You always hear about being "strong, independent women". How we should strive to be one. I know I do.
Gosh, Beyoncé even wrote a song about it.
But is it wishful thinking? Can we really be strong, independent women? Or are we already, and have merely been convinced that we are not?
What about "strong, independent men"?
Is there such a thing?
Aren't men already "strong and independent"? It's hardly a question that ever gets asked.
There really is a different set of rules in place for men.
After all, they can screw around and not be judged. If anything, they are congratulated for nailing anything with a hole and a heartbeat. To be completely blunt.
Women don't have the same privilege of being celebrated for whittling our bedposts down to a toothpick.
I honestly believe men have it much easier than women. And more often than not, men don't need to be "strong and independent". They already are. It's a given. It's a mans world.
But is it on account of the women in their lives?
What about that saying? "Behind every great man, is a great woman".
Does this indicate that a mans strength and independence is as a result of there being a strong woman behind him to make him feel that way?
I'll give a few examples of what I'm talking about below.
They are rarely the ones to walk out of a relationship, and if they do, it's generally for another woman.
Women are more likely to up and leave when they've had enough. Men will comfortably remain in a problematic relationship due to a phenomenon known as homeostasis. Roughly translated to a "comfort zone".
So does that make us the stronger one?
They more often than not earn more money than women. Yet they will generally have a female assistant.
They are undoubtedly the stronger sex physically.
Think about when men and women make love for instance.
Men need a release, and women need to be filled up. We are very different creatures.
Women have to be completely vulnerable to a man in order to have sex with them. They have to open their legs, and let a man enter them.
If that's not being totally submissive, I don't know what is. And it makes men feel like "a man". To dominate, and penetrate. As crass as that sounds.
Yet without women making them feel "manly" would they just be resorting to a date with Mrs Palmer and a tube of lube?
My two favourite fiction books are Twilight, and Fifty Shades of Grey.
And there's a common theme with both of the characters in these novels.
Now of course, Fifty Shades is pretty much the X-rated version of Twilight so of course there are going to be similarities between the characters.
Isabella Swan, and Anastasia Steel are both completely taken by, and totally submissive to their respective beaus.
These men are both rich and gorgeous.
But what about the underlying theme in both of these books? The one that may be overlooked by most?
The level of control in both of these relationships.
Edward is constantly ensuring Bella's safety. Always keeping a watchful eye on her. Sending his sister Alice to go collect her if he cannot. Carefully controlling her every move.
Christian Grey buys Anastasia a BlackBerry so he can monitor her at all times. And he does. He even makes her dress differently. And practically forces her to eat. Not to mention the fact that he ties her up and beats her for his own sexual gratification.
Yet both of these men are brought to their knees by these seemingly submissive women if they were to walk away.
And it's revealed through the books, that both of these men have self esteem issues themselves. Which is where the control comes from.
I always come back to that of everyone projecting.
These men are projecting their own insecurities onto their women. Manipulating them, and holding them accountable for their own perceived inadequacies. In effect, making these women anything but strong and independent. Forcing them to mirror the state that they are in fact in themselves. Insecure, low self-esteem, a lack of confidence, low self-worth.
These men are actually very clever. Yet they have derived their own identity from that of destroying someone else's. Essentially stealing it for themselves. They intentionally sought someone who was a little bit fragile, a bit delicate, easily persuaded, in order to feel like a "man". And in the process making the women subservient, and racked with self-doubt and indecision.
So are these fictional men really powerful at all? Are they really strong and independent? Or is it only on account of the women by their side? Or in these cases, the woman strategically placed on their mantelpiece.
Now in no way am I tarnishing all men with the same brush. Not at all. There are plenty of strong, independent men out there, whose self worth is not dependent on that of a woman.
However what I am asking, are men really stronger and more independent than women? Or are women just as strong? Or are women stronger but the male ego would have us believe we are anything but?
As usual, I don't have any of the answers. But it's something to ponder regardless.
Am I a strong, independent woman? You tell me...