I like to think of myself as a strong, independent, woman. A woman who knows what she’s about and knows when she doesn’t know what she’s about. Being that kind of woman, the notion of submitting to a man is a little uncomfortable.
I remember coming across this in many spiritual texts and talks and thinking, I’m sorry, that goes against the independent, strong woman that I am trying to be. I can’t be having my M.O interrupted because some man needs a feeble, quiet woman. Yet, there it was, everywhere, with no seeming loophole.
We can be thankful that time and experience are great teachers and we aren’t slaves to our juvenile thoughts because I have grown ooo!
Of course, the rest of you can read as well (it would be great if you did) but this is really for all the women who can relate to that description of myself. The Strong-willed, opinionated, head strong (we don’t like the word stubborn), independent, whatever-other-powerful-words-you-can -think-of women.
Alright. Are you ready for it? Here:
There is nothing wrong with submitting to a man.
Shock horror! What am I saying? I know, I know. Bear with me.
Initially, this entire thing was unattractive to me because I couldn’t reconcile the idea that I could still be strong, and yet submit. For some reason, in my head the two ideas just did not work well together. I was either going to be strong, or I was going to be submissive, there wasn’t both. But there is!
In a world where there are a lot of men who take advantage of women in various ways, some of us have grown up to be strong and think that being strong all the time is the only way to go. But we forget that there are good men out there, and there are men to whom we already submit. This realization has really been the crux of the knowledge that now makes me very comfortable submitting.
The only way I really know to explain it is like this: If I was out with a certain male friend of mine, let’s call him Kofi, and Kofi said something to me in what I believed to be a disrespectful way, I would immediately tell him what I thought about that. I would also be sure to point out he cannot talk to me like that etc.
Alternatively, if I am out anywhere with, say, my brother, and my brother hands me some car keys and says, not asks, that I drive, I almost instinctively just grab the keys. There are no questions asked, or any apprehension to the request. As a matter of fact, I don’t find it disrespectful at all that I was told and not asked. The reason why this can happen is because I trust my brother. I trust that even in something so trivial as telling me to drive, there must be a good reason, so I don’t have to question it.
If some other guy had said to drive, please know and understand that I am bringing out a tome of questions. Why? Can’t you drive? Where are we going? I don’t feel like driving. So ultimately, this ability to submit to a man, although he’s my brother, rests in the trust I have in him.
As women who are proud of our strength in varying ways, we forget that there are men who have a certain authority over us, in that manner. Whether it be a male friend, your father, your brother, or your husband. Whoever it is, that characteristic gets translated to somebody, essentially, worthy of your submission.
The best part is that this isn’t just limited to the men in your family. It isn’t just any man you’re submitting to, it’s a specific kind of man. I may submit to Kofi and have a contentious relationship with Kwame, but a friend of mine might be the complete opposite.
I remember realising this once when a friend of mine made a suggestion about a guy she thought I should date and my immediate reaction was, “I can’t, I would walk all over him.” Yet, there is a kind of woman out there, to whom he would have complete authority over in that sense. That woman just wasn’t me. Nor did I want it to be.
Can any of you relate to wanting a man who can look at you and tell you to sit down and you immediately do so? There’s no ifs, ands, or buts. Yet, there is also a kind of man who wouldn’t dare say something like that to you? Exactly.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know, personally, I would rather not be with somebody who can’t control me. Not in a disrespectful or oppressive manner, but somebody who could essentially match my strength. Once I realised that this was something I already did with some of the men in my life, the issue of submission was not as uncomfortable.
If I submit to my father, it’s because I trust that he has my best interest at heart. If I do to my brother, it’s because I know he knows what he’s doing. To a teacher because they are more knowledgeable about a subject. To a male friend because he knows me and wouldn’t knowingly put me in a situation that was bad for me. All these characteristics, the different reasons I dole out my submission in different forms, can come together in whatever relationship I find myself in, for those same reasons.
In submitting, I’m not just entirely giving control over, but I’m lending it to someone who equally respects me and my opinion because they know me as so and so. This man is in the driver’s seat, but if he’s lost he’s going to look at me and ask “which way do you think we should go?” because he values my opinion. I also give him the respect as the authority figure because that’s who he is, I am not just submitting to any tom, dick or harry.
It took me, a good, looooooong while to get here, but now that I am, I’m lorving it. It’s not quite second-nature to me yet, but I also don’t wince every time I’m told the man is the head of the household or some similar adage.
It is okay to submit to the right man. You truly give nothing up by doing so, and just gain so much instead.
I’m not just submitting for submission purposes, but I’m submitting because he has already submitted to God, and so I can trust that in his leadership and authority, I’m ultimately being led in the right direction. And if that means I get to sit up and cross my legs for a good leader to lead, then chale, WE GO!
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