Even some feminists perpetuate the notion that women can’t be both individually strong and devoted to their partner, as some have negative opinions of marriage and stay-at-home mothers. Stereotypes that “independent” women are selfish and incapable of giving their home-life proper attention and that housewives are weak pushovers both stem from our society’s painful history with gender politics.
The origins of the feminist movement began when a woman’s existence was limited to being a wife and mother, with little command over her own life or input in her marriage. That being said, marriage and home-life seemed to be a woman’s primary oppressor. Despite progress away from this tone, gender bias still affects relationships as we (men and women) struggle as a culture to shake free of our conditioning and former way of thinking. As we did then, we are still forcing women to choose and are missing the point. The movement wasn’t and isn’t about living an independent (or “fierce,” as Oprah put it) life versus a marital life. It’s about choices and freedom; the opportunity to choose either path or both and having freedom within such. A woman is not forfeiting her power in loving a man unless she loses her identity, defines herself by or allows herself to be disrespected or silenced in her relationship. Being true to oneself doesn’t prevent one from being able to love fully. Actually, if “fierceness” and loving are related at all, lack of it would hurt your relationship because as RuPaul says “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an ‘Amen’?!”
Male or female, if your partner measures your love by how much you yield to or dim your light for them, then they don’t know what love is about. As cliché` as it may sound, your partner should always want the best for you (even if it’s not them) and encourage you to grow and shine your light as bright as you can. Instead of stifling or negating your voice, they should want to hear it and be considerate of how you think and feel. A caring partner isn’t going to look at your “fierceness” as an infringement on theirs; they’re going to love that ish and respect it. So yeah, Beyonce` can be Crazy, Dangerously & Still in Love (all song titles) with her man and be the Bootylicious, Independent Survivor (also all song titles) mega-entrepreneur-entertainer that she is. Blue Ivy in one hand, mic in the other, man beside her.