Nnenna earns her salary in dollars, wears fancy designer clothes and dines in the most expensive restaurants. She’ll be 40 this year and in spite of her trim figure and baby face-which could make her pass for 25- she is still unmarried. She spent the entire Sunday afternoon lamenting how in the past year no guy has stopped to ask her if she is in the business of, as she said in Igbo ‘ma nnae go e go ka nna posa a posa’ roughly translated ‘whether she is already shopping or just opening shop’! I passed her the tissue.
Nnenna is beautiful, intelligent, earns top dollar and is very single all because men find her intimidating. The guy she dated fresh out of the university suddenly broke up with her after she got a promotion that put her above salarywise. All other guys that she’s dated seem to be more interested in driving around her L4 than in talking marriage.
There seems to be something about a woman with power that sends men scurrying away in fright. This is perhaps not unconnected with the believe, in our patriarchal society, that men are supposed to provide for their women. Its just surprising though that these same men who are so intent at being breadwinners do not care much about the emotional well being of their partners! *That is subject for another blogpost*
Men want to be in control. And in their math of bread-winning, the theory is that he who earns more is automatically in charge. Therefore, a woman who earns more will start acting like the man, will lack respect and be more arrogant! Hmm.
Would we blame them though? Some women do make men feel like a broke guy is a broken guy. Like Kunbi. Kunbi has never earned a kobo more than her husband both before and after marriage. But there was this time that her husband lost his job! According to her, he would come home early, never raise a voice against and was generally loving and understanding. She took full advantage, subjecting him to the worst of treatments and showing him what a ‘man’ she can be!
Men and their fragile egos can not seem to handle ladies like my dear Nnenna but will end up marrying Tigresses like Kunbi who would take advantage of their time of weakness. When would men come to the realisation that the true judge of a woman’s character is not the strength of her bank account? When will men stop creating and believing the stereotypes they create? But really, why should it matter who earns more if we’re pooling our resources and playing on the same team? But alas this is not always the case!
Until men…and sometimes women, get over the what’s-mine-is-mine-and-what’s-yours-is-ours-attitude, the size of a woman’s take-home will continue to affect her opportunities at marriage! Until then, ladies like Nnenna would have to lie about what they earn or down play their economic status so that equation for bread-winning is not disproved!