A good wife, defined

by heroic Captain Phillips:

“She’s a good wife. She supports whatever I” decide, Phillips answered

John Kerry didn’t let this pass. Unfortunately, the way he objected leaves one with the impression that he’d say the same thing if he could. (To be honest, I think he was just making a clumsy attempt to register an objection without being too confrontational.)

“I couldn’t get away with that,” he noted, referring to his outspoken wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Thanks, Jender-Parents!

5 thoughts on “A good wife, defined

  1. My wife is considering quitting her job. It makes me financially nervous, but I told her that I’ll support whatever she decides.

    With the right contextually determined restrictions on the generality of “whatever” it’s a reasonable expectation of a good spouse. What’s interesting in this case is that the quantifier reads prima facie as much more general coming from Capt. Phillips or any male because of wider social context and traditional definitions of authority in marriage, though I really would have to take in the full context of this particular statement. Also interesting: The more restricted you read Phillips’ quantifier the more oafish Kerry’s reply sounds.

  2. altho it should be pointed out that it doesn’t sound like what your wife is doing, jrshipley, is unilaterally *deciding*. you describe her as ‘considering’. and i bet she’s doing things like thinking about what’s best for you-plural, and taking your opinions into account. if she were to simply say ‘it’s my decision and no one else gets a say’, i don’t suppose you’d feel the same sense of duty to support her, even if it was about something quite personal like her career. that wouldn’t seem like a good way for a marriage to operate, i don’t think.

  3. jrs, nice point. elp, I’m not sure I share your assumptions. Capt P might have asked for initial input, mightn’t he?

    He does sound like Bush, “I’m the decider.”

  4. From the Washington Times:

    But without changes to the system, Mr. Kerry asked, would he go out there again? Would his wife want him to?

    “She’s a good wife, she supports whatever my decision is,” the captain said without pause, looking straight ahead.

    This seems to favor jrshipley’s hypothesis.

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