The Trophy Husband

May 20, 2011 6:46 AM

Trophy Husband Dolce and Gabbana ad

Note from the editors: We realize this is a controversial piece and we were interested to see how Malcolm, as a man, feels about how the role of men is increasingly being perceived in work, society and relationships. We’d love to know what you think in the comments section below. – Jamey and Amanda

Men are strong, clear-headed, and direct. They make the tough decisions and keep things running on schedule. They provide for their family and ensure the world works the way it’s supposed to.

Really? A few decades ago that description would have captured the general stereotype of the manly man. But today – well…

Isn’t That Cute? He’s Talking
In my brief time at Empirella, I’ve heard women (albeit in jest) compare dating a man to caring for a dog. I’ve heard how a man’s silly interests (Black Ops) should be encouraged so that he will leave his poor girlfriend or wife alone to pursue the real work of success. I’ve discovered – and not for the first time – that men are often seen as cute little creatures to be tolerated and coddled.

Sounds a little bit like the way women were viewed by men in the past, doesn’t it? Suddenly the tables have turned. And I do mean suddenly.

Men’s Straits
In “The End of Men,” an Atlantic article published last year, the breadth of this shift is exposed. Men tend to be less educated, less employed, and less employable than women. And the role of breadwinner no longer favours men’s physical strength and stamina – we outsourced those jobs. Nowadays you’re paid a lot more for your brain than your brawn.

If the old male stereotype – steadfast, strong, and clear-headed – doesn’t belong to men anymore, who has taken it over? Women, that’s who.

It’s a Woman’s World Now
Women organize things, create and implement plans, and make sure the work gets done. Men, meanwhile, live in a hazy cloud. They no longer fix things, build with their hands, or bully their way into more money and more achievement.

As much as I hate to say it, in a lot of cases men – as smart and talented as they may be – no longer have much of a purpose. They’re good at dreaming about things, but not so good at bringing those dreams to life.

What men really need is some time to themselves: time to improve their abilities, get themselves in shape, and maybe do some grocery shopping.

I Ain’t Sayin’ He’s a Gold Digger…
What kind of life would allow a man time to sculpt his body, indulge in some daydreaming, and pick up a carton of milk now and then? The life of a Trophy Husband.

Think about it: Empirella women have high-paying jobs. They work long hours and face down serious stresses every single day. Wouldn’t it be nice for them to come home to a tanned Adonis who’s spent the whole day exercising, reading love poetry to regale them with, and preparing an exceptional dinner?

The admirable role of Trophy Husband would give men something to focus on and work toward. It could also revive healthy competition amongst men again: who’s got the fluffiest soufflé? Whose abs make the other power wives swoon more effectively?

For all those men out there who feel like they’re adrift – wandering from artistic endeavor to artistic endeavor, dating at random, failing to attain any kind of professional success – your new life goal has arrived. Hit the gym, hit the books, and hit the high-end food market, and maybe you can score a power wife of your own.

And for all the ladies who are tired of putting up with men who disappoint them: why not demand more? You won the game of life. Now it’s time to claim your Trophy.


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