Misconceptions about independent women.

Monica S
5 min readJan 5, 2024

I recently wrote an article about independent women and have also alluded to the term in other articles that I’ve written only to be met with confusion from men about what an independent woman actually is and stands for. Even decent guys have gotten confused about the term and are not sure what it really means. Just to explain the term clearly and concisely, an independent woman is a woman who doesn’t depend on a man financially or emotionally, and wants to fulfill her own ambitions and career goals. This article addresses the misconceptions and myths around independent women. Perhaps some independent women may exhibit these traits as nobody is exactly the same, but it doesn’t mean that the majority of independent women are like this.

1. Independent women are masculine.

Whilst some independent women may be more on the masculine side and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, it’s definitely not the case for all or many independent women. I consider myself to be an independent woman but I’m very feminine. I embrace my femininity and am not ashamed to flaunt it. I love clothes, make-up, nails, dresses and other typically feminine stuff. I’m not afraid to be myself - to be emotional or in touch with my feelings. I’m not brash, aggressive or highly competitive (these are not good traits in either men or women).

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with being very feminine or masculine if that’s who you really are, toxic masculinity and femininity is wrong (feeling that you have to act like a traditional and stereotypical man or woman to be seen as a “real man” or a “real woman”). In reality both genders exhibit both masculine and feminine traits to some extent, though for most people they vastly outweigh each other.

Just because I like make up and hair and “act like a woman”, doesn’t mean that I adhere to traditional gender roles or behaviors expected of women such as being submissive or the only purpose in a woman’s life being a wife and mother. I’m a proud feminist (I definitely don’t hate men), I’m opinionated and definitely not submissive. Whilst I want to get married and maybe have kids one day, it’s not my most important life goal. I don’t depend on a man for my sense of self worth and won’t put up with shit to keep a man. If that doesn’t make me very feminine then maybe I’ve got the wrong definition of femininity.

2. Independent women want to compete with men.

We don’t want to compete with men, we want to be equal. By equal we mean having equal pay for doing the same job, equal treatment (not being reduced to stereotypes and having typical gender expectations of the past thrust upon us), equality when it comes to childcare and house work, and equal opportunities for jobs we’re perfectly capable of doing just as well as or better than a man.

We’re not trying to be like men or be better than man. No gender is superior. We’re not looking to beat you in a fist fight, steal your job or outdrink you.

3. Independent women don’t want a relationship or don’t make good partners.

We want relationships, but our happiness doesn’t depend solely on our relationship status. We won’t put up with toxic behavior or a man child. We don’t prioritize having a relationship. Other things are important like our friends, family, career, passions and dreams. It’s not fair to expect a person to prioritize a relationship above everything else. It’s not healthy to prioritize one thing above everything else especially if it impacts other things in your life. For example focusing solely on career isn’t healthy either as you miss out on other things.

As men typically don’t find needy women attractive, we don’t find needy men attractive either. Many independent women make loving and devoted partners, but we won’t be at your beck and call and stop doing the things we enjoy like spending time with friends and pursuing our goals and passions. Healthy relationships are about communication, equality and giving each other space. Again it’s a very outdated notion that women should just stay at home and serve their man. A man who expects that and thinks that these type of traditional and outdated gender expectations are reasonable, needs to get in touch with reality.

4. Independent women hate men.

Seriously! The only men we hate are misogynistic and entitled assholes who see women as inferior and think they’re there to serve men. There are both good and bad men and women in the world. Wanting equality does not mean hating men. There are many great men out there who are enlightened and are opening their eyes to women’s experiences and the evils of patriarchy.

5. Independent women don’t need men.

This is very similar to point three. “Want” and “need” are two different things. I want a boyfriend but I don’t need one. It would be nice to be in a relationship, but I’d rather be single than be with the wrong guy. Women have been brainwashed for generations to stay with a toxic partner because it’s better to be miserable in a relationship than be single. Society constantly tells women that the only way they can be happy is if they’re in a relationship.

Thankfully times are changing and society is realizing that single women can be happy. Yes I’d love to find Mr Right, but my life is still good at the moment and I’m not desperately searching for a man in order to be happy. Thankfully toxic relationship behaviors that nobody batted an eyelid at in the past are being condemned and even criminalized such as coercive control.

Being an independent woman doesn’t mean we don’t want men or that they don’t serve any purpose. We want men, but we don’t want to be reliant on you emotionally and financially. Men complain about how women care about money and status; well independent women don’t care much about that. We’re not going to put pressure on a man to bring home the bacon and work to the bone to provide a comfortable lifestyle.

What we need is for men to love us, be there for us, support us and work alongside us.

I hope this article has taken away any ambiguity around the term “independent woman.” The word independent shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing anyway. If anything the word independent implies strength, vitality, individuality and resilience. In this world, it’s everything a woman needs to be to overcome the constraints of patriarchy and unjust gender expectations.

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Monica S

I love writing. I may be controversial but I'm not afraid to say it how it is.