chapter  VI
13 Pages

Stupid Men and Shrewish Wives

Wives fooling husbands is a classic subject often used in folktales. We have already met the ogre's wife in Chapter II, the underdog wife who uses whatever resources are available to avoid her husband's anger or withdrawal. Wives have traditionally used their power in devious ways, for our culture has demanded that men must appear to have the power in a relationship. Constructing stories, feigning emotions, and resorting to underhanded manipulations are time-honored ways that wives have used in real life as well as in folktales to achieve their goals and satisfy their needs for power.