I find it sometimes ridiculous when a section of men want to tie career choice to the kind of wife a woman will make. There was an article on that recently on one of the dailies in my country, where the writer had decided to even give types of careers where the women in those fields supposedly made bad wives. I think among the list of the careers which had women falling in the lowest part of the spectrum for good wife material, happened to be police women, women in the travel industry and air hostesses. I can’t remember the rest because i was basically skimming through judging by the fact that i don’t believe in whatever was being preached. However, i did happen to notice that the list of careers given where the writer purported that men loved to marry women in those fields, happened to be the moderate ones with a career in teaching as one of them.
Now i have nothing against teachers and i actually consider it a very noble profession where everyone has to go through the hands of teachers, to be who they are at the moment in whatever profession. But i can’t help but think that with changing times, liberation of women and a wide array of career choices to make nowadays, a profession in teaching wouldn’t top the list for many modern women seeking to get into the job market. Someone made the conclusion recently that we have empowered the girl child to the extent where we ended up forgetting all about the boy child. I would like to differ a little with that view. In my opinion, i tend to believe that society empowered men a long time ago. Long before women even had the opportunity to make a decision based on career. Back to the times where a woman’s designation was to give birth, raise the kids, keep the home clean, till the land and make the man happy. But the men had the opportunity to buy land and livestock, engage in trade or to even go to school for that matter as they were considered highly beneficial to the family unit. After all in African society, they were the ones tasked with inheriting their father’s wealth and managing it effectively after his demise. If that wasn’t enough empowerment at that time, then i don’t know what to call it.
With time, activists started to notice that the girl child had been left far behind. And that the professional contribution of a woman in society was equally needed. Nobody bothered to take the girl child to school. And if they came round to doing it, she wasn’t allowed to really proceed to the end with her studies. Her only benefit was the amount of bride price she would fetch for her father. After that, she was resigned to a life around the homestead and not much room for dreams and aspirations, if all that happened was pregnancy after pregnancy and a preoccupation with raising kids and looking after her home, which by the way, belonged to her husband. And gradually, parents started being encouraged to take the girl to school and to allow her to dream and actually proceed with her studies to her maximum satisfaction. Eventually, people eager for change and seeing the logic behind it, picked it up and soon the girl child was on her way to the top. Whatever happened to the boy child is that he grew complacent in his position. He wasn’t trying enough because he already knew that he was highly beneficial to the family. Nobody really pushed for the boy child to be taken to school because his father already ensured that without much prompting. He knew the importance of having a son and an educated one for that matter to better make manly decisions in future. According to me, the men became comfortable in their position and were only jolted back to reality by women jostling for top corporate positions who were equally well qualified for the job. And the stereotypes began.
Tying the career choice of a woman to what kind of wife she will make is utter nonsense. It is the character of a woman that determines that. If at all she grows horns (translated literally from my national language to mean becoming haughty or unbearable) because of the position of a CEO or Founder of some multi-billion business she now owns, then blame it on her choice to forget where she has come from. There is a lot of power struggle going on in the home when the man starts to feel threatened by his wife’s success. Men can be egocentric at times. We forgive them for that. After all, as a result of their early empowerment at the expense of the women, they came to believe that they are entitled to the best career choices and positions. Women on the other hand are known to passionately defend what they have worked hard for. If she feels like the man is trying to pull her down, she will retaliate by acting hostile and tougher. It is a fact of life no wonder the common advice to marry at the same level. But i know that there are women who never change irregardless of their achievements and whatever field they are in. Women who have since mastered the art of a work-family life balance. Women who are lucky enough to have supportive and understanding husbands. Not men preoccupied with trying to prove that they still have got the upper hand. Trust me, if you are constantly subconsciously fighting a woman because of her achievements and the threat it poses to you, she will get into defense mode and whatever it is you have together won’t work.
Ask yourself why a sizeable number of highly successful women are surprisingly single mothers. It’s cuz the men in their lives at the time when they were climbing the career ladder started a war of trying to prove themselves better. When the woman went into defense mode, the man branded her a difficult person incapable of being a wife. They dragged each other to court, she asked for maintenance being as empowered as she is, he cried foul because she was supposedly already successful and could afford herself and her kids without him, she claimed it was his responsibility as a father to his kids, now they don’t see eye to eye. And the man now claims that women `grow horns’ the minute they start to make big bucks. He is now looking for one who isn’t self-motivated or highly ambitious.
Dear man, women fear the thought of being dragged back to the dark days when the woman’s place was in the kitchen. They know that they are empowered at the moment and they are constantly fighting to protect that title. What you men should do is secure your title as being `long empowered’, embrace the change, act supportive of her career choice, understand her schedule as long as she balances it with her wife and motherhood status and forget the stereotyping. As a modern woman, i can hardly choose a career with a future husband in mind. I choose a career i’m passionate about knowing that i have the right to do so because i’m no longer limited by society. It is the same thing to men when making career choices and along the way we meet our compatibles who are destined to marry us. Whoever ties a career choice to what kind of a wife a woman will make is desperately trying to prove that he is better without actually working to secure his `long empowered’ title. He only comes out as lame and stereotypical.