Let the men speak! I’m so excited to bring you my very first Male Perspective Guest Post for the month of February. From the moment I conceived of having males guest post about love and relationships, this gentleman was the first person that came to mine. Ladies (and gentleman, I give to you my friend & frat brother, Brian!
I’ve known Brian since college. We’ve had in-depth conversations about love and relationships and the male/female dynamic since AIM was the biggest social media craze and TheFacebook was new. We come from different perspectives (Christian female, Muslim male), but we’ve always had this intellectual discussions that ventured far and wide, yet somehow we find a vein of similarity (or agree to disagree ;-)). In his first piece for my blog, Brian tackles a topic I’ve talked about on my blog already: Independent Women. I didn’t present this topic in the way he does, and I couldn’t have presented this with such an in-depth view into the male psyche. For that, I’m immensely greatful to him for sharing his perspective with the ladies (and gentleman ;-)) who read this blog. If you’re looking for more Brian, his information will be posted on the bottom of this entry. Feel free to
disagree comment, as always.
Me and a good friend of mine were talking recently about women, and how we approach this issue we face with them. We were arguing with them at some point or another, and there were several social dichotomies that came up which we touched on. One of them was the independent attitude.
We, over our conversation, came to the conclusion that women believe men are upset, threatened, or intimidated by a woman who is independent. We came to the conclusion that an independent woman has expectations to be treated the same way that women were treated before independent attitude existed. We also came to the conclusion that men did not change greatly over the same times that women did, and that may be a point of contention for us all.
I am going to hit all of the things we talked about.
People, I want you to read this quite carefully. Men are not intimidated by independent women. Again, MEN, are NOT INTIMIDATED by INDEPENDENT WOMEN. In being a man, you have to be independent. It’s a requirement, a standard for simply calling yourself a man. There is no way you can reasonably say “I’m a Man.” and say “I’m not independent.” So as men, we look at independence as a simple necessity. There is nothing intimidating about that; we welcome it. Out of all of my young, black, gainfully employed, highly educated single male friends, never once did I ever hear anything that vaguely resembled, “Independent women are a problem/intimidating/I don’t want them”. Not once.
The reason that an independent woman isn’t intimidating, beyond being familiar to men, is that an independent woman is easier to be with. She’s not needy, she’s not gold-digging, she’s not riddled with baseless expectations, and she is able to take YOU out and show YOU a good time. An independent woman is not a liability, and that makes her cool.
Independent attitude, on the other hand, is the enemy. An independent woman is a great thing, as long as she doesn’t harbor dangerous independent attitude. Independent attitude is the sense of entitlement that having independence is a special thing worthy of additional attention, consideration, and desirability, and which scares men who are dying to rob an independent woman of her independence. Independent attitude makes a woman proud, have high ego, and feel the need to compete with her man. This is a problem for several reasons.
When a person, male or female, competes with a man, a man is going to respond in a predictable way. We are going to get defensive, we are going to puff our chest out, and we are going to fight. We respond to challenge with challenge. A woman with IA (that’s what we will call it) will almost certainly ensure that she lets him know that she does not need him for anything, that she can do it all by herself, and that he plays no significant role in her life/success/accomplishments/personhood/whatever else she can think of.
This causes a series of events. Men are creatures of purpose. We have to know clearly the reason and rationale for the things we do, especially things that are important to us. One such thing in a relationship is, “What purpose do I serve in her life/The Relationship?” IA causes a woman to alienate her man by making him believe he has no purpose in the relationship. AS a result, he will respond with challenge, which essentially turns her into a man in all ways, robbing her of femininity and delicacy, and putting her in the playing field that men use to challenge each other. Her feelings become worthless, as men are never concerned with the feelings of another man, and the fact that the connection between both sides of her brain are stronger than his, causing her to have a much higher likelihood to make emotional judgments and assumptive decisions, is out the window. He will also see that his reason for being in the relationship is non-existent, causing him to search for more purpose elsewhere, or just sticking to himself and the things he does have purpose for, such as work, hobbies, working out, sports, and other things that are in his normal life rotation.
Men like to be challenged by their ladies. However, IA challenges men in the wrong way. It makes them respond in a way that reduces respect to zero in some cases, and it’s not necessary. Many women who have that IA problem tend to blame everything except the dynamic between her and the guy, for the issue that the dynamic causes. “He’s intimidated. He cant handle a STRONG independent woman like me” and all that mumbo jumbo, when in reality, he is responding the way men respond. WE expect women to play a certain role of support in our lives, and to be a member of our team. Women with IA are too busy being the coach to play their part on his team.
Independent women who have it figured out, know how to grace the line between being powerful, and being the star player on his team. She can make him want to take the world over, and even provide the resources to help him do it. We depend on women like that, and we are not too independent to admit it. In fact, many men are proud that they even have a woman like that. It works.
That independent attitude is a problem, but independence definitely isn’t.
Women with IA also believe that men should feel entitled to treat them the same way men have treated women in the past: chivalry, or opening doors, pulling out chairs, paying for stuff, and treating her like a princess. However, the woman with IA fails to understand that over the course of demonstrating her territory, making her man alienated, and asserting her need of nothing from him, she causes two things to happen against her. The first thing we already talked about, which is becoming a “man” in her man’s mind. We are not going to treat a “man” to a romantic dinner, or take a “man” on a night on the town. Second, by competing in that way, she strips herself of the ability to give her man the gratification he seeks by doing those things for her. As a result, his “Purpose” for doing them, is lost. Plus, well, let’s face it, she can do it herself. His incentive is gone.
Lastly, let’s face it. There was no Men’s Movement for equal social rights and opportunities. There was no movement where men had to demand the rights and abilities to do all the things women do. Essentially, men have not changed. Men are the same as we were before. We have full expectations of attaining as much money, power, and influence over our world as we can. We have full expectations of being the king of our castle, and being the cornerstone of our families. We have full expectations of being breadwinners. We have aspirations of being men. Period.
Nowhere in there does the things an independent woman wants or stands for come into question. That’s why an independent woman doesn’t have a problem with these. But Independent attitude? That’s a different story all together. IA will cause a woman to throw her income in her man’s face, not allow him to handle business like he would like, even though it may not be of any detriment to him. Her ego wont allow her to be submissive enough for him to not challenge her, and basically “Man-Ize” her. She doesn’t understand that the elements she displays are interpreted by men as masculine, and will get a man vs. man response out of him. They clash heads, and the interaction fails.
All in all, an independent woman is a great thing. But that Independent Attitude must be eliminated.
Brian A. M. Williams
Well, I think Brian broke this thing all the way down until it was officially and forever broke. Real Independent Women seem to be welcomed and sought after; women with Independent Attitude need not apply. How do you ladies feel about this? Do you men out there agree? Leave your two cents in the comments section!