by Judy M McCutcheon MBA
I have the most interesting and intriguing friends. I visited a friend some weeks ago, he’s good for my health because he feeds my food fetish with good solid healthy food, but he also helps to stimulate my thought process quite a bit.
On this visit, his question to me was, “Who is the last woman standing?” I had to think for a little while to figure out where he was going with this line of questioning, I pondered his question and thought ‘oh my gosh is this going to be about women competing for a man in a relationship; is this about a wife and a sweetheart?’ But because I know him so well, I knew that it had to be something deeper, I eventually had to laugh at myself for taking so long to catch on. The discussion that ensued was very interesting and had me thinking that maybe this might be something worth delving deeper into. Therefore, I decided to give my own interpretation of who I thought is the last woman standing, albeit I think that the question should really be ‘Are we brave enough to be that last woman standing?’
Traditionally, the role of women has been as child bearers and home makers. Throughout the past decades when we attempted to step out of those prescribed roles we have sometimes been labelled as ‘crazy.’ But we persisted, and over the years we’ve evolved and have largely moved away from those roles customarily assigned to us. One of my nieces asked me the question “What do you think about all this independence that women keep talking about, do you think that too much independence is a good thing?” These are maddening questions because they cause us to become introspective and for me who is a free thinker, I am of the view that women should be free to live life on their terms, without interference from society, once their actions are legal. I am quite sure there are folks out there who might be thinking, ‘but what about the moral side of things,’ and my view on that is that your morality is between you and your conscience.
I remember one of my friends on Facebook stating that men are afraid of independent women and don’t have the balls to date them, my question to her was, “Is it that they are afraid or is it that we don’t give them the chance to be the man?” Being a fiercely independent woman myself, I could relate to both situations. I think we have had to fight so hard to move away from the traditional view of who we should be, that when we are independent and successful we guard those positions like a lion protecting its cubs. I believe that on some deep level men are very attracted to and admire strong independent successful women, and on a primal latent level, they are intimidated, because they still think of us in traditional roles.
Even if she’s in a relationship, an independent woman has her own thing going on because she knows her life involves more than just her partner. As a society — the global society that is — are we at the point where women are free to choose how they live their lives, without societal pressure? It is my opinion that a woman can choose whether she wants to get married or whether she chooses to have children or to be child free. There is this thought process that after you cross age 30 your time is running out — running out for what? We should be the ones to decide what happens with our bodies and when. Why aren’t we free to just choose a partner to have a child, who says we must get married.
I remember hearing women call other women ‘mule,’ simply because they did have not have kids. As women, we are sometimes cruel and unkind to each other. Not so long ago on social media, some women were ripping a blogger apart because she dared to confront a situation she deemed unfair, but by the same token a 12-year-old was raped by 3 adult males and I have not seen the condemnation of that act of violence as the uproar caused by the blogger. Where are our priorities, is it that we are comfortable in a culture steeped in rape, incest and child molestation? My point here is that as women, are we comfortable with our girls not having the option of making certain decisions for themselves, are we okay with their voices being muffled? How do we raise women who are independent, strong, successful and secure in who they are?
Too often the strong secure independent woman (I like the term alpha female) is mistakenly seen as aggressive, and that assumption is way off base, but she will be if she must be. She’s gracious and kind, she’s not attention seeking, she will inspire you, she does not believe in being needy, she makes her own money, she is not afraid of being alone, she does not travel in a pack and she has a few very loyal friends. She wants a strong independent minded man to grow with, she’s is going to have his back but she’s not afraid to leave him behind if his ambition proves to be lacking. She’s razor sharp focused on what she wants to achieve and she’s not easily intimidated by others. She believes in being honest with her feelings and is not afraid to admit to her mistakes. She has her own sense of style and she believes firmly in being who she was created to be.
So, I ask, are you brave enough to be that last woman — standing up for her beliefs, for her independence, for her security, for her fellow tribe members? Are you, brave enough to be that last woman standing to propel the movement forward?
Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company. www.goblueinc.net