Wednesday, October 21, 2009

where did she get to? part one. . .

So many theories, so little time.
After her plane vanished, there were those who believed Amelia faked her own death to escape her loveless marriage. Now why would she go to so much trouble? Her own parents divorced. Did she really have to fly almost all the way around the world to leave a man? I think this theory was popular because it played into the idea of a different Amelia. In reality she was someone who did exactly what she wanted, both romantically and professionally. She was forthright and opinionated. So once she was no longer around to protest, there were those who offered her up as the battered wife of a svengali. One biography follows this theory to its natural conclusion, making much of Putnam's control over her life. Apparently it was hard for some to believe a woman was capable of being this ambitious without a man controlling her every move.

One flaw in this theory is in imagining the planning. All the careful payoffs, the secret landing strip in the middle of nowhere . . . another is Amelia's supposed lack of conscience. There was the expense the government then went to, a quarter of a million dollars a day for search and rescue efforts.

Post feminist thinking has handily revised our image of what a woman can do or be, could we have come this far without Amelia? I wonder.

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