Trying week for the male folk
By Vincent Akanmode
The past week has been one of contrasting fortunes for the male folk and their female counterparts. For the female folk, it was a week of triumph in the art of chicanery for which they have built a reputation. For their male counterparts on the other hand, it was a week that once again highlighted their weak and vulnerable nature with regard to women’s antics. In the week under review, no fewer than three prominent men were at the receiving end of the treatment the biblical Eve meted out to Adam, with dire consequences staring them in the face because they allegedly ate the forbidden fruit or attempted to do so.
It is a development that has left the male folk prostrate in a seeming battle of wits between the sexes. Two of the men in question have had their jobs on hold while the third, one of Africa’s wealthiest and most influential businessmen, is battling to sustain his hard earned reputation after pictures of his alleged philandering with some ladies became the butt of cruel jokes on the internet.
It all began like a piece of mischief when the story filtered out penultimate Friday that a former female employee of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) had declared the managing director of the bank the authentic father of her two children against the widely held belief that the children in question belonged to her husband. The shock of his wife’s admission of extra-marital affair with her boss was said to hit the husband so badly that he developed a stroke and later collapsed and died. Of course, both the MD in question and members of the deceased man’s family fought tooth and nail to put a lie to the story, but their efforts would not deter the board of the bank from suspending the MD and appointing a female successor in acting capacity.
Simultaneously as the paternal scandal in FCMB raged, the social and traditional media were awash with the story of a serving Commissioner for Environment in Ogun State whose alleged attempt to rape a 17-year-old girl resulted in his suspension by Governor Dapo Abiodun. As the story goes, the embattled commissioner had invited the hapless girl to his house to pick up a job as a computer operator only to take her into one of the rooms in his house and fondle her breasts. Although the accused commissioner has pleaded innocence, Governor Abiodun insists he must step aside to make way for a thorough and unhindered investigation.
And while the dust was yet to settle on the scandals involving the MD of FCMB and the Commissioner for Environment in Ogun State, two ladies sought to pull the lid off the largely anonymous social life of Nigerian businessman and one of Africa’s richest men by flooding the internet with pictures of their escapades with him, including one that exposes his backside as he lies on a bed. One of them even accused the businessman of breaking her heart while the other dismissed her claim as false, saying: “She’s not only looking for attention, she’s a hungry thug.”
To be sure, the guilt or innocence of the aforementioned men is yet to be decided. But if history is anything to go by, they will most likely end up with the shorter end of the stick. Since creation, the male folk have ended up the losers in battles of wits involving them and their female partners. In the Garden of Eden, Adam was the loyal, obedient servant until he pandered to the promptings of Eve and lost favour with God. Samson was a strong and highly successful warrior until his path crossed with Delilah and he lost his unique natural endowments after revealing the secrets of his life to her. King Ahab was a victim of Jezebel’s inordinate lust for power and affluence.
In contemporary times, we are living witnesses to the helpless condition of our own very President in his failed bid to confine his wife to “the other room”. The more he has tried to do so, the more she is out in the world launching tirade after tirade against him. So much so that it was recently speculated that she had become a virtual citizen of Nigeria, only paying occasional visits to the country from her base in the United Arab Emirates. When she is not accusing her husband of yielding his government to the jackals and the hyenas, she is threatening not to support his future political endeavours.
The question should not arise as to who is the weaker sex between the man and the woman. It is the women that lord it over the men, taking advantage of their purported disadvantage as the weaker sex. The arrangement that portrays man as the head of the family is a ruse. The woman only gladly concedes the headship to the man and contents herself with being the neck because she knows that the neck determines the position of the head. Whatever hold a man seems to have on his family would only last until the children are old enough to be on their own. The power baton changes hands at that point because the average mother takes advantage of their closeness to the children to tell them what to do for, to or with their father.
The feminine web from which the three men aforementioned are battling to extricate themselves is neither new nor easy. One can only pray that they succeed where Adam, Samson, Ahab, Macbeth and other men in similar conditions before them had failed.