I was very disturbed to come across the sentence: "Nancy Reagan received a white chocolate replica of the Capitol after giving a speech to a group of wives. . . ." A group of wives? Not a group of people, not even a group of women, but a group of wives!
Are these women's identities defined by their marriages to men? Why do I never read about President Reagan giving speeches to groups of husbands? Was Nancy Reagan giving a speech to a group of spouses of conference attendees? Were all of the conference attendees male?
Nancy Reagan is quoted as saying, "The First Lady is first of all a wife." No. The First Lady is first of all a person. It is the continuing use of this sort of language which contributes to the propagation of the stereotypical image of women as secondary in importance to men, and whose role is as accessories to men, to follow them around to conferences, attending events for "wives."