ABC News Analyzes the Trophy Wife
Earlier today, Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard pointed out the media's hypocrisy regarding their treatment of Jeri Kehn Thompson, wife of Republican presidential candidate-in-waiting Fred Thompson, and Jackie Clegg Dodd, wife of Democrat presidential candidate Chris Dodd. Both women are considerably younger than their husbands, and both couples have young children together. Yet the media seems to be targeting Mrs. Thompson as a stereotypical trophy wife, a term that has unflattering connotations, while Mrs. Dodd has been treated with courtesy and respect. Of course, part of the reason may be because Chris Dodd's official candidacy has not gained the traction of Fred Thompson's unofficial one, but it's interesting to note the differences that Noel discusses in his post.
Fortunately for us, ABC News has decided to delve into the evolving definition of a trophy wife...and guess what? It's not as bad as you may think:
"The idea of the trophy wife has progressed so that men want a woman who has some social equality, and it's not a dominant-submissive relationship," said Anne Kingston, author of "The Meaning of Wife." "Increasingly, it's not simply the decoration that a truly accomplished man wants, but an equal."
Wow! So it's not just all about having a hottie to hang on your arm at cocktail parties and swank vacation destinations in order to make your peers jealous? I wonder if Joe Scarborough read Kingston's book before his snarky "working the pole" comment last month?
Believe it or not, Mrs. Thompson is finally given some credit for having a few brains and professional credentials:
In fact, Kehn Thompson, who formerly worked as a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, has quite an impressive resume. She could not be reached for comment regarding her description as a trophy wife.
She couldn't be reached? I cannot imagine why she wouldn't want to respond to this crucial controversy in which she seems to play a pivotal part. It's not like the media created this flap in an effort to discredit her husband's potential bid for the presidency. Wait -- my bad -- they did.
When reading this conclusion, I can just imagine author Emily Friedman sniggering over her keyboard:
Whether Kehn Thompson really is a trophy wife may ultimately be up to her to decide. Depending on her perspective on the label, she may deem the trophy wife branding as an insult or a compliment.
Until she says otherwise, it's probably safe to assume that for now Kehn Thompson is OK with dropping the "trophy" moniker and just being a regular wife.
Yes, I suppose it would be safe to assume Mrs. Thompson doesn't consider herself a curvaceous bimbo whom her husband married in order to make himself look good. But it's doubtful it matters what she thinks; the press will likely continue the pile-on as Fred Thompson's political star continues to rise.
I hope Mrs. Thompson has a thick skin...the games have only just begun.