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In Frailty, Thy Name Is Not Woman, Okoye tackles misconceptions about women

By Kehinde Olatunji
17 August 2022   |   2:43 am
Marginalisation of women and correction of misconceptions about their being are the dominant themes in Frailty, Thy Name Is Not Woman, written by Chief Chris Okoye, to mark

Marginalisation of women and correction of misconceptions about their being are the dominant themes in Frailty, Thy Name Is Not Woman, written by Chief Chris Okoye, to mark his 81st birthday anniversary.

The book exposes societal ills and interrogates the notion that weakness (frailty) is a character trait that is mostly found in women, even as they are marginalised in business, politics and cultural sectors.

It is not only about frailty, the author lists a good number of women, local and international, who have made significant contributions in various fields of human endeavour to explain his position on the often neglected role of women in development, globally. Their achievements are also reflected.

Such women include, Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Madeleine Albright, Queen Victoria, Hillary Clinton, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Prof. Dora Akunyili, Prof Grace Alele Williams and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

According to him, “the idea of this book is from a good friend, Odinaka Chineke. He had insisted that I wrote a book to mark my 81st birthday, which was December 25, 2021. I initially worked with Frailty is thy name, woman? Shakespeare’s popular expression as the tentative title of the expected book, and I then made statistical enquiries to test the said tentative title. The enquiries yielded ‘Frailty, thy name is not woman’ as the title of my book.”

The origin of the statement ‘Frailty thy name is woman,’ comes from the annoyance and disappointment of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, when his mother, Queen Gertrude, married his uncle, Claudious, a month after the death of his own father, King Claudius.

Ironically, Queen Gertrude had professed so much love for her late husband, but the act of marrying the king’s brother shortly after his death makes nonsense of such love. Her son naturally is shocked and disappointed. Hence, he laments his mother’s betrayal.

In his goodwill message at the book’s launch, retired Auditor General of the Federation, Pius Akubueze, commended the role of womenfolk in the affairs of modern world.

“The title of the book is well researched and appropriate. I commend the author for choosing such a title after a detailed review and statistical analysis by comparing the behavioural patterns of notable women from both the bible and from the famous books of William Shakespeare,” Akubueze said.

He noted that the womenfolk both in Nigeria and all over the world have been playing very prominent roles in all facets of life today, socially, politically, religiously and in all kinds of businesses.

“The situation under which the statement, ‘Frailty thy name is woman,’ was made could be said to be merely circumstantial and subjective as well. It was also not meant to be of general application,” he said.

“In my view, the few cases of women with frailty elements and wickedness are expectations and not the rule. Also, from the statistical analysis made about many women both in the Bible and from William Shakespeare’s books, it appears safe to conclude that the majority of our womenfolk are not frail in nature and character. Women are quite apt and satisfactory.”

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