Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Can Do Bad....

I Can do BAD…….. well… you know the rest.

Independence? …… CHECK! …… Strong enough to walk away from a bad situation?....... CHECK! Got a job and can support yourself?..... CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK! Congratulations! You are the ideal, qualified, modern-day woman living in America and have probably proclaimed the phrase “ I Can Do Bad all by Myself."

Now, I know that just about everyone has either used this saying or heard of it before (if it was Tyler Perry’s movies or that song by Changing Faces back in ‘99). Maybe you’re a single mother, just trying to make it on your own with little or no help; maybe your situation with your current guy is going south and you feel that that you’re just better off alone; or maybe you’re so used to being independent and strong on your own, no one else quite fits the bill. Either way you flip this double entendre. Women have adopted it, became empowered by it and will publicly and privately proclaim it.


Ooops.. Ahha ladies… that never occurred to us now did it? While we are so busy ranting and chanting, we sometimes fail to hear how this “women empowered saying” can come across to our men. Well, I’ve gone ahead and gathered a few thoughts from the fellas:

1. Negativity

2. Male Bashing

3. Feminism

4. “ I don’t need a man/ better off without you”

5. You’re probably bad either way/ need to upgrade yourself

6. Bitter old single woman

7. Selfishness

Wow!! Big difference compared to what we are really trying to express to the world huh? But yep it's true: to some men, when they hear this phrase that “aww heck $&#T, here we go” goes up and they are ready to defend and debate you. I know some of you are wondering, “How can a man get THAT impression?” Well, let me break it down for you.

Feminist/I don’t need a man/Male Bashing

I decided to group most of them together due to the nature of each being so similar. At times we tend to express our independence so much that it comes across very sexist. Ladies now let’s take a minute to think about that one. We don’t like it when men act sexist…well ,the fellas feel the same way. They don’t condone feminist ways just as we don’t condone the male chauvinist. Plain and simple as that.

Negative Outlook/ Selfishness/ you probably need an upgrade yourself

It takes two to tangle ladies! Most of the issues within a relationship are not one-sided. A lot of the time when a woman starts to tell her man more and more that she doesn’t need him it appears that she is overlooking/ excusing her part of the wrongdoing and placing all fault on her man! That can be a lot of stress for one person to take, which will bring forth a negative view from both sides of this party. When one party fails to realize his/her faults, no one learns or grows

Single Bitter Old Woman

I had to create a category for this one all its own. Being that I couldn’t decide whether this was more a negative or a feminist case scenario. Bitterness…. Ummmm … well, to put it boldly I believe that bitterness in ANYONE but especially women is one of the Seven Deadly Sins in LIFE let alone a relationship. Point blank period: if you suffer from this you won’t be able to move forward in any of your future endeavors… not to mention relating to a man.

A double entendre this statement is indeed. I’m not saying we women don’t have to the right to proclaim it… shoot…. I feel that if you earned it, then you do have the right to flaunt it. However, we must be mindful of HOW we express our independence…if we are truly strong women… it should do more showing and probably less telling. And fellas, contrary to popular belief, this phrase isn’t supposed to be understood as male bashing or negative as you may feel it can come across. I guess the bigger picture would be that both men and women should communicate with each other better. We would probably have less confusion with this phrase that is supposed to be a show of strength, independence, and empowerment for both men and women.


  1. Ms Kewe! I am definitely feeling your POV! As a single mother, myself, I truly understand the expression of being independent and being able to rely on yourself for ALL things (while being thankful for the few geunine friends and family who step in that gap sometimes).

    You hit the nail on the head...women have to be mindful of not being SO I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T...because doing so will leave you..A-L-O-N-E! Allow a good man to take care of you and be THE leader, protector, and provider...

  2. Mz. Kewe, this was very well said! I think most women use that phrase more as a threat, than as a way to empower themselves. I've been married a year, but with my man for almost 8 years, and I still let him open my pickle jars. He knows I can do it, but sometime instead of me torching my bra, I step back and let him do his man-ly thing. You are no less independent by stepping bck and letting the other person do what they are supposed to do. I L-O-V-E this blog, keep up the great work!

  3. First of all Congrats on this blog!!! I am loving it already. This post is very well needed. My beau and I hit on this topic all the time. An OVERLY independent woman is a turn off to a lot of men in that it depletes the role of the man making him feel he is not necessary. A man needs to feel needed. It is his job to provide and protect and if we as women feel we can go it alone, then what is their purpose?! I understand that women have had to take on the role as both MAN/WOMAN in the household because a lot of men are abscent in that role. So, we have stood up and become everything that we needed to be, i.e. providers, protectants, nurturers, etc. When a "good" man does come along who is ready to play his part and play it well, we are so engulfed in our independence that we turn them off and they run off, and we are left bitter and scorn saying men are no good! There has to be a balance some kind of way. YES, you do have those jerks who are not secure in their role as a man and a strong woman intimidates them, WELL, that's their problem and a totally different ballgame, but for those men who simply want to play their role, us independent ladies are going to have to take the edge off and let them do that. It does not take anything away from us. Matter of fact, we all want it at the end of the day. GREAT JOB with this blog again!!!!

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  5. Sisters are speaking this morning!!! What I hear is, let a man, BE a man! Where are the men at on the blog---I want to hear from the guys!

  6. While I appreciate this post, and find it provocative, I find myself in disagreement with a couple of points.

    FIRST, "They don’t condone feminist ways just as we don’t condone the male chauvinist."

    A man who compares feminism to chauvinism is being unfair and quite illogical, in my opinion, as feminism is about valuing equality and chauvinism is about valuing inequality. I don't label myself a feminist (mainly because much of feminist writing tends to exclude or barely discuss the predicament of women who look like me--brown and black women), but I do believe in the main principle of feminism. That main principle is nothing close to chauvinism, which is based on a belief in one's own superiority over another group. Feminism is concerned with destroying notions of inferiority or superiority (i.e. heirarchies).

    *A male chauvinist is defined as: "A man whose behavior and attitude toward women indicate a belief that they are innately inferior to men."

    *Feminism, however, is defined as: "Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes." Any man who has a problem with that is either ignorant of what feminism really is, or either a chauvinist himself, and not worth dating.

    SECOND, I have a problem with the "single bitter old woman" idea. All the single old(er) women I've known (45 and over) are some of the happiest and liveliest people I've ever met. I encounter more bitterness in the married old(er) women, actually. But that's just my experience.

    I apologize for the long, rambling comment. Thanks for a provocative post, Mz Kewe! Keep them coming!

  7. QUESTION: Why must women bend to stroke the male ego?

  8. Wonderful question, Ms. Mashari! We shouldn't and we musn't.

    There's nothing wrong with bending to stroke a person's ego (often, we do that for people that we care about), but it really is time for men own up to and face their own insecurities about masculinity (insecurities they perpetuate), rather than expecting women to solve that problem or make it easy for them. I don't even know if that made sense. All I'm saying is: get yourself together and fix yourself, instead of trying to find someone (a woman) to fix you.

    Because that's what this is really about: men wanting women (to behave a certain way) to fix their (men's) self-esteem and masculinity issues. Phrases like "she won't let me feel like a man," are evidence of that. In the words of Katt Williams on self-esteem: "It's the esteem of yourself! How can the heck can I f-up how you feel about you?!"

    All that said, I agree with the sentiment behind your question, Ms. Mashari.

  9. We shouldn't bend but should be flexible when accomodating each others needs. This is a different day and age; however, I still hold true to some of those traditional beliefs that both men and women have their roles to play. Not saying we have to be submissive or bow down, but we all like our ego stroked a little bit and there's nothing wrong wit that. You can esteem anyone else, that's why it is called "self" esteem. You should always have that part intact before connecting with anyone else to begin with. Often women are mistaken for being the only ones with self esteem issues, but men are the most insecure creatures I've encountered. WE all need fixing!

  10. Miss Berneta, you're hilarious. I love your ranting, and I get it! You and Sui Generis made some interesting points about male insecurity. I'm interested in hearing what the guys think about that. So fellas, where are you?

  11. Hey Ladies this is Sui Generis, aka Michelle D. I had to change my name on here. I've had my blog for a long time and never bothered changing it.

  12. What just came to mind is, Isnt bitterness empowering?" You know that many people are fueled to succeed by bitterness and that definately turns into a double-edged sword in relationships. Since some people have come to far to prove people wrong, step on some, and laugh at others all the people that come close to making reaching higher heights more difficult becomes an enemy. I know bc I was there and am trying to untie myself from that stuff as we speak. My mates became the enemy just like my enemies whether that be employers, teachers of falsehood, or false doctrine. I was always on the look out for people and things that were going to oppose the causes for which I stood and at the end I was mad alone. I say this bc I know that as we get older he become sharper in what it is that we want and more tactful in how we go about acheiving it and we even put off having children and marriage bc we want to experience and do so much. For whom? Oursleves. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some selfless causes for which we fight, but what REALLY is more IMPORTANT than FAMILY and LOVE? I think it is nice to have the opportunity to explore the globe and see what we can accomplish in this world...but is it really more important than loving people and giving all that we can to relationships? Of course there is no absolute, but its just food for thought or...fuel for the next comment.

  13. oh and isnt that why we network anyways? You can do bad all by yourself, but when you get to know people who can help you, you can move forward and upward without your mates permission...but dang we are so quick to break up over career issues...I wish that couple from Real World Las Vegas would have stayed together(Alton and whatsherface) Dang...

  14. This is an interesting point of view on this age old conundrum for the modern woman. The one other description independent women get from others is “aggressive”. Also, for the record…an independent woman is not just a woman that has her own house/apartment, car, pays her own bills. Thanks Lil Boosie, but I think there’s a few things you missed. Besides, those things are nice, but they are also all material. Independent woman are the epitome of strength, grace and beauty. In the words independent women are REAL women!

    A real woman is one who helps others, takes care of her responsibilities (everything from herself to her family to her community), she can admit when she needs help. Her happiness is not determined solely by material things, she knows how to find real joy and satisfaction in life.

    Maybe we should stop adding the adjective, independent, and declare that we are women first.

    Anywho…. As I was reading the blog, a few other thoughts came to mind…
    1. Is the independent woman attracted to men who are use to a more dependent woman?
    2. Are the men that can possibly match them in stature busy trying to work on themselves (i.e. building stability, looking into their interest, learning who they are)?
    3. Is your "independence" more of a status quo that also plays into an excuse to keep you from getting hurt?

    As far as the first point, I am personally guilty of this. One could argue that the man is just insecure, that the need was part of his confidence. In fact, I believe Steve Harvey mentioned in his book that many men do not reach that mature stage until there late 20's. At the same time, history shows us that many men are use to being a man and feel slightly threatened when they are not the “alpha” male. To end on that point, the answer is one that requires an internal assessment of what we are and what we are going after, what types are we attracted to and the conflict of our desires and traits.

    Second point: Are the men that can possibly match them in stature busy trying to work on themselves (i.e. building stability, looking into their interest, learning who they are)? I am not a male so I can not give a pure example of this. However, I do have friends of whom woman have become upset with or don’t even consider because they think they are too busy, arrogant, self centered, shy, etc. Sometimes I think us independent woman may need to take a step back and consider the candidates that aren’t necessarily the checklist. I’m not saying lower the standards. Please don’t do that. But remember, we always consider ourselves a work in progress, what can’t a man also be a work in progress.

    Lastly, I think some women use the “independent” title to keep from being hurt. Once again, in the past, I have been guilty of this. My independence was solely a facade. My spiritual walk, job (working on a career), school, family and friends were my priorities and took precedence over everything. I was involved in every club, volunteer event, etc. Yet, when I would get those rare moments of alone time, I was lonely. Despite being lonely, deep down inside I did not want to commit to a relationship because of fear. You all know what I’m talking about, that fear of rejection, the unknown, being hurt. Sometimes, hurt is not just a break up. It’s that first argument, it’s that moment in a relationship when you think “what am I getting into”, that inward reflection of am I good enough. All of that can be considered hurt. And frankly, when you’re “busy” you don’t have “time” for that.

    Okay, didn’t mean to take over. I just wanted to add my view on the independent woman comments. There were so many other points, but that one kind of hit me.

    Once again, great job Junebug Talk! Can’t wait for the next blog!

  15. Preach Ms. B.C. Foster! I agree with a lot of the points Ms. Kewe and fellow readers have made.

    I would beg to defer that being an independent woman is not necessarily being a feminist. Being a feminist is a tad more extreme, but not in a negative way as it was portrayed in this blog. Being independent is more so exemplified by your actions and your frame of thinking (wanting and doing for self). Feminism is an ideology.

    Being independent is a must for either sex. No one should be dependent upon anyone. However, my worry about the infamous and modern day movement of the independent woman is that quite a few of these women are covering up for insecurities or protecting themselves (as Ms. Foster mentioned). Proclaiming oneself as independent and “I don’t need a man/you” could be disguising loneliness or its used as a shield.

    In addition to the troubled state of the Black family, it breaks my heart to see couples fall apart because the woman is too independent and will not let the man be the head of the household.

  16. From my perspective: If I am not doing so well financially, emotionally, spiritually etc. I wouldn't want to go out and get with a guy who has as much debt or as many problems as I do. I'd want to date a guy who can lift me up, keep my spirits high, and help guide me to spiritual emotional and financial freedom, and happiness.

  17. @Candice I agree with some of what you said. I've learned my independence because support wasn't always there and now I want for nothing from anyone else at this point. I imagine sometime down the line, I will consider becoming romantically involved with a person, and I would hope not to use my independence as a shield because of my past hurts and letdowns. However, I can see exactly what you're saying here, so that's something I will be mindful of going forward.

    @Kenya If I'm reading your comments correctly, are you saying you'd rather not do bad all by yourself? You'd rather partner with someone who can enhance you as an individual and your quality of life? I like this perspective!

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  19. @Mashari, yes that is exactly what I am saying!