Updated: Aug 28, 2021
Why does society, men in particular, keep putting limits on a woman's growth?
Couple of days ago, I had people over to my house, and me being a good hostess was exchanging pleasantries with one of the male guests I met that day, when out of the blue, he asked me: "So how long do you plan on remaining single?"
I was seriously taken aback by his lack of decorum. I responded with a quick "in due time", and changed the topic. But this man wasn't done. He persisted by telling me: "This is a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood, but why would you do that to yourself? to your future? Do you realize a lot of men will think twice before approaching you to ask you on a date." This time, my tone was firm when I replied that I was comfortable in my singleness, since it kept me from dealing with a lot of nonsense. Just PURE RUBBISH!!!
This brief exchange inspired me to write this post to address some of the frustrations women encounter once we decide to grow beyond what was expected of us:
1) As a woman, I refuse to downgrade... go back to a financial level that I worked so hard to get out of just to make a man feel comfortable. If my growth closes the doors to a particular group of men, then clearly those men were not meant to be part of my journey. Can I get a "Whoop Whoop" from my sisters?
2) These decisions of mine that this man viewed as a life sentence of singleness should actually be seen as a smart move from a concerned mother working on securing her son's financial future by making sure he doesn't walk into his adult life empty-handed.
3) Why is it considered a terrible faux pas when a woman breaks society's imposed barriers without the help of a man? Or without compromising her integrity? If I was a man, instead of those five minutes of chastisement, I would have gotten a round of applause along with a congratulatory handshake. Where is THE LIE? (That's my new catch phrase when I know I am telling the truth.)
Whenever I find myself in those situations, I am always tempted to spice up the conversation by asking the following questions: "Whose fault is it that I am left fending for myself and my son? Who told my ex-husband to leave it to me to take care of me and our child? So shouldn't he be the one society blame for my decisions?"
As I am writing this, I am smiling, because I am sure some of my readers might picture me as this angry and bitter woman, when in reality, I am grateful that my husband left. Why you might ask? Well, if he didn't leave, I would have never become the badass woman that I am today. That part of me would have remained hidden inside of me in embryo form. So while his departure hurt, the pain from it allowed me to birth a new me-The Real Me!!! Which brings to this last thought...
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made this powerful statement: "Of course, I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in."
I believe one of the worst feelings in life is when you know what you want... what you deserve, but choose to settle. Is singleness such a terrible option? If I worked hard to grow from a Princess to a Queen slaying my own dragons, don't I deserve a King with the ability and authority to continue slaying them with me and for me? Clearly the man I was conversing with wasn't king material.
So Princesses and Queens, I am not sure what stage in your journey you are on, but I am here today as a reminder and a living testimony that you can recuperate after a messed up situation. And not only can you recuperate what you lost, you can outgrow the box society put you in. That doesn't mean that, as women, we no longer need a man. Not at all!!! It just means that you have the ability to win in life with or without a man's assistance. And reaching new level is also an indication that you have also graduated from your previous level of suitors.
So don't settle!!! Don't downplay your greatness!!! Level up Level up Level up!!!
***Side Note to my handsome hard working brothers - Brothers, if you meet a woman who has accomplished a lot without any male assistance or compromise- Don't fret!!! Men up, roll your sleeves, and go ask that woman out on a date. If she is compatible with you, make that relationship exclusive, because my friend, you have just met what The Bible calls a helpmate. Why would you count such a woman out and run the risk of ending up with a liability (those women do exist as well), when this one has already proven to you what she can accomplish? Think about it... Do I hear the term "Power Couple" in the back? So from a concerned sister to a brother, stop being afraid of independent women. Until next time, Emma