Everyone knows the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” and Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trideau, happen to have three. Whereas most would agree that a working parent should ask for help when they feel overwhelmed or are in over their head, some Canadians are getting a little nasty with the internet memes of Sophie Gregoire-Trideau’s request for more administrative help to perform her duties as the Prime Minister’s wife.
Very few things make me more annoyed than when someone goes after a politician’s unelected spouse.
Although the spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada has no official role, she is unofficially expected to be a stay-at-home mom (read: travelling politician’s wife and mother), to work on projects with her husband’s office, and to serve as spokeswoman for numerous charities.
Ms. Gregoire-Trideau’s request for administrative staff is reasonable.
But I am a silver-lining sort of girl so let’s take this opportunity to talk about a very important issue: women’s unpaid work and the extent it is valued by society.
Women still perform a majority of the unpaid work in the home and that isn’t valued.
How does this apply to the role of the Prime Minister’s spouse? In Canada, the Prime Minister’s spouse does not have an official role, or an official title.
But for the sake of women’s unpaid work, something here has to change.
Officially or not, or like it or not, Ms. Trudeau DOES represent Canada on the national stage.
Soccer moms are a sought–after cohort in political elections. Yet little is being done to get them invested in the political party process outside of election season. Whether it be because of long standing institutions or once-upon-a-time biological necessity that shaped these institutions, the female experience is often much different than that of the men.
Political conventions are no exception.
I have been involved in politics my entire adult life. I have attended many political conventions prior to marrying a politician and becoming a mother. However, two weekends ago was the first political convention that I attended as the mom of an active toddler.
Jeanette Rubio: A Not-So-Political Wife
Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio is a bit of a mystery among American Presidential nominee candidates’ political wives. She doesn’t give speeches and tends to remove herself from politics. What little we know of her can be gleaned by her actions more than what she’s said to interviewers.
Why Heidi Cruz Kicks Butt
Although this is a non-partisan blog, I am going to be very honest and just come out and say it: Heidi Cruz kicks butt. If she was running for President, it is likely I would vote for her.
1. Heidi is extremely driven (and really smart too).
Her mother claims that in the 5th grade Heidi announced that she was going to Harvard Business School. Eighteen years later she had not only completed her BA at Claremont and her master’s in European Business from Strausbourg, she was also standing in line to receive her M.B.A at Harvard. Suffice it to say this is a woman who was born driven.