The immediate fate of Martha Stewart has been determined by a female judge. If her judgeship has been quoted correctly, she explained the compelling law exercised in the sentence handed down at the trial.
Not being familiar with the laws of the land, when anyone makes false statements when questioned by the federal prosecutors, I was a bit surprised to learn this must result in a maximum punishment.
Never having been a fan of Stewart, I became interested immediately when she was charged with a crime by selling her stock.
My understanding was she took money from no one. She did not deprive anyone of money rightfully earned, including retirement benefits. It never smelled of war profiteering.
Why did I include the last two words of the above paragraph?
It has been reported, whether rightly or wrongly, there is strong supposition that the company in which our vice president was once connected has and still might be enjoying the spoils of war. Somehow an investigation seems to have been stymied along the way.
The Enron commanders have gotten by, so far, with little or no punishment, excluding the wife of one. We are told she is incarcerated. When will the husband be tried and sentenced?
We ask ourselves if Stewart was viewed as an interloper into the world of high finance since she did so without apology for her expertise in directing every housewife in America on the “how-to’s” of everyday living.
She took berries, stems, candles, fruits and baskets, and taught homemakers to display beautiful centerpieces as they entertained guests.
She grew gardens that were featured in leading magazines. She used produce from these gardens in making meals that ranked in the gourmet journals featuring some of the most recognized chefs in the land. She did it before the cameras, furthering her influence to all viewers.
She now has the title of the Icon of Marketing, creating an empire that also includes magazines that have gone into millions of homes, bed linens bearing her name as well as other products making her a billionaire. Few women have equaled men in the corporate world. A few women in the entertainment industry have equaled her earning power but they depended on their bodies, their sex appeal, or their talents to entertain.
Stewart is 62. Attractive but not your classic beauty, she seems to have always had more than her share of self-confidence and self-esteem. She seems undaunted to challenge the male-dominated business world.
That may sound as if an ardent admirer was justifying her actions. This is not the case. I have found her to be arrogant, demanding and controlling. At the same time I admired her tenacity and confidence in making herself into a justifiable competitor to the most successful male counterparts in the business world.
Did she break the law? Evidently. Did she know to deny any part of her actions could lead to what has become a criminal act? I don’t think so.
Along with many others I watched the interview with Barbara Walters Friday night on “20/20”. She did not seem contrite. She smiled throughout the time. She shed no tears, which is common in most female misfortunes. She claimed to have no fear of her upcoming life as a prisoner and she continued to promote her business, which she referred to as “beloved.”
There seems to be no middle ground anymore when it comes to degrees of dislike in all public figures. I find people who express hate for world leaders, for competitors, for success in others and those who expect the rich and famous to be brought to their knees.
I believe this judge in Stewart’s trial had no choice in sentencing her. I wonder if her being a female had the slightest cause for the indictment in the first analysis.
I sometimes feel there is an agenda to making the rich and famous pay for their success. Why are we so vengeful? Why can the majority not be pleased in others’ success?
Our paths have led us into a materialistic way of life. Maybe age causes one to re-value all things. Envy is still the color green and stirs resentment and rebellion.
Do we remain in a man’s world? I believe it will always be so.
Mary Sauceman, a resident of LaFayette, writes a weekly column for the Walker County Messenger