I Think: "Strong Independent Black Woman" ?

By: Mia Black
1/15/08

Last Friday I was forwarded an e-mail which was titled, The Epitome of a Strong Black Woman. Once I finished reading the e-mail in its entirety, I had to stop the madness. Below I have included a copy of the e-mail:

As we began 2008, resolutions abound, but are quickly abandoned, within a few weeks time. Some have said that this will be “The Year of Women”. However, old habits, attitudes, and destructive behaviors die hard. This coming year, all women should make a concerted effort to live up to the ideals that they profess and strive to become the very epitome of Strong Women…a queen, who not only has her life together but her head too.

Therefore, women should resolve to Love, Love, Love Yourself. There’s only one of you, so love yourself to death!

Stop Playing the Victim.
Martyrdom is totally unnecessary for today’s women. Your first allegiance is to yourself. Without a strong sense of self, there is no way that you can tackle the ups and downs of a relationship or the rigors of motherhood (if you so choose).

Stop Settling for Less
A piece of a man is definitely not better than a whole, healthy man. Your desperation is showing.
Stop Trying to Be a Savior
If a man doesn’t have his head together and is on the skids, it is not up to you to try to save him. You are neither his mother nor his therapist. Let him go and move on. Men like this will bring you down if you aren’t careful.

Learn to Exhale Between Relationships
In other words…no transitional lovers. Someone always ends up being hurt and it could be you…again, or that poor man. Neither one of you deserves to be hurt or used. Give yourself some down time.
Learn the Difference Between Being alone and lonely.
Being alone is by choice and loneliness is only temporary. Get out and enjoy yourself. Wallowing in loneliness can often make women desperate for attention and lead them into unhealthy relationships.
Don’t Allow Any Man to Validate You
Allowing any man to define who you are as a woman leaves you open to being controlled and eventually abused. Why give a man that type of power over you? Now, do you really want to be the kind of woman who thinks that her life is not complete unless she has a man in it…any man? Where’s your self-respect?
Blessed is the Child That Has Her Own
Handle your business…educationally and financially. Generally, needy, uneducated women tend to attract men of the lowest character. Small sacrifices now lead to bigger rewards later. (YES)
Don’t Let Good Sex Sway You
Sure, He may rock your boat like no other man has ever done, but don’t let the sex cloud your judgment. If he treats you like crap or a convenient botty call, then, eventually, you may come to resent him with the same passion you displayed when he was between your legs. Now, if that’s all you want, then be honest and protect yourself. If you play, you will definitely pay. Don’t confuse lust with love. And no fair trying to trap him with a pregnancy neither one of you wants. That’s dirty pool. And why should an innocent child pay for your stupidity? After all, you picked him.
Don’t try to Buy a Man’s Affection
In the long run, not only will you lose him, but you will lose your self-respect and any smidgen of respect he may have had for you. Are you that desperate? Any self-respecting man will never allow himself to be kept. (Have u lost your mind)
Stop Trying to Change Men
Men will usually tell you who they are if you really listen to them. So try less talking and do more listening and you will, most likely, save yourself some trouble. (hahaha)
Stay Away From Unavailable Men
If he’s married, separated, having problems with his baby’s/babies’ mama/mamas, not ready for a commitment or etc., he is off limits. Now if you thrive on drama, then, by all means, go right ahead. Some women are made like that. Love doesn’t Hurt. Women who say that they love physically or verbally abusive mates have some serious emotional issues. Don’t become a statistic. The life you save may be your own. (I hear U)
Don’t’ Compromise Your Moral Values
Even if you don’t consider yourself a particularly religious person, promiscuity will take a toll on your self-respect and even your health, in the long run. Sleeping around with men who don’t have your best interest at heart tends to chip away at the very essence of you. Many times, it can turn you into a bitter, jaded woman who thinks all men are nothing more than dogs and not worthy of any respect. Listen to your instincts. They will never lead you wrong. (that’s what I’m talking abut)
Respect is Reciprocal
If you want respect then you must give respect, especially toward your mate. If you lash out in anger, frustration, or whatever, be prepared to receive the same in return. Even the most loving and gentle men can take only so much of his woman’s’ funky attitude.
Keep Your Personal Business Between You and Your Man
Use extreme discretion whenever you are tempted to discuss your personal problems with family, friends, etc. Many relationships have been broken up due to outsiders putting their two cents in where it didn’t belong. Keep that mouth zipped!
Don’t Advertise Your Man
Whether he is “ad bomb” in the bedroom or a blessing sent down from heaven, try to keep it to yourself. Actions speak louder than words. Most women can pick up on this just by being around you and yours. Why? Because you are as happy and contented as a kitten with a saucer of warm milk. It will definitely show. Now there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of bragging about your man. But keep it low-key. No sense in irritating those unscrupulous women who will try to “test your man’s” and/or lure him away
So, my Sisters…how about a whole new you for 2008?
Why refer to yourself as a well-bred Queen, if you’re carrying yourself like a low-bred commoner? If you want to be treated as a Queen, then it’s time to start displaying some queenly behavior and sporting a whole new attitude. If you want to be treated as royalty then you must act like royalty. It goes both ways.

There is very little in this “shout-out” that epitomizes the women I know. This e-mail to me epitomizes what it is to be a weak person, whose only identity relates to a man. Throughout my life I have repeatedly heard and used the worn out slogan “I’m a strong independent black woman, I don’t need a man.” Luckily I grew the hell up and entered adulthood. This is not to say that there are not single women out there that are not handling their business, by being financially stable on their own or raising their kids by themselves; it’s to say, for some, independence was not by choice, nor was raising their children alone.

So I guess I should point out what I feel epitomizes a strong woman, black/white/whatever…a woman.

1) A woman that keeps God as the head in her life. Because without Him, nothing is possible
2) A woman that loves herself.
3) A woman that is humble, and thinks of others before herself.
4) A woman that stands in the face of adversity, overcomes it, and takes a lesson out of it.
5) A woman that can be burned in a relationship and still stand up and love again.
6) A woman that can reach out and ask for help when she needs it.
7) A woman that can raise her child/children on her own, but knows she can never be a father.
8) A woman that can keep her identity and still want a man in her life.

I guess the first thing that truly bothered me about the e-mail is that there was no mention of God. And for me, all topics that were touched on, cannot be achieved without faith in the Almighty. Secondly I feel you should love yourself to just love yourself dammit. Not so some man can see that you love yourself and want you, but so you can live a healthy esteemed life. The third point hits on the woman that I have surrounded myself with. My friends epitomize love of others. The fourth point was one that I truly had to work on in becoming an adult. No grudges. Just take the lesson and move on. The fifth is a lesson that I don’t think the author of this original e-mail was ever able to deal with or learn. Just because one man burned you, doesn’t not mean number two will. Learn to love again. Number six I guess puts a slap in the face of what this author epitomizes a strong woman to be, but that’s okay, because without the help of my God, my friends and husband, I would not have been able to tackle the problems that faced me. Number seven is to squash that “I’m the mother and father,” quote I hear tossed around so many times. No you aren’t. You are a single mother and a damn good one, but only a man can be a father so get over yourself. Number eight is something I feel many woman have a hard time admitting. I mean let’s face it, if you are not gay and want to be married, you need a man. If you are not gay and want to have sex with another person, you need a man. If you are not gay and want to be in a relationship, you need a man. So at what point did we become weak by needing a man to fulfill these needs?

Again, this is just my opinion and I wanted to comment.

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