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Monday, November 29, 2021

Can a woman as breadwinner be submissive?

By Maria Famakinwa

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It is generally accepted fact that the man, the father, is the head of his family. This naturally infers that man as the head of the family should provide for the family needs physically, spiritually and, most importantly, financially, while a woman is to play a supportive role at sustaining the home.
Surprisingly, some women these days are now assuming the position as breadwinners in their homes, due to some factors which prevent their husbands from playing the traditional role.
This development has been generating reactions, as people who condemned the idea of women providing for the home argued that women as their homes’ breadwinners will usurp men’s roles, cause constant rifts among couples and will lead to disrespect. Others opined that if the situation of the country put a woman in the position, she has no choice but to play her role as helper, as they maintained that not all women who provide for their homes are disrespectful. The Hope spoke with some couples to get their views.
A commercial driver, Mr Nuru Abolawa, hinted that a woman cannot be submissive if she is responsible for the financial up-keep of the home, except we want to deceive ourselves.
He said: “Even when men still struggle to provide for the home, some women complain and disrespect their husbands, nagging that they are not doing enough, let alone when the woman is in charge. Sincerely speaking, no woman can be submissive if she is the breadwinner. That is if she does not make life hell for you. It is then the man will understand better the type of wife he married. I am yet to see a woman who will remain a good wife to her husband who can not provide financially for his home for just two months. As soon as a woman takes care of the home’s financial needs, the man loses his respect,”
A teacher, Mr Bankole Oluwasina, hinted that women naturally are known to be insatiable. Even when the man is financially responsible, women still complain that the man is not doing enough. Most of them do not see financial responsibilities as theirs and are ready to contest this. That is when they will be comparing their husbands with others. I pity men in this condition because their voices cannot be heard in such marriages.
His words: “Before I got this teaching job, life was unbearable for me at home. My wife’s constant complaint forced me to take up the teaching job. I am surprised that the same woman who often quarreled with me before I got the job now treats me with respect. Woman as a breadwinner will through her actions and utterances remind the husband that he is a failure. I stand to be corrected that a woman cannot be submissive as a breadwinner.”
Sharing a similar view, an accountant, Mr Opeyemi, disclosed that the only thing that qualifies a man as the head of the home is his ability to provide for his immediate family, aside which he said the man became irrelevant and useless.
He said: “Your woman still regards you as her head because you are financially active at home. If you fail as a man in this important aspect, the man becomes empty. A friend of mine who was a supervisor with a big company lost his job two years ago. The task of providing for his wife and three children is now tearing the once happy marriage apart.
“Though, the wife is working, what she gets at the end of the month is not enough to meet the family’s financial needs. The inability of my friend to continue providing for the home as usual is causing serious problem, to the extent that the wife is contemplating moving out of the marriage. If a woman is the breadwinner, she will not only be disrespectful but will tell the husband that she made a mistake marrying him. The only language that today’s women understand is money,” he said.
Speaking differently, A trader, Mrs Modupe Ayeni, explained that it was wrong to believe that women could not be submissive as breadwinners. She added that it was a misconception to believe that a woman becomes uncontrollable and disrespectful because she is responsible for the family’s needs.
She asked: “How many homes today do you get to without seeing the wife responsible for almost 75 percent of the up keep? To be honest, most men these days depend on their wives to feed and meet other essential needs at home because they are jobless. The truth is that most men feel out of place if they are financially incapacitated.
“To me, women are help meets and should be able to stand in the gap when the need arises.” I don’t see anything wrong if a wife decides to provide for the home because the husband cannot. It becomes an issue because some people still cling to traditions, no matter how outdated those traditions are. Where a woman is the breadwinner, everything she does will be interpreted as pride and quickly linked to the fact that she is being disrespectful because she provides for the home financially. Even at the slightest misunderstanding, it is interpreted as pride because she is the one making the money. These are issues couples need to trash out. It is normal for couples to disagree, even when the husband is financially responsible for the home,” she said.
Also, a civil servant, Mr Babatunde Benson, believed that women could be submissive as the breadwinners. He said the truth is that a woman as the breadwinner would not be able to get away with half of what a man as the breadwinner gets away with. His words: “Some years ago, I was jobless for seven years, with four children in private school. We barely survived with my wife’s meagre salary.
“When things were getting out of hand, we moved our children to public school, yet my wife was sad because my family members were accusing her of being responsible for my predicament. My marriage almost collapsed, due to constant quarrels. At a point, I told her to go. It was then God intervened and I got another job. My wife then reminded me of what I made her go through I then realised that I only accused the innocent woman wrongly and begged for forgiveness.
“That was the extent a frustrated man could go. Not that a woman cannot be submissive as a breadwinner, but man will always feel unsafe due to ego, and misinterpret whatever assistance rendered by the woman as arrogance,” he said.

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