So as it's been written before I am processing out of a relationship. It has been I believe a little over two months since I have moved out on my own and it has taken me a little longer to really get out and meet people as I really wanted to take time and be alone.
I have been open in talking about my singleness and the joys of really getting to know myself in the process of personal growth. A lot of that conversation happens via social media, Facebook, Instagram, twitter... And by no means does not exist to celebrate my break up but rather to celebrate my resiliency in the face of heartbreak and my need to share that being single is NOT a bad thing.
In the midst of sharing my story and my journey it seems as though other women have begun to view me as a threat even though I am not actively looking for, interested in or paying attention to their partners. Recently I posted a rather funny photo on Instagram (or at least what I deemed to be a tad comical) and received a rather interesting response (see below):
When I first saw this I was shocked! I didn't recognize the woman's Instagram name, her photos were private and so I had no idea who this woman was. My reaction was mixed with confusion and anger- I started racking my brain about the couple dates I went on and if she could have been partnered with any of those people.
So with some nifty googling I found out who her fiancée was... A young man I grew up with back in my home town who I had recently started following on social media. I assume she noticed that I "liked" one of his photos and apparently found that to be a symbol of my personal interest in him and hence a threat to her relationship. Initially I was upset and wanted to respond in a rather aggressive way, but then I figured I should just explain myself, maybe give her a lesson in how and why social media exists as a means of connecting with past, present, and future friends and not a tool for hook-ups and dating (at least that is not how it is used in my life). Instead I decided to just delete her comment and block her because I figure I am mature enough to just let that go, but I felt it necessary to challenge her comment still:
I decided to post the above photo with a variety of hashtags challenging not only the woman's aggressiveness toward me, this stranger she didn't even know; but also, her very heteronormative assertion that I was interested in men in the first place.
Being single and operating in a space where I am trying to develop strong sisterhood relationships with other women is challenging because this instance revealed to me that not only will some women not want to befriend me, but many (especially partnered women) might view me as a threat.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said it best:
"We raise girls to see each other as competitorsNot for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men"
To the woman who posted on my Instagram: I forgive you, I love you, you are a sister in the struggle and I support your journey of becoming.
(But don't let that shit happen again...)