Independence and individuality are admirable qualities that many women obviously possess, however, women also can make such qualities negative, specifically when in heterosexual relationships. Imagine this expression, perhaps even accompanied with obnoxious neck and eye rolling that represents the feelings of countless women, “Aint no man gon’ tell me what to do in no relationship. If he think he gon’ wear the pants, he got another thing coming. I’m way too strong and independent to have any guy thinking he gon’ be in charge.” Without a doubt, many women struggle with the concept that in a relationship, one of a mans several roles is head.
Although this is not intended to allude to the topic of gender roles, it is inevitable. Unfortunately, the term “gender roles” has a stigma to it because of people, specifically men-aided by an innate exposure to patriarchy, who imposed irrational viewpoints about the role of a woman. Many females treat the term with unnecessary sensitivity because of how they choose to define it, when quite simply, the role of a male and a female only highlight a divine order of things. Furthermore, the same women who argue about gender roles, yet embrace chivalry and appreciate it when convenient. Contradictory indeed!
Now, a man’s role as head consists of responsibilities such as providing financially thus providing physically, playing a major part in decision making, and taking the lead in matters that generally concern the well-being of himself and his partner. However, there is a popular saying that goes, “Sometimes ya win. Sometimes ya lose.” Clearly, a relationship is about compromise, therefore, depending on the circumstance, a man agrees that his partner should decide in conflicting matters. Furthermore, a real man is not arrogant about his position in the relationship because he understands and respects that his partner holds the same complimentary power.
Many women unfortunately have these emasculating mentalities which try to reduce a man and his power. Wanting to always be in control and having sarcastic and exaggerated ideas about womanhood in a relationship are attitudes women have that affect its balance because positions are not being accepted. This by no means implies that women should be docile and passive-having their husbands and committed partners dictate, control, and walk all over them. In fact, men find it attractive when a woman is an individual.
Simply put, I am attracted to a man because I am attracted to masculinity which includes his strength and ability to take necessary charge. Therefore, when a man demonstrates characteristics such as submissiveness, passiveness and weakness, it is natural to lose his respect as a man. Lets be real. when on the outside looking in, based on observations after some months, a few weeks or maybe even instantly, you may pass judgment on a couple and say to yourself, “Mmm. You can tell who wears the pants in that relationship!” Clearly, a woman “wearing the pants” is attached with a negative connotation.
Regardless of personality or complex, women need to quit trying to compete for a position already filled. Accepting a man’s role as head does not mean you assume a lesser status.
By: Ashley I. Okonkwo
Photo Credit: http://www.polyvore.com/colored_sign_bathroom_wc_man/thing?id=57514580