Dear Mrs. McShane,
You are a bad ass. I will start there. When I see pictures of you, life is suddenly a cartoon. Birds chirp louder outside and it doesn’t annoy me. There’s a soft classical underscore playing throughout my day, and I see particles dancing. Everywhere it smells like fresh churros.
But Tracey (may I call you Tracey?), I have lastima for you because the world still knows you as Jon Stewart’s wife. And let me tell you something, I am a big fan. I would vote for your husband for president tomorrow. But you are not just his wife or any person’s wife.
1. You are a mom. Having recently been welcomed into the Crazy Land Of Motherhood myself, I’ve learned how loaded and powerful that is. Two human beings trust you most, and when they have bad days, you are the balm for their souls. You’ve worn scrunchies and forgone your own sense of style, you’ve put your needs last, you’ve slept 3 hours a night for a long time. And all for them. You are a hero. 2. You are an animal advocate. You have found your calling and the world is a better place for it, not just for our kind but for all kinds. You purchased a farm in New Jersey to provide a home for farm animals rescued from cruelty. You’ve taken everybody’s dream (”Oh, I just want to live on a ranch with a bunch of animals one day!”) and turned it into reality, not even for your benefit but for theirs. 3. You are an author. As an aspiring one, I know this is no small feat. I know it means hours hunched over your computer with your eyes burning and your body shaped like a C and drinking from the same refilled, BPA-saturated water bottle for 12 hours straight because you’ve got something to say. And boy, do you have something to say. Your book, “Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live and How We Can Make Their Lives Better.” is incredible. Your writing is personal and it makes me giggle and it makes me feel more for the animals then I did before, which I’d thought was impossible. Plus you donate the proceeds to Farm Sanctuary?! C’mon, sister. Your only flaw might be making the rest of us look like heartless robots.
Trace-arooni, I imagine you probably do so many more things and are so many more things that I could only appreciate if I knew you personally, but I’m not that lucky. However, this much is evident: You are the real deal. You are a star. So why do we still live in a time and place where women are continually reduced to the title of Mr. So and So’s Wife? Not to take anything away from your TV-redefining-hilarious husband, but why doesn’t everybody know your name? You’ve rescued pigs!
I’m tired of women being if not in second class, then in the 1.5 class. An asterisk. An epilogue. Still fighting to be seen more than we need to. I’m tired of women being Oz behind the curtain, and even though your husband seems to be like, “Um, I’m great because she’s great,” too few listen or too many think, “Awww, okay, but stay shrouded back there.” I’m tired of women having to choose between going to that meeting or pumping breastmilk for their baby, between kicking ass and cleaning ass. We cannot do everything. We try. We constantly fall short. I am tired of women being pulled in 1,000 directions, never really being anywhere ever again, and yet an understudy because of it. Because we have to do more. But making less money than a man does. Feeling like our bodies are a political pawn in some out-dated, macho chess game. Objectified, rape still a thing, beauty the ultimate aim. And all this in the United States. This is where it’s BETTER.
There are exceptions to the rules, yes, tons, thank God. (Shonda Rhimes, I love you.) But it should not take fame or money or a really big butt or a sex tape to make a woman known, and the fact that it often does and that I am writing this post lastimas me to infinity. Just being good - a selfless and brave firefighter; a patient kindergarten teacher who smiles through tantrums; an I-ate-popcorn-for-dinner-because-I-work-the-night-shift nurse who holds an old man’s hand; a mother who buys her son hormones because inside he feels like a girl. Heroes. Like you.
I want this to be your time, Tdawg. I picture you and Mr. Tracey McShane’s Husband frolicking on the sanctuary with all those sweet sheep and tender-hearted cows and goofy chickens. People like me are gifted with hope and inspiration because of people like you. Yes, your husband has made me laugh. But you have given me hope. That is not an unimportant thing. It just might be the most important thing. Que lastima not everyone agrees. Que lastima not everyone looks at a goat and sees somebody silly and significant in there. Here’s to eyes opening for the animals. For women. And for you.
p.s. Maybe you can be Hillary’s VP? A girl can wish.