The ‘Independent Woman’ Backlash

By Zoe Mendez, Guest Contributor, Life And Things Between

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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.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE “Why Some Men Chase After Independent Women” Click link below

Why Men Chase After Independent Women



Copyright, ©2010, Life And Things Between


16 thoughts on “The ‘Independent Woman’ Backlash

    1. Lucianne, I commend Zoe for this brave move especially in this day and age when women are clamouring for their independence more than any other time and have proved that they can actually stand on their own, though not completely (YET), considering that she can’t make herself pregnant, technically. But yes, Zoe was bold with this one. She’s is an asset to this blog and tells it as she sees it. I mean that’s the whole point of this site, for women to truly express themselves. We don’t have to all agree but a discussion on the subject is surely to give wider perspective and enlighten us all. I’m all for balance and equality and yes I support women’s liberation, independence etc but not to the point where it interferes with the natural order of things. That latter point may tell you also that i’m somewhat a naturalist, not quite an absolutist, though. I believe in “give and take,” “live and let live.” Where the tables are now turned on women by guys, due to us asserting or rather overasserting independence (if there could be such a thing) it’s just sad. We have the power to stop it though.

      1. Anonymous

        Guys can only take advantage of us if we let them. If you’re an independent woman why are you LETTING a guy do this?

  1. Malini

    I totally agree with all you said…women are strong we know that, they can do a better job at anything they put their minds when compared to men…however we were created to be help meet…to love our men…and he is suppose to be the head…when we strive to be independent is all the areas of our lives …we are simply taking away the God given purpose that men were given by the creator Himself.

    1. @Malini, I think striving for independence is perfectly fine, it’s when we use that independence to belittle our men that an issue arises. A little too much independence can be inimical to relationships though independence helps to strengthen a woman’s self esteem among other things ad helps her to be a better and stronger woman. Also, men do have their roles and women theirs but I believe women became apprehensive because of how they are treated once the man perceives them as depending on them and this can be financially, physically, emotionally. Do you know that dependence on the man is regarded as one of the main reasons why women are abused. You see dependence breeds and feeds CONTROL something that is what practically every man strives for and that is why many of them do not like independent women. Because from jumpstreet they realise that they are entering into the relationship with little or no avenue for CONTROL through her dependence. I dont even think some men realise what they are doing to their woman when they treat her less because she is depending on them. I think the trait of control is so innate that they dont realise it.

      1. Zoe

        Am not 100% convinced that being dependent on a man warrants an abusive situation for the woman. Back in the day there were so many women who were happy to stay at home, take care of the children and her husband, while there were challenging issues, there were more happy and stable families. I don’t know the statistics on the ratio of abusiveness in these homes…. but in a nutshell, abusive men are weak. I know of “Independent Women” who are also in abusive situations not sure why… “He loves her, she is his queen he treats her that way in public but in private he is constantly belittling her, she is strong, positive, and very vibrant in spite of…” Abuse don’t always have to be physical, not sure which is worse both are equally devastating. I do agree it is an issue of control, that stems from their own fears and often have nothing to do with the other person.

        There is a sense of liberation that comes with being independence and I don’t think we should trade it for anything in the world… continue to work at finding a balance and we can all be happy. Hey thanks again for the positive reviews. I am inspired

    1. Malini

      I am not saying women are not suppose to be independent…because I am …but as you said we shouldn’t take it to the level were we belittle our men. There should be a balance.

  2. Zoe

    Hi guys thank you very much for the positive reviews I am happy that there are women and men out there acknowledging this very delicate situation. Now we just have to implement what we are learning into our situations

  3. Stephen Graham

    Truly wonderful stuff! I’m pretty much in agreement with all that Zoe has said. Now, Zoe just needs to replicate herself a couple billion times, and replace all the women out there who still disagree!

  4. Thanatos

    This article hits pretty close to the mark. I commend you for being big enough to admit the situation was your fault.

    You’re still wrong on several areas,though. Here:

    “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).”

    Men don’t have any responsibilities toward women naturally. They are a cultural luxury extended to women dependant on women’s difficulty or inability to do these things for themselves. Think about it. If you’re struggling to lift a heavy package or being assaulted near me, there isn’t a single law on the books that says I have to use my time or energy or risk my safety to help you-none. If I do so, it is an expression of my goodwill toward one who is less able than myself.

    So you see the problem. When you said “We can do it all. We don’t NEED a man. We’re equal to men.” you dissolved these “responsibilities” of men. Men no longer have any responsibilities toward you, you’re just like the other guys now. That makes you our rivals,or at best, a possible obstacle or neutral agent by default.

    You can’t be equal and more than equal at the same time, the laws of mathematics,physics and common sense forbid it. If you want men to honor their “responsibilities” you need to drop the tough girl act and go back home to honor YOUR responsibilities caring for children and keeping homes. If you want equality, quit whining about men not being chivalrous, we aren’t chivalrous to each other.

    “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.’”

    HahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHhahahaha. Didn’t see that one coming,did you? If you’re equal, you get to pay equally. Welcome to the man’s world, honey.

    There is no code, written or unwritten, that states that men are born into a servile class two rungs removed from women and must pour golden ducats,wine, and roses at their feet for the “honor” of their company. What you are losing is not “old-fashioned courtship”,but men’s respect for keeping up this sexist charade, this farcical transparent double-standard that women get to have men’s cake and eat their own too.

    I don’t think you’ll have to worry about men taking advantage of you financially if you keep doing what you are doing, we will eschew your company altogether. While you may not be able to live in the 21st century without men’s contributions we can live just fine without you and are already developing artificial wombs to gestate babies in.

    This “backlash” is more severe than you are aware. We could be looking at the collapse of the civilization women have taken for granted in 50 years or less.

  5. Thanatos

    One final thought: Since when did the OP’s statements become “bold”,”gutsy” or “brave” as opposed to being common sense?

    The rest of you are going to have to get a lot “braver” if you want to survive this thing. If women don’t start curtailing some of this nonsense you will all find yourselves alone and childless by age 45,I can guarantee it.

    And again, I commend Zoe for showing the way.

  6. Pingback: Battle of the Sexes: Will It Ever End? « WOMAN TO WOMAN—Empowering Women, Appreciating Men…

  7. Always Focused

    This was very well written, it covers just about everthing, but the main reason men react negative to this situation is one word our CONFIDENCE. If we loose our confidence its almost like we loose our souls. A man always has to feel needed by the people they care about and that especially includes his partner regarless of financial differences. Everything a man does in his life is for a woman, so when we meet someone that dont really need anything we have to offer it can do some damage. Some women make it even harder by humiliating men, constantly reminding them whos making the most money and so forth. I think the independent woman thing just pertains to single women but when your in a committed relationship you have to recognise these situations and act accordingly. Oh and for the record no REAL MAN expects a woman to pay for anything regardless of how much money she has. Actually this topic can get deeper and wider because it has such a big impact on relationships; choice of partner, who we socialize with, jobs we take, etc, it has an affect on all that but that’s another blog. Take care guys, happy holiday.

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