by Aniefiok Udoabasi
I saw a post made by a lady here on facebook. It is a picture of a man and his wife at a public occasion. Lovely picture.
Problem is that the poster questioned why the woman, knowing that her man is not tall, should wear high heel shoes which, to the poster, highlights that she is taller than her husband. The shoes show that she is not a humble woman, she said. She should have bent down a little in the pose so that her man’s lack of height wont be noticeable!
And yet the post has many likes and so many comments. Most people (and I mean most), agreed with her. So many women concurred. And trust our men, they hailed the poster as a woman of virtue.
Where is it written that a woman should not be taller or appear taller than her man? And going further, Who said that a woman can not be more successful than her man? Why should a woman hide her successes or strengths so that she is not seen as being stronger or more successful than her man?
Sadly, this stupid trend is well entrenched in our society. You hear them say that a woman should not buy and own a car, else it would scare away prospective suitors. She is not to buy land and build a house even if she has money cos to do so would intimidate her future husband. Even in marriage, if she has money and needs to buy things, she must do so in her husband’s name so that he would not be threatened. Feel threatened? Is he that timid and underachieving?
The painful part is that we raise our daughters with this mentality; this limitation. Her glory is not in herself but in a man. She needs a man to complete her glory. And must curtail her glory so it does not outshine a man’s.
This is how I met a woman who turned out to be one of my closest friends in this life many years ago. It was in a ‘within-town’ bus. We sat next to each other. We had been seeing ourselves before that day but that was the first time we talked. The chemistry was nice. It was an instant friendship.
Close to where we needed to alight from the bus, I brought out money and wanted to pay for both of us. But she already had money in her hand and insisted on paying for both of us. After a brief back and forth, I agreed for her to pay for us.
Problem was, she wanted to pay it stealthily. She faced straight and slid the money into my pocket so that others in the vehicle would not know that it was her money. That she was the one paying. It was funny yet irritating to me.
I did not blame her too much. Society had conditioned her that way. It was her idea, but she must make it look like it was mine. It is her money, but she must make it look like it was my money. She must hide her glory. She must surrender her glory to me because I am a man. She must appear “humble”.
For me, it is not humility, but stupidity. No woman has to hide or underplay her success to please a man. I have felt this way since I was a boy and I will continue to hold fast all my life. If God blesses me with daughters, as I trust He would, I will take such great care to raise them not to be ashamed of their success or hide it to please a man.
I think it was president Jimmy Carter who said that it is only a weak and underachieving man who is threatened by the success of a woman.
I agree with him completely.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija