Sadiq Manza (doctoral student of literature in Toronto)

With all due respect, I wish to strongly disagree with the jocular and cavalier manner in which the serious matter of First Lady excesses in Africa is being reduced to the crass concept of "bottom power."

"Bottom Power" in popular usage refers to women using sex to influence men and the wider public. It is a highly dubious analytical concept in the sense that it is heavily loaded with patriarchal prejudices. If a man (such as the husband of Benedir Bhutto) who is connected to a powerful woman were to be as assertive as any of ridiculed First Ladies are, that man would be laughed off, but not in terms of he exercising his "penile power."

In case you haven't noticed, virtually everywhere, male dictators somehow are excused because "it's really their wives who are the villains." These women are manipulative "Lady Macbeths" who use even murder to deal with people they don't like (including ministers). Why is this so?

The fact that the former Ghanaian First Lady (mentioned by the respected Prof. Assensoh) used the words "bottom Power" is neither here nor there. I expect African scholars to be a lot more insightful in their analyses of this phenomenon of "First Ladyism" or "Femocracy" as one Nigerian scholar once called it.