Make Up Your Mind: Miss Independent or Nah?

Hey, beautiful black women… Let’s have a quick family meeting before we get in formation like Queen Bey told us. This will only take a minute. It’s about something I saw online. Some pictures made the rounds on Twitter last week. They are screenshots of a Reddit thread in which a young man complained about the…

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Hey, beautiful black women… Let’s have a quick family meeting before we get in formation like Queen Bey told us. This will only take a minute. It’s about something I saw online.

Some pictures made the rounds on Twitter last week. They are screenshots of a Reddit thread in which a young man complained about the difficulties he was facing in his relationship. His girlfriend had grown distant – she wouldn’t let him touch her, she slept with her back to him and his household was pretty much a festival of passive aggressiveness.

Why?

Because he cried.

Yes, he wept on someone’s shoulder so babe gave him the cold shoulder. Sometimes, women give me a massive headache.

Today, I want to talk about double standards. Lazy men often use this term as a cheap way to shut down any kind of discussion of gender issues so I can already see the meninists rising. Don’t even try me.

This isn’t a complaint about how women form independence but ask for money for weave. That is lazy, it’s unrepresentative of all the women busting their asses to make something out of themselves and it’s also presumptuous. Nigga, what makes you think you can afford her weave? Eurasian tresses don’t come cheap so chill with the asinine assumptions, especially since your Twitter fingers have barely counted enough money to purchase Expressions. Anyway, I digress. A girl has a point. Yes, that was a GoT reference; get with the programme.

Enforced gender roles don’t only affect women. The other side of the “women are soft, delicate and agreeable” coin is that men are forced to be hard and impenetrable. We limit their ability to show any emotions other than anger, elation and lust because anything else is feminine or gay. God forbid men actually have (or even worse – show) any feelings even remotely related to sadness, fear or depression. The man should be the head of the home. How can you expect to follow a dude who’s scared or unsure?

My sisters, not everyday Hulk. Sometimes human. In fact, never Hulk. Everyday human. So many men are emotionally illiterate because they are not taught to process and express the full breadth of their feelings in a measured and intelligible way. Cue random acid attack in five years’ time.

We talk a lot about independence, but we outsource much of the emotional maturity required to really make this thing happen. You’re a strong independent woman, yet you’re crying on the internet about how some guy colonised a decade of your life and didn’t marry you. Yes, I went there. Were you such a passive fixture in your relationship that you waited on the shelf for ten years, only to be disappointed when oga didn’t pick you? Are you a photo frame? What happened to speaking up? What happened to asking for what you want? What happened to being a strong independent woman? Sorry, I can’t hear you through all that whining.

How is this related to my earlier point? It’s all about walking the talk. If you’re a full, independent human being, you can ask for what you want, just like you can recognise that others have feelings and flaws that they shouldn’t be crucified for. In fact, these feelings should be celebrated because it means you’re actually dealing with a human being. You would think we would welcome that, with all this fear of demons floating around.

Being your own individual means coming to terms with all that you are – strong, sassy, conflicted, sensitive, angry, ambitious, goofy… All of it. So the next time you feel yourself swinging too far into “He’s totally in control” land, “Why didn’t he pick me?” territory or “OMG he needs to man up” terrain, remember you’re a strong independent woman. And act like one.

Responses

  1. Théa
    Am I first? Whoa … first time for everything.

    “Being your own individual means coming to terms with all that you are – strong, sassy, conflicted, sensitive, angry, ambitious, goofy… All of it.”

    Amen! That spoke to me right there. It has been the most difficult thing for me to do, but its a lesson I’m learning. Funny enough, I’m more responsive and accepting of people who are undeniably themselves, than those who are always forming. Can’t stand it.

  2. Og
    I totally support you. We should all live and never be afraid of expressing ourselves because we should all fit into a box that society created for us.
  3. MizzD
    “Nigga, what makes you think you can afford her weave? Eurasian tresses don’t come cheap so chill with the asinine assumptions, especially since your Twitter fingers have barely counted enough money to purchase Expressions.”
    My sister please have a glass Baileys on ice.
  4. Amayanabo
    Beautiful piece. I really liked the “recognising that others have feelings and flaws they shouldn’t be crucified for”.
  5. Seriously...
    Can I hug you please? Thanks for addressing so powerfully this double standards issue.

    Thank you for not being afraid to “going there.”

  6. Exclusive
    Go Funmi! Seriously, not every time Hulk. Being inherently strong doesn’t mean that your walls never crack, it only means that you have the courage enough to shore them back up.

    I wouldn’t want my man to be “untouchable”. Plix, I want me a man, not a marble.

  7. Kay
    I love love this.
    men have emotions too and should show it. it is silly to hold them to some ‘manly’ standards where breathing is all they are allowed to do. Everyone should be human and embrace all of themselves

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