The Meaning of Independent Woman in Music

In: Social Issues

Submitted By lohchengwupeter
Words 4726
Pages 19
THE MEANING OF
'INDEPENDENT WOMAN''
IN MUSIC
MiA MOODY

Introduction

Rapper Roxanne Shanté's 1989 rendition of "Independent Woman," explored relationships and admonished women not to dote on partners who do not reciprocate or to buy into the fairytale dream that a man would always take care of them. The definition of an "Independent Woman" in the Urban Dictionary, a predominantly African American written and defined Web site, is "A woman who pays her own bills, buys her own things, and does not allow a man to affect her stability or self-confidence.
She supports herself on her own entirely and is proud to be able to do so."
Another depiction of independence is found in Tina Portis' video clip titled the "Deception of the Independent Woman" posted to YouTube in
2010. Portis, an entrepreneur and former single mother, offers her opinion on statistics showing 42% of U.S. black women have never been married and are "independent" because they focus on achievement, often waiting too long to compete for the small number of black men who are equal in status (Johnson, 2010). In the video, she asserts that independent women do not need a pat on the back for doing what grownups are supposed to do: pay their bills, buy houses and cars, etc. She adds that independence discourages relationships as people begin to believe they can do everything alone, so they do not need a mate.
Mia Moody, PhD, is a professor of journalism at Baylor University. She is the author of
Btack and Mainstream Press' Framing of Raciat Profiling: A Historical Perspective. She teaches courses in public relations, minorities and women in the media and reporting.
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank students, Courtney Webb, Jessica Foumena, and
Chelsea Quackenbush, for helping me research this important topic.

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• A PRIL 2011

Portis' depiction of…...

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