All Articles Tagged "independent woman"
“You can’t wear the pants and the skirt too,” my guy friend said to me one day during one of our routine conversations. “Why?” I asked, half jokingly, half serious.
Most guys that I’ve dated have told me that I have a dominant personality. I am not afraid to speak up or stand up for myself and not too quick to back down either. This was something I was proud of and wore like a badge of honor, until recently.
I will admit, I am a borderline feminist and strongly believe in women being independent. We should be able to pay our own bills, travel alone if we have to, enjoy life and feel complete sans a man; but over the years I’ve realized that even the independent woman knows that at times it’s okay to not be so independent, especially in a relationship.
My guy friend often jokes with me. He says, “If a guy wants someone to wear the pants, he may as well date another man.” Maybe that holds some truth, maybe not (I’m still trying to decide if it even makes sense); but I don’t believe that any secure man wants a ‘yes-girl’, like Vanessa Bell Calloway’s character in Coming to America (whatever you like). So, where does the independent woman find the balance of not losing herself while still pleasing her man? As with any relationship it comes with compromise, something that a super-independent girl, like myself, finds somewhat difficult.
Submit. Wow. Six letters, one word, that seem to degrade all that an independent woman stands for. At least that’s how I used to feel; but as I’ve matured, the word doesn’t seem like a death sentence but surprisingly somewhat inviting. Maybe I’m tired of being so independent that I am secretly looking for an outlet or maybe I’ve learned that there is a level of independence in submitting. I would like to think it’s the latter.
It almost seems like a contradiction to use independence and submitting in the same sentence; but hear me out. To submit means to yield or surrender; it doesn’t suggest that you’re yielding or surrendering forever. And to yield doesn’t necessarily mean you’re compromising your morals or even your independence. I like to think that it means picking your battles wisely. In many ways, men submit to women as well. It only holds a negative connotation to some of us super-independent women when we’re asked to do so.
Maybe it’s the word submit that rubs many of us the wrong way; but I’d like to think of it as simply compromising. Let’s face it, men and women are different; and certain things that matter to men don’t matter as much to women and vice versa. While all men are different, in relationships many of them possess many of the same traits when it comes to ‘wearing the pants.’
No man, or really any person for that matter, wants to feel as if they have no say-so or control in a situation. And with men especially, it’s a big thing. So while I don’t ever think I’ll be able to constantly cater to a man’s ego, or feel that I should have to, I’m learning how to let a man ‘wear the pants’; and so far my relationships have been so much better.
I don’t think it’s my level of independence that caused trouble in many of my past relationships. In fact, I think most of the men were drawn to it. I’m convinced the issue was my inability or unwillingness to occasionally submit. I once thought that showing any sign of vulnerability or giving in to a man meant I was throwing away my independent-girl-card. Now, I’m happy to know that it doesn’t. And while it’s still a struggle to be the sometimes, submissive girl who remains self-sufficient, I’m realizing it can be done. I may not know exactly how to do it, but slowly but surely this independent girl is learning.
In an effort to get you to “jump back on this Tyrese train and be a ride-or-die forever” (those are really his words), Tyrese has broken down what it means to be an “independent woman” in the eyes of a man as he encourages black women in particular to remain open to black men. Here’s what he had to say in an interview with NecoleBitchie, over the melody to his song “Stay” from his new album “Open Invitation” nonetheless:
I want to say to all the women out there, especially black women in particular, y’all are on this independent kick. “I don’t need no man, I’m independent.” I want y’all to know the difference. There is a very big difference. Independence in the eyes of a man is when we say we want an independent woman; we don’t want a woman that’s [depending on] her [...] nice body to help her get through life. You don’t wanna work, you don’t want to go to college or school, you’re not inspired to do anything on any level to try and help further yourself on any level. You just want to [...] free-load… nobody wants that as a man.
Then some women are so on this independent kick they end up alone. You’re going to independent your way into loneliness. You go off and buy all the little poodles you want. “At least my dog is happy to see me when I get home everyday.” That dog or “rabbit” will never be able to replace what a real man can do for you. So stay independent, get your own, but nobody wants to be alone period. I know it’s a lot of men out here that are playing on both sides of the fence, it’s confusing, and it’s a lot of homosexuality going on out here. I get it, it’s a lot of frustration that women have. [But] there’s a lot of man’s man still left; We’re out here, we’re waiting, we’re wanting, we desire you just like you desire us. Just don’t give up on us… “Stay.” That’s my ‘Open Invitation’. Give [us] a shot at your heart.
I wanted to give Tyrese a little bit of credit because there are some women who tout their independence to the point that it becomes a huge turnoff, but that whole “homosexuality,” “we desire you just like you desire us” ramble was a major left turn on a road to nowhere.
Aside from the fact that he appears to be slightly affected by a substance of some sort in the video below, this is also just a low-budget effort to once again undo the damage he’s already done as far as his reputation with his black female fan base goes. If Tyrese wants to convince black women that there are black men out there who still want them, show it in action. This little come hither PSA isn’t cutting it.
Check out the clip below. Will you be accepting this “open invitation”? Or is he insulting black women by saying it’s our fault so many are single?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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