Happy Independence Day!

On this day of independence I thought it best not to profess my undying love for the RED WHITE & BLUE but to tackle a complex in the African American community... The independent black woman. I consider myself one... but I found an article on mybrotha.com that will help strong black women compartmentalize it a bit so they aren't forever single, and also gives advice to men to not stray from us and encourage them that although we don't need what's in their wallet, we still want what's in their heart. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. Have a safe and happy holiday.

The Trials of An Independent Black Woman

She has a college degree - maybe even two. Her job is professional, and her salary is way above the career-field average. She's healthy, spiritual, super talented, responsible, articulate, a whiz in the kitchen, and sexy as hell. If that's not enough, she's got plenty of money and all the material things she wants. (Unless she's a shoe-freak, then she never has too many of those!)

But strangely enough, she's also single.

Being unmarried and unattached is a common predicament among young Black women. The reason it is categorized as such, is because most women prefer to be in meaningful, healthy relationships. It's not a requirement to survive, but moreso a desire to share love with a significant other.

To understand why being independent is a dilemma for women, and a puzzle for men - read on.

How It Started
Due to the absence of biological fathers, or other male influence in their lives, Black women have been tasked with supporting themselves and sometimes their children, while working jobs, attending school, and maintaining a household. As a direct result of this male disconnect, mothers instinctively raise their daughters to survive on their own. Even when the father, or another father-figure was in the home, Black girls were encouraged to do for themselves and never be placed in a position where they had to depend on a man.

This ideology is only one piece of a dual problem in the single Black community. The other part deals with the perceptions Black men have of the independent woman. We'll get into that later.

For the independent Black woman to understand why it is often difficult to find decent men, she must first observe the reasons why male perceptions of independent women are skewed, and also take note of the roles both women and society play in shaping those perceptions.

Are Men That Intimidated?
You believe they are. It is a strong, distinct feeling possessed by many men, and the underlying behavioral characteristics are not all black and white.

Since men are socially reared to be leaders and "fixers", it is difficult for them to relate to independent women. Men are taught to be rescuers - to find the answers and solve problems. To a man, the independent woman doesn't appear to have any needs or problems, and her self-assurance wouldn't allow her to seek help even if it was required.

Some men identify this as competition, or excessive eagerness. The male psyche often associates these conditions with the independent woman, who seemingly has a desire to take over traditional male roles by being her own provider, fixer, and problem solver. In essence, "If she can do it all herself, she must not need a man."

Men Need To Be Needed
Probably one of the most significant statements women can learn about men. This comment revisits the traditional socialization of males, where it is common for men to feel more comfortable when called upon to perform familiar tasks and play familiar roles. When a woman is able to do those tasks and play those roles herself, a man may feel like an outsider looking in.

This concept is often misunderstood since most men find excessively needy women, a turn-off. There is a rhythmic balance between appreciating a man for the things he can do, and occasionally calling upon him to do them - as opposed to requiring him to constantly cater to a woman's every need. The problems arise when women require nothing, but men naturally expect to give something.

High Expectations
Most independent, successful Black women have high expectations when seeking men, and rightfully so. A lot of energy is required and expended when striving for goals, and women wish to have someone who is equally yoked financially, professionally, and spiritually. This is not only fair, but expected - since most women will not tolerate supporting a man who hasn't matured, or one who is slow in bringing his share to the table.

The detachment between men and women with this concept, arises when a man may not feel strong enough, or accomplished enough, to compete. Being cultured to take on leadership roles, to be in control, and to provide for family - men often feel uncomfortable when their counterparts command higher salaries, or can adequately provide for themselves without help.

This doesn't mean that a woman should refrain from pursuing lofty goals in order to find and keep a man. Part of the balancing act is finding a strong male companion whose maturity and character allows him to accept the woman as an inspiration - instead of seeing her as a threat.

Fixing It
We wish there was a quick-fix, but unfortunately there isn't.

For men, it is crucial to understand that a woman who is highly independent, seemingly needing nothing, actually desires and needs a lot. She doesn't need money, a vehicle, or someone to mow the grass () - but wishes to have those things she cannot provide for herself - love, respect, adoration, kindness, and companionship.

For women, it is very important to understand and appreciate the natural instincts of men. These human characteristics have been ingrained in men since the days of cave men, who were burdened with hunting, braving the harsh elements, and providing for family. Not only was cave-guy expected to do it, but he enjoyed doing it. Taking care of his family gave a sense of accomplishment, which is one of the greatest achievements a man can experience.

All of this cave talk may sound simplistic, but its significance makes up the core reasons why men have problems accepting powerful women.

Bringing It All Together
In the grand scheme of things, the problems experienced by the independent Black woman lies within the sociological division of work and labor. Men want to be providers, but many women have already provided for themselves. Men seek to supply the answers, while some women have already solved the problems.

The key here - is balance. Both Black men and women must learn to adapt to life's changing roles for both genders. When women are shouting out the fact that they are "independent women", they are essentially telling men, "I don't need anyone in my life to be happy." -- which doesn't translate to, "I wish to be alone."

They also have a similar article posted on how Independent women affect relationships that goes in to depth with statistics and such and to read that you can go here. Also for my Renaissance Black Men they have a quiz you can take to which determines if you are intimidated by independent black women just in case you are unsure. You can go here to take that.


Stew July 4, 2008 at 1:52 AM

this is not going to be an issue for much longer because black women are not even accepting applications from black men anymore. even though a lot of what the article was is true, i would say that the blame falls equally on the man and the woman.

Mr. B2B July 4, 2008 at 4:11 AM

first things first
Love the post Eb...
Totally too

secondly, i believe that women should go on and not see men as a threat too.
they want to "prove" to themselves as well as us too, that they can "handle" it!
they should also learn to express a few things when they see things that men do not other than just tripping and saying we as guys don't care...

and men in retrospect should learn to listen to women, after loving them even more

will be back for the other comments Eb

Thaks for sharing this.. EB!

Oh, i did your whole q&A situation, and er..
pass by mines

Eb the Celeb July 4, 2008 at 11:02 AM

@ Stew - True, but I'm still holding out for my brother to the night... so not all of us are converting to the lighter nations

@mr. b2b - I completely agree that both sides have a complex they need to get over for it to work... mine is fully submitting and I realize that... so I guess that's the first step to me being able to compartmentalize it in a way that doesn't make black men threatened by me or my independence...

Keisha "Kitten" Isaacs July 4, 2008 at 11:20 AM

GOOD STUFF!!!!! Thanks for sharing...Peace & Blessings my Sistah

sista gp July 4, 2008 at 12:08 PM

This post is well on point. Even when you find a man that balances you and your life. It doesn't end there. The relationship will need constant adjustments by both to keep the scale in balance.
When both are strong individuals, it may be harder, but not impossible. The willingness to put forth the effort is the key.

I do admit that I can be stubborn and have to give a little sometimes.

12kyle July 4, 2008 at 12:32 PM

I think the article hits some great points. Ultimately, the strong black woman must realize that although she will face those obstacles. They can be overcome with the help of the black man. Bruthas need to step up to the plate. Period.

Arkiem July 4, 2008 at 3:42 PM

Wow, well... I'll say this much. It often appears that some of the most driven people often "miss the bus" when it comes to building successful relationships. Unions of all types (both professional and relationship-wise) are taboo. It's like losing a part of yourself, which is often the case if relationships are to grow organically. We forget that all sacrifices are not bad and because we are so independent(men AND women, we refuse to budge.

I think you hit the nail on the head about a person's upbringing. The prime example we should use to develop many of our own relationships are our parents. But what if we grew up in a househould with one parent or two that were ... unsucessful? My view of what a relationship is supposed to look like would be skewed.

Unfortunately, there isn't one way to solve this problem. The only thing I can think of is we need to mold ourselves into the people we want to attract. It sounds weird. But we do it in all other aspects of our lives so why not do the same to find our significant other?

Seven July 4, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Feeling the article. I'm so willing to release the reigns of independence sorta speak and will never get in the way of a man being a man. If he wants to play like a boy that's when I move on.

Young, Horny, and a Teacher July 4, 2008 at 4:15 PM

i'm independent and i want and need a brotha. statistics aren't that great for us black women but i hope i meet him at some point. 26and gettin older..

YES! I'm the Fabulously Dorky Author exiled to the E-List who loves to dish Gourmet-Style! July 4, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Hey Love!!! Yes, yes, we def need to get up! You missed our panel last Monday... your boy CL was on the panel. It was at the Marriott Marquis - very fab!

Yeah yeah yeah in regards to the love joint. I date MEN - ALL men, GOOD men, regardless of color. They're out there, but sometimes you've gotta accept LOVE WITHOUT BOUNDARIES! ... that's all I got!


Brittany July 4, 2008 at 5:46 PM

This is so true. Oprah just had a small segment about this today.

Nesha July 4, 2008 at 6:29 PM

wow, great post by the way, i tottaly agree; but I feel like guys are just rude now a days, it seems like they only want 'one' thing, nobody takes the time to really get to know anyone anymore; but my mom taught me to never think that you have to have a man to be happy, and she is right I didnt have my dad around (and i still dont) and I see how strong my mom is by herself raising four kids, she is bold for that. And I dont think I have very high expectations (lol) I want a guy that knows what he is doing with his life, not a thug on the streets selling drugs, no job having bum, but anyways I could go all day about this post!

Happy Independence day!

one soulful negro. July 4, 2008 at 8:51 PM

first off all happy 4th!

ok...i will say this man right here is truly a man that needs to be needed. its been true in all of my relationships, so much so that my need eclipses my needs. let me explain.

i want to be there for my partner, day or night. i want to be their rock, i want to be their partner in every definition of the word, but i have a tendency to not expect the same from them for me.

i'm working on that. i'm growing. but its a truth!

great read eb.

RealHustla July 4, 2008 at 10:14 PM

This is basically some BULLSHIT! Women have had to adapt because of the lack, LACK of men taking their instinctive position, but yet we're expected to understand that they still need to feel needed? We adapted, to SURVIVE. So basically men caused an issue that we're expected to change by hiding behaviors we need to live?

Ain't nobody got time for all this shit! Brotha, yo kids got to eat, need shelter, and need to be clothed regardless of how you feel muthafucka. Don't be claiming you need to feel needed, bitch.

Man the FUCK up with or without me.

Oh yeah, I'm not bitter and not speaking to anyone in particular. But I am single. Oh well. Guess we all know why now. :-)

RealHustla July 4, 2008 at 10:15 PM

Eb, sorry for cussin' like that on your blog.

Smarty Jones July 5, 2008 at 1:40 AM

LMAO @ realhustla!!!
I think the article has some great points. And yes, my mom, my dad and my stepdad all worked together to raise me to depend on myself.
First off, every generation is supposed to make it better for the generation coming behind them, right? Well, while my parents were growing up, they saw the women in their families working in the fields (I'm from the country), taking care of huge families i.e. cooking, cleaning, sewing, mending, watching their fathers and uncles cheat on their wives, in some cases bring in more children and on top of that, some of these men were bold enough to beat their wives.
Why in the hottest corner of Hell would they want to pass that along to us, just to say we have a man?
Shoot, I appreciate the independence I've been taught. I can't see putting up with any of that foolishness just to be able to say I got somebody.
Honestly, I don't think we get all we need for full, healthy lives from one person that is precisely why we need our own outside interests and friends so that you don't lose who you are for the sake of the relationship.
In my experience, that's where the power struggle comes in. I expect to get back just as much as I put in the relationship. I don't expect to be the center of his world, but he expects to be the center of mine.
I don't get that. Why should I turn my whole life upside down for a man who's not willing to do the same? And why should I have to? Relationships are supposed to enhance your life, not make them difficult.

Mizrepresent July 5, 2008 at 12:21 PM

i loved the article...it was so true...and i saw myself in that role...but i am more than willing to find that balance...in fact it is becoming more clear to me that we are both in need of each other. Equally yoked...yep, that is ultimately what i am striving for!

IntrospectiveGoddess July 5, 2008 at 3:47 PM

I believe the article was fair and made sense, its just a shame that men feel that just because a woman doesnt need a man financially that she doesnt need one at all....and how does that logic even make sense when so many men complain about "gold diggers" its like a catch 22...its like that line from The Best Man by Murch... You complain about gold diggers but you can't take an intelligent, independant woman who makes her own money??

If your that damn dumb I dont want your black ass no way!!!

Ticia July 5, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Great article - I love their site too - I agree and yet I am still speechless -

I guess I just don't care much anymore -

Fashion's Darling July 6, 2008 at 1:28 AM

first off...LMAOOO at realhustla...wow my dude. you went off

second: love the post. a guy told me once that i was intimidating cuz i'm in school, work, doin my thing blah blah blah (and according to him, "especially for a girl where you from"...) and when I asked him why he told me cuz at any point i might realize (or think) that i'm too good for him.

i broke up with him...ya ass ain't got no type of confidence and you KNOW you wasn't doin anything with ya life..sry i need someone that can keep up

harsh? kinda
real? yeah

idk wat that had to do with anything but thats what came to mind =)


Mimi July 7, 2008 at 11:15 AM

Loved this article, have to go check out the website.

Shai July 7, 2008 at 1:59 PM

Balance my favorite word. I can go for that. Not traditional vs modern thinking but balancing the relationship to meet the needs of the persons in it.

Anonymous July 8, 2008 at 7:06 AM

EB I see my teachings in these areas are having no effect! lol. But on the real, I could care less what women are doing or even looking for. I let that dog go a LONG time ago. I'm a man, good and bad who makes no apologizes for being one. This " independent woman" thing is a falsehood. Am I intimidated by a female? Hell to the no, thats like the hot knife being intimidated by the butter.

Look here EB, we peoples so I feel I can say this. Women have not changed but at times the lack of men has and too many boys are being raised by women. Thus you get many issues of grown men acting like grown women and can be intimidated by a woman. My thing is this, I don't care if your making 100k with a phD or 1 dollas with no degree, a woman is still a woman and a man has to be a man, that will cancel all this crap right out.

Sha Sha July 8, 2008 at 8:31 AM

I agree with the article. Ever heard the phrase "Girls are raised, boys are loved". As young girls we are taught to stand on our own without a man, be self sufficient and be the best you can. So when u become an adult and your doing your thing it can intimidate some men. Thus leaving a lot of independent black women single.

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