"No matter how strong the woman is , she wishes a for man to be stronger than herself ....not in order to give him the right to limit her freedom, but to give her the right." - Stolen from the Facebook status of my girl Aisha.
This status stroke a chord with me. Probably because it describes me. I've spoken about my strength on my blog before. I think Black women are raised to be strong. It's something inherent in us. I grew up watching my Mom being the epitome of a strong woman. She worked 2 & 3 jobs as well as taking care of us & home. She personified strength tovme all my life. Being the oldest of 6, being strong was the only option for me. I used to think that my strength could be seen as a con. I had to learn how to allow myself to be weak when I needed to be. It was a tough lesson to learn.
This internal struggle between strength and weakness was intense. It's most apparent in relationships to me. Sometimes women can be so strong and so independent that they can make a man feel unwanted, unneeded, and less than. No good can come from that. This isn't about stroking a man's ego. It's about respecting him and allowing a man to be a man in the relationship. I'm also not a big believer in the whole "I (as a woman) can do everything a man can. " I can't. Nor can any man do everything a woman can. If they could, I'd love to see a man go through pregnancy and give birth.
After thinking about the status, I felt I had to respond. So, I said "This is golden!!! Sometimes when you've been the strong woman, all you want is someone to help ease the load. And when you find a man who allows you to be weak without compromising who you are, it is the most wonderful thing. It's absolutely amazing to have someone who wants to be strong for you even if he knows you can handle it." Finding a man who can just allow you to note strong all the time is amazing. It's about letting go of control for a while. That is a gift in itself.
The conversation that followed Aisha's status was full of insightful gems. My girl Kenyatta made a few great points about not dealing with a weak man. She said " A women could NEVER take the place of a man....and being independent is good when your single..you have no choice. But trying to be super woman and run shit while I'm in a relationship...NOT. That would never work." I totally agree. This wasn't about bashing men. It was more about celebrating the great ones. Being a strong Black woman can be the gift and the curse sometimes. But, if and when a woman can find a man strong enough for her to be weak, she better hold on. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to allow someone else to lead for a while. There is beauty in strength. Embrace it.