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Can We Stop Ignoring The Reality That People End Up Alone? Thanks.

Not everyone gets someone...romantically speaking. And that's okay.

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I was scrolling Twitter, of course, when I came across and replied to a tweet that said, "Why are you as a woman afraid of not finding someone? Whether you accept it or not, you are the object of millions’ desires." My gears immediately ground upon reading this tweet and I felt the need to respond because it’s an opinion that the author is positioning as an overly optimistic, accidentally condescending socialized factual retort.


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I’ve said this time and time again, and I’ll say it again: I hate condescending comments directed toward young adults. In regards to the search for romance, love, or a significant other, I particularly hate comments like, “you’re not old” or “you have so much time.” The reality is, you don’t have all the time in the world and deep down we all know this because we know that we can’t predict when our time on this earth is coming to an end. If nothing else, the pandemic should have taught us how unpredictable life is.

The other statement as it pertains to this topic, that I find to be both misleading and equally condescending is, “You’ll find someone, don’t rush it – don’t settle.” The second truth that we need to acknowledge is that not everyone finds this type of love!

Of course, there are other types of love that they likely do get to experience but no, not everyone gets someone…romantically speaking.

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No, I’m not saying we shouldsettle but I’m not going to be so obtuse that I would dare to say I don’t understand. While it’s amazing that there are people in this world who maintain standards and boundaries while dating and looking for love, I think we have to have empathy for people who are still trying to figure this shit out. It’s not easy to find love in general and it’s definitely not easy when you’re working to unpack trauma while hearing the steady tick of a clock. Like it or not, we’re all subject to a biological clock but especially women, should you want children.

Sure, there have been so many advances in medicine amongst other options outside of conceiving the traditional route but each one of them is still classified as a privilege in that their cost makes it unattainable. Adoption, freezing eggs, IVF, and sperm donors are all very expensive, luxury procedures. Designer babies have designer costs, to say the least, and we won’t get into the insane trafficking ring that adoption has become. As feminist as I am, it requires a level of burying your head in your ass that I don’t have in me.

Biological clocks are sometimes used against us to sustain patriarchy, but it’s also not completely inaccurate. There is, in fact, a time clock for certain people and I think we need more empathy and less delusion for that reality so that people can make the best decisions for them with the information and resources at hand.

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I say all of this to say, stop spreading a false sense of delusion to soothe people or yourself for that matter. I think sometimes people are fortunate enough to not know what it’s like to feel desperate and like your back is against a wall, and they want to understand so badly that they make up complete horse shit and spread that information (or misinformation) like wildfire.

We have to learn a different way to respond when we’re engaging in uncomfortable dialogue because the default can sometimes provide a false sense of hope or comes off as completely condescending, and out of touch with the bleak reality that lies in waiting for a patriarchal system to pull through as a woman in this world.

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Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne Foxx are one of Hollywood’s best father-daughter duos. They’ve teamed up together on several projects including Foxx’s game show Beat Shazam where they both serve as executive producers and often frequent red carpets together. Corinne even followed in her father’s footsteps by taking his professional last name and venturing into acting starring in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times as Thelma.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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