Bitch on the Blog

February 2, 2018


Don’t say it’s not an original question. I say so myself. It isn’t. Yet, it only occurred to me just now – for the first time.

Why do world leaders – by which I mean prime ministers, presidents, monarchs, even Angela Merkel though not Putin – have their assorted spouses in tow when on business? Cue photo shoot. In few other jobs would you expect to give up all else, trudge around the world in your spouse’s shadow and be under public scrutiny? Or would you?

You tell me.




  1. I think there are still jobs where the wife is viewed as part of the team and I very deliberately said “wife” because i don’t think same sex partners or husbands are viewed in quite the same way.
    I was recently embarrassed as an older woman i know made a huge fuss of a young man’s business success and congratulated his wife on being his support. The supporting role is undervalued so there is that but the woman in question has a successful corporate career of her own! I think these attitudes are slowly falling away but the last to drop them will be the power brokers

    Comment by kylie — February 2, 2018 @ 21:51 | Reply

  2. I’ve pondered that myself. Like a consort, as if she has no life of her own. I was shocked at Michele Obama, an esteemed law professor giving up her all for unpaid labour as First Lady. I do believe it is the old Christian concept of hearth and home, lends solidarity and family man status to the – usually – male god figure.

    And truly, I despise the concept.

    Just my thoughts.


    Comment by Wisewebwoman — February 3, 2018 @ 04:19 | Reply

  3. I have often wondered about this too. The latest is the photograph of May accompanied by her husband in China!

    I suppose that it is just a perquisite that the job brings along for the spouse that better be used as these jobs are not permanent.

    Comment by rummuser — February 3, 2018 @ 12:24 | Reply

  4. I never really thought about it. We had Hilary Clinton as “First Lady” of Arkansas for ten years and then she went to Washington for eight. She certainly was “part of a team.”

    So far as spouses going on business trips, Karen went with me on at least half of mine, not that I had that many. She would do other stuff when I was in meetings, but would go to the business dinner — once if the French Quarter of New Orleans — , usually being the only spouse there. But our situation was different, she didn’t have a job, our kids were grown, and we added time either before or after for vacation travel, sometimes as much as a couple of weeks.

    Comment by Mike Goad — February 3, 2018 @ 13:18 | Reply

  5. In our case, FLOTUS counters the ugliness that is POTUS 45. Nearly every time he opens his mouth he personifies the Ugly American stereotype.

    Comment by Chuck McConvey — February 10, 2018 @ 17:19 | Reply

  6. Ursula,
    For all my looking i have never found an email address for you. I am sorry to do this publicly but I just want to say to you that some people are not worth the effort and they continue to prove it to you.
    They say there are no sides in love and war. The problem here is you continue to love when others make it a war. I don’t regard myself as a very loyal person because I want too much to be fair and so I am not great at the attitude of standing by someone no matter what but for you, in this ridiculous scenario, I am shoulder to shoulder in the trenches until the bitter end

    Comment by kylie — February 10, 2018 @ 20:31 | Reply

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