contempt. THe same men would never call blacks,
"nigger" but, are getting away with unprecedented
low blows against women. Women need to take this
bull by the horns and stand up and be counted,
not shrink back and refuse to support each other.
Why are men like Paul McCartney and Phil Smith
the ones who receive sympathy and consolation,
when they hold all the cards to begin with, and
create the situations which put women in negative
I don't mean to suggest that McCartney and
Smith are purely evil men, but, they are not
blameless. They deserve to be called to account
for their choices and consequences, as public
figures, when their wives suffer the fallout.
They should be viewed based on how they
treated someone who they brought into their
privileged lives, only to change their minds.
Why don't people recognize their shallow
meanness and disrespect for women?
"The View" initially jumped on Tricia's
tsunami, and invited her on. This show
ostensibly is designed to discuss "women's
issues," Whoopi Goldberg showed her true
colors and demurred, and apparently
declared that she wouldn't appear on stage
with her. The Hell with Trish. All she cared
about was how Phillip J. Smith would
perceive her sitting with Tricia, and
how that could affect her professional future
on Broadway. In fact, Tricia never appeared
at all. So much for women's issues. Tricia
was one of the most revolutionary voices
and sign of our times, yet, she was thrown
under the bus by women.
Women are divine progeny. We are God's
finished product, and literally His greatest
workmanship. We were made to glorify
man who is in God's image, but, humanity
has missed the majesty of the feminine
crown of virtue, her role in our societies,
and her value to the planet. John Lennon
called woman "the nigger of the world"
but it goes so much deeper than that, and
it's worse today than in John's lifetime.
Aside from the spiritual warfare being against
women, we do not value ourselves, nor defend
the plight, or usually sympathize with other
women who are victimized.
We give gratuitous lip service to caring
about horrendous injustices inflicted upon
the poor women in the Congo, who are being
extinguished in a gender genocide unprecedented
in history. They are savagely raped and
mutilated, then discarded.
When Madonna adopted an African child,
she didn't rescue one of the poor female children,
destined to be raped and tortured, but, a boy
in a culture where he would have survived
without her kindness and help.
Tricia may not be the poster-girl for universal
feminine affliction, but, suffering is relative,
and Tricia is symbolic of many profound
injustices and sicknesses flourishing in our
society. Even with more self-esteem than most
of us over 40, she is nonetheless a victim of her
How many times did she berate herself by
calling herself an "idiot?"
She's far from an idiot, but, she is a victim.
At 50, even looking 25 years younger,
she understandably feels extremely vulnerable,
and she has a right to fight back with the
tools of creativity she has, even if we don't
appreciate the irony, talent, and courage it
took for her to stand up for her own future.
Our Constitution originally guaranteed us
these essential human rights, **(well actually
MEN were guaranteed...)**
Instead of being a folk heroine for thinking outside
the box, and taking the initiative to fight for herself,
too many have laughed and condemned her.
We don't need men to subjugate, dominate or abuse us
when we do a masterful job in diminishing our own,
and other women's lives , dismissing our worth
as human beings under God.
In fact, we are the vessels of life itself, yet,
we are treated, and treat ourselves
and other women more like trash bags than holy
receptacles of creative life energy.