“How many ladies in the house, how many ladies in the house without a spouse. Something in your blouse got me feeling so aroused. What you about? On that independent ish, trade it all for a husband and some kids.” – Kanye West , I wonder
This has got to be one of my favourite lines from Kanye’s I wonder track purely because of the wry humour. Kanye is heard speaking on the contradictory nature of woman, “on her indepent ish, trade it all for a husband and some kids”.. Whilst I’m reluctant to agree because of the sexist undertones, I would have to say that perhaps one of the biggest contradictions in “womanhood” is that we all feign independence whilst secretly waiting on a man to trade our independence for.
It’s an interesting concept- a woman protects her independence for the longest time and then when she reaches a few milestones she would happily trade her “miss independent” rhetoric for a man. The transition is a peculiar one and has made me question the validity of my own “independence” and recognise that perhaps a female’s independence, much like our favourite grocery item has an expiration date. Of course I’m not suggesting that every independent woman harbours a secret longing to be romantically linked to a man and just have his babies but many independent women have in fact sold (traded) their independence for a relationship. There may be an interesting correlation between independence and the pressure women feel to get married. A woman who feels no pressure to get married will mostly likely revel in her independence until whenever she wishes to commit to a man and conversely the more pressure a woman feels to be in a relationship or marriage the shorter her independent reign lasts. Kanye eluded to the secret desires of some (if not most) women and I wish to expound on the pressure to make that transition from independence to taken.
I hit 23 earlier this month and I was elated despite everyone reminding me that I was a year older, as if I wasn’t already aware of that fact. Aside from the rather annoying commentary of “you’re getting old” , I was happy because God had given me another year and I was pleased with the amount of growth this year. Casting my eyes back on the beginning of the year, I know that the woman I have become is a product of the journey thus far. Months before my birthday, a friend of mine said, “ I must not be manless on my 23rd” (my friend is also manless, do you see how ironic her request was?) and lo and behold, i was manless on my birthday and I am still manless. I don’t even agree with the term manless as it gives off negative connotations but her request was interesting. It was interesting firstly because she is single. Secondly, it reinforces the expectation that at a certain age you must have a man and lastly, that attaining a man is as easy of buying a bar of chocolate. However, there are no milestones in finding love and neither is it as easy as buying your favourite chocolate bar. Expectation is synonymous to pressure and unbeknown to my friend, she was placing pressure on me to find a man.
The pressure to be in a relationship is not new and will probably never cease. As soon as you finish university the world (i.e. your parents and the nosy aunties with good intentions, who ironically don’t have the best relationships with the opposite sex either) consider you marriage worthy. Everything you do (from graduation onwards or in some cases earlier) is seen as a prelude to a serious relationship. For instance, I cut my hair into a pixie and my mother informed me that I should have cut it once I “found a man” because guys are attracted to longer hair and I would be confused for a boy. She said this whilst laughing but you could hear the serious undertones in her voice and I laughed too, albeit uncomfortably. So you see once a woman hits a certain milestone she is expected to be in a relationship or giving far more thought to things that could stunt her relationship goals i.e cutting her hair.
The pressure to get married is far more exhausting. I haven’t felt the strains yet but I’m sure I will (my mother has given me forewarning that once I hit 25 and I’m still manless then she will exert pressure on me, so I have two more years. Please email me with your resumes/cv/cover letters). The circle of life hinges on females being in long lasting relationships and producing offspring thus society’ preoccupancy with women being coupled up is understandable. However, the pressure is unhelpful. It breeds women who measure happiness purely against the existence of a man and 2.5 kids and who are obsessed with longing for him as opposed to living for themselves. The sheer fact that we waste time dreaming away our love lives, married lives and family lives that are yet to exist again hints at this notion that independence might be a façade, because deep down all we want is a husband and some kids.
As a consequence, I am intrigued by my own independence. Surely, if my independence is there to mask the real desires of my heart then it could not have been genuine to begin with. Or perhaps the length of my independent phase doesn’t determine its authenticity. However, I think I may be similar to that woman that Kanye alludes to more than I think , even if I am reluctant to admit it and I know I am not alone. Perhaps woman are walking paradoxes on the search for a him to lose our independence for.
Love Cris x
I feel like I have let our side down (lol) but I’ll make it up to you all by writing a post about the contradictions within the male gender too. X