Before my aunt could even congratulate me on buying a car, something I had always wanted to do, she felt she needed to first express her primary worry. “Boys will be afraid to approach you now, dear,” she lamented. And before I could even say anything else, she added, “Or you have a boyfriend, and he’s the one who bought it for you?” Oh, pardon my manners. Let’s start over. This writer has finally bought herself a car. It’s not a Volkswagen AG or a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, but it is indeed a four-wheeled motor vehicle. Now, I thought it was common courtesy to congratulate people on such big moves. No? Or, as my aunt would say, it’s a bad thing to happen to me. Obtaining the mere transportation facility of a car makes me less appealing or intimidating to potential pretenders. Not for any other reason, but because I’m a girl. When my aunt, who will literally kill me when she reads this article, said, “the issue isn’t the car, baby girl. And you might have gotten it with your own money that you worked for. However, our society does not understand it in the same way, and they will just assume you have a sugar daddy.” First and foremost, I was disturbed by the number of ‘mights’ she used, implying that getting the car on my own is barely a possibility. What I also got is that she (and the society she blames) believes that (young) girls are incapable of achieving success on their own. That a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it is perceived as a threat, and untypical of wife/girlfriend material. Let’s unpack. In some cases, it is true that some women are in relationships with men who financially support them. Some men will even cover their girlfriend’s/wife’s vacation, buy them cars and houses, and cover all their expensive lifestyles. Who are we to pass judgment? Especially since the terms of one case tend to differ from the next, and we’re just bystanders looking in from the sidelines, with no knowledge of the details that inform their life decisions. It is also true that this specific instance may be more common, owing to traditional gender roles. But we are in 2023. Is it really a surprise, in a world full of female CEOs, landowners, and leaders, to see a woman with enough money to buy herself a car? Girls with higher paying jobs, cars, and businesses, are taller than you, self-confident, speak their minds without holding back, and so on, are not high maintenance, bossy, arrogant, or difficult to get along with. Some may be, but it is not the benchmark. My favourite African author and feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, once said, “A man intimidated by my success is not my man”, and I couldn’t agree more. Society must also normalise the fact that a man may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, and it's okay. All we need to do is keep an open mind, and seek strength in our differences. But, once again, this is just the opinion of a young girl who can’t help but be bold as she goes through life. She speaks out, strives to learn and achieve more, and, yes, she owns a car. These, dear future husband (because you’ve really got to be somewhere out there), should be some of the qualities that will draw you towards me, and not the other way around.