By LINDA STASI
Did alimony kill Robin Williams?
At least in part it sure did. Paying out over $30 million to ex-wives who were allowed to attach themselves to Williams’ bank account like comatose patients on feeding tubes would be enough to make Gandhi angry and depressed.
While states are finally, gradually catching up to the modern age in terms of alimony (now they call it “maintenance” — as in “high maintenance”) the practice of men paying women because they once were married is not just primitive but, yes, sexist.
Yeah, go ahead, call me anti-feminist, call me whatever you want, but the truth is alimony (which is different from child support and fair distribution of assets acquired during the marriage) doesn’t mean the non-working spouse is entitled to live as high as the Kardashians. It’s that concept that is fundamentally anti-feminist.
No, I’m not talking out of my head. I’m talking as a formerly divorced, unemployed woman who didn’t ask for alimony, just a fair amount of child support for our then-2-year-old daughter, which never happened anyway.
And thank God for it. Had I been “maintained,” I would never have found my own way in the world. I wouldn’t have written books at night as a side-job, I would never have fought against sexism to be given decent assignments, and my daughter would have had a “maintained” mother as opposed to an ambitious one as an example.
Yes, it was scary as hell most of the time. But hell, if a man could support a family, why couldn’t I?
“Maintenance” is treading water, which makes moving forward impossible.
And even though women now work as a matter of course, according to 2010 Census records, 97 percent of the 400,000 people receiving spousal support are women.
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