Is it possible that some women may want to opt out of the “game” and live independently, without the support of a man? If so, is there something wrong with that?
Although it’s probably less common for women to “go their own way” than for men, some of them do so. I’d say, however, that we need to be a bit more discriminating in this case, because a lot of women who are unattached to men in the formal sense of being a wife still rely on men as mistresses, prostitutes, or owned corporate assets. You can’t really go your own way if you’re owned by your lover(s) or boss.
So, although it’s probably pretty rare for a woman to be truly independent, such women do exist. Some do it out of necessity, such as widows and divorcées who hail from the lower classes, but a few intrepid women do it of their own accord, and these women have always existed.
Feminists like to point to such women as heroes for going it alone, but then they inevitably demand that men pay for such a lifestyle, which contradicts the very spirit of independence. I think this is one of the aspects of feminism that seduced men in the first place. Men thought that feminists were really serious about wanting to live independently and take care of themselves, and for a lot of men that sounds like a perfectly honorable goal. What they didn’t see was the stealth appeal to have men collectively support women, “Life of Julia” style.
However, women who take care of themselves are real. Some of them run businesses, most work in ordinary jobs, and a lot of them contribute a fair amount to society.
I happen to know one quite intimately. I like her a lot, respect her, and even admire her. She’s my sister.
My “little” sister is only 14 months younger than I am. We grew up very close, and I’m very happy to have had her around. Sure, we fought from time to time as kids, but my life is much richer for having had a sister like her. We stood up for each other — even against vicious animals. When I was a little boy, I had a fear of large dogs (back in the 70s, people let feral dogs run loose all over the place). Dogs, as all children know, can smell fear, so they’d make an extra effort to torment me. But my little tow-headed sister had no such fear. When some local cur would start coming after me, she’d stand right up to the mutt and let him have it. “Leave my brother alone!” she’d say to the cringing canine. Although in retrospect it may not have been all that wise for such a little girl to stand up to large, toothy beasts, she proved that she was no slouch, and no wimp.
Later, I repaid the favor by standing up for her when other kids were mean. Not because I was a “white knight,” but because my sister and I were in it together. We both looked out for one another, and we still do.
Our politics are far from the same, but she could give a damn about that, and about politics in general. My sister is fundamentally pragmatic where human relations are concerned: treat her well and she graciously returns the favor.
So why isn’t she married or a “career woman?” I can’t speak for her, but I think it’s because she’s been honest with herself and her priorities. As a good-looking, intelligent woman, she’s had plenty of opportunities, and offers from wealthy men. But she chose instead to live life the way she wants to. And it isn’t about some “you go, girl!” sense of defiance, but rather a fundamental honesty and adherence to her own standards.
Instead of faking some allegiance to cliché social standards and then pulling the “eat, pray love” routine, she’s always been straightforward about her expectations and preferences. She lives life according to her own values, as different as they may be, but doesn’t expect others to either foot the bill or explain it for her. She’s an upstanding woman. Different, but honorable. There’s something noble about the way she’s chosen to live her life, and I’m proud of her for that.
I don’t think many men would have a problem with women like her. I doubt many women would, either. But feminists would deny her very existence, and suggest that in order for women to be independent in both mind and spirit, they need to be made dependent on men in aggregate. There are a lot of women out there who prove them wrong, and they are, perhaps, the most compelling argument against the utter helplessness and dependence of women of all.
Unfortunately for the feminists, they are also the best argument against their basic premise of eternal male responsibility.
Women who stand on their own are a great boon to our society, but if we let the feminists have their way we’d have to believe they don’t exist. I refuse to see women in such a fundamentally pathetic light, not least of all because one of the women I care about most can stand on her own, and does so with both grace and conviction.
Thanks, sister, for giving me some faith in and respect for half of humanity.