It’s been difficult to open a newspaper or listen to the news these last few days without hearing about the US Election campaigns. And recently the role of the spouses has figured large in the campaign. I am inevitably talking about wives supporting their husbands; you rarely see it the other way round (Clinton is an exception).
Irrespective of my views on the presidential candidates and ‘the wives’ relative performances, it’s leaving me with a queasy feeling in my stomach. I wrote a few blogs back about the fifties revival (See Are You Being Sold the Fifties Myth?) and in my mind there is a connection ‘twixt that and this mandatory pushing forward of the women to extol the virtues of their husbands. I just don’t like the subliminal message it’s sending out:
Men are in power – women support them. Behind every successful man there’s a good woman, etcetera.
These images are so powerful and they are being beamed round the world. And praise is being heaped on these two women for the support they are giving their husbands and the possible boost to more women voting for them. One of them (Michelle Obama) has even been persuaded to tone down her ‘too forceful image as that won’t play well with the voters!
The only thing that would influence me is more women in actual, genuine positions of power. I live in a country now (UK) where a recent Government reshuffle has left even fewer women with influence in how my country is run. Heaven forfend that in the next general election ‘the wives’ are trotted out to try and secure my vote!
I work with women to promote and advance their careers. It’s not an anti man stance, more pro women. If you’d like to find out more take a look here. And for the record, I have no problem in supporting my husband in his career, or he in mine. The difference is no one told me how to behave or put me in a ‘this is how wives of fire-fighters must behave’ box.
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Posted on September 7th, 2012 by Jane