G-20 — The More Things Change, ….

Mon, April 6, 2009

Moms & Politics

Here are the spouses of the G20 leaders. Well, the wives of the male leaders, that is. There are actually two women leaders in the G20 — Angela Merkel of Germany and Cristina Kirchner of Argentina.

So, why aren’t the husbands in this photo? I’m guessing because it wouldn’t make for a pretty photo op — two guys alone or two thorns among the roses?

My problem with this photo is that it still plays into the whole women are just companions stereotype. Enough with the coverage of what the lovely ladies are wearing. How about a little coverage of the kind of leaders Merkel and Kirchner are? And some stories on the other wives’ accomplishments — I’m betting that Michelle Obama isn’t the only professional woman on that stage. Where’s the coverage of their achievements?

I know that takes a little more work for those covering the G20 than talking about their wardrobes, but it just might be worth it. Wouldn’t it be great for our daughters (and our sons) if main stream media coverage of these high profile women — both spouses and leaders — involved a smidge more than their meeting with J.K. Rowling and Naomi Campbell?

Yeah, I know, I’m all crazy like that.

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8 Responses to “G-20 — The More Things Change, ….”

  1. Gina Chen Says:

    Great post. Totally agree.

    Just when I start to think we’ve come so far — I’m reminded of how far we have to go.

    As far as your question: “So, why aren’t the husbands in this photo?”

    My thoughts: Because photographing men as mere accompaniments to the powerful violates our society’s norms — shaped by a male-dominated culture. In other words, we’d never see men just as window dressing.

  2. Becky Says:

    The two husbands apparently did not attend.

  3. PunditMom Says:

    How wonderful would it be if someone in the media would try to break those norms?

    And why did the husbands NOT attend?? Inquiring minds want to know!

  4. judy in ky Says:

    That seems totally wrong to me too. The husbands should have been included. What are they hiding from? That has a really bad vibe about it, that “spouse” implies “the little woman”.
    Reminds me of Connie Schulltz’ book “And His Lovely Wife”.

  5. Becky Says:

    Not every wife attended either.

  6. adriana Says:

    I agree…I’m so over it with this fashion coverage. Who cares?

    I think that first husbands should go to these events, it will show how much progress has been made in women’s leadership and point to the changing gender roles.

  7. Becky Says:

    Actually, it’s a bit old-fashioned to even put these spouses in the limelight, isn’t it? When you think about it, who else but politicians and celebrities use their families as part of the public picture of their professional lives?

    Did the CEOs testifying before Congress show up with spouses on their arms and children trailing behind? Will the women who run BlogHer show up with spouses on their arms and provide photo ops and “spouse excursions” during the convention?

  8. Tucker Says:

    Very interesting! I like your approach to politics. I am a student with my own news-only political blog at http://www.electiongazette.com.

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