How many independent women songs do you know? (Singing Lil Boosie & Webbie’s song) “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means? You go got your own house, you got your own car, two jobs, no kids and you a bad broad.” Right, right, we see you. More props to you. Ne-yo has a softer version, “She got her own thing, thing, that’s why I love her, miss independent can you, come spend a little time…” You got Destiny Child’s song, Mary J. Blige’s song, and Kelly Clarkson’s song.
There are dozens of independent woman tributes out there and rightfully so. They are all saying the same thing, “you are a strong woman and you do not need a man to support you.” Independence is a great thing to have, but that does not necessarily mean that you don’t want some companionship type of companionship right? What sense does it make to become successful and come home to an empty house?
Women have come up in the last 20 years. Single mothers are holding it down, (props forever on that) women with incarcerated or deployed boyfriends are taking care of business. However, in a more radical shift, single women in conjunction to doing all those other things, are now becoming CEO’s, managers, business owners, and Secretaries of State. James Brown’s song “It’s a Man’s World would be irrelevant today. The economical landscape has shifted and women are becoming bread winners and taking on the leadership roles in companies and households.
So instead of fighting for voting rights and equal pay, one of the strong independent woman’s biggest issues is finding or keeping a man. Now I am not picking on nobody or hating on the sisters for coming up. I am addressing a question that was sent to me by one of my readers.
My friend is a very beautiful successful woman with a degree, a great job and no kids. She says that a lot of men are intimidated by her, so she posed this question to me, “Why are some men afraid of dating strong women?”
So here is my response:
I think that one of the primary reasons that men are intimidated have nothing to do with the woman being too strong, but it’s about the guy being too weak. An insecure man is the worst to kind to have, because he will drag you down quicker than a crack head would.
Men find security in knowing that you need them to take care of you. This also gives us a sense of control in the relationship. The power of knowing we can take away your comforts such as your car, clothes, or lifestyle, we do not necessarily have to handle his business with the relationship. When this element is taken away, he knows that he has to step up and do more. He knows he got to help with the kids more and wash those dishes sometimes. He also knows that he does not have the last say in financial decisions. Do you remember in Color Purple when Cielie told Mister that she was leaving him? What was his response, “You’ll be back, you poor, your ugly, you’re a woman, your nothing at all.” The only power he really had was money.
That is why a lot of times you will see a guy go after a young weak or naïve woman that he can manipulate. He never wants her to be better than him. He wants to control her and take away her self confidence.
I am sure that every woman has been with a guy who has knocked everything she has tried to do to better herself. If a woman says, “I want to go back to school.” Two months later, he will get her pregnant. A woman may want to start her own business, but he is content with loading luggage and the airport. He’s going to hate on you and say, “You know you can’t start your own salon, it will fail. You should just stay in the shop you are at.”
Then on the other side of that spectrum, some women are just dating scrubs. Women will find a loser who has no intention of bettering himself, and he has chosen to live off his sugar momma. Women fall for the okey-doke all the time; some will continue to use the woman if she allows it. Let me tell you something, if your boyfriend or potential mate does not have a car at age 35, lives at home with his momma, and has more Playstation 3 Games than neck ties in his closet, he’s a scrub and not worth your time. He is not intimidated, because, he did not have anything going on anyway. You calling his broke ass out just makes him want to go over to his baby mother’s house. All he ever had to offer was swagger, which is the new term for confidence that some men really don’t have. It’s more like hollow swag. Swagger doesn’t help anybody pay bills, raise kids, cook food or take out the trash. All swagger does is make guys walk funny. Some women fall for it though.
However, sometimes the strong woman is a victim of her own success. The power can go to her head and make a woman more arrogant any guy can ever be. Some women who never had anything in their lives will sometimes come up and then all of a sudden, nobody is good enough for them. You hear things like, “He needs to be on my level.” Nobody ever says that when a broke woman is dating an NFL player, NBA Baller or some rapper. When they are called gold diggers, you hear women say, “It’s not all about the money.” See there is a double standard here. (See Khloe Kardashian)
Underneath it all, there is a war going on between the Traditional relationships vs. the Progressive one. In a traditional relationship, men controlled the money and were the ultimate ruler and authority in the household. The woman cooked and cleaned and took care of the kids. This is of course a barbaric concept in 2009. The Progressive relationship is more of a partnership that recognizes both the man and the woman as equals in the relationship, where all of the decisions, chores and responsibilities are equally shared or given willing to the best suited person. For example, my mother was better with money than my father, therefore she handled the bills. That’s cool right, especially if it benefits the household. If a woman is married to a chef, wouldn’t cooking most likely be something he was in charge of?
Here is where another problem that lies with some women. They sometimes want to revert back to a traditional role when it suits them. If they are making more money than their mate, they expect to now be in charge. Not only that, the man will be notified on regular basis of who makes the most money. Whenever you all have an argument, the most popular phrase is, “I don’t need you; I paid for everything in here….” Some men just don’t want to be bothered with all that.
That attitude usually leads to the next issue. Women sometimes can become a little disrespectful towards a guy she has a financial advantage over. When the woman is ballin’ it’s a dictatorship, when the man has the upper hand, it’s a partnership. You can’t put a guy down and disrespect him, because you making a lot of money and he isn’t. If the guy is a school teacher and he loves doing it, why knock the man. If you guys are really in it together, it should not matter that you make more.
Even if the guy is not insecure and he is okay with having a partnership, no man is going to stay in a relationship where he has to fight his woman for his manhood. Public castration or even the appearance of it will almost guarantee a woman that fourth spot in Beyonce’s single ladies video. Men are not going to fight you for the big piece of chicken.
The point of saying that is this. Part of being strong is being able to compromise and play the position that is necessary at the time to progress the unit . Compromise does not equal defeat.
There needs to be a balance. There are some traditional elements of relationships that will work for couples, just like there are some progressive things that work. What would help women is if they are fair. You can’t choose which type of relationship you want out of convenience. Remember how you felt when a man tried to control or belittle you, because you were working at the Gap.
Relationships are difficult period. The so-called “Strong/ Independent woman attracts the studs and the losers just like every other woman. The difference is that the weak men will run away out of fear of embarrassment and insecurity, while the strong guy who can offer the woman something, just will get tired of being treated like the woman think she’s Big Red from the 5 Heartbeat. Your ego may also be taking up too much space in the room too. Be proud of your success and independence, but don’t be self righteous, he might stay around.