Is “trailing spouse” a pejorative or offensive term?
Another blogger, whose husband has a job that relocates them periodically, has taken a strong position on the term “trailing spouse.” You can read her blog post here.
She doesn’t appreciate or identify with the “trailing spouse” description since she’s doesn’t feel like it is accurate: She and her husband choose to continue to be nomadic. She doesn’t feel like she’s trailing behind anyone.
It seems to me that she takes offense at the term since its not feminist. However her particulars are the same as many expats or trailing spouses; yet she has been able to retain her career while others have not. She doesn’t feel disempowered like many of us do; her career options do not seem to have dissolved due to regional differences in economics, market specializations, or politics. Therein lies the difference, I think.
Trailing spouse isn’t a great term and its use has been challenged by users on the web. What other terms would you use to describe the situation of a person who must [reluctantly] leave behind their career so that their spouse can pursue their own career?
Let me know in the comments below!