Are You Really an Independent Woman?


Are you really an independent woman? I posed this question after I had a blunt conversation with one of my guy friends. He said that he had been dating a woman but he didn’t plan on seeing her again. When I asked why he wouldn’t see her again his answer shocked me. He said, “she invited me to lunch and she didn’t pay.”

He elaborated and said,  “I heard Neyo’s song, She Got Her Own and it has me wondering where is that woman at?” I attempted to give him a chance to redeem himself and asked,” how many dates have y’all been on?” He said, “it was our second time going out, but she invited me so she should have paid.” (side eye) I was upset at the thought that one lunch could disqualify a woman from being independent.

Then I realized the concept of being an”independent woman” is irrelevant. Buying your own clothes and paying your own bills is a prerequisite of being an adult not a sacred right of passage. The notion of the “independent woman” started out fun and playful and it somehow morphed into a way of segregating the upper echelon “independents” from the “basics”.

This separation cuts both ways creating a war between men and women. Independence is turning into a check list of qualifications to be seen as worthy. Furthermore, why are finances evidence of independence? All this independent woman propaganda is bordering unhealthy and sabotaging relationships between both men and women.

These are my thoughts on why you shouldn’t be an “Independent Woman”

Because 1999 was 16 years ago!

Destiny’s Child released Independent Women pt.1 16 years ago on the Charlie’s Angels Soundtrack. It was a song written for a movie about three women, fictional women (in addition, that Ne-Yo song is 8 years old). Granted the lyrics are empowering, but isn’t that the point of a girl anthem? If we are still holding on to the ideal of  “independent women” then why aren’t we still shouting the Spice Girl’s “Girl Power”?

The reality is life is a journey you’ll be at different points at different times. Life can’t constantly be picturesque. If the outside world can’t see you climbing to the top it doesn’t mean that you’re not reaching for the peak.

Did Plymouth Rock Land on Independent Women?

Independent women have always existed. Why are we waving our ability to  self sustain like a victory flag? As far as men proclaiming their excitement to encounter a woman who has her own, the jury is still out.

Men can often see money as control, and women who have money can be seen as being potentially controlling. Sometimes men’s keen interest in independent women can be a ploy. It’s a great way to say, “I’m glad you have your own because I didn’t want to offer you any of mine.”

I don’t think all men feel like this; I think it is important to know the difference between a man who is comfortable, and one who is cheap. Some men date for sport. If I was a man, and I wanted to date a different woman every night of the week  I would hope that one of them paid for lunch too. Be sure that when a man is impressed with your independence it’s not just superficial. Sure, he can handle your money, but can he handle your mind too? Your independence is not a dowry.

Independence without a bankroll 

Finances are not the only stipulation to independence. I see financially stable, codependent women all the time.  A life without balance is unstable. Turning your life into a check list is self destructive. What happens when you can’t cross something off your list? What happens if you don’t get married or don’t have kids?  Who will you be if you don’t build a firm foundation in who you are as an individual? (All of those questions need answers)

I’ll tell you who you will be, a person who is constantly in search for the things they want. If you are on a frantic quest to obtain a want, your aggressions may cause you to cut a corners.  You need enough internal reserve to be still and find out what you want. Is being a slave to the things you think you want independence?

You also shouldn’t count yourself out if you are not financially where you want to be. If you are working on yourself you’re headed in the right direction. Being unafraid to walk in your truth is independence.The real question is what are you independent of?  We all need someone and not just in the romantic sense. You need community, a mentor, you may even need a partner.  You don’t need independence you need freedom and there is a difference.

Don’t be afraid to be basic!

Basic is defined as an essential foundation or starting point; fundamental. Meaning you can’t get to the advanced stage of anything without first being basic. The dilemma of the “independents” versus the “basics” is frivolous. Unless you are attempting to advance another woman in the spirit of sisterhood, why call her out on her basic-ness?

Isn’t basic a direct side-effect of ignorance or never having the proper tools to advance. Why are we as women dangling success over each others heads? I believe that it’s because of the “independent woman complex”. If the appearance of having it together makes you desirable and you crave to be desired then success is merely validation. Who better to validate your parking than Prince Charming.

So is success independence or is it another avenue to seek attention? The attention seeking mean girl attitude is not fundamental to any part of womanhood and in-turn not “basic” at all. If you are not offering the next woman a hand up, shut up!

Women are not factory made. You need the opportunity to fall down and get back up again. You need freedom to be who you are and along the way find a tribe of people who support the true you. Being the glamour shot of the perfect woman is feeding into the same propaganda that said a “woman’s place is in the home”.

The notion of the “independent woman” is dated and played out. Your financial status doesn’t make you worthy. Worth is something you determine. Your real goal should be to be a woman so richly diverse that it’s almost impossible to label you. 

“Freed people, free people” – Lena Tome

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12 responses to “Are You Really an Independent Woman?”

  1. Holy shit – this was so powerful! I need to read this like 5 more times. So many great quotes and golden nuggets of knowledge!! I agree that people place to much value on labels and perception than happiness, balance and results.

    1. Thank you for reading and for the feedback! I sincerely want us as women to value ourselves more.If we could only be kinder to ourselves and others. I was hoping to inspire someone to reevaluate their thinking on what it is to be a woman with her ish together!! 🙂

      1. This has definitely inspired some deep thinking for me – thanks, love!

  2. I’m married but I think if I were single I would overcompensate to prove I have my own. Not trying to be the neck rolling independent woman type but simply trying to make it known that I’m not our here trying to stick you for your papers. LOL. Also, I would be clear in my expectations up front. If I ask you out on a date, I will also let it be know, it’s my treat. If you ask me out and don’t afford me the same courtesy, than there won’t be a next date. 😉

    1. I feel like what’s already in existence doesn’t need to be stressed. That being said it took me time to get to that place. In the past I would have gone out of my way. I was always more of a crazy/sexy/cool girl myself. It gives you more room to be multifaceted. I want to be courted and treated like a lady but i’m down enough to treat him as well. Now I just sit back and then react naturally to every situation. I take my own silent deductions as to if there is a next day or not 🙂

      1. Good for you! I think your approach, for lack of a better term, is the way to go. I’ve always let my intentions, coupled with my actions, be known up front. That’s in everything I do. Trying to avoid that “gray” space as much as possible. That space where things get lost in translation too often.

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  4. i love this…i think it is a bit much for your friend to think that she isnt independent solely on the 2nd date but it each their own. women and men have enough damn wars, we dont need another one..another amazing post love 🙂

    1. Girl I tried not to put my personal opinion of his opinion.. in an effort not to bash the male ego. He was rolling in the CHEAP!!! It was the second date.. When men don’t want to pay for dates it means they don’t really want to be on a date. LOL..

      1. I agree…just because she said that she wanted to go out doesnt mean that she was willing to pay…it aint like they was going somewhere where bill gates eats..expensive as hell or anything…i guess he just isnt traditional in that sense…i am the type where if we have been on about 3 dates or so,ni have no problem paying for the 4th one ya know…thats just me tho…but he 2nd date??? Nah u paying for that playa…lol

      2. Hahaha… I totally agree. I feel like in this day and age you just may have to go on date. Especially if you want to go on the type of date that you want to go on. (ex. going where you want to go) I actually don’t have a problem with it I think the expectation of that I should pay turns me off.

    2. Oh and thanks for reading!!!! 🙂

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