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Culture & Entertainment

Is The Jonathan Owens-Simone Biles Conversation A Sign Of Where Women Pursuing Men Has Led Us?

The internet was set ablaze in the last weeks of December 2023 when Simone Biles' husband, Jonathan Owens, was interviewed by The Pivot Podcast, explaining how he and his wife met. A safety for the Green Bay Packers, Owens stated he had no idea who his seven-time Olympic gold medalist wife was when they initially matched on an online dating app. The most decorated gymnast in American history connected with her now husband in 2020 after sliding into his DMs while he was in a football training camp.


Driving 45 minutes to meet Owens for their first date, Simone saw something she couldn’t resist. “I know what I like and I know what I want,” she stated confidently about their relationship in the past. When asked how an unknown football player managed to bag a woman as accomplished as Simone Biles, Owens stated on the podcast, “I always say the man is the catch.”

If that wasn’t enough to agitate women around the world, he continued to reminisce on how love found him unexpectedly. “I was fighting it. At the time, I was afraid to commit.”

Simone Biles' Husband Jonathan Owens Says He's the 'Catch' Over HerSimone Biles and her husband, Green Bay Packers safety Jonathan Owens, stopped by 'The Pivot' podcast and opened up about ...

Owens, being in his third year as a professional athlete, was apprehensive, to say the least, but says the connection was instant. “If she didn’t message me, chances are my mind would have gone somewhere else,” he continued. “She messaged me, and she wasn’t scared.”

Unsurprisingly, the interview quickly went viral, with women sharing the same sentiments across cultures. How could an unknown athlete feel as though he’s the catch in comparison to his superstar wife?

What Makes Someone a "Catch"?

A "catch" is typically an ideal partner, however, this term isn’t gender specific. One who is kind, intelligent, financially secure, attractive, and on a mission to live a wholesome and happy life. On the contrary, women with valued traits are often referred to as "a prize." According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of a prize is "something offered or striven for in competition or in contests of chance," "something exceptionally desirable," or "a contest for a reward." Synonyms of the word "prize" include "treasure," "gem," "jewel," "gold," and even "catch."

In today’s society, men and women seem to have conflicting opinions on what is and who is indeed the catch within a relationship, especially one as high profile as Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens. Recognizing how tiring it can be to constantly analyze relationship dynamics on the internet, especially in the Black community, it’s still a hot topic that's important and worthy of a healthy conversation.

The modern feminine mentally has been shaped to be independent, self-sustaining, smart, and hard-working whilst maintaining her beauty and physique. Single women who are perceived to balance those attributes are typically looking for a valuable man to settle down with who can offer similar traits if not more, also known as “a good catch.”

Whether we believe this to be true or false about Jonathan Owens in regards to him being “the catch” in comparison to his gold medalist wife, Simone saw an opportunity and seized it.

Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens pose on the field prior to Game One of the 2022 World Series.

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The interview shattered the internet and sparked a larger debate about modern dating, relationships, and labels. Like many, something about the conversation initially made me feel uneasy. Regardless of my personal bias towards whether a woman should pursue a man, it was how Owens arrogantly referred to himself as “a catch” and admitted to seemingly having no interest in having a relationship with his now wife and that there was no attraction from his end.

To get a better understanding of his perspective, I spoke with five single men in their 30s on their definition of a good catch and why they believe women from across cultural spectrums are upset at Owens for labeling himself as such.

A man can definitely be the catch. Women are often upset on the internet about this because they think it’s impossible for a man to be a catch. If a man is a provider, if he makes a certain amount of money with a certain amount of status, he can be the catch. In [Jonathan Owens'] situation as Simone Biles' husband, he may not be the catch because his wife is more accomplished and decorated than him.

"If he was an NFL player dating a regular girl, he would be the catch because he has a certain level of financial and social status, but since he’s dating a decorated gymnast, I think he’s not the catch. Being a good catch could be a multitude of things like who’s the better-looking one, who’s the most financially stable, who has the better job. It could be a combination of things.” - Brandon, 31

“I think people were overreacting. I don’t think it’s a problem for a man to feel like the catch or sometimes even being the prize. You’re one of the top athletes in the world and a multi-millionaire. As a Black man, you’re in a very small percentage. If you also have amazing qualities as a man, you’re definitely a catch (laughs). I think I’m a catch. I make great money, a family man, an amazing father, a gentleman, a model. I don’t think it’s many like me walking around, and I say that humbly. I think that makes me a catch. I shouldn’t have to feel less than in the dating game because I’m not a woman.” - Corey, 31

“Most of these discussions are aimed at fanning the flames of this internet 'gender war' keeping us on opposing sides rather than coming together. Especially in the Black community. What I appreciate about the Jonathan Owens interview is the genuine honesty he displayed. What I loved about what Simone did is that she saw what she wanted and went after it! She jumped in his DMs, she took the initiative and drove to the city to come see him while he was in training camp, and saw for herself if this was a man she could see herself with long term, and if this was a man that could lead her and their potential family. She determined all of that with confidence and grace. She did it without ego and other societal pressures.

"I believe women will have much better outcomes in dating if they focus more on the men they actually want versus only dealing with the men that speak to them or are in close proximity. Men are more focused on achieving and building a foundation for themselves and their future family. Women should focus on aligning themselves with a strong man who is being led by a higher power in pursuit of their goals and purpose. A man that is seeing success or showing signs of success and discipline in his life. Because as we all know every male isn’t a husband, and a female isn’t a wife!

"A woman who finds herself a husband, he is her prize. She shows him off, she takes on his name, she beats out all the other women, and she was 'the one' that got him to settle down. A man who finds a wife has found himself a treasure. He protects and cherishes her because that is the most precious, beautiful, and important thing to him. She shines bright, and he will always handle her with care and keep her shielded so other men won’t try to take her.” - Brandon, 36

"A man being a catch is certainly a flip of what we are usually used to (the woman being the catch). It actually shines a small light on the fact that there is and isn’t a lot of men that women can choose from these days. Part of that reasoning is how the system is set up to stop the growth of Black families, the prison system, social media, etc. I think a man being a catch is a good concept. It shows that we are needed in this world. It puts good pressure on us to be the best version of ourselves. Being a catch is important.

"To me, it means becoming the best version of yourself. Becoming suitable and mature enough to lead a woman and a family. To lead the next generation of you. Being spiritually, mentally, physically, and financially fit to take on all that life can throw at us. Not too many good quality men around for women to choose from, so, yes I support men aiming and carrying themselves as the catch. The woman is the catch just as much. It can literally apply to both sexes." - Vik, 31

“There are more women than men. You can find beautiful women just about anywhere. A grocery store, laundry mat, walking down the street, sporting events, etc. It’s harder to find a good looking respectable, respectful, financially stable man.” - Kamron, 34

_____

Over the years, there’s been a clear shift in dating and gender roles. Men, who seemingly have more options, have grown accustomed to women putting in more work for a chance at a committed relationship. In this case, Owens feels he’s the prize because Simone Biles led him to believe so by pursuing him from the start, regardless of her all-star status. While he may be a good catch, there was no mention of him seeing his wife as such when asked how he landed the seven-time Olympic champion.

While successful men should be acknowledged for what they’ve worked hard for, it’s important to recognize an amazing woman when they see one. Women who have it all: success, money, and fame can seek a good catch while allowing a man to take the lead in his pursuits of a wife, a lover, and a best friend, which is the ultimate prize.

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Featured image by gruizza/Getty Images

 

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