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No surprises! strong and independent women might just be the scariest thing men have to face in recent times. In spite of widespread civilization and female empowerment drives engulfing societies, some men still get hot and bothered by a woman who ‘does not know her place’. Her place? Where is that? In the conventional kitchen and bedroom? Or is it simply ‘her place’ in a figurative sense that aims to ensure respect? Why are independent women scary? Why do men prefer to be with women who have less achievements? Why do men get hot beneath the collar if a woman happens to have bigger dreams than they do? The answers I believe lie deep in a tale of our cultural history and an unfair liberation that left society in a state of imbalance.
Men have always been told from the start of time that they are the stronger sex, while women are simply subordinates created to do their every bidding. Families did not see the point in educating their female children. The excuse often was “she will get married and take another man’s name, so what’s the point?” Women were not seen as slaves, don’t get me wrong. They were simply seen as weak individuals that were not worth investing in. Prices were paid at weddings to seal the deal, without these prices, brides could not be ‘acquired’ and two families could not be merged (Forgive me, I have currently developed an interest in mergers and acquisitions). Men, being deemed the stronger sex were expected to provide and protect, while women were simply expected to push out babies, cook, clean, look after the babies and have sex with their husbands….yea that does not compare in any way to providing and protecting.
At some point, society decided to liberate women. The big players in society pointed out that women have dreams too! They can have it all- the education, the career and the family. Women were suddenly identified as multitaskers, we became people that could delve into any male-dominated field and win because society suddenly realized our intelligence. Firms started to advertise that they are female-friendly. The big tech companies in the world now advertise their key female players, they advertise how much they love to have women onboard. Engineering, a field deemed to be suitable for men only now pleads for the inclusion of females; employers favour women over men of the same qualifications and experience. While many may decry these actions and point out how unfair they seem, it only makes it clear that society for some reason became aware of its injustice against women and decided to correct it.
Why then do men have a problem with independent women? Why do men prefer women whom they believe cannot compete with them financially or intellectually? I recently read a post on facebook where some guys were discussing two different types of women. The first woman was an educated top executive who earned a substantial amount of money a year, cooked three or four times a week and had her own car. The second woman did not finish high school, required an allowance of $20 a day and cooked fresh meals everyday. Most of the guys in this discussion group gravitated towards the second woman and for days, I was confused. These guys preferred to spend $20 a day on an unemployed partner than have one who could contribute intellectually and financially to the relationship. What is it about independent women that are so scary? I may have found the answer. (And don’t say it’s about having fresh meals everyday please!)
That an independent woman is scary is not her fault. Except she has an extra head or three legs, all she’s guilty of is pursuing her dreams and establishing her identity. I blame society for the fear/hatred men have for independent women. For years, society taught men to look at women as objects they could own and control. Society taught men to put women in their place. Society taught men they could have control of women as long as they provide and protect. I don’t know if this was a kind of revenge on women who had ruled powerful continents in the past, but it was established by society that women needed to be subdued. Then, society betrayed men. Society turned around and said “wait a minute, we need to empower women. There are so many single mothers and stranded widows, we need to give women equal opportunities so they can dare to be great- to be as great as men, or even greater”. And so it became that women can now get fancy jobs, women can afford fancy cars and pay their own bills without even glancing at a man for help….
Society liberated women but left men behind in the archaic school of thought that subordination is the way to establish their masculinity. This explains why we have so many men who find their masculinity challenged by the idea of a woman that has a mind of her own, a woman who ‘does not know her place’ as society once preached, a woman who brings opinions and dreams to the table, and works hard to achieve them, a woman who has a say in how the relationship should be conducted and how she wants to be treated- an independent woman. Yes, independent women are scary because we are focusing so much energy on women, we are ignoring men. We are telling men to move with the times, but the truth is many of them are ‘roaming free in a prison yard’, trying to adjust to the debacle the independent woman presents, yet at the same time challenged with the norms they were taught. Independent women are judged before they are known; men say things like “she won’t be respectful”, “she won’t know her place”, “she won’t make me feel like a man”…. all these excuses cause men to appreciate mediocrity more than embrace drive and success in a woman. There’s even a general belief that strong independent women are that way because they believe they don’t need men. Wrong! Women are strong and independent because they are human beings, with dreams and values, with aspirations and desires that can only be fulfilled if they stand with their heads held high!
Here’s a tip: A strong woman should not intimidate you as a man; instead of seeing her as a threat, see her as a fuel for your drive and vision. XOXO
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