Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Power Behind the Throne

"The power behind the throne" refers to women who exert mighty influence on their significant others, usually male, who occupy more visible positions in society. Apparently, it is such a common trend that this aphorism has survived multiple decades.

Leaving aside women who actually sit on the throne, such as Queen Elizabeth II, ample evidence exists to prove this theorem. Take General Petraus, for example, who was not only the head of the C.I.A. but the Supreme Commander of the armed forces in Afganistan. The government is seeking criminal charges against him for disclosing classified information to his mistress. 

And then there was the dude I dated back in the early 1980's who claimed to have worked for the US Government in Russia and was seduced by Svetlana, the gorgeous blonde KGB agent. He boasted of having enjoyed their pillow talk without disclosing state secrets; however this might have been an apocryphal tale.

The most astonishing example to date was given by an "expert" on the Jihadist movement and the role of women (not the ones in black birkas firing kalashnikovs through the peepholes of their shroud). Those to whom he referred are the wives, mothers and/or girlfriends of the martyrs, often said to be the backbone of resolve urging their men to kill infidels who dishonor the prophet.

This expert claims that when their men falter or question a mission, the women often turn up the heat to give them the juju to do their duty. 

As a feminist, my first thought: I am amazed that women have some influence in the strictest Islamic cultures. My second sardonic and wily female thought: what a clever strategy, my devout Islamic sister, to get rid of that domineering male who dictates your every move.

 As Martin Luther King Jr. once proclaimed, "Free at last, God Almighty, free at last!"

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