Friday, 20 December 2013

It’s a Guy thing (Independence vs Feminism)

I’ve decided to take a break from the poetry for a second, and go back to some pressing topics, and this will be about a topic that’s been debated in politics, religion and more specifically to this post, in relationships. This is about ‘Independence’, or at least what many females perceive it to be this day in age.

See, the Oxford Dictionary defines being independent as, “not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence”, “not connected with another or with each other” and “free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority.” Simple enough so far right? Okay. It get’s complicated when this term, rather, mindset, is incorporated into a relationship. Over time I’ve come to realise that many females tend to want to enter and go through a relationship with this kind of mindset, and in most cases they have a reason to, some guy probably messed it up for the rest of the male gender way back when. And I get it, it’s understandable to want to ‘be your own person’ when in a relationship but the extent to which many-a-female (not all of you, don’t worry) go with this is a tad bit extreme, and in most cases unreasonable, leading to fights. This is to the guys, just for a second, how many of you have been involved in this kind of situation before:

Waiter/Cashier: Thanks, if that’s all your bill will be $(insert amount).

Guy: Cheers. *pulls out wallet*

Girlfriend: No, it’s fine babe, I can pay for myself.

Guy: No don’t worry about it, that’s what I’m here for. *warm smile*

Girlfriend: What you’re here for? I can pay for myself thank you, I don’t need you spending money on me it’s alright, I have my own.

Waiter/Cashier: …. *awkwardly looks on*

You know that moment when you’re trying to do the ‘gentlemanly’ thing and pay the bill, or for her shopping, and she takes it as a swipe to her pride or independence? Look, ladies, when we offer to pay, it’s not that we think you’re incapable, or inferior, or can’t fend for yourself, there’s no better way to put it than that ‘It’s a guy thing.’ I can’t even classify it as pride, well, maybe so, but it’s something we all have, it’s embedded in us to naturally want to take care and provide for you. It’s been passed on from millennium upon millennium, going right back to the dawn of time as far as hunter gatherers, men naturally protected and provided,and women nurtured. This isn’t a debate on sexism, or on the different roles we should each have but what I’m getting at is that in most cases it’s not our choice, it’s instinct, forged by centuries of repetition and practice.

It’s almost the same case when you offer us money or buy us something while we’re there, how many guys do you know that will accept it with a smile and no conscience. This is the biggest example of a ‘Guy Thing’, I know it looks like pride and all but naturally, the testosterone and masculinity in us has a hard time showing any signs of dependence or submission. This doesn’t only go for jerks, even the nicest of guys find this hard in most cases, only because that’s how we naturally are, obviously with time it gets better either if you develop a really close friendship or relationship, but generally, it goes against every fiber in our simple brains. I know that in most cases you have the “Oh, you don’t want to feel emasculated do you?” reaction, and it’s not to the extent that you assume it is, I won’t lie, probably subconsciously it’s a masculinity thing. I actually had this conversation with a particularly independently minded female individual and after giving my side, and her giving hers, we came to a mutual agreement, “It’s a Guy Thing.” The sooner this is understood and accepted, things can move on. I’m not saying that we should pay 24/7, and you shouldn’t buy/offer money, all I’m saying is that if we refuse, or seem bothered by this, don’t take offence, it’s just how we’re wired and with some patience and settling, we find a way to find a way to take the backseat.

Independence is then commonly mistaken with feminism. Feminism is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” See the difference? Independence is focused on oneself, whereas feminism only advocates for equality. Fair and fine they have similarities but not allowing a guy to buy you something, or open your door, or let you through the door first is not being a feminist, that’s an attempt at independence. In life, especially in relationships, there will be times when both of us, males and females, will have to let this instinctive and insecure pride aside for the sake of maintaining favourable relations. Feminism should be debated in society, politics, and in the work place, as soon as you see yourself bringing it up when concerning matters of the heart know that you’re on the wrong trail.

People get it twisted, they take a person having an emotional ‘dominance’ over them as weakness. Instead I believe it’s a strength, strength to put your own desires, needs, and selfish whims aside, for the better of a ‘we’ instead of a ‘me’. Many people follow the Independent lady persona but in case you didn’t realise, she’s SINGLE (Yes, even in Ne-yo’s music video, she’s single). It’s completely understandable to be self reliant if you’re not in a commitment because in all honesty, you have every right to go out there and get it on your own. That’s the thing, you can’t be a Miss Independent in a relationship because what makes up a relationship? Two people sharing similar interest finding joy in each other’s company down to an intimate and soulful level. Don’t get me wrong, a relationship doesn’t mean you lose your individuality, it just means that it becomes acceptable to let someone else take the steering wheel for a bit. It’s possible to maintain control, even while letting someone else have an influential say, I mean, just ask the First Lady of the United States of America. You can tell that she’s her own lady, but still, she strikes a balance, see for yourself. To be independent is not to have individuality.

You see at the end of the day the thing about (exaggerated)independence is that if that’s how you live your life, how you conduct your relationships, believing on self reliance in order to deny anyone else so called ‘control over you’, in most cases if not all cases that’s how you’ll end up… By your self…

There’s no better way to put it than saying “No guy wants to date another guy.”