Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Astronauts Wives Club...

So I finished watching The Astronauts Wives Club, a ten-part tv mini-series, based on the book of the same name, chronicling the story of the wives of the Mercury Seven astronauts. It covers a span of approximately ten years.

The thing I loved about the series is the look into history of the time just before and just after I was born. The clothes, the hair, the seeming simplicity of life, especially for women. The only degree a woman was expected to get was her MRS. Of course, things were beginning to change during the 60s. Women and blacks were experiencing awful oppression and changes were simmering.

It really hit home how gender biased the time period was when one of the wives of an Apollo astronaut decided to get a divorce as her husband had basically abandoned her and their children (one of whom had Down's Syndrome and leukemia and eventually died at four-years-old). She was told even by her own attorney that she was better off staying married because it was so difficult for a woman to obtain a divorce at that time. One scene depicts her access to bank accounts being ended. Her saving grace was that her husband wanted the divorce to marry someone else. As an aside, only seven of fifty marriages (of all 60s era space program astronauts) didn't end in divorce.

Watching some of the women attempt to pursue their own dreams and being put in their place over and over was painful. I know we've still got a long way to go for women and for people of color and for people of other religions and faiths as well as for people of all sexualities, but thank goodness it's still not that...

It might not be a show for everyone, but I really enjoyed the look into the past and liked the show for what it was. I like that it didn't try whitewash or ignore the issues the book brought to light like how much pressure NASA put on the wives to keep all troubles away from the husbands when they were home. The struggles the wives went through, depression and alcoholism. The attempted cover-up of the real reason why three men died in a fire.

Anyone else watched this? What did you think?

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