It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single person in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a trophy wife.
By: Danny Bean (’24)
As I was watching the most recent Borat movie, I find myself empathizing with Tutar Sagdiyev. This was not because we share similar backgrounds (thankfully), but because we have similar goals: Tutar wanted to be locked in a golden cage, and I want the same thing in a sense. One of my main goals in life is to become a trophy wife.
Now, what exactly do I mean by trophy wife? To begin, I want to expand the traditional definition of the term to include people of all genders; I do not want to paint myself as a Lili Elbe. So, in my definition, a trophy wife is a person who fulfills two key components: an action and a cause for this action. The action is marrying someone very rich; the cause is an attempt to escape economic entrapment, and instead pursue your deepest desires.
Under our current economic system, it is not unusual for one to have to choose between following their passions and being able to eat, which is perhaps best exemplified by the starving artist trope. So, those of us who wish to pursue careers that society has deemed insignificant—typically those that include some level of critical thinking—manage to find ourselves in a pit of quicksand otherwise known as despair. We can then either resist and plummet faster or we can acquiesce and delay the inevitable. Marrying rich provides a third alternative: the golden vine. However, you must make sacrifices if this is the option you choose.
In my eyes, the exchange is quite simple: You give up the drudgery of the middle-class lifestyle, and instead live in the lap of luxury while inside of a cage. Once inside your shiny new prison, you are actually freer to explore the possibilities of life than you were before. All of the occupations that were once forbidden fruit in the financial sense are now simply red delicious apples. The possibilities are endless.
This is not to say there are not other sacrifices one has to make as they follow the golden brick road; your spouse will likely have specific expectations of your duties, and the rich ones aren’t always the most desirable in the bedroom. However, there are solutions to mitigate these inconveniences; hiring additional help and buying specific toys are both ways to capitalize on your newfound wealth. At the end of the day, you can rest in your well-furnished cage, better off than those still stuck in the pit.
And, if you manage to do things correctly—no prenup and a very nice alimony—you may even be able to cut out the middleman and take back control of your life. Imagine how amazing it would feel to know you will never have to worry about finances again, and contrast this to your current descent. Which is the better alternative?
I also want to touch upon the altruistic possibilities of this situation. Once you are married, you will likely gain a voice in the monetary decisions. You can encourage your spouse to invest into companies or communities that benefit others in your situation; you can quite literally help redistribute the wealth. You can give to those who may not have been as privileged as you because they faced the additional restraints of race, sex, orientation, or some other arbitrary and absurdly imposed category. When I ruminate these possibilities, life as a trophy wife becomes much more savory.
This altruism touches upon another facet of my opinions: We must create an army of future trophy wives that are willing to bring about the change our reality so desperately needs. The troops will need education in seducing the rich and powerful and continuing to please them, and I can think of no better training grounds than our colleges and universities. And, while we are preparing the brave soldiers for this seemingly Sisyphean war, we can also help prepare them for life afterwards. We can see where their interests lie, what they truly want to do with their lives, how they want to inscribe meaning on an otherwise bleak and dreary existence and how they can finally push the rock to the top of the hill.
In this manner, becoming trophy wives could eliminate the need for our drastic resort. Our self-imprisonment will allow the future generations to never have to experience what it was like to live under our restraints. Instead of raising our children to be trophy wives, we could raise them to pursue their own happiness. We could start treating them as if they were completely human.
There may be those of you who criticize me for pursuing a system of entrapment. To you, I have only one response: At least my cage is visible, at least my bars are made of gold and at least I am working towards a future in which I can escape and soar off into a tomorrow of my own design.