Independent Women; Dependent Men? Is it really an Inverse Relationship?

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Oprah usually says “never talked about before until now”, and I am following suit – folks, hot off the pan (I love cooking!), here comes:

One lovely evening, Mr Man walked to Ms. Woman’s apartment and “ended” whatever had been going on between them for a while – or as far as Ms Woman was concerned – He ended a relationship between them. Just like that. Reason. “You are too focussed and independent and I don’t want to derail you” – a laughable thing, but not very funny at that particular moment. Ms. Woman refused to apologise for being “focussed and independent”, and said so in both words and by choosing to go on with her life (after dealing with it of course; and for some time). Nway, today, she is a fierce (r) woman with no apology about having a mind of her own and refusing to let people walk over her.

And good people, the above scenario is actually an account of something I went through a few years ago – that I really do not talk about .I blog about this years down the line not because I am all reminiscing about whatever, but because, it keeps getting reinforced in me, that, that is probably the best thing I ever did for my life – the refusing to act “blonde” in order to “keep my man”. I can bet you had I gone the “what-did-I-do” route, my life would be radically different from how it is today…radically different in ways that totally suck…..

– BUT of late, there has been too much talk about independent women etc, some people around me have voiced their sentiments about my being “too independent” and I found my mind wandering to instances that have been alluded to in that respect, as concerns me, in the past. I have also been branded a “woman of the caucus” – Kenyans will get that etc – Like that is a bad brand – thanks for the good PR ya’ll hateful, self doubting people hahaha!

Disclaimer: I am not a relationship expert, a shrink, men/women guru et al; I am just one woman that has a very perceptive mind, eyes that are wide open and ears that work – and a blog where I can write what I think without having to worry about being PC( Politically Correct – Sic!) Lol!

I don’t know if it is just me – maybe it is, but then again, hey, its about what I have observed and maybe actually gone through right?

A recent study, “revealed” – ok pardon my cynicism about the alleged findings, especially seeing I am also currently involved in academic research and is finding out all kinds of things that actually are against commonly held truths

Like did you know that some of the purported micro-credit schemes are actually making some beneficiaries worse off than they initially were? As in some members are actually in debt coz they have to borrow money from elsewhere to be able to sustain themselves in some schemes intended to empower them economically – its either a case of poor product research and management, inadequate research and/ or follow up of implemented schemes or simply a case of we-know-but-give-a-blind-eye-to, by the stakeholders that stand to gain? (Story for another column though!)

Nway, I was saying – a recent study revealed, that there is an increase in the number of divorce cases in the age bracket 25-35 because there is a decreasing number of alpha males and increase in the number of independent women. I would say that is probably a co-relation that would make sense and I won’t challenge the findings because I am not privy to the research factors.

But – what got me going was this…why is there an increasing number of “independent women” – I put that in quotes coz people define an independent woman in very broad terms – no pun intended!

Case in point (a real life story by the way), a man and a woman – child hood buddies, currently aged 36 and 35 respectively. Both hold advanced degrees, one a sort after tax attorney the other a senior vice president at global blue chip firm. They both own their homes in affluent areas of the cities they live in et al – basically, they are doing “good” judged from their careers and lifestyles…AND they are HAPPY with their lives….someday, they both hope to find suitable wife/husband to raise families with – or not – they are open minded about their options for having a family – there is adoption for example.

Personally, I am thrilled coz these two are both my friends and I am so grateful to God that we have each other in our lives…they inspire me each day coz they have worked their asses off to get to where they are…and I always tell them – when I am 35 and 36, I want to be like you – not in the truest sense of the word, but coz I am equally ambitious and am glad to actually know that if I keep doing what I am doing – I am on the right track…..Plus – I am also realistic and honest enough to admit to myself the “kind” of success that I want….


You know sometimes, people are “shy” to admitting what kind of success they want because of societal repercussions – For instance, people wanting to have a big family with one of the parents staying at home cease to do so because their neighbours are going to think they are “weird”, people wanting to have healthy bank accounts and assets to fall back onto for a long time refrain from doing so because they are going to be branded materialistic etc. The best place in life comes from knowing that only you are living in your skin so it matters not what the next person “feels” about your choices in life. Get liberated already!

Fast forward to “larger society”, my 36 year old, male buddy (John) is a success story and any woman would be “lucky” if he was her husband. Flip-side – my 35 year old, female buddy (Jane) is “too independent” – I mean what man is going to be able to “keep up” with her?

Correct me if I am wrong, but does it not come to some age that, man or woman, you are able to do some things for yourself? I mean if, like in this case, Jane has an illustrious career that she loves, has the money to afford the kind of lifestyle she wants and lives it and is happy about it – why should I, or worse still, “society” care what she does or doesn’t do!

And why is she coined negatively as “independent” because of taking care of her business? The reality is – she SHOULD be able to take care of herself, she CAN take care of herself and she CHOOSES to take care of herself – But my friend will not hear the last of her “kuwa na kichwa ngumu” until Mr Man comes along – Sigh!

Don’t we all have enough of our own issues to take care of to keep worrying about others? – I know I do!

Don’t get me wrong – there is a degree of participation that comes natural as a person that lives in a particular environment – we do not live in voids – but surely there is a thin line between being a responsible citizen and blatantly being up in peoples business at the expense of your own goals, ideals and life challenges. BUT, like I said – at the end of the day – it is about personal choice – and I choose to expend my efforts to those things that at the end of the day will make me a richer person – in the truest sense of the word.

Cheers to all the Independent Men and Women in my life – those that appreciate that this here, isnt a game of who is “better” – but rather a level playing field of “I am me, you are you, lets get this thing called living together going”


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