How Many Independent Women Do You Know?

When I read Bridget Jones’ Diary during my teenage years, I hoped that I wouldn’t end up like her. That is to say, a thirty-something, childless, single woman spending my Saturday nights wallowing in self pity and drinking wine at home on my own. It’s obvious, looking back, that Bridget didn’t own a decent vibrator.

Now that I finally am a thirty-something who is child free and single, I’m pleased to report that I have an attitude towards life that is utterly unlike Bridget’s. I’m not at all upset that I ended up on the shelf. In fact, I consider that being an independent woman is a huge achievement. This is no longer a disastrous life outcome, as it might have been for our grandmother’s generation. In fact, I believe that society has changed in many ways since I first read Helen Fielding’s bestseller.

When I go to weddings, instead of wondering if and when its going to be my turn to walk down the aisle, I look at the bride and groom instead. I wonder whether they are being courageous or extremely naive. In my opinion, getting married is like getting on a flight that you already know has barely a 50% probability of reaching its destination safely. The ride, at best, will be broken up by unforeseeable periods of turbulence. Interestingly, I find that it’s my married friends who envy my life instead of my being envious of their, so-called, domestic bliss.

Personally, I believe that becoming financially reliant on your partner is a huge mistake. When this happens, a relationship is no longer about desire but becomes built on a foundation of need instead. The dynamic inevitably changes as you are no longer ‘equals’. In time, it becomes increasingly difficult to undo such an arrangement.

Moreover, from a male perspective, isn’t it better to be with someone who truly desires you and doesn’t just covet the contents of your wallet or your potential as a rent sponsor? I know that if I were a man, I would be far more interested in an independent woman.

I know very few independent women. For me, the notion of female liberation is a lie. Progress is being made, but we are still a long way off from anything resembling true equality. When I refer to independent women, I’m referring to the ones who buy the clothes that they wear and pay for the roof above their head and the food they eat. They are just like the ideal portrayed in the lyrics of the song by Destiny’s Child.

Women who are genuinely independent should be celebrated and encouraged, Not everyone wants to be a kept woman. Besides, just what are you supposed to do if your ‘keeper’ suddenly starts acting like an asshole? I remember a friend who was obsessed with finding a rich man. She lived a life that was defined by fine dining, designer clothes and expensive gifts. Then, the relationship ended. She had become so accustomed to the high life that Instead of slumming it, getting a job and making her own way, she resolved to find another rich guy as a direct replacement for the previous one.

In my barrio, there is no shortage of posh women flaunting designer clothes and disastrous aesthetic surgery solutions. I suspect that in most cases none of this is as a result of their own achievements.Their high-end lifestyles are only possible because they were either born into money or they fucked their way into it. I have way more respect for prostitutes. At least they are honest.

According to a study, 59% of married women said they would leave their husbands if they could afford to do so. I’d say it was probably more than that. The lesson is, don’t become financially dependent on someone else to begin with, not if you can possibly avoid it. Even if you do marry to enjoy the benefits of free rent, food and clothes, the truth is that, sooner or later, it all comes at a price. It is one I would never be willing to pay.

So, how many truly independent women do you know?

The answer is, almost certainly, not enough

This post is also available in: Spanish

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