Published by Atticus Review

When she was fourteen, Marsha announced that her favorite woman in history was Ethel Rosenberg. Not because Marsha believed that Ethel was innocent and noble—noble because surely she could have pretended to know more about her husband’s guilt and earned a reprieve by making up stories. Nor because she believed Ethel was guilty but noble—in this case, “guilty” would mean for some that the woman was brave enough to put her own life in danger to live her values, but this wasn’t Marsha’s thinking. Guilty, not guilty, whatever. And noble? Seriously… noble? Marsha didn’t care to guess whether Ethel had spied for Russia, or what, exactly, was in her heart. Ethel was Marsha’s favorite woman in history because it took five blasts from the electric chair to kill her.

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Image “Lightning” by Axel Rouvin (via Wikimedia Commons).