On Wednesday, the HuffPo published this article about trailing spouses.
“Unfortunately, most expat employers, HR people and those in the global mobility industry still see the expat spouse as a throw-back from the 50s; a helpless, pampered, Barbie doll, rather than the highly efficient, intelligent and competent woman of today. The trailing spouse of today needs to be given a voice, as well as an active role, in producing and delivering solutions to what everyone in the global mobility industry agree is their number one challenge; the adaptation and integration of the expat family.”
While this is a topic I am very passionate about (stay tuned for an upcoming article that i wrote!) and I do like to see it being featured on a public forum such as HuffPo, the tone of this article really bugs me. First of all, it assumes all trailing spouses are women, which in itself is the fundamental root of the problem. Next, the article skews to focus on the woman as keeper of the family.
Remember that trailing spouses do include men, and do include those who do not have children. The latter whom not only have to balance the stability of a marriage, but also seek advancement of a legitimate career (lest I continue to fail to remind you) in the shadows of another without the “purpose” of the family. Not to discount the work of those who do have families, of course.
It’s a tough subject.