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The Science of Being an Independently Dependent Woman
[Cues the music] “I’m tired of screaming independent, I want to start depending on you.”
If there was ever a one-liner in a song that I would sing as if I’m the one in concert as opposed to the artist, it was this one! One of my favorite tracks from Mary J. Blige’s Growing Pains album, released in 2007, was Feel Like a Woman. On the other hand, we have the highly popular Miss Independent by Neyo who praises the woman,“who’s got her own thing” and you bounce to the beat because you can relate to the lyrics because, well, you’ve got your own things.
In such a modern world where the number of desirable women outnumber the count of desirable men, it seems as if there is a fine line between “Miss Independent” and “Mrs. I Can Depend on You Too.” Do men still desire to be providers, leaders in relationships in a society where women are dominating the college graduation rates as well as the owning of small businesses? And do we as women still want them to be?
Surely I am not objective to a woman achieving personal goals of any kind – be it educational, entrepreneurial, working hard to advance in her career, property investment, philanthropically or otherwise; even I have goals that I too am in pursuit of. But I have heard (I know, I know, it’s such hearsay) some say that a woman thriving in so many areas of leading hardens her and chips away at the soft nurturing essence of her natural make up. The implication here is that a woman gains a bit of masculinity and loses some femininity with this path therefore molding her into too much dominance impacting a successful relationship not so favorably. I do not totally agree but perhaps there is some validity to that theory. I know I am not the only one who has overheard men conversing about this very topic from two completely different angles. You have those guys who feel like,“man, she’s too independent, she doesn’t even need a man” and then there is the group of guys who voice, “man, if she can’t bring something to the table and don’t have such-n-such going for herself, then it’s a no go”. Maybe not these words specifically, but you get where I’m going with this.
As my grandmother used to say, “it is almost as if you have six in one hand and half a dozen in the other.” In others words, you’re darned if you do, darned if you don’t. What if I told you I have witnessed both variations of this theory? I have had a second row seat (seriously no one is allowing front row seats to their relationship, okay!) to a relationship where both parties thrived in their own right and yet the wife is just as gentle as a dove at home who still trusts and even depends on her husband to lead and provide. Of course her resources contribute to the overall functioning of their home, but she has confidence in her husband fully to handle business for their home like the man or leader that he is. She respects him and he celebrates her. This is the part of the theory where some of my semi-traditional and faith kick in. Then, there is the relationship where the guy works outside of the home and the wife who used to work is now a homemaker. He adores her and enjoys being the sole provider of their home because their arrangement is what works best for them at this time.
In spite of every other thing that I have a hand in, at the end of a hard working day, I would rather fall into the protecting arms of THEE man of my house instead of carrying whatever dominance that is required of me in all of my other ventures into our safe haven – the home. Do I think it takes a confident and personally satisfied man to appreciate the gift of a woman of such independence and strength? ABSOLUTELY. Remember now, there was a time when the norm was that the husband went out to get the bread and the wife held down the fort until he brought the bread back for her to toast it. Egos weren’t a major factor because that was the familial structure once upon a time. The wife was not sitting in one board room while her husband was across town in another. However, today that’s exactly where she is. She’s sitting in board rooms, running non-profits in her spare time, raising their children and still finding room to spend quality time with her husband. Miss Independent can most certainly be Mrs. Dependent too!
Now some of us are independent by choice, force, trend or trade, but we are and it is okay. And even though we are, we still know how to be gentle, feminine, nurturing and soft. Now please be advised, this by no means says that we will be dumbing down our intellect, appreciation for healthy debates, wine tastings, art viewings, accomplishments (but we won’t gloat) and philosophical views in order to quietly stroke egos. Besides, a woman of such caliber is not in competition with her man. Truth be told she is a compliment to him, and if he’s smart he actually appreciates that.
Until next time, be independently dependent upon your beaux!