Token Black Girl

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Independent Woman: The Controversy "Part 1"


It seems that these days there has been an epidemic of rap and R&B songs giving tribute to the independant woman. Woman did in fact begin this craze (i.e. 'Independant Women' - Destiney's Child / Charlies Angels Full Throttle Soundtrack), however it has spread to momentous porportions. My question is what exactly does it mean to be an independent woman, why is it sudenly so popular and at what point to you cross the line between independence and seclusion. I feel like I have a lot to say on this issue, so I will break it up into parts. Part one - what does it mean to be independent and where do I fit in?



Okay ladies, what does it mean to be independent exactly? According to dictionary.com the definition is as follows...

In-de-pen-dent /ˌɪndɪˈpɛndənt/ [in-di-pen-duhnt]
–adjective
1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker.
2. not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free
3. rejecting others' aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others.


Thats a good start I imagine, not being influenced or contolled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc. I'd like to think That I am pretty good at that one. Before I continue please know that by no means am I saying that I myself live my life as a perfect example of independence, not at all. However I can only express my own ideas with any level of honesty or authenticity, as I see it. I feel that I am rather good on not being influenced by others, particularly in opinion or conduct. I am an outcast, I always have been.

I was that kid in school who dressed differently than everyone else. You know that girl, the one who would wear clothes that were so far from in that she stuck out. Yup, that was me (don't worry, I bloomed in college... at least apparel wise). I cherished having ideas of my own and literally despised those that followed a crowd or trends. I took the word 'trendy' as a matter of offense. Yes I was THAT girl. I can't say that I have changed much. Okay so I dress more socially acceptable, but all and all I am extremely difficult to disway. I enjoy hearing opposing opinions from my own, mulling them over, weighing the pros and cons, adapting my argument to them and in the end holding true to my own. I feel like that is a fantastic quality to have, unfortunately I get a lot of crap about it. I have literally been told, "Do you always have to be so different?" or "Wouldn't it be easier to just be like everyone else, just for this one thing?" (For the record I am not that annoying chick who has to disagree with everything for the sake of disagreeing; I hate that chick too, probaly more than you.) No, I cannot change my opinion just to fit in, or to make life easier on you. I cannot blend myself into obscurity for the sake of the team, nor does the team have the right to ask me to.

I also find this to be an issue when dealing with men romantically. It seems that they all say that want a woman to be independent, but when she begins to behave independently they start having issues, particularly men of my culture. They'd like me to be independent enough to pay my own bills and pick up my own tab after dinner, but once we have a differing opinion I shoud transform to the So Cal version of a Stepford Wife. "Whatever you like dear, of course dear, you are always so right on!" Yeah, not going to happen in this lifetime, at least not from me. I have been told by multiple women 'thats why you're not married now! You have to let the man be the man. Let him make the decisions, let him feel like he's in control. You have to learn how to submit" One day someone will have to explain to me how that works. I work just as hard as he does if not harder, I earn just as much as he does if not more, and I can do very well for myself, yet I should hand control of all I earned to him, starting with my dignity and self respect? No self respecting Independent woman would do such a thing. We, and I qoute, are not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction. In short, I answer to me and God, period.

When you do for yourself you really arent obligated to anyone. The downside to that is if you fall, you fall alone. If you mess up, everyone knows you did it. When times are tough you trudge through them alone. That can be hard, trust me on that one, but are amazing experiences that teach you so much about who you really are and what you are really made of. Nobody said being independent was easy or glamorous. Don't believe everything you see in the music videos, they have stage crews and make up artists to make their independence look amazing. Unless you have a personal assistant and stage lighting, I suggest you trade your stilletos in for combat boots because independence rarely comes without a war.