This proverb collection does not reflect ‘reality’ or ‘facts’. As a public genre, proverbs are believed to serve and follow ‘the tradition’. Whose tradition are they referring to? The numerous tiny texts represent ideals — as well as regretted deviations from ideals from the perspectives of those whose interests they defend. Whose ideals are they referring to? Instead of facts proverbs mirror mainly male-inspired interests and fears and inherited ideas about ‘ideal’ and ‘deviant’ womanhood, and in doing so reveal at the same time inherited views of ‘ideal’ and ‘deviant’ manhood.
Thanks to the witty images and original comparisons the proverbs are intriguing and often amusing. In some ways, however, this is also disturbing, and sometimes even shocking, material in that it demonstrates a wide currency of misogynistic sentiment, as especially expressed in proverbs about wives, transmitted from generation to generation in hundreds of different languages across the globe.