We hope everyone had a safe and fun Fourth of July! Now that the fireworks have died down, we wanted to take a moment to really touch base with each other and with ourselves on what independence looks like for women today. Each woman has her own idea of what it means, so after reading our Behaviorists’ thoughts, we invite you to share your own definition in the comments below!
Toni: As the years pass and I grow stronger in my sense of self, I am thankful for my mother and the Border women who reared me. They taught me to be an independent woman before I even realized that I was one—free from the conditions of society, free from gender restrictions, and free from socioeconomic status. Independent women today are trailblazers respecting the paths behind them, but destined to make their own way and lend a hand to others—not to carry them but to stride side by side—independently and collectively.
Hannah: An independent woman makes choices that are right for her but also for the benefit of others. She sees her choices and decisions in the context of the social, political, environmental, sexual, and personal forces in her life. She is grounded in her own strength, intelligence, and self-awareness. Independence isn’t a bull charging through a crowd but rather water that can take shape to fit its environment and nourish, while reshaping the rocks along its way.
Kathryn: I quickly learned traveling internationally how truly fortunate we as women are because of the passport we carry—God bless the USA! I love knowing my possibilities are limitless. It helps me love the limits that I choose for my life.
Barbara: An independent woman is a woman who is confident, content, and capable—alone or not. She isn’t jealous of other women. An independent woman loves herself first and doesn’t let a relationship enhance or define her. She is her own person with her own opinion and life!
Bulaong: An independent woman is someone who navigates the world courageously, unapologetically, and graciously. A woman who in her alone time is never lonely because all she has ever needed was herself. To be independent is to be liberated from the strains of society, to say, “This is me! Take it or leave it!”
Courtney: An independent woman possesses an indomitable inner strength and an unwavering sense of purpose. She doesn’t need validation from anyone outside of herself, but this doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate love, kindness, and help from other people. I think independence is less about financial circumstances or relationship status and more about the spirit of a person.
KK: I’m quite the fan of solo road trips and plenty of “I can do it myself, thank you very much” projects. However, as I get older, my idea of being an independent woman has evolved. It no longer means proving I can do it all by myself because I know I can. Rather, the question becomes, “Do I always want to?” Even being independent, I’ve learned how to compromise without compromising myself.
Holly: To me, an independent woman doesn’t necessarily have to be a loner, live a “no strings attached” lifestyle, or even have full financial freedom, but rather she is a free thinker who has confidence in herself, her character, and her abilities. She has strength not only for herself but also for those around her.