You’ve heard it a thousand times: I am a Young, Black Independent Woman!!! Usually followed by: “And I ain’t need no man!!”
Sometimes when a woman says or strongly implies this, I picture the type of character you’ll see in comic books: a woman, wearing a snazzy costume, usually tights with a lot of bare legs or cleavage, flying in air, punching through brick walls. Bullets either bounce off her chest, or she’s too fast to get hit by them. She’s fast, strong, and indestructible. She’s practically a flying brick.
There is a mythology to the independent. While having varying interpretations, this mythological creature (sometimes emphasized as “independent black woman”) is mostly defined as a chick who pays her own bills, buys her own stuff, and doesn’t need a man. The independent woman is practically an exaggeration of the ability to put one first, and take care of one’s self. The Flying Brick is usually born out of necessity, but also might be born from being a recovering victim of another relationship (or repeated abuse/neglect) story. This is why she over-exaggerates it; she over-compensates. But overall, the independent woman supports herself entirely on her own and is proud to be able to do so.
The independent woman brags a lot. She will not hesitate to let you (the man) know that she doesn’t need a man (that’s you). You may very well be just as expendable as she claims. She is also a control freak, which is again, a trait born out of habit and necessity. She may perceive men as incompetent or untrustworthy. She may be tad bit narcissistic, manipulative, or a full blown sociopath. These types can also be full of shit.
I like to touch up on a large device in society that help perpetuate the attitude that this is a good idea. Rap music uses this character trope a lot, and it’s well studied at this point. Rap music tends to only become different in it’s interpretation of an “independent woman” due to the sex of the rapper who’s speaking. When it’s a male rapper, the independent woman is practically a perfect woman pairing up with an imperfect man. Women tend to focus more on sexual freedom, financial gain but at the same time demand that the man pays for it. While the male rappers tend to rarely mention domestic qualities, female rappers NEVER mention it. Both speak in with an implied level of disrespect towards the woman at hand, and none of the rappers actually suggest that this independent woman is keepable; as in, there’s nothing mentioned on the ability to maintain a solid relationship.
The thing that many independent women miss out on, is that in pursuing all the goals and behaviors associated with men, they miss out on maintaining the identity of a woman. While many flying bricks like to try to play on a man’s ego and suggest that “you ain’t strong enough”, many men are getting savvy enough to realize that their desired traits in a woman are HARDWIRED regardless, and any woman suggesting anything opposing such is full of shit. What they miss out on is the fact that relationships are about compromise; that means allowing space for back and forth movement between the two parties involved.
Understanding the mechanics of a relationship with a significant other is also a perishable skill. No matter what, both men and women need these five for a healthy relationship:
Rejection, neglect, disapproval, indifference and distraction are the opposite forces of those five, and will utterly kill a relationship. One thing that makes a flying brick what it is is the invulnerability factor. Simply put, being “invulnerable” is not synonymous to being “strong”. Another way of putting it is like this: being vulnerable is not equal to being weak. Vulnerability is a necessity for relationships.
It is not a moot point that some of these women get off on the level of power and control here. Strange enough, with all the pride and boast involved, there’s really nothing special about taking care of one’s self for it’s an expected responsibility of an adult.