Picture this: you’re in a restaurant on a night out with a friend when you notice the couple sitting next to you. They’re both smartly dressed, indicating that they’ve probably just left work and met up for a date.
They’ve enjoyed their meal, and the waiter brings the bill.
The lady motions to receive it, but the gentleman says to pass it to him. She insists, but he takes it saying, 'I would never let a lady pay my bill.' They lady is visibly taken aback, but she lets it slide.
What would be your first reaction have been to seeing this? What would your reaction have been if you were the lady? Was there any one person who acted out of order?
It seems like the subject of independent women is always very polarizing, from those who celebrate women’s independence to those who claim that it sometimes go overboard or may even be against it. The internet and daily conversations are flooded with 'experts' who claim that self sufficient women are this negative thing or the other.
So many claims are made regarding what they don’t do well, and what they take away from relationships or families…But we’ve also gone from women not being able to vote, own property, work, such basic things in reality, to them being afforded only some of these things and there’s still pushback.
The strongest voices opposing the financial and social independence always seem to be men. It’s easy to see why: for the longest time, men were the preeminent force in any and everything. Women were predominantly relegated to the home and even when in the workforce, they still deferred to men as the final decision makers.
Men had a pretty sweet deal, which also meant very little accountability for decisions made because the only person who could challenge you was another man. Could men’s resistance to the independent woman be a fear of the changing of the status quo?
We’ve gone from societies where men were the primary breadwinners and women were homemakers, to women being able to earn more than men. Women now demand equal participation in decision making in all spheres, and in some cases they are the authority.
While this was happening, society forgot to inform the men and women so opposed to this that change had taken place. So we are stuck with people who want to play a role to a partner who has no need for it. And they can’t understand it because they have been left behind by the times.
If we think about it, truly without any bias, independent women are an asset to themselves and society at large. With financial freedom, they can uplift themselves and their immediate family - which means the breaking of the cycle of poverty.
A two-income household means more stability in an economy that always seems to be getting worse. Even if women do not want to be married or have families, their contributions to society in their various fields will certainly push the world forward. Look to all the crucial inventions made by women, from the structure of DNA to the windscreen wiper!
Women taking part in decision making from the international level to the home means that the opinions of more than half of the world’s population are considered. And there is additional insight from a perspective that could be missing and prove invaluable.
No one’s worth should be tied just to his or her ability to provide. Women who prove they can take care of themselves should not threaten men. And the idea that men are only men if they can provide doesn’t hold water anymore. Embracing the strong woman could be the best decision you ever make. And who knows, you may even get a free meal out of it.
So, why do you think independent women scare men so much? Let us know your views in the comment section below, or on our Facebook page, Love Matters Kenya.