Monday, March 04, 2019

Tabitha King Brilliantly Called Out The Sexist Media

If you’ve ever read a Stephen King book, any of them, you’ll know what a critical role his wife Tabitha played in helping to launch his writing career. And Tabitha is an accomplished author all on her own, with eight novels and two non-fiction books out there, so she is not simply “Stephen King’s wife.” 

At least to most people; but, after Stephen and Tabitha King made a major charitable donation to the New England Historic Genealogical Society—oh, and the gift was Tabitha King’s idea—the couple was thanked with headlines and notifications like this:
“Stephen King and his wife donate $1.25M to New England Historic Genealogical Society.”
And so Stephen King took to Facebook to post a letter Tabitha had penned:
My wife is rightly pissed by headlines like this: “Stephen King and his wife donate $1.25M to New England Historic Genealogical Society.” The gift was her original idea, and she has a name: TABITHA KING. Her response follows.
“Dear Editors (married to a wife or a husband):In recent media coverage of a gift that my husband (ironic usage) and I made to the New England Historical and Genealogical Society, we became Stephen King and his wife.
Wife is a relationship or status. It is not an identity.
You could have made other choices. You could have referred to me as Of Stephen. Or His Old Lady. Or His-Ball-And-Chain.
I have sons. You could have referred to me as Mother-of-Novelists. I have a daughter but wouldn’t it be just silly to refer to me as Mother-of-Clergy?
I’m seventy. I thought I would give you permission, if “Of Tabitha” predeceases me, to title my obituary, Relick of Stephen King.
In the meantime, you might consider the unconscious condescension in your style book, and give women their names.”
True, Stephen King does get most of the publicity, but should that mean Tabitha is just his wife, a nameless part of his life? Stephen and Tabitha King have been active in politics and supporting the arts for decades, and their contributions will live on long after they’re gone, but they are the contributions of Stephen and Tabitha King.

And this isn’t simply political correctness, this is about acknowledging a person for being more that “the spouse of”; she is half of the Kings and she deserves that recognition. As do all women; they aren’t appendages and afterthoughts and wives.

I was raised by a father and a mother and mu mother wasn’t just my father’s wife, nor he simply my mother’s husband. My mother was a nurse, a teacher, a cook, an artist, a source of love and compassion, an example of how to treat people, accept people, understand people. She wasn’t just the wife of my father, she was her own person, like Tabitha King.

We need to remember that because, if I have my way, and if my dream comes true, one day women will run the world.

PS This is Tabitha King, in her own right.


anne marie in philly said...

my mother was always knows as "mrs. john (last name)"; as if she didn't exist at all. FUCK THAT SHIT!

all my accounts say "anne marie (last name)", and NOT "mrs. todd (last name)". feminists fought for all women to be recognized as people, not just appendages. good for tabitha!

the dogs' mother said...

Well, as the mother of the dogs... ;-)
My DIL kept her last name and we are fine
with that. People are people in their own
right. xoxoxox

Linda deV said...

My hero Anne Marie !

Linda deV said...

When I was called mrs R Dev, I would flip! Not only call me my mother in law, who loved being called that, but take away my effing identity (a cardboard cutout). I’m Linda dev. Just try and take that away.

You go Tabitha ! That man of yours is lucky to have you.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Oh they didn’t.
I love her response! It’s fucking 2019! And she’s right, wife is a status, not an identity.
Now I need to go find me one of her books.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

When a joint charitable contribution is made, the acknowledgment should ALWAYS name both people. Not to do so is tacky and disrespectful. Tabitha King is right to be pissed off.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I recognize the guy in the top photo. Isn't that Tabitha King's husband?

Helen Lashbrook said...

I remember when I was young proper etiquette required that you always address a wife on an envelope as Mrs X Surname (if her husband's name began with X of course!) it is this patriarchal thinking that leads to women not being allowed control of their own bodies when they live in places where the religious right rule.

PS If you could please pray for my friend Cathy who is having life saving surgery this morning in California I would be so grateful

Dave R said...

My, Tabby's husband is starting to look old....

As for the New England Historic Genealogical Society? Sounds to me like they were prostituting his name.