So this happened.
Background: I’m married to a man named David Marcus who writes for conservative news outlets. He gets into arguments with people about his views, and is disagreed with by many on the left and right.
Late last week, he had some sort of internet altercation with monologist Mike Daisey. I do not believe this was the first time they had beef over a political perspective. Although perhaps it will be the last, bc Mr. Daisey blocked David.
Hey, what do I care? I don’t care. My husband can, and does, fight his own battles. He and I have differing viewpoints on many hot political issues of the day, and we discuss them freely and passionately with one another. We have enough respect for each other to hear the ideas out before roundly rejecting them. It’s okay with me that there is much upon which we don’t agree. What we teach our son is the importance of forming his own opinion through critical analysis and a consideration of all perspectives.
Imagine my surprise when Mr. Daisey brought me into the discussion. Or rather, not the discussion. Imagine my surprise when, after blocking David on facebook, Mr. Daisey wrote a post stating that David is an alt-right troll and Trump supporter, going on to say “What’s more unusual is that he’s also in the theater. He was affiliated with Blue Box World, and identifies as a theater maker, working with his wife the playwright Libby Emmons…”
That I was mentioned in association with my husband is not a problem. We are mentioned together frequently, I’m sure. We are friends, we’ve worked together many times, we are parents. But I was not mentioned casually, I was mentioned as being associated with someone Mr. Daisey has proclaimed to be the enemy of left-thinking people, which in the arts is something– as I found out when David began writing in defense of conservative views– that can really put a damper on people’s willingness to consider the viability of you as an artist or of your work.
I commented on the post, saying “Following. Hi,” and shared his comment with a comment talking about the work David and I have done under Blue Box World, most notably the Sticky series, which I will always be proud to have co-produced. Mr. Daisey then blocked me, which deleted my share and comment, and the comments of friends and colleagues who had posted in support of me.
I wasn’t crazy about being silenced, but I assumed it was over and finished, and planned to concern myself with it no more. I was, however, curious, and got a look at his page. He hadn’t finished with us. After defaming David’s character, which has been widely defamed by alt-right, anti-Semitic trolls calling for David and his family to be murdered via gas chamber bc of his never Trump stance, Mr. Daisey wrote about the incident on his page, and again, I was personally brought into it.
A follower of Mr. Daisey said “Here’s what he [David] wrote about you. Did you dis his wife? lol” Quoting David’s page: “Mike Daisey is a coward who brought up my wife in a disagreement with me. I don’t care about attacks on me, but bringing Libby up is bullshit. She has always worked hard for representation and inclusion. Daisey should apologize.”
Mr. Daisey replied: “No I did not diss his wife. I feel confident she’s a saint, as she’s married to this guy.”
Among the extensive discussion that followed were those who believed Mr. Daisey’s assessment, and those who did not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I could, as did many on the thread, defend David from this slander, but being as I know the man well, and do not typically rush to his defense every time someone says unkind things about him on an internet thread, I left it alone.
Mr. Daisey posted: “I think it’s nice that he has people willing to stand up for him. That doesn’t change his views, his actions his words, or his behavior. He does work with his wife, who posted confirming this. They don’t apparently share political views, but since I mentioned her only as a playwright who has worked with him on theater projects, Marcus is just grandstanding again, looking for an apology for things I never said. She’s probably a fucking saint, as she lives with him.”
On that, that I’m a saint, that’s a statement that seems out of line. Is a wife really a saint for being married to her husband? Isn’t it even remotely possible that political perspectives do not define a marriage? That if we have differing views on the NEA, for example, that won’t affect our ability to prepare a meal together and keep house in order? Does my party demand such severe proof of my allegiance that I must disrupt my family to show it? Does it really follow that a wife is responsible for her husband’s speech and opinions and he responsible for hers? Does it make sense to bring a woman’s husband into a disagreement you’re having with her?
And for the record, neither of us voted Trump.