Regarding the obituary for Mary Woods, I was struck by the subheading used to describe her: “Foreign Service wife, librarian” [June 11]. I did not have the opportunity to know Woods, but I do find obituaries for individuals of note to be compelling. By reading the subheading, I gathered that she had done nothing more significant in her life than accompany her husband to his various postings. The end of the obituary noted the detail “[Woods] came to Washington in 1944 as a World War II Japanese language code-breaker.”
To me, that information was the most compelling and fascinating part of Woods’s story. In 1944, for a woman to play such an important role with such essential skills would be not only unusual but also potentially very significant regarding this country’s intelligence. In 2017, to define her by the role that her husband played is demeaning and marginalizing.
Haven’t we overcome our need to describe women’s roles through their husbands? I expect better from The Post.
Megan B. Pomeroy, Salisbury, Md.