Matrimonial Decree: “Thou Shalt Not Work”Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2013 at 1:06 PM
By Kome Olori Agulonu
This week has been interesting indeed. I have had the pleasure of meeting some very talented and creative people. From photographers to stylists, to some really beautiful ladies; In fact, there has been no dull moment. I am planning a fashion photo shoot for my clothing/jewelry brand-Chunky jewels and for the last two weeks, I have had the most ridiculous conversations about body parts. I have suffered from ‘mental overload’ and insistently craved Chicken nuggets and milkshake.
Anyway, by Friday I could not take the craving anymore and ended up in McDonald’s with one of my fifty-something year old models. It was a ‘working lunch’ where we spent our time talking about everything except work! As we were stuffing our faces with all the non-healthy foods on the menu, I got a text from another model.
It read- I am sorry I can’t make it to the shoot because my husband doesn’t think modelling is something I should be doing! He says it is beneath me as his wife to be taking photos for a living!
It got worse- I don’t like it but I am married!
To be honest I was very sad. Firstly because I remembered how excited this lady had been when I saw her at the casting. She had a vivacious personality that within 10 minutes of meeting her, I was bowled over by her genuine grace and talent. She had beautiful fluid movements and a lovely smile that I could see she was born to be in front of a camera. I could not help but wonder why she had waited until after three kids (not that you would know from her unbelievably hot body), to follow her dream of modelling.
Secondly- (and this made me want to cry), why would she give up her career simply because her husband had reservations about it? I mean I had heard of women who stopped work simply because their husbands or in-laws thought it was not a good idea for them to work. I have even heard of those who were given ultimatums to resign or move out of their homes but this case bothered me more than the others. It angered me that even though this woman had left Nigeria many years ago, her thinking hadn’t changed. She still did not see herself as her husband’s equal. Nor did she understand that she owed it to herself to try at least before giving up.
So what if she was married? Does that make her any less of an individual? Does it mean she no longer has a right to her passions and dreams? Does marriage make a woman unable to think or decide for herself? I may have understood if she had said her husband had reservations about nude photographs or sexual shoots (not that this was going to be anything like it – as the brand is all about African fashion) but to just decree that she may not take part, was in my opinion insensitive.
Personally I believe that marriage is a partnership but when it comes to career, we all are the ‘CEO’s’ of our future. As long as your job doesn’t affect your family life (this applies to men as well) then it is okay to pursue it till the day you get tired. Does that mean I don’t think a man has a stake in his wife’s life? I do… as long as it’s both ways. What I have a problem with is when this is not the case plus the fact that many women (home and abroad) are living in bondage simply because they are married. I don’t see many women determining what jobs their husbands can or cannot do! I cannot even imagine any man rolling over and playing dead if his wife tried to tell him to quit his job. Can you?
Dear readers, do you think I am making an issue out of nothing? Do you think men should be in control of their wife’s career. Ladies, have you or anyone you know experienced a similar situation and how did you (they) handle it. What will you advice ladies who are presently facing such a situation at home.
Photo Credit: inspirationaltabloid.com
Kome Olori Agulonu is a writer and business analyst. She is also the CEO of Chunky Jewels, a brand of unique, handmade, African inspired costume jewellery sold in the United Kingdom. You can follow her on twitter @komeolori or email her at email@example.com