What A Man Wants: The Submissive Woman or The Independent Woman?

“I loved her not for the way she danced with my angels, but for the way the sound of her name could silence my demons”


To cut to the chase, a man wants BOTH an independent and submissive woman. When I asked the men what qualities a woman must have, I was expecting at least one of the them to mention submissiveness. Ironically, it didn’t come up once explicitly, and was only alluded to by one of the men. Independent was the word that was mentioned most frequently. In fact, independence and ambition were mentioned 9 times in the original article. To read all the interview questions and answers, please visit this link https://brownbeautyandthebarbell.com/2019/02/11/what-a-man-wants-in-a-woman-the-true-alpha-male-speaks/

The men desired women who were ambitious, confident, self-assured, and independent. In fact, Alpha Male #4 said, “A woman who can’t stand her ground and allows a man to do whatever he wants, and allows a man to walk all over her” was a quality that would make a man run.  

I honestly was very surprised at the overwhelming insistence that women have independent thoughts, lives, and an ability to break away from the crowd and do her own thing. And then I felt concerned. Would women run with this and use it as excuse to maintain the mantra, “I’m an independent black woman and I don’t need a man. I make my own money. I can take care of myself and my children. Can’t nobody tell me what to do?” Because this was not what the men meant by independent. The underlying tone of this mantra is insecurity and a lack of self-worth, while the men were insistent that women are self-aware, self-assured and confident.

Although the men didn’t mention submission, I know they desired and were with women who were submissive. A woman who trusted his leadership and believed in the plan and path he had laid for their relationship and family. A woman who was all in. A woman who would support his decisions, but also hold him accountable and lovingly pull him back if he deviates from the set plan. The truth is, a man who has dreams, goals and plans for a future needs a woman who is intelligent, ambitious and confident. He understands that a woman can move in ways he can’t. For an alpha male, a self-assured woman who is intelligent and savvy is a must. She will be a wellspring of ideas and solutions to assist him in problem solving. Alpha Male #2 says, “Life is always changing. She must be forward thinking and not always live in the moment. She must be able to go with the flow. Be willing to change careers if the need arises. Have enough ambition to challenge me and make me better”.

When brainstorming on how to tackle the delicate balance of submission and independence, I immediately thought of the women of the Black Panther Party. The women of the Black Power Movement and the Black Panther Party epitomized the convergence of power, independence, grace and submission. This exquisite and nuanced mix of qualities allowed Huey P Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and Fred Hampton, to be who they were in all their alpha male, “the black man is god” glory. Ask anyone who knows anything about the Black Panther Party, and they will tell you that the radical, revolutionary and beautiful women of the Black Panther Party were the movement. In fact, throughout the life of the Black Panther Party, 40%-70% of the members were women. You will be hard pressed to find to a woman more self-assured, confident, intelligent and powerful than an Elaine Brown, Erika Huggins, Kathleen Cleaver or Assata Shakur.

Many of these women were married or involved with the charismatic male leaders of the BPP. They knew who they were, but more importantly they knew who they were regarding the men, their role in the movement, and they acted accordingly. Sometimes they were in the background, and other times they were in the forefront. There are those who may highlight the supposed misogyny that existed in the Black Panther Party, but you must ask yourself from what lens are we viewing the male and female dynamics of the Black Panther Party; is it African centered or Eurocentric? These women identified first and foremost as Black people. Their race superseded gender. Alpha Male #2 said, “Even as a double minority, she should be willing to take a backseat when necessary, not always making it about her.” That was the woman of the Black Panther Party.

Does a man want a submissive woman or an independent woman? He wants both; the woman with her own mind, feelings, and the ability to, as Alpha male #4 said, “break away and say, ‘I disagree'”. Men want a woman who can maneuver, problem solve, and think independently and critically. A woman who can lovingly correct him when he is wrong and make him a better man. The subtle blend of power AND willingness to yield. It should be noted that independence and ambition doesn’t mean you focus solely on climbing the corporate ladder. Alpha male #1 says, “She should strive to be a better mother, wife, sister and friend, and not just be ambitious when it comes to her career.”

The black woman in America has always been all things to her man, children and her people; because she first and foremost is all things to herself. Black women have fallen victim to various stereotypes and labels; the strong black woman, the angry black woman; the mammy and the Jezebel. It can be difficult to define who we are, and who we must be; especially when it comes to the relationships we have with our men. So when the question is posed, are we submissive, or independent? The answer is, we are both; we are all, and we are everything.

Kathleen, “The Nutritional Truth Teller” is a Certified Holistic Nutritionst, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and a Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator. She is the owner of Beauty In A Barbell Nutrition, whose sole mission is to optimize the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the Black community through African Holistic Health. She carries with her the ancestral knowledge and wisdom of the medicine men, women, healers and warriors she lovingly calls her ancestors.