Thursday, 16 September 2010

Woman's new accessory - The Trophy Husband

News Article - 15 October 2017 - By Jasmine Tomlinson

With the dramatic shift in traditional gender roles that has taken place since the end of the last century, and which has greatly accelerated in recent years, society is seeing the birth of a new trend. The Trophy Husband.

With women now far more likely than their male partners to be the main breadwinner in their household and to hold high status, executive and professional positions, these high-powered, extremely successful women are having to attend social events and need their partners to not only accompany them but to dress up for the part of the spouse to a successful woman.

As women have abandoned frocks and other feminine fripperies in favour of masculine dress, which has limited scope for accessorisation and glamour, it is falling to the male partners to put on an evening gown, make up, jewellery and high heeled shoes.

Even now, for many men, it is not a easy transition to make. Take Bob Haskins for example. Ten years ago, he was the successful executive. His wife, Susan, was his younger, trophy wife. Susan shows me pictures of Bob and Susan dressed in a tuxedo and evening gown respectively in the days when Bob was at the peak of his career.

But that was in the past. Bob lost his job in the "Man-cession" of 2008-09 and was unsuccessful in gaining a new one. "It dawned on us that Bob would never get another job and that the new economy was better suited to female talent" explained Susan "So I went out to work and I have never looked back". Susan is an Executive Vice President of a major corporation and earns a six figure salary, before bonuses.

But Susan's meterioc rise meant that she was expected to more frequently represent the corporation at functions and this led to a few problems "I took Bob along with me - but by then it was expected that he would be wearing a dress, like all of the other male partners, but he appeared in a suit, which raised a few eyebrows. The CEO dropped not very subtle hints that my husband was regarded as odd and that perhaps it would be best if he no longer accompanied me to socials".

"This was a real dilemma for us" said Susan "I was all for just leaving Bob at home, but to my astonishment he agreed to try and conform to what was now the norm. It felt kind of weird going shopping to buy my husband a dress and everything else and seeing him getting his brows plucked in a beauty salon, but he looked pretty good in the dress and had great legs! I found him very sexy and our love life, which had been pretty dormant since Bob lost his job, was rekindled. We have re-connected". Susan says, positively glowing with pleasure.

Bob admitted to me, in private, "I love my wife and I'm so proud of her accomplishments, but I still find it hard to adjust to the fact that our roles have been completely reversed and I'm now just the "spouse" of a more successful partner. I wear a gown and shoes for her, but I don't enjoy it. I have had to become like a woman to be accepted and to be allowed to accompany my own wife to functions and sometimes I find it so degrading" Bob says with some feeling.

It is a feeling shared by most, but not all, of the male partners of high-powered women, that I spoke to.

Susan is lucky to have such a supportive, if privately reluctant, partner, but Candice is even luckier. Candice is a young woman - she is only 27 - on her way to the top. She holds a law degree and a masters degree in politics and is a hot shot lawyer. She recently won the top award in her profession, beating more experienced lawyers. Like most successful lawyers, she is expected to attend socials.

But, until recently, she had struggled to find a life partner who would fit into her world. Most men she knew or had dated, still clung to outmoded views of traditional gender roles. Candice recalled one such date with an actor some years older than her who had been "resting' between jobs for the best part of ten years. "He wanted ME to wear a dress! I told him where to go and pointed out that I was better educated than him and earned more in a year than he had ever earnt in his life. He should be wearing the dress, not me! The date kind of fizzled out".

But after a couple of years of unsuccessful dating, Candice found Allan. Allan was two years younger than Candice, had never gone to university and was working as a waiter in a classy restaurant "He looked so cute in his dress and apron" Candice recalled "That I knew I just had to ask him out". They clicked instantly and are inseperable. The reason for the success of their relationship says Candice "Is his willingness to accept the more feminine role. He keeps house for me and puts on pretty clothes and underwear to please me and accepts that I am the dominant partner and the wage earner. He comes with me to functions in a gown and high heels and is an attentive and well behaved partner. He has even become the unofficial leader of the spouses. He is a real asset to me, both in my job and in my private life"

Powerful and successful women are finding that their Trophy Husband, when appropriately attired in a gorgeous evening gown, jewellery, high heeled shoes and made more glamorous by having their hair styled and wearing full make-up, are an invaluable accessory to women as they advance in their careers. Women are even using their husbands to outdo each other, clothing them in the most expensive and fashionable designer dresses, shoes and jewellery to show off to their rivals at the next party as a status symbol and to trump a competitor.

"Women are using their husbands to proclaim to the world - and to him - that she is a successful woman, who can not only afford to support a man, but can afford to lavish a fortune on his clothes and jewellery as a sign of her superiority to him and to her female friends and colleagues. A trophy husband has become the ultimate accessory for a successful woman of today" proclaimed "Woman's Times" magazine in a recent publication.

Some women are forcing their husbands, much against their will, to become a Trophy Husband. Don Foote, as many will recall, was once a stockbroker notorious for ruthlessness and chicanery in the last phase of male dominance. Foote, and other men like him, played the markets like they were in a casino and almost brought the financial world to its knees, bringing on recessions.

Men like Foote relied more on their gut instinct than their brains to do business and, ultimately, Foote's gut failed him and he lost everything in a series of bad deals and judgement calls. He resorted to embezzlement and theft to try and cover his losses and ended up going to jail. Upon his release, Foote found the world a changed place, for by then, women had taken over. But the biggest change Foote found was in his wife.

Caitlin Foote had played the dutiful wife to her husband in his heyday, but she was a millionnairess in her own right, having inherited money from her parents. Very wisely, she had held on to her fortune and had not allowed her husband access to it. Don's fall, and the attendant press coverage, revealed to her his flaws and also his affairs with numerous women. The love Caitlin had felt for her husband turned into contempt. Whilst he was doing time, Caitlin had used her millions to invest wisely and tripled her fortune as a result of her sound business acumen.

Don came home penniless, his reputation in tatters, to a wife who was far wealthier and successful than he had ever been at his peak. "At that stage" said Caitlin "I had every reason to divorce him and pay him a small allowance, as he was a failure, a bankrupt and, quite frankly, an embarressment. But, thinking on it, that would have been far too kind to him and so instead he remained my husband. But he would have absolutely no power in our relationship from now on".

When he returned home, Don found that all his tuxedos from his past had gone, and that his wife held all the wealth and power in their relationship. "He had nothing but the clothes he stood up in whilst I had millions in the bank" Caitlin exulted "He had no choice but to become a trophy husband. But, having been in prison, he had had no idea how far the gender roles and dress had been reversed. The first inkling he got was when I gave him a catalogue of current male fashions and he found that there were no trousers or jeans that he could order".

Of course, as Caitlin anticipated, such a masculine personality rebelled, and he refused to wear feminine clothing. Caitlin employed a staff of maids, all of them male and fairly well built, to make her husband conform to his new role, by force if necessary.

Don Foote soon realised that he had left one prison, only to enter another. He lived in an opulent mansion and was waited on hand and foot by his trio of male maids. But it was still a prison, albeit a gilded one, and it had for a jailer a woman more pitiless and full of contempt for him than any prison warder. His own wife.

Don Foote is physically a big man. He is six foot and seven inches tall and heavily built. His physical presence was a huge asset in his earlier career, and he used it to intimidate his rivals, but the Don Foote I saw today was utterly powerless. His fabulously wealthy wife was to attend a dinner in her tuxedo. Her spouse would only be significant for the way he looked and by what he wore.

Don Foote appeared, massive and physically imposing, wearing the expensive purple designer dress, the skirts slit to the waist to display the wearer's shaven legs and a hint of the exquisite lingerie he wore, and the matching high heeled shoes that his wife had commissioned for him. Caitlin was eager to point out that Don was wearing a corset and that he had had a complete makeover. His body had been completely dipilated and he wore a necklace, matching earrings, rings and bangles. The jewellery, Caitlin told me, was worth almost a cool million.

It was quite a sight to see them together. Caitlin, a tiny woman no higher than five feet tall, striding confidently in her tailor-made tuxedo and flat shoes, and her huge husband, trailing behind her, incongruous in his evening gown and stumbling in his high heels, with his hair styled and his face fully made up and his jewels glittering.

I expected to see Don Foote angry and smouldering, but instead he lurched along completely mute and in a daze, as if still unable to believe what was happening to him. Once, not so long ago, he had been wealthy, successful and in control of his life, but now he was penniless, completely dependent on his wife financially, his power and masculinity restrained and controlled by his tiny wife and himself reduced to being little more than a doll and plaything for the pleasure of his wife. Never had I seen a man so helpless and controlled as Don Foote. Caitlin was exacting her revenge slowly and painfully, by total control and public humiliation.

Caitlin is not the only woman forcing the Trophy Husband role and dress on her man. Others are following her lead. More women still are doing what men have done for centuries and are trading their original spouse in for a younger model.

Ellen Zinger had been married to her husband, Matthew, for 41 years. Like most of the couples I spoke to, Matthew, a construction worker, earned more than his wife in the first two decades of their marriage. Ellen worked part time as a shop assistant in a fashion store whilst she brought up their children and then full time once the children were at school. Gradually, Ellen moved up the ladder to manage her own store and her earnings overtook those of Matthew. "Matthew didn't seem to mind that I now outearned him by a significant margin" recalled Ellen "And when he lost his own job a few years later, he resigned himself to being a househusband and me bringing in the income"

However, over the years, Ellen found that she and her husband of decades had less and less in common. In the meantime, Ellen had fallen for her pretty secretary, Peter, almost thirty years her junior. "Peter and I got on so well. He was so feminine and so willing to please that I decided at once that I wanted a divorce. Matthew took it well under the circumstances".

But, in an unusual turn of events, Matthew decided that although he could accept being divorced, he did not want to leave the family home. "Matthew is hopeless with finances, and relied on me to budget for the household. He wanted to stay on, and came up with the perfect solution. He would become the house maid and keep house for me, allowing Peter to keep working for me. It's an unusual situation, but we all get along so well that sometimes it's hard to believe that I was married to my maid for more than 40 years!" exclaimed Ellen. "Peter is the perfect husband for me and looks so attractive in his gowns when we go out together. He is a true trophy husband to me and I feel so lucky to have him!".

For the woman who is single, or just between relationships, and struggling to find a date to take to a party, help is at hand. Agencies, such as "Husbands for Hire" can provide a woman with a catalogue of the pictures of men she can choose to be her date for an evening. Once chosen, the date will be delivered to her home, attired in an evening gown and accessories and willing to be her perfect partner for an evening. Demand for these services is booming.

The emergence of the Trophy Husband is yet another milestone in the complete reversal of traditional gender roles. Most of the men I interviewed seemed uncomfortable in their new roles, but their women were loving their latest accessory, the Trophy Husband, and as women are firmly in charge, it seems that the Trophy Husband is here to stay!


  1. Yes, it's wonderful role reversal, at least for women. ;)

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