“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Independent women: is this terminology overrated?
The pride and assurance bordering on arrogance when you hear a woman utter “I am an independent woman” is music to the ears of some men but others squirm or cringe in her presence. Independent women can be anyone from the store clerk to the fortune five hundred executive. For most, an independent woman is as Neyo puts it in his song “She has her own. She doesn’t need mine, there is nothing that is more sexy, than a woman that wants but does not need me”. Independent women are basically women who have their own and paved their lives exclusive of the influence of a male or others. According to Neyo “she don’t look at me like captain save them…she looks at me (her man) like inspiration… she wanna be complimenting my swag”. Even though I love Neyo, I believe that an independent woman is far more profound than the economical concept of being financially equal to the men in her life.
What is an independent woman?
I would define an independent woman as a female who does not conform exclusively to the archaic notions of femininity. This means that an independent woman’s social role is not confined to the domestic sphere but extends outside of being a wife and a child bearer. This woman lives by her own rules and is financially secure and economically independent. She asserts that her brain and morale are sufficient to grant social and financially ascendancy without resorting to the utilization of sensuous or primal tactics. She does not pander to the desires of men and see her male counterpart as an equal and not superior or a rival. There is not a need for her gratify, worship or compete with her partner.
Independent women have high levels of emotional intelligence which will designate that even though she does not subscribe to the former notions of femininity, she understands the sensibilities of men and will from time to time remove her armor of gladiator to pander to his masculine ego.
Many men complain that so-called independent women are very confrontational and less ideal for a partner if you need a deep fulfilling wholesome relationship devoid of competition and constant negation of gender identity.
Could this be the reason why many independent women are single?
Why are alpha females spinsters?
A male friend of mine said to me the other day that the concept of women being independent is overrated since in his estimation many independent women are lonely, depressed and grown into bitter old women living at home with pets and making everyone’s lives miserable. He claimed that our armor of independence is mainly a shield to hide our vulnerabilities and the subtle, natural control that men have over us. It is easy for the independent woman to throw her armor off, if she meets the right man. Some independent women fall in love and have fulfilling lives and realize that it is normally to have sexual desires and want to be with a man.
It is simply mortal and feminine to want to share your life with someone. Many women think that being an independent woman means that you cease be a woman entirely. It simply means (in my estimation) that I have a strong sense of self. I do not think I am an extension of my partner. It means that I have my own ideals and philosophy. It means that I refuse to treat less because I have a vagina and not a phallus. I will not be insulted or offended because of my gender. I can do anything that a man can do. I do not rely on men for survival and use my body as a means of achieving any social or economical mobility.
But then there are variations to the term independent woman. Not everyone will share my viewpoint. A prostitute might consider herself and independent woman because she does not rely on men directly but have sexual intercourse to meet her economical needs. At the end of the day, she is not obligated to any male and may well maintain her single status.
Independence for women is reliant on the perception of what an autonomous female is within the society. Women should not use the independent woman mantra as a guide for feminism. A woman’s independence is one strain of feminism. Additionally, feminism is different from misandry.