The archetype of the Strong Independent Woman® has been culturally reinforced over the last half century in virtually every imaginable media. Whether it’s Disney’s capable Princesses ready to save themselves from certain doom – as well as their quirky, hapless but handsome male heroes – or the now clichéd ‘tough bitch’ of action movies and video game protagonists who measures herself by how well she can kick ass and /or swear as the culturally contextual equal of “any man”. Her template-crafted character is strong, confident, measuredly aggressive, decisive (but usually only when shit gets serious so as to prove to the audience she’s ‘digging deep within herself to discover her yet unrealized resolve), judicious, loving to those loyal or dependent on her (immediate family, children and female friends), capable of solving problems with little more than the feminine intuition men magically lack – but above all, she’s independent.
As this cultural archetype is broadcast to society at large, the want then is to find parallels of this Strong Independent Woman® in the ‘real’ world. The media character is only marginally believable now thanks to endless revisions and replications, so we look for the examples of independent women equalling and exceeding the, paltry-by-comparison, achievements of the unenlightened ignorance of their male “oppressors.” High ranking company CEOs are usually the first rock star independent women to nominally shine (often undeservedly) in such a role, but then, by order of degrees, we can move down the economic social strata and cherry-pick or conveniently create the match of any mediocre man. As most men are, or have been conditioned Betas it’s not too difficult.
It really is the End of Men you see. You’re no longer necessary because, well now, there is nothing men can collectively and uniformly do that women cannot find some individual example of matching and / or exceeding. Women don’t need men anymore, they’re independent.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s branding. The Strong Independent Woman® caricature has generously earned it’s registered trademark. I sometimes use that ® to emphasize a particularly long-evolved meme; social conventions so embedded into our cultural fabric that they literally have become their own brand. The Strong Independent Woman® is actually one the best examples of this branding. However, to really understand the gravity of so long a cultural branding, you must go to the root of how the brand of the independent woman was originally intended to evolve by the 2nd wave cultural feminists who spawned it. In a way it’s succeeded far better than any feminist of the period really had the foresight to expect.
An Independent Woman was to be independent of men.
While a lot of feel-good aphorisms like confidence, determination, integrity, and the like became associated with this desire for independence, make no mistake, the original long-term feminist goal of fostering that independence in women was to break them off into individuated, autonomous entities from men. That individuation needed to be as positive and attractive to women as possible, so a social pairing of that independence from men, with a sense of strength and respectability, had to be nurtured over time.
Since the beginnings of the sexual revolution, women were acculturated to believe they could ‘have it all’, career, family, a husband (of her optimal hypergamous choosing) and, if she were influential enough, leave some indelible mark on society to be remembered by for posterity. To achieve this she’d need to be an autonomous agent, strong, and above all independent of men. Women would embody and perfect the maverick individualism that men seemed to enjoy throughout history. If she couldn’t manifest ‘having it all’ then she was still, by male force or by personal choice, not independent enough to realize it. Of course, the irony of all this can be found in the marriages of virtually every ‘high profile’ feminist luminary of the time (all the way up to our current time) to the very powerful and influential types of men their stated independence was to emancipate all women from in order to truly be independent.
The Case Against Male Self-Esteem
Matt Forney’s lightning rod post, The Case Against Female Self-Esteem drew a frenzy of internet hate, but at the core of that post was a question that Strong Independent Women® and their male identifiers don’t like be confronted with; do they truly want independence from men? Do the men they want to be independent from even exist, or are they conveniently useful archetypes; vaudevillian chauvinist cartoons from the 50′s, planted in their heads, courtesy of the feminine imperative?
While I can’t endorse a message that would diminish anyone’s self-esteem, male or female, Matt’s post, even so much as suggesting the idea of limiting female self-esteem, uncomfortably turns a cultural mirror back on over 50 years feminist and feminized social engineering. For over the past 50 years the case against male self-esteem, with the latent purpose of emancipating women from dependence on men, began in earnest — not with some anger inducing blog post, but as a progressive social engineering that would run the course of decades to effectively erase men’s inconvenient masculine identity, or even memory of what that identity ever meant to men. The case against male self-esteem has been the social undercurrent of popular culture since the early 1960′s.
I think it’s important for red pill men to internalize the popular idea of feminine independence. The true message that the Strong Independent Woman® brand embodies is independence from you, a man.
Its latent purpose isn’t the actual empowerment of women, or efforts to bolster self-esteem, strength (for whatever loose definition seems convenient), confidence or any other esoteric quality that might flatter a feminine ego. Its purpose isn’t to foster financial or economic independence (as evidenced by ever evolving fem-centric laws, educational and financial handicaps), or religious social parity, or even efforts to achieve its vaunted social equalism between the sexes. What feminine independence truly means is removing the man – independence from men. Feminine independence’s idealized state is one where women are autonomous, self-contained, self-sufficient and self-perpetuating single-gender entities.
If that revelation seems aggrandized and over the top, it should. It’s extreme, because the purpose itself is extreme. When you consider that the sexes have coexisted in relative gender complementarity, to produce our very proliferate species, for a hundred thousand years, the idea and implementation of separating the sexes into independent and solitary entities is extreme. Obviously effecting this independence is an impossibility for a race of social animals like human beings. We’ve relied on cooperative efforts since our tribal beginnings and the species-beneficial psychological hardwiring of that cooperation is one trait that made us so successful in adapting to changing, dangerous, environments.
For most manosphere readers (especially MRAs) I don’t think I need to illustrate the many manifest ways that women are dependent upon the men; if not men’s generated resources and provisioning, then certainly their parental investment, companionship, emotional and sexual interest. We’re better together than we’ve ever been apart – even when the ugly mechanics of hypergamy, or male aggression, or any number of negatively perceived gender dynamics prove useful survival traits for us, there is no true independence between the sexes. There is interdependence.
This is what equalism makes a mockery of. In its striving for a homogenous goal-state of androgynous gender-parity it fails to account for where the species-success that the complementarity of the past 30,000 years has brought us. From a heroic male perspective we generally accept that no man is an island, but feminism and equalism disagree – a Strong Independent Woman® is an island,..or she will be just as soon as a man gives her her due to become so.