When I hear the words “independent black woman,” I cringe now because I no longer want to carry the burdens of being the head of my household. Wearing the badge of honor to most is a badge of disappointment to me. I don’t want to be the woman that has to take charge and make sure everything is okay. I am tired of being the woman that is complimented for being the epitome of what a strong woman is. To me, it is an insult. Women were not created on Earth to be exclusively independent. We damn sure weren’t put on Earth to pick up the slack of what many men deserted us with years ago. I want to have a safe space and a reliable partner who isn’t afraid to allow me to be a woman. I don’t want to play both roles. I don’t want to have to make sacrifices for myself and my children. This independent thing isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
The anthem I once sang with honor no longer appeals to me. As I have gotten older, I realized that this act devalues our men. It takes away accountability and responsibility from our black men who are here to protect, provide, and honor us. Too many times we hear the stories of how women hold their undeserving man down regardless of how much it cost them. We have accepted the false sense of what a woman is expected to do versus what is required. The longer we adapt to this false sense of hope, the worse our men will become. As the years go by, fewer gentlemen are being groomed. Instead, we glorify disrespectful men, women beaters, deadbeats, self-centered, womanizers, unempathetic, have no morals, or are emotionless. We teach our boys not to commit or care about young ladies because that is “what being a man is.” We teach our young boys that to be a man, you must have a lot of women and never commit. We teach our young boys that girls are only good for sexual pleasure and arm candy. We teach our boys how to never fall in love because men don’t stay with one woman. Listen to the movies, songs, and discussions so many parents and peers instill in their children.
We don’t give the few men that are left credit for honoring women, being respectful and supportive, showing emotions and love, having morals and integrity anymore. The good men are perceived as less of a man or soft because they possess the qualities that aren’t ideally a black man’s nature. We took the beauty of black love away when we accepted broken families and love. What society and the rest of the world dictate how a black man looks and should act, won the vote. Some women have accepted the excuses of why some men won’t commit, be faithful, or be there for their children. Ms. Independent just decided to take on the responsibility and let him continue his path of self-destruction and pro-creation without any sacrifices or consequences. Hey, I am guilty of this myself, so don’t take it personally. I have royally fucked up in that department numerous times.
We should not stay by a man’s side that continuously disrespects us. If women would stick together and show men how to treat us respectfully, most men would unlearn the disrespectful behaviors and actions. We are the only race of women who have proudly been stereotyped as a bitch, hoe, slut, baby mommas, etc. Many men have lost respect for us as a whole, whether you are an independent woman or not. We have become so adamant about being independent and taking care of our business and children because we have no other choices. We lost a large percentage of black men as our protectors. We lost many of our black men to the streets, social media, entertainment, and jail. We’ve created an illusion that it is okay for men to grow up without a loving father figure in their life. If women stop justifying and condoning mistreatment to other women, the narrative would change. If we hold the men accountable for impregnating multiple women with children and not taking care of his seeds, our story will change significantly. If we discontinue the “struggle love stories” and stop staying with men who are not ready to be in committed relationships, the narrative would change. If we had two-parent households built on love, devotion, trust, character, and integrity; the narrative would change. If we had more women who would not accept being the “other woman,” “side-chic,” or “woman with benefits,” the narrative would change. If we cared a little more about how we are raising our young black males instead of worrying about if he has swag, the narrative would change.
Ask yourself this… what is the beauty of being independent? Yes, you don’t have to worry about sharing and dealing with bullshit. You can come and go as you please. You don’t even have to deal with none of the issues discussed above. Isn’t it better to have a trusting village to help lighten the load? Isn’t it better to have two people on the same wavelength that you can build with financially, spiritually, mentally, and wholeheartedly? Wouldn’t the load be a little bit lighter if you didn’t have to go through it alone? If we could only love each other enough to trust that my sisters and brothers would have my best interest at heart. If just that true old school and ancestor-acts of love were instilled in our culture again. I can definitely say that this independent shit is for the birds.