by Zoe Mendez for Woman to Woman
The “Independent Woman”phenomenon has backfired, upsetting the ‘natural’ order of things. It caused men to think that it is okay for them to forgo their responsibilities because the woman boasts herself as “Miss Independent,” can pay my own bills, buy my own car, own my own home. You name it, I can do it. I can even have my babies ‘without you.’ (even though the sperm donor is obviously a man).
Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman” could have posssibly fuelled this phenomenon. The song re-emphasized the trending cliché “we don’t need men, we can do it ourselves.”
The shoes on my feet, I’ve bought it
The clothes I’m wearing, I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rockin’, I’ve bought it
‘Cause I depend on me
If I wanted the watch you’re wearin’, I’ll buy it
The house I live in, I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving, I’ve bought it
I depend on me, I depend on me
Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking or discouraging women’s independence, I support it 100%. Why? Because for decades, women made the necessary sacrifices and worked very hard to get on top of their game and stay there—quite deservedly so.
But here are some of my issues with the miss independent ‘thing’. While I am for the whole independent woman idea, I am still sort of locked into the old fashion way of things. I believe it is a man’s responsibility to take care of his woman as if she is his queen. I am not saying a woman should not lift a finger to help out when needed or do things for herself. Women were created as man’s help mate. Some of us have also taken up the role of both genders for so long that we no longer know any other way. However, we’ve become so caught up with our status in the corporate world that we forget at home we need to take it down, be feminine and allow the man to be the man.
In some instances, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, and co-workers are consulted for almost everything in our lives. But when it comes to our man, we dishonor him by excluding him from important decisions. Believe me, this practice is not conducive for promoting healthy relationships.
Men like to know that they are our heroes. They feel good when we are somewhat dependent on them, irrespective of who we are outside the home. We have to be more conscious of the super woman cape that so many of us are clad in. Don’t wait until you are knee deep in crap before you reach out for help from your partner. Extend the same courtesy you would want for yourself to the one you are committed to.
I remember speaking to one of my male friends who was at the time separated from his wife (not because he didn’t love her anymore). His role was actually suppressed by her attitude, simply because she was the one bringing home a fatter paycheck.I remember the tone of disgust in which he spoke when he said, “for some women marriage seem to be another thing to accomplish, they attended the perfect school, got perfect grades, went to University, came out with degrees, landed the perfect job, got married, got the perfect house and car, had a baby or babies. The husband then becomes another accomplishment or show piece for family and friends. Then what really is the man’s purpose?“
Most of the men I know are very supportive of their woman being on top of her game (well, the ones who are not insecure) providing of course there is mutual respect. I don’t see anything wrong with being submissive to your partner in the home, as it has its rewards—a more peaceful and supportive environment for starters. It takes a real woman, a conscious woman, to be able to switch between the two portfolios. Maybe, I am living in a fairy tale world. However, I do believe it is possible to be the strong leader you are required to be on the work front and still be laid back at home. It does not have to be a “yes dear,” “no dear” scenario, you know what I mean. At the end of a tough day, both parties should be happy to run to their sanctuary—home. It takes work from both of you to create this and, in most instances, women are the ones that set the pace for their relationships. Hence the reason why I believe it is very important that women should be clear about their roles individually as well as in their relationship.
My hope is that it is not too late for us to check ourselves and make a few adjustments.
I remember not so long ago, the men that I have been around would never entertain the thought of asking a woman for money. It was his greatest honour to take care of his woman no matter what she did or how much money she made. Now, they flip the script right in our face and who is to blame? Us, we women. An irritating practice that raised its ugly head is this: Guys now expect us to pay for their cab, air fare to come and visit us, provide and or pay for their accommodation, pay for their gas, put credit on their phone, pay for dinner. When they visit our home they help themselves to everything there, no shame in their face. Because we wear the cap of “Independent Woman,” they come around assuming we don’t need anything, so they don’t bring anything to the table. Instead, they come to take from the much we claim to have. What a backlash! Then we curse them out and call them ‘low-life.’
I can’t forget to mention the ‘sugar-mommies’. Their targets? Younger men! While some of these ‘sugar-mommies’ have managed to find true love, others are slaves to such relationships. They have to keep belching out large sums of cash, designer clothing and other expensive gifts in order to keep these guys around. In the end, they lose hard-earned money along with their self-respect and integrity, securing for themselves nothing but disrespect.
I am not saying it is not okay to shower your man with well deserved gifts of appreciation. But since when is it okay for a man to rock back while the woman he is supposedly in love with or care about has to pay her way to his heart? I believe it is time for women to draw the line. Not because we can afford a certain life style we should also have to pay for some one to love us or be around us. Then again, we created this monster!
And if you are in an authentic relationship with someone you love and care about and you hold a better position on your job, your partner should not be made to feel inferior by your input. Find the balance you need to maintain your worth and give respect where due. Keep the “Miss Independent” thingy for when you’re outside of the home or hanging with your girls.
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All rights reserved. Copyright, August 3, 2010