Shattering The Myth of The Independent Woman

31 Mar

You and Your…Ego


"They say I walk around like I got an 'S' on my chest..."


March was Women’s History Month so I’m just making the cut off for this post but I think it’s something we need to address. For all of the men and women who have fallen for the swindle, I sincerely apologize for what I’m about to say but it needs to be said: The Independent Woman does not exist. Yup, I said it. She’s a figment of your imagination. A mirage, if you will. In other words, she’s not real. Before you start quoting Destiny’s Child “Independent Women” or Neyo hear me out.

We need to get to the bottom of what it means to be independent. The phrase “independent woman” has gone the way of “hating” or “thick” – it’s been over and misused to the point of exhaustion where we can no longer recall the true meaning. Destiny’s Child dropped their girl power anthem in 2000 and if my memory serves me correctly I was 15 and a sophomore in HS. I was singing the mess outta this song and in my hormone driven teenage delusion I truly believed I was an independent woman. Never mind the facts that I couldn’t drive, vote or buy a pack of cigarettes; I was independent, dammit. The shoes on my feet? I bought it. I bought it with money I made working for summer youth but it was my money. I was goin for mine! Grinding all day, everyday, baby. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve worked for summer youth and I still couldn’t tell you what it means to be truly independent. Does it mean that I pay my own bills and am truly self-reliant in every sense of the word? Your guess is as good as mine on this one.

It just brings me to my next point: why is it so important  to be an independent woman?

The independent woman is a mythical being. She’s totally self sufficient, strong, sassy, financially well off, educated, a great cook,  philanthropist and in her spare time she fights fires and rescues people from burning buildings. She doesn’t take ish of anybody. You never see her cry. She never asks for help. She does it all. All she’s missing is the superhero cape and utility belt because she is straight out the pages of a comic book.

The Independent Woman Myth may temporarily satisfy our egos but it does little, if anything, for our personal growth. Its a very linear and one dimensional line of thinking that serves little purpose. If you think you can do any and everything absolutely on your own without any help from anyone else you are sadly mistaken. You’re selling yourself short and could be missing chances to connect with people who can help you grow into a better person. We all need help sometimes. Is there some prize in doing it all? A certificate for suffering in silence while you’re stressed and overwhelmed? Seriously, let me know where I can collect my martyr points and how I can cash them in.

"She do it ALL!" *rolls eyes*

I can’t express how grateful I am for the network of supportive family and friends that I have in my corner. If I was still drinking the Independent Woman koolaid lawd knows where I’d be now but I know one thing, I wouldnt be this far into my journey for personal growth. Nor would I have pulled together five of my favorite ladies to start this blog. To quote Cherie Redd, “Team work makes the dream work, Baby!”

So how do we move past the Independent Woman Myth? For starters we can take a good hard look at how detrimental it is because the Independent Woman Myth doesn’t allow us to be true to ourselves. If you’re so caught up in being strong and independent you will never be able to have genuine friendships and relationships with others. If people don’t see the real you they will never be able to get deeper than the surface. By allowing myself to be vunerable I’ve been able to strengthen the bonds with my friends and family. There is strength in letting others see what you may think is a weakness. Humbling yourself can be hard but it’s vital for our survival as women. The fact is that we need each other and the Independent Woman Myth robs us of the chance to enjoy the fruits of sisterhood.

Push that Independent Woman off a cliff because she’s holding you back. Open your heart and mind to a new school of thought and allow yourself to be a be defined by something other than being “independent”. Reclaim your power and thank me later 🙂

-Nikki B. Decadent


3 Responses to “Shattering The Myth of The Independent Woman”

  1. OMGTre March 31, 2011 at 4:29 PM #

    Nikki, this post made me smile. Absolutely beautiful; I’ve been thinking about something along the same lines in regards to being volunerable. I’ll see ya on bbm!

    • Roaring 20s March 31, 2011 at 5:05 PM #

      I’m glad you liked it, luv! We need to stick together and this independent woman mess is one more wall seperating women.

      -Nikki B. Decadent

  2. Angela April 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM #

    Loved the post. This is what I love about this website.

    Intelligent, savvy, fierce 20-something females teaching all that subscribe to your site what it means to live in the 21st Century.

    30-something to Boomers always seem to want to live in the past. As members of society, don’t want to remember that there were horrific times in business and home lives, and are continually afraid to regurgitate (stuff)and to move on in a quest to have a better live for themselves, families and the World.

    Okay, maybe the political situation for the last 30 years has a lot to do with that.

    Keep up your good work of keeping us informed.

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