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Equal Footing: Men Marrying Women Who Can Hold Their Own

Equal Footing: Men Marrying Women Who Can Hold Their Own

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    Aug 10, 2015   Author : admin

Posted in: OPINION

The most recent Golden Globe awards seemed to be rather more about George and Amal Clooney than anyone else.  Tina Fey and Amy Puehler teased George Clooney about his win and his wife when they said:

"George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an advisor to Kofi Annan regarding Syria and was selected for a three-person UN commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight . . . her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.”

Later on during the awards ceremony we all collectively gushed and Amal Clooney melted during George Clooney’s speech.

“It's a humbling thing when you find someone to love — even better when you've been waiting your whole life… Amal, whatever alchemy brought us together, I couldn't be more proud to be your husband."

Weeks later, when paparazzi asked her what she was wearing, she replied, “Eve and Ravensbrook” – the name of the people who sell her. 

Why are we fascinated with Amal Clooney?  I’d like to think we are enthralled with her intelligence and accomplishments.  However, her recent exchange with a reporter at a hearing at the European Court of Human Rights may say otherwise.  Perhaps it’s far more to do with brains and beauty.  It’s because she exemplifies a new trend in marriage, where high-powered, wealthy men are bypassing arm candy for those who are their equals in potential and power.  It’s the allure of the brainiac.  More and more men are marrying the frequently labelled “too-intimidating” over-achiever – women who have that rare combination of brains and beauty, who can hold their own in the bedroom and the boardroom.  For more examples, just ask Barack and Michelle, Mark and Priscilla or Melody and George.

Likewise, as women continue to achieve in their chosen professions, many of them desire partners who are just as successful or who are, at the very least, supportive of their career ambitions.  According to Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In, for women to get ahead, they must make their partner a real partner.  “I truly believe that the single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is. I don’t know of a single woman in a leadership position whose life partner is not fully—and I mean fully—supportive of her career. No exceptions,” she writes in Forbes. “And contrary to the popular notion that only unmarried women can make it to the top, the majority of the most successful female business leaders have partners.” 

Women around the world have harkened unto Sandberg’s call – some embodying it and some decrying it as controversial.  Whatever feathers it has ruffled, the important thing is to define what a successful partnership looks like for the people involved. Perhaps this entails redefining traditional gender roles or even coming to terms with the idea that a power couple may not be an ideal partnership for everyone.

Amal Clooney is not the new “trophy wife” as some have suggested.  If anything, I’m sure George would agree with Tina and Amy that he’s the “trophy husband” who won the jackpot.  In the same way, Barack Obama once encouraged others to “marry up” as he had.  

It seems that the real winners in marriage seem to be those who enter in with humility and who are honoured to have been chosen by their partners.  When the two people involved mutually treasure one another, then both have won.


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MYC Writer Simone M. Samuels

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