I’ve never really understood why people hate on trophy wives. Part of me thinks it’s the fact that humanity is striving for gender equality. The other part of me, however, thinks that it’s just ugly people who are jealous that they themselves can’t live off of their looks.
Despite all of the hate, the truth is, being a trophy wife sounds kind of awesome.
You get to hang out with your kids (okay you get to pick out the nannies who hang out with your kids), be involved in the PTA/organize bake sales/get day-drunk with your gorgeous trophy wife friends, and you always look flawless.
Basically it’s like being in a sorority, but instead of littles, you have actual children.
So when a New York Times article was released explaining the ins and outs of trophy wife life, I was fascinated.
The article calls them “Glam SAHMs (glamorous stay-at-home-moms),” and their lives sound absolutely perfect. For the most part, it’s what you’d expect. Beautiful women wearing beautiful clothes, being involved in beautiful philanthropies and dressing their beautiful children up for beautiful family outings. But the part where controversy really sets in? Wife bonuses.
That’s right. These MILFs are getting paid for going above and beyond their trophy wife duties.
A wife bonus, I was told, might be hammered out in a pre-nup or post-nup, and distributed on the basis of not only how well her husband’s fund had done but her own performance — how well she managed the home budget, whether the kids got into a “good” school — the same way their husbands were rewarded at investment banks. In turn these bonuses were a ticket to a modicum of financial independence and participation in a social sphere where you don’t just go to lunch, you buy a $10,000 table at the benefit luncheon a friend is hosting.
Women who didn’t get them joked about possible sexual performance metrics. Women who received them usually retreated, demurring when pressed to discuss it further, proof to an anthropologist that a topic is taboo, culturally loaded and dense with meaning.
Naturally, some people are p-i-s-s-e-d about this, which, personally, I think is insane. Sure, it seems a little off that these women are not allowed to withdraw $10,000 of their husbands’ hard earned money on a whim, but uh…wait. No, it doesn’t seem off. It seems perfectly reasonable. Nothing would be more frustrating than being married to someone who spends all of your money. It would be especially frustrating if this person expected to ride off of your success without contributing to the partnership. What it comes down to is yes, these women are expected to look presentable, run the house, deal with the kids, and so on. That’s normal. Disagree with me? Then you probably shouldn’t be looking for a serious relationship.
Like any relationship, it’s about give and take. If one person is going to be spending long hours at the office, and the other person wants to be a stay-at-home-whatever, then hell yeah they should cook and clean and keep the family life organized. And the fact that their husbands want to not only give them a “salary,” but they want to honor them for being amazing mothers and care givers? I can get behind that. The only question I have is where the hell do I sign up?.
[via New York Times]
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