Dotata mulier virum regit.

A dowered wife rules her husband.

(pron = doh-tah-tah moo-lee-air wee-room ray-git)

Comment: Well, of course she does! She came as part of a deal, and deals
always cut in two directions, always have conditions, and establish a kind of
pendulum that is always swinging.

In ancient Greece, the dowry a woman came with became part of the husband’s
estate, and it was a deal that their father’s (or other male relatives) had
created for them. The woman became a part of the husband’s family and so did
her dowry. She was there to provide heirs to the husband’s familial line.
However, if he decided for any reason to divorce her, the deal might have
included that the dowry had to be returned. A shrewd father might have added
“with interest”. So, her position in the new family was secured with an
investment in real estate. While she might have been the “deal” between two
fathers, the deal came with conditions which gave her the potential for a
significant amount of control over her husband and her new family. Her dowry,
for instance, might have come with a large amount of money, or with that
significant piece of property that the husband’s family had been seeking to

In any relationship, an uneasy question that probably ought to be asked is: what
is the interest in this relationship? What is the pay-off? Relationships that
are cast in polarities are particularly worth looking at. The controller and
the controlled will always yield some interesting ways in which the controlled
controls the controller. Years ago, some colleagues wanted me to spend my
lunch break and prep time at school standing in the hall writing up students
for uniform violations. They were going to show students, once and for all,
who was in control. And yet, this control would cost me all of my “free” time
needed to prepare good lessons for my students. The controllers were
controlled by the their relationship with students that they wished to be in
charge of. I declined the invitation. This "deal" cost me too much and the
payoff was getting to be king of a mountain that I didn't want to be on in the
first place.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
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