Saying goodbye to ‘trophy wives,’ hello to dynamic relationships

Trophy Wife

Francis Emelogu/The Cougar

In the lieu of Women’s History month, time has been allotted to reflect on the fluctuating standards and roles of women throughout time. Many recent studies have indicated that the exploitative reign of the trophy wife has begun to dwindle.

More women are seeking the equality found in the so called “power couple.” Enough time has been spent on the degrading of women’s potential; women should be the determinants of what they can and cannot become.

As said by Bustle, the “old world union” of being a domestic accessory is replacing itself with the couple whose attributes are “equally smart, savvy and successful.”

The traditional boundaries established by female ancestors have been the hardest to dismantle within the modern era. In the current age, the largest obstacle that young adult women face is facing expectations of what a woman should do and be.

However, many popular women among today’s youth have been representing the counterculture. This essential breaking of traditional ideology has created role models for up-and-coming women with today’s generation.

Kristen Houghton, women’s rights columnist for The Huffington Post, wrote that “the new trophy wife” is the one who has “her own high-paying career … is highly educated, self-assured and able to hold her own financially.” Just as women were sought to rely on men, men also need women who are self-sufficient, decision makers and “breadwinners.”

The truth the facts inevitably point to is that people just need the equal support of other people; gender truly plays a scarce role.

Over the past 10 years, relationships have been transforming from dependent to dynamic. Young female students on campus have found the growing effects of equality within their own personal relationships.

Communication disorders sophomore Samantha Noel found there are “no defined roles” within her relationship because her and her partner each have different strengths. The domestic attributes of the couple were assumed by both, and she said neither had a dominating role in either provider or caretaker.

Noel shared the new modern ideal that “everybody should have the same options (in their relationships) and no doors should be closed due to gender.”

Kristen Bole, author of “Farewell Trophy Wife,”  said the cause of typical gender roles dissipation is because “women have more opportunities in the workplace, and brains and beauty are viewed less and less as mutually exclusive.” If a man cannot support his woman’s ambition, then she should not be expected to encourage his.

Bole said the expectations and demands need to be mutual. The dwindling gender disparity is prevalent only if “women think they can make it on their own and are supported” by their surrounding environment.

Despite the fading gender disparities, minimal concerns still arise from the shifting roles.

Psychology Today found that both men and women have a few mental hurdles to jump before total equality. Some of these concerns arise from “men being more intimidated by high-powered women than they’re willing to admit” and “high-achieving women being told that success causes their marrying and childbearing stock to plummet.”

These cases only emphasize the necessity for balance. Relationships require an equal distribution of both domestic and occupational engagement and support to prove successful.

Even though trends have proven the demise of classic trophy wife and the rise of power couple, the time for equality is now. The adjusting societal standards transforming women’s traditional role is simply another step towards the equalizing of all people.

Opinion columnist Courtney Gigant is a business sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].

1 Comment

  • This article is very demeaning to attractive “stay at home” wives. Being part of the “rat race” as an “employee of the month” or “human resource” is not every woman’s dream. I have worked in positions where women held control over the company/work environment and they were not always as supportive of my needs as when I worked in an evil “male dominated” workplace. Its a sad fact that due to the great “service economy” American workers are being paid less than a generation ago, and it takes two people “working”(typically as employees) to make ends meet. Two people taxed on income instead of one. It also typically means less time for parental supervision of children. The government may find a solution with government run-childcare:)
    Those that say women are typically paid less than men should realize if that is the case, how exploitative it is for corporate America to force women out of their homes(husband’s income not enough anymore) and into a corporate run workplace environment where women fill the roles of cheaper-than-men employees working hard to pay bills for basic necessities. Corporate America has it better now than they ever did when the workplaces were dominated by male-workers.

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