Marriage and Control: The Fear of Powerful Women

Image source: Flintstones

Situation one: Fred and Angela are married. Fred is a medical doctor in a teaching hospital somewhere in the southern part o the country, and Angela is an event decorator and interior designer. 

Fred works very hard, doing his calls, postings, and other things that are part of his duties as a resident doctor in a hospital, and still making out time to assist Angela in her jobs and events. Because of Fred’s skill with speaking, his calm smile and easy going disposition, from time to time he hosts or co-hosts the events his wife decorates. This particular event happened in the course of one month.

A month has four weeks, and sometimes, due to the way the days come, a month can have five Saturdays. So this month came, and she had three jobs lined up for three weeks of the month. Week one, she made a cool two hundred and fifty thousand naira from the job she did, the next week, someone showed up at the second wedding and asked her to replicate the design she did at the previous week’s wedding, and at short notice too. She now had two weddings on the third Saturday, making them up to four. Someone at the wedding also called her and asked if she did traditional weddings, and when she replied in the affirmative, she was tasked with decorating someone’s traditional wedding, just the bride’s father’s house, and a few cars, so that the house would not look too bland, for the sake of pictures. All things considered, she made over a million naira in that month alone.

Fred, on his part, was paying of loans at work, and a few other levies, which were being deducted at source, so all in all, Fred’s net income for the month ended up at a little above fifty thousand naira. And guess what? He still called his wife and gave her some of it for housekeeping.

Surprised? Don’t be. She gave him money, of course, I’m guessing, more than what he gave her. For the whole of that month, payments were not behind on anything, dstv was paid, they both bought data plans for their respective phones, and every expense that needed to be met in the house was met.

Now contrast it with another situation: Christian and Franca, also another married couple. Franca is a graduate, and has had several really nice job offers but turned them down, because wife. She wanted to please her husband. One fine month, Chris had so many commitments, school fees, saving towards house rent, and all, the housekeeping money he gave her was much reduced. Net result: quality of life much reduced. A lot of things were struck off the necessities list. And recession is a beach (hope you understand this), so things were especially difficult.

Why are men afraid of successful women?

Why do men have this irrational fear that if a woman is empowered, the power goes to her head?

Why do men believe that only them should be in a position of power?

Is marriage a solo project?

At a program I attended, the special guest was Mrs. Toke Mabogunje, then vice president of Lagos chamber of commerce and industry, and a brilliant writer. During the question and answer session, a guest actually referred to her husband as Mr Toke Mabogunje, and asked whether he as a person was jealous of his wife’s success. His five-word reply had the whole crowd standing in applause.

“Her success is my success.”

I made sure I went to shake hands with the man after the event, his answer was so powerful, so profound. And no, he didn’t take offence at being referred to as Mr Toke.

In a similar programme in honour of Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo, her husband, who was in attendance, simply introduced himself as “Chris”. Not Professor, not Doctor, not Chief, not Sir. Just “Chris.” There was no way he was going to start crashing his wife’ spotlight by introducing himself by any of his numerous titles.

A lot of times, men say they want to earn more than their wives, so as to be able to better provide. In a case where the reverse is the case, what happens?

Why are men afraid of powerful women?

And they say women have control issues.



If you have answers, please supply.

Thank you.

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