So the other day, I was building with this brotha about relationships. He said he encountered time and again sistas saying that they don’t need a man. He went on to say that a lot of brothas are really put off by black women who go around screaming out this mantra, “I DON’T NEED A MAN!” Black women frequently put it in their profiles in online dating sites even. My mom’s single friends say it all the time, “I can do bad by myself, I don’t need a man.” The brotha bascially said, black men don’t want to hear “I don’t need you.”
I thought about the “I don’t need a man” theme and the brothas’ reaction to it. I replied, “Perhaps these sistas are tryna show they are independent.” (Destiny’s Child song theme song played in my mind’s soundtrack at the exact moment.) I myself heard a lot of brothas say that they like independent women. I was thinking maybe all these women can’t be salty. I dunno, I think 90% are salty 10% are trying to show that self reliance is positive thing. We then talked about how men want to be needed. I said that most men do not want a woman who is dependent upon them. We’re living in an entirely different time when gender roles are shifting, but women are stuck in a quagmire.
Say for instance, if I truly need you…then I am dependent upon you for my livelihood, my sustenance, my shelter, etc… Housewives are so out of style right now. I’m sure I’d scare a bunch of brothas off if I said “All I want to do is have babies, bake pies, and clean house.” But on the best case scenario, I need you once we have reached a level of commitment and partnership. Nobody wants to start out dating with a sistas asking for a joint bank account. If we are just dating and getting to know each other, it is highly likely that I don’t need you. I’ve got here so far without having you as an integral part of my life.
This sort of gets me thinking…This weekend, my roommate and I moved. We had two days to get everything together. Not one of the brothas offered to help. My girls came through and we made it happen. Friday night, we all hung, packed, watched movies, laughed, talked about serious issues. Saturday, two of my girls came with their big trucks and we packed, lifted, pulled, pushed, and cleared out our old apartment. Sunday, we tied up lose ends, relocated to our new pad. It was definitely about some estrogen enhanced power. And last night, my roommate and I bought, hauled, and assembled our furniture. I was building with this brotha at the tale end of the job. And he said even though not one man stepped up to help out, they’d be real quick to come over when the job was done. Yeah, our spot is about to be real nice…
I remember I had some friends who would get guys to do a lot of stuff for them. Men would come over to fix this, move that, buy this, toss that. You know, “the handy man can.” Not that I’m patting myself on the back. I’m just pointing out an example of not needing a man to make things happen. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t have been nice to have some help. That stuff was heavy, for reals. But the world didn’t stop because men were scarce. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t have wanted some brothas to help us out. It would have been nice to know that they were thinking about us struggling with our heavy load. My back hurts right now from lifting stuff. sigh…
I saw how my mother had to do so much by herself. So I didn’t have to hear no mantra about not needing a man. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want one. On the other hand, I sort of know what the brotha was talking the knee jerk reaction when you hear that phrase. Some men don’t want to feel like they need a woman at all. So, they do everything to create walls in order to not develop intimacy. They tell themselves, “I got my boys, I don’t need a woman.” But some women have just as much to offer as the homeboys. TI myself like to feel like I’m needed. And I’m not talking about cooking or ironing clothes. I’m talking about insight, advice, solace, and real assistance whenever there is a struggled. But then again, I don’t want a helpless man who can’t make decisions on his own. But then again, I don’t think anybody really needs me (well, I don’t have any dependents just yet). Instead, I want my contribution to be appreciated. The same, I hope someone can contribute to my life.
Do I need you? No, I want you but at this stage I’m not ready to rely upon you. Because I do not rely on you, a toxic relationship is even more detrimental. A bad relationship has few redeeming qualities. Especially if you have not helped me in any way. This is why my tolerance for nonsense is very low. But because I do not rely upon you, your contribution is even more appreciated. I see you as an enhancement to my life. Because I want you, desiring you is more stuff of dreams and hopes. I find that more magical….
6 thoughts on “I Don’t Need a Man?”
Thank you for this
My thoughts exactly. Well said.
This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.
“Housewives are so out of style right now. I’m sure I’d scare a bunch of brothas off if I said “All I want to do is have babies, bake pies, and clean house.”
I think you are right on this one. You might hear an occasional khutbah claiming this but the reality is quite different. I actually think the day of clinging to a man’s arm and feeling proud of ALL OF HIS accomplishments are over. It’s just not happening. Sisters are going to graduate school and, if they are so inclined, having children that spend a lot of time with abu. Check out Ingrid Mattson’s details of her days at the University of Chicago.
Personally, I never claimed the “I don’t need a man” mantra but I wasn’t basing my life and self-worth around finding a man either. As I was transitioning from my master’s program to my PhD program I just so happened, through the mercy of Allah, to fall head over heels in love. I think because I had such a free-spirit I brought more to the relationship. Not to mention the fact that I had no expectations of being served or of having a prince fulfill all my needs. Not to generalize but I find that my friends who were more sheltered, who went from their parent’s house to their husbands expected a whole bunch. Now one friend in particular is very much interested in becoming more independent.
BTW sis, thanks for the return email. I’ll get back with you shortly. I hope you have a safe trip, insha’Allah.
Well, you’ve just hurt my weetle feelings. I didn’t know I was out of style.
Fashion is so fickle. I prefer the classics. But it is true, many men (including an increasing # of Muslims) want a wife who can contribute. I am not talking about the traditionalists or conservative Muslim men, I rarely interact with those of that ilk.