Defining an ‘independent woman’


When you hear the phrase “independent woman,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the song released by Destiny’s Child in 2000? Is it the nurture a mother gives her family when she is alone? Is it a girl raising her hand when the DJ shouts, “Where my single ladies at who got their own car and pay their own bills?”

Could it be a combination of all three?

The phrase has picked up steam in the past few years. African-Americans have been the most exposed to this as reality and talk shows have broadcast a controversial side of the race. And while the phrase has become more of a topic nowadays, I can’t say that the independent woman still exists.

Hear me out. I say this because I do not believe this generation can define what an independent woman truly is.

When I envision an independent woman, I see one who not only nurtures on her own, but someone who can fulfill her own happiness without the presence of a man. Now this can change because plenty of married women can be independent if they are able to do the decision-making in the man’s absence.

But ask someone else what an independent woman is, and they may give you a completely different answer. That’s the issue.

Should we even be throwing around the phrase “independent woman” when there are so many different viewpoints on it? Some use it after a host of life experiences. Some begin to use it after a bad sexual relationship.

When society can come together and truly define what an independent woman is, that’s when I believe they will become more noticeable. If I had to count how many I know, I wouldn’t get very far.

I’m not here to stir controversy. I simply believe that before we accept what someone else or lyrics tell us about an independent woman we should figure out our own definition.