Monday, July 24, 2017

What Does It Mean To Be Independent?

The most common notion of "independence" - at least among American women- tends to be that being single equates to being independent.

Some people even believe that Feminism started, in part, to grant women "independence". Is being independent of men the best qualification for "independence" though? After all, we all start off independent of a romantic partner, it's not something we have to try to achieve.

Do people really consider single men to be more "independent" than married men with families? That difference is usually referred to as more of a "bachelor" thing than an "independence" thing.

Most Americans see moving out of their parents' house to be their transition into "independence". After all, this is when they truly become accountable for themselves and every choice they make. No more parents at home to bail you out.

That being said, "independent" can be seen and used in a variety of ways.

When it comes to taxes, being "single" (unmarried with no children) really does coincide with "independent".

When it comes to politics however, being "independent" specifically means unaffiliated with any political party etc. - which would include Feminism.

Historically, "independent" has been used as showing a desire for freedom, such as the #WomenAgainstFeminism who show a desire for freedom from Feminist doctrine.

Feminism, on the other hand, looks at "independence" in their own, specific manner:

  1. Not be married and/or not have children.
  2. Economic independence free from men.

Feminist doctrine pushes the notion that women have no identity of their own if they only consider themselves to be a "wife" and/or "mother". They say that you have to have a job title as a woman in order to have an identity. They think that being identified as a "waitress", "maid", "secretary" or "cashier", means you have more identity than a "wife" or "mother".

This completely undermines the value that a wife and mother has on a happy and healthy, stable home. A wife is the most important woman in a man’s life; And a mother is the most important woman in a child’s life, so how does she not have an identity? How would having an easily replaceable job give a woman more identity/value?

This is not to discount the women out there who do have irreplaceable (or harder to replace) jobs like surgeon or CEO etc. However, the average working woman does not have an irreplaceable job; The average woman is a waitress, maid, secretary, cashier or other similar type of job.

Also, why is it dangerous for a woman to rely on her husband when they’re in a partnership and they equally rely on each other? If one cares about gender equality, shouldn’t it be said that it is equally dangerous for a man to depend on his wife for everything related to their health/food (mold could grow if she’s not cleaning; food poisoning could occur if she doesn’t cook right etc.) and the rearing and well-being of their children (not being neglected etc.)? Shouldn't it be equally said that husbands and fathers have no identity of their own, other than “workhorse” or “bread-provider”?

Some people (primarily Feminists) think that relying on a husband/spouse is "dangerous" because what if the relationship doesn't work out and he cheats or leaves you? Yet what if you work in the same job for 8+ years and it suddenly doesn't work out and you never get the promotions/raises you want or even worse, you get fired or let go? What if the company you work for is involved in illegal activity (that you don't know about) and not only do you lose your job of many years, but you also lose any chance of getting a "referral" for any future jobs?

You have far more choice in the matter when it comes to who you date and marry, then who you get to work for. So why would trusting your judgment in a spouse, be worse than relying on an ever-changing market that may or may not favor you at any given time?

The fact of the matter is, being independent doesn't always equal "alone". When marriage and family are done right, the couple becomes a team that is more successful together than they were alone - as they bring out the best in each other and make up for each other's weaknesses. They empower one another.

This is the same with society. Once an adult becomes "independent" of their parents, they start to contribute to society - hopefully bringing out the best in them (work ethic and maturity) and learning from their mistakes in a productive manner (perhaps with some help from family, friends, co-workers, etc.).

Feminism is not a movement about "female independence" but rather independence from (straight) men. Feminism understands the value of teamwork, as it is always trying to make connections with other groups (gays and lesbians, transgenders, ethnic minorities, etc.)

Instead of focusing on "independence" as defined by Feminist doctrine, our society would benefit much more if we focused on "independence" as defined by accountability and maturity.

No comments:

Post a Comment