Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The curse of female "success"

Success is rarely as wonderful as reported:

Debi Thomas, the best African-American figure skater in history, couldn't find her figure skates. She looked around the darkened trailer, perched along a river in a town so broke even the bars have closed, and sighed. The mobile home where she lives with her fiance and his two young boys was cluttered with dishes, stacks of documents, a Christmas tree still standing weeks past the holiday.
"They're around here somewhere," she murmured three times. "I know I have a pair," she continued, before trailing off.

"Because — what did I skate in? — something. They're really tight, though, because your feet grow after you don't wear them for a long time." Her medals — from the World Figure Skating Championships, from the Olympics — were equally elusive: "They're in some bag somewhere."
Uncertainty is not a feeling Debi Thomas has often experienced in her 48 years. She was once so confident that she simultaneously studied at Stanford University and trained for the Olympics, against the advice of her coach. She was once so lauded for her lithe beauty on the ice that Time magazine put her on its cover and ABC's Wide World of Sports named her athlete of the year in 1986. She wasn't just the nation's best figure skater. She was smart — able to win a competition, stay up all night cramming, then ace a test the next morning.

She wanted it all. And for a time, she had it. After Stanford came medical school at Northwestern, then marriage to a handsome lawyer who gave her a son — who in turn became one of the country's best high school football players. Higher and higher she went.

Now, she's here. Thomas, a former orthopedic surgeon who doesn't have health insurance, declared bankruptcy in 2014 and hasn't brought in a steady paycheck in years. She's twice divorced, and her medical license, which she was in danger of losing anyhow, expired around the time she went broke. She hasn't seen her family in years. She instead inveighs against shadowy authorities in the nomenclature of conspiracy theorists — "the powers that be"; "corporate media"; "brainwashing" — and composes opinion pieces for the local newspaper that carry headlines such as "Pain, No Gain" and "Driven to Insanity."

There's a conventional narrative of how Thomas went from where she was to where she is — that of a talented figure undone by internal struggles and left penniless. That was how reality TV told it, when the Oprah Winfrey Network's Fix My Life and Inside Edition did pieces on her.

"She's got all these degrees," fiance Jamie Looney said as he watched television with Thomas inside the trailer. "She's a doctor. She's a surgeon. And she's here. I've got one year of community college. I know why I'm here. I look at her, wondering, 'Why are you not working somewhere else?' "
Such comments upset Thomas. "People are all like, 'Get a job,' " she said. "And I'm like, 'You people are fools.' I'm trying to change the world."

A woman's primary purpose is to be a helpmeet to her husband and the mother of children. Unfortunately, neither of those qualities are praised by the mainstream like "being a SCIENTIST" or "an ENTREPRENEUR" or, best of all a "HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST."

Often a woman will find great success at something non-marriage/non-making-babies related, then crash and burn when they find that success wasn't nearly as satisfying as advertised.

Remember, without women having children, the human race will literally cease to exist. In comparison with that, being the first female ASTRONAUTBALLERINALAWYERINNERCITYHANDBALLTHERAPYORGANIZER means little.

18 comments:

modsquad said...

This is a bit severe. How extensive was Mike Tyson's blowout? The number of men who've made bad decisions with their lives and ended up with far below their capabilities is just about infinite. A lot of athletes, rock stars and savants have ended up homeless or in a pine box way too early. By the sounds of it, Thomas got lost biting the lie that one's primary duty is to fix the world. This isn't a gender trap, it can snare anyone. Change yourself and the world changes with you. See how much work is involved just changing your own life and you'll quickly understand how impossible it is to change anyone else's.

Amy said...

There is a distinct whiff of mental illness in her case. And a mismatch between ability and purpose.

papabear said...

Sad.

manuel hernandez said...

@modsquad:

I won't disagree much with your statement. Except, I think it's worse for women and her in particular. Reading the story, she could have just quit after skating was over. She definitely was no Nancy Kerrigan or Oksana Bayul as far as looks go, but she was pretty and famous enough for a good, financially well endowed man. But no. In her pursuit to be the most empowered woman out there, she went insane.

Em said...

To argue that every woman needs to be mother because babies are crucial is a bit like saying every man needs to a farmer.

VFM #7634 said...

@modsquad
Unfair comparison. Borderline-retarded athletes and drug-addicted rockstars would not normally have access to millions of dollars unless they were basically given it by a degenerate entertainment industry.

Matamoros said...

EM To argue that every woman needs to be mother because babies are crucial is a bit like saying every man needs to a farmer.

Now that is insane. Typical female unlogic. A woman is purpose built genetically, physically, etc. to be a mother. That is reality. That a man similarly must be a farmer is obfuscation.

Em said...

Mata, I was specifically addressing Day's argument that women should be mothers because the human race will die out without babies. As to yours, the fact that we're made to be able to do something doesn't mean we have to or should, at least not when countless others are volunteering.

Bob Loblaw said...

While I agree we spend too much money training women to work in careers for which they're not suited, I'm not sure I would use this one particular woman to draw sweeping conclusions about society. She's just a lady who developed mental problems. It happens - to men and women.

Revelation Means Hope said...

pretty sure that Vox Day hasn't authored a piece here on AlphaGamePlan in several months...

Sherwood family said...

Looks like she was searching for someone she couldn't bully into treating her like a princess. Everyone she dealt with, according to the article could not handle her and let her do her own thing. Witness the time she pulled a gun and then asked to be locked away. Following her time as an Olympian is seems like she started shit-testing everything and everyone. Too many people did not respond correctly and let her get away with it. Being bi-polar sounds like it didn't help.

Kona Commuter said...

She had it all but it just wasn't enough

Aeoli said...

This is how addiction to stimulants works. One minute you're riding high, driven by some inexplicable need, the next you're brought low and the inexplicable need is all that remains.

#6277 Hammer said...

EM: "As to yours, the fact that we're made to be able to do something doesn't mean we have to or should, at least not when countless others are volunteering."

Well see, there's your problem. Not enough European women are volunteering.

Aeoli Pera said...

To argue that every woman needs to be mother because babies are crucial is a bit like saying every man needs to a farmer.

More like saying every man needs to feed his family. Sure, there will be exceptions but they are all dysfunctional.

Lee Jackson said...

"To argue that every woman needs to be mother because babies are crucial is a bit like saying every man needs to a farmer."

If men were born with spades for hands and seeds dropping out of their bodies once a month, it would be a more apt comparison.

Lee Jackson said...

"This isn't a gender trap, it can snare anyone."

Yes, but you rarely see women being warned outside the red pill circuit.

Jackie Chun said...

This is something that's always puzzled me about feminism. If women want to be stronk wimmin, then why don't they get jobs and do that? Maybe it's not hard work they can't do, but the type of work and what it's for. Native American women worked long hours processing meat, finding grain, caring for children and sewing. Why did European women stop doing that? Vacuum cleaners?

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS.