The Indepence Conundrum

Am I the only one that has noticed the prevalence of recent songs about “independent women”?

The most recent one is Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” and the remix “She Got Her Own”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgSpRUXH3jc&hl=en&fs=1]

I actually like this song, but tonight as I was listening to the song I started really thinking about the subject. The topic of the independent woman hits very close to home, since I think the phase describes me pretty well. As much as I claim to want some help with the bills, I do take pride in knowing that I worked hard, I continue to work hard, and that I can keep myself in a relatively comfortable lifestyle. I’m not balling out of control, but I can do the things that I want to do without missing any bills, which is the important thing.

But I digress…

Its seems that there are some conflicting views about independent women from the men. And as a woman who falls into the catagory, I feel like I, or we, can’t win for losing.

If you go to college, work hard, graduate, get a job, pay your bills, buy yourself nice things, don’t ask folks to keep your lights on or pay to get your hair done, why is that a negative? Shouldn’t that be what we want folks to do?

Too many times I’ve heard from my male friends, my educated professional male friends, that they are not checking for an educated, professional woman. Nope, instead, they want that chick that just has a regular job, that chick that needs to ask for help with the light bill or to get her nails done. For the longest time I couldn’t understand it, until someone pointed out to me the obvious: the “knight in shining armor” factor. If your chick makes as money as you do or more, how can you put your cape on and save her? You can’t, though she probably could put her cape on and save you. So if you get off by being able to show off the S on your chest and save the damsel in distress, then yeah, an independent woman is not gonna be the one for you.

But that concept seems so….foreign to me. And extremely wack. Why is it so important to put that cape on in the first place? Is that really appealing, the need to have to take care of another human being? Maybe I have too much estrogen and too little testosterone to completely understand this, but I’m at a loss….

Oh, I almost forgot. A lot of these same dudes are so anti-independent woman that they are offended if a woman tries to do something for them. They act like you threatened to cut off on of their balls. Try to buy them a drink or pay for dinner and its a wrap. They take it as an affront to their manhood, and I REALLY don’t understand that. Is manhood tied to how many dinners they pay for? Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that I don’t want a guy to ever pay….but dang, it is ok to let the ladies pick up the tab. Its especially important when you got an Applebee’s budget and I got a Ruth’s Chris budget. I quit Applebee’s after college, so if you rolling with me, we going somewhere nice at least part of the time, and I’d be happy to pick up the tab. But I refuse to eat Applebee’s all the time cause that’s all you can afford, when my tastebuds and wallet want Ruth’s Chris.

I think I’ve gotten a bit off-topic, so let me try to sum this up….

There seems to some kind of love-hate relationship within our community over the idea of independent women. On one hand, we want to praise the women who do their own thing and encourage others to do the same, yet on the other hand we want to penalize them because they no longer need to be saved. How exactly does that work?

  • Shay

    It doesn’t matter if it is an intelligent college educated brother or a intelligent blue collar brother….they don’t want an independent woman. They feel threatened. They want someone they can take care of. Their definition for “take care of” is flawed.

  • honeybfly

    No men dont want independent women. My male from NY told me a few weeks ago men want women who need them. So yes you are damned if you do or dont. It freaking sucks.

  • Yea, being a smart independent woman can suck…

    I like women who like treat on me… But they tend to be controlling (As A Pisces, me no likey)…

    As long as a woman is a WOMAN first, I don’t mind the independence… Don’t try to sell me on how well you can take of yourself, I would even go so far to pretend like you need a man

    (A man like to feel needed by his woman…, I like to provide legendary sex & emotional bonding)

    Men do need to adjust a little when it comes to manhood, it is ridiculous to hear the things we tie to manhood…

  • Chanee

    Jubilance….
    I feel your pain. As a young, Black educated woman myself who is in a committed relationship with young professional black man, I must say you must find a balance in the situation. You have to figure out how to make your man feel needed and unfortunately they do like to be financially needed.

    what works for me is letting him know that I don’t need him to keep the lights on or to pay my rent, and that I can take us out to applebees.

    But I do let him pay sometimes for things that I can afford because it makes him feel good… I don’t think that this is any different from the fact that sometimes I cook for him, even though he can cook for himself. it makes me feel like a woman to cook for my man, so I’ve been the same courtesy to him and ask him to pay for me.

    I understand that this notion maybe offensive to some, but the reality is it what makes relationships work. I want my fist at bus stop questioning what is an just operate within the constructs. God created men a long time ago and they have not changed very much. mid want to feel like they’re adding something tangible to a woman’s life, and I guarantee you he will not marry a woman who did not make him feel needed.