Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
WHAT IF THAT ASTRONAUT WERE A MAN? To the editor: While I applaud Debra Bruno on a well-reasoned, sympathetic analysis of Lisa Nowak’s misadventures, I am troubled by the shifting of responsibility for these actions from Ms. Nowak herself to a mere manifestation of the so-called Good Girl Syndrome [" Lisa Nowak's Mission Impossible," March 19, Page 26]. The column suggests that Ms. Nowak’s stellar accomplishments — top grades in high school, admission to the U.S. Naval Academy, selection as an astronaut — were due to her desire “to please people” and to do “everything she’s supposed to do.” According to this theory, the Good Girl, after years of repressing what she actually wants, snaps and does some “crazy” thing, which apparently includes committing adultery followed by trying to kidnap or murder her rival for the adulterous lover. While I’m not well versed in the theory, I suppose the person is still nominally classified as a Good Girl even after the snapping event, the adultery, and the attempted kidnapping or murder. While it’s no doubt a handy theory for professional women to discuss “at dinner parties, in book clubs, [and while] waiting to fetch their kids at school,” one nagging question remains. When a man at the top falls scandalously to the bottom, he is usually portrayed as some monster who (thank God!) finally got his comeuppance. If a male astronaut with a wife and children fooled around and then tried to harm his younger rival for the coveted mistress, it would be explained that these macho, egocentric astronauts believe the normal rules of society do not apply to them. I doubt it would be viewed sympathetically as just another example of the Good Boy Syndrome. Without knowing her personally, I would assume Ms. Nowak succeeded again and again not only based on her abilities and hard work, but also because she wanted those achievements and knew how to beat the competition. The belief that women are not as competitive as men is beyond outdated. Absent any compelling evidence to the contrary, the successes of women should not be degraded by being ascribed to some amorphous female need to please others. One should assume that they want to succeed. The same way men want to succeed. Any subsequent falls from grace need to be treated similarly. Steven Bennett Arlington, Va.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.