“Don’t give me a fish… give me a rod and teach me how to fish so that i can provide for myself and not be dependent on you”.

Remember this masculine phrase? Well now the women have caught wind of this and seemingly do not need “A man” for anything apart from being a sperm donor (How the once mighty man has fallen) I wince occasionally with the phrase “Sista’s are doing it for themselves” At times and think … fine be by yourself then my sista lol! But all jokes aside i want to shed light on the INDEPENDENT WOMAN conundrum and how it impacts MEN. You are warned this will be a long read and i apologise not for this i will make you learn to concentrate for more than 10mins on one thing and stretch your attention span…. LETS GO!

I try desperately to follow biblical teachings, but I also feel that women in today’s age should be afforded the same rights and given the same opportunities as men. There is absolutely no way I can condone the idea of a woman being made to lead a subordinate lifestyle in the presence of a man(Although it worked as a function system for our forefathers very well i might add). We see these types of lifestyles and social arrangements in other cultures and often disagree with their ideology. Even though we view it as archaic..right or wrong …it is a snapshot of the world we live in.

In the U.K.and probably the majority of the western world.. relationships between Black men and women have reached a competitive standstill in the last 5-10 years (My guestimate which i admit is not fact) . There used to be a division of roles and responsibilities in marriages (not all of them were fair) but that separation is no longer visible. More than ever, women are prepared to do all of the things men have been doing for centuries. In essence both men and women are competing on a social, financial and intimate level in an effort to better establish themselves(And the battles are getting more fierce in a recession belied dat).

I view this unwavering commitment to competition and self-gratification to be almost narcissistic. We now have constructed the bridge in separating Black men and women, prompting each to blame the other for the lack of stability in our relationships.

Placing all blame aside, I believe we should focus on bridging the gaps in Black relationships by exploring solutions and engaging in more meaningful dialogue. In order to do that, however, we must take a moment and shed some light on how we got to this point in the first place.

#Remember perception is stronger than reality in some cases#

From an early age, boys are told that they will be responsible for the protection and maintenance of their families and homes. Everything from paying the bills and buying the food to physical security and doing small repairs. Personally, my elder sister is the DIY maestro.. from the lamenting flooring in my house, to the painting and erecting shelves. The N.M.M became outraged, enquiring who done this fine work only for my Mother to say it was my sister *the look of disgust on their face completed my MAN SHAME*. With me not following the proverbial MAN’S ROLE ,it had prompted the N.M.M (Nigerian.Mother.Maffia) to hold high level discussions that covertly told me to “FIX UP“… That’s the best that i can paraphrase for there Euroba.

How many stories have we seen where a young boy is thrust into a leadership role after his single mother through no fault of her own struggles to provide for the family?

As we become men, we are further conditioned to position ourselves in such a way that allows us to provide the things women can now easily get themselves. Most of those “things” are material possessions and won’t necessarily sustain a long-term relationship. But what qualifies as a material item for women, may be a symbol of status, masculinity and stability for men. Everything a man hopes to become in life, is based on his ability to support a family.

Jobs, money, and power are symbolic and help us feel more like men who are capable of supporting our wives and kids(Notice i am talking about wives and husband) #we grown# boyfriend/girlfriends #We off that# AND #on to the next one# . When those responsibilities are taken away, a loss of individuality occurs.

This lack of social identity starts after recognizing a woman’s ability to fill the same roles men are accustomed to filling. It is further exasperated when we see first-hand, a woman securing those roles and being successful in them.

To a woman, she is conveniently supplying her financial and material needs in order to stay afloat. To a man, everything he knows about supporting a woman is not as important as it once was. If he can’t give her the things he’s been taught to give what else is there? If the line between man and woman is blurred, what is his new role in the relationship?

Part 2 Next week.

See you at the top.


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