This week the USA celebrates its Independence Day. That was a day I used to celebrate for myself every day: INDEPENDENCE!
Now, after 14 years of being married to a man who values my independence AND opens pickle jars for me, lends his fine brain to my decision-making, and generally has my back…I am proud to celebrate my DEpendence.
How about you? How do you feel about depending on a man?
It’s no surprise that we boomer women consider being dependent as a fate almost worse than death.
When I was in high school my dad told me I better take typing classes so I could get a “good secretarial job.” (Hell no, I never did!) Dad also pushed me to go to college…so I could find a successful man to marry.
Gloria Steinem taught us about our tremendous power as women and that we didn’t need a man to be successful. (We thought) Gloria said that “a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” (While that was a powerful feminist battle cry, the quote was falsely attributed to her.)
We spent decades fighting for respect and advancement in the business world dominated by men, most of whom wanted no part of granting us any kind of advantage or influence.
And a lot of us grew up watching our mothers who had little or no power over their destiny. And they were stuck there.
Why wouldn’t we despise the idea of not being the Master of Our Own Universe?
Look, if it wasn’t for Gloria, Bella, and the other powerful feminist messengers of the times, we certainly wouldn’t have the opportunities and successes that we currently enjoy as women.
The other thing we wouldn’t have, though, is the fear and dread of neeeeeding someone…especially needing a M-A-N. I do not think this was actually the message our brave leaders set out to deliver!
Yes, the feminist movement empowered us to have control over our lives, which our mothers and grandmothers never had. But that governance didn’t have to be at the cost of feeling SHAME over welcoming the contribution and helping hand of a good man.
Somehow the women’s movement got construed by many of us as the “I don’t need no stinkin’ man” movement.
Dependence: the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support, or the like.
If you’ve read my eBook 7 Secrets to Finally Finding Love After 40, you know that independence was my BADGE OF HONOR for a decades. And now here I am, depending on a man every day. My life decisions, my livelihood, my overall happiness…yep, I rely on him to support me with it all.
Now that’s some scary shit.
But here’s what else is scary:
The thought of being alone as I age.
The thought of having to do every single thing in life by myself, as I did for 30 years.
The thought of living without the love of a good man.
Now THAT is scary.
I know I talk and write a lot about men needing to be needed. That’s not what my Dependence Day celebration is about. D-Day is about what YOU get by accepting. It’s about doing something that allows you to be happy for the rest of your life.
Last year (pre-pandemic) I was thinking of this while I was on the beach switch my husband and granddaughter. There’s wind noise and I look like crap, but I hope you can get past that to hear my message and the assignment I’m giving you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and know how you are going to do the assignment. Let me know! Leave your comments here.
I’m 21 currently and haven’t dated, or even kissed yet. People hit on me, but I’m scared to reciprocate, because nobody seems to be quite up to par (maybe I convince myself of this out of fear)… It seems like everyone just wants to hook up at my age.
I found your articles to be VERY helpful, and touch on a lot of these points, so thank you! I need to find someone who respects himself as much as I respect myself. Thank you so much for your advice!