Play Dependent

The issue with independent women that we don’t talk about enough

Daniel Asuquo
ILLUMINATION

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Image by RAndyMMM on Pixabay

I am wondering what angle to play this from. I’m thinking to use the least offensive one but I don’t see how this will not offend some people. This one addresses the feminist idea so it’s sensitive. But indulge me. Let’s start with my friend Elaine.

You see, Elaine is a white woman who grew up in the ‘traditional’ way. She had a father who worked and did business. Her mum stayed home and as much as Elaine could judge, her family structure was okay. Her mum helped her do her homework and roles were clearly defined. The man worked and provided, the woman managed the inner affairs of the house. There was a ‘safety net’ savings which mom managed and that safety net came in handy during rough times. Mom was skilled in DIY, sewing and baking and when things got really rough, she would spread herself even more by monetizing her craft to sustain the family. However, once things picked up, everything adjusted back to the norm — dad would pay mom back with interest and thank her for being the pillar that kept the family structure running. This is all Elaine’s side of the story.

Elaine went to university and met a boy, they got married and the cycle continued. She has a number of skills and she keeps herself busy, she is a co-founder to her husband’s startup but she basically stays home — away from the bustle of the corporate world.

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The next person I want to talk about is Aniyah — she had a fairly different story. Both her parents worked multiple jobs to keep things going. Her parents were in a great relationship as they loved and respected each other very much. The roles were not as defined in Aniyah’s case as the parents split the bills on almost everything and helped her with her homework (when they were available). Aniyah started working in high school and fending for herself (in a way). She had a good brain going for her and she was resourceful. She helped the kids who were struggling to meet up their grades by teaching them how to learn. She got popular for this and eventually got a scholarship to university — this was much needed as her parents would not be able to afford it.

She got to college and became very close to her roommate Elaine. Aniyah is from African descent by the way. They both graduated, Aniyah and Elaine promised to be each other’s chief bridesmaid and Aniyah fulfilled her promise when Elaine got married.

— — — -

10 years later

Aniyah is on her way to becoming the CEO of her company. She lives in a great house and drives a nice car. She is killing it! She hasn’t seen her stay-at-home friend in a couple of years as she travels a lot but they keep in touch via electronic media (not postal mail). As a 10 year anniversary of their graduation, the two girls decided to meet and catch up. Aniyah offered to fly Elaine’s family out to her location but Elaine suggested they keep it low-key like old times. So “Niyah” travelled back and they met at Elaine’s house which was as nice as houses come. They got to talking after pleasantries.

“I’m so happy for you darling” Elaine started. “Like look at you. You have become everything your parents knew you could be.”

“Thank you baby. I was able to buy them a house and start a stock trading account for them. They have stable income and are enjoying their time together.”

“That’s amazing” replied Elaine with a huge smile on her face.

“Oh stop it” Niyah shrugged. “You ain’t doing too bad for a stay at home mom yourself.”

“haha, yeah it’s a handful — my husband insisted I get a maid though, two children is a lot to deal with.”

“I’m really happy for you” Aniyah said. “My mom be stressing me about getting married.”

“And how’s that going?”

“Not great” Aniyah replied. “Men see me as a threat but it’s so not like that. I’m just trying to take care of myself here.”

“Sorry to hear that babe” Elaine said. “Oh well married life ain’t so glamorous either — but we all make the best of what we have, besides I really love what I have.”

“That being said” Elaine continued, “I realize the world is changing and women don’t want this anymore. They want to head industries like you and hustle hard.”

“It’s not like that please” Aniyah cut in. “Personally I am doing this because I have something to prove. You know my background already but I would like to relax and be babied too.”

Elaine only smiled and listened while Aniyah continued. “I act tough and I know I am. But physically I know I am not cut out for all this stress. I want a relationship as I don’t feel humans were meant to be all this independent. I want breakfast in bed too and not from hotel concierges only.”

After she vented for a bit, she asked Elaine “how did you do it?”

“My dad likened women to dogs.” Elaine started.

“That’s offensive” Aniyah blurted.

“I see how it can be but please let me explain.”

“He said Dogs are generally smarter than humans. They see better, they run faster, they smell more etc. But in order to survive in this world of men, they shed their wild “wolf” nature so they could just relax and be taken care of. The wolves are still ‘out in the wild’ fighting and surviving. Are they strong and independent? Yes! Do you envy the harsh realities of their life? If you could help it, you’d want to avoid it right?”

“Wow! I am so stressed all the time and it doesn’t feel right. Do you know I have to hide period cramps because my company said if I am to be paid as much as the men, I will put in the same hours?”

“That’s rough dear.” Elaine said, hoping to comfort her friend. “Men are built for the hustle and if you find one who loves you, he will do whatever is in his power to make you happy. All he really needs is your encouragement and support in terms of ideas and solutions”.

“But I work so hard” Aniyah said as she sank into her chair.

“As my dad said, women are actually more evolved than men. And we should use that evolution to our advantage. You were dealt the card that makes you feel you must step up for things to happen but you got caught up and forgot how to be a woman. You started fighting with men to prove your point and you became a strong wolf with your car and house which you always brag about. Many humans don’t want to keep a wolf in their house or have a wolf in the forest that they go to visit — it’s not just how it works.”

“Are you saying I shouldn’t flaunt my accomplishments?”

“Darling, they are already your accomplishments. What is that thing that makes you feel you need to flaunt them? Better career opportunities? You’ll probably get those and be less available for the relationship you truly want. You are obviously high value but that means you will attract either a lazy man who feeds off you, or any of the other men who feel threatened by you.”

“Are you saying you are not high value?” Aniyah asked playfully.

Elaine continued. “I heard a story once I don’t know if it’s true. But it is said that Bill Clinton and his wife were out and they met a farmer. Mrs Clinton said that was her ex and Bill joked that she would have been the wife of a farmer. After a brief giggle, she replied him “No. He would have been the president.

That’s how powerful a woman is when she chooses to rise above competition with men.

You are powerful — but if you truly want it all, you gotta play dependent.

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