Disclaimer: this article is a seemingly disjointed piece of writing that focuses on the trials and tribulations of dating in Monrovia in 2018 but trust, it all ties together and makes a sensible bigger picture.
We live in a generation where almost everybody is kicking it, talking, or in a situationship. People very rarely say when they’re in a relationship and that is creating a bunch of fucked up, emotionally stunted individuals. To quote the sage philosopher, Aubrey “Drake” Graham, “We live in a generation of not being in love and not being together. But we sure make it seem like we’re together cuz we scared to see each other with somebody else”.
Nowadays, people meet, talk (which most likely includes sex), become exclusive and THEN discuss whether or not they could enter a relationship. We feel this leads to people playing a LOT of games as they’re unsure of their position in their situationships. Hence, people do things that hurt their partners and said partners retaliate, thereby creating a whole bunch of spiteful and vindictive people. Who is to say this is a messed up way of doing things? What can be said is that our parents and their parents had much less complicated dating lives and that is something to envy. Everything in this day and age is fast: fast internet, fast food, fast dating, and that, to us, is the crux of the generational heartache.
Our generation is having a less than an ideal dating situation, to say the least, and the genders are definitely a part of the problem. The double standard and slut-shaming that happens in this country need to be talked about.
The first part of this is the issue of body count. For some reason, it’s understood and even expected for men to have unlimited past and/or concurrent sexual partners but, if a woman has had more than 1 and a half, she must be a slut. Why??? This is the 21st century and, to loosely quote the Bob Marley, “Emancipate yourselves from the mental slavery” that somehow allows you to believe that a woman’s body isn’t hers to do with as she pleases; “none but ourselves can free your mind.” Slut shaming is outdated and needs to stop so, please meditate and break that generational curse.
Let’s look at this scenario:
A guy and a girl go out a few times, let’s even be generous and say they had an exclusive relationship; fast forward to after they break up, they are held to vastly different standards! If the guy happens to start talking to a friend of this girl, nobody blinks an eye or thinks any type of way. However, if this girl starts to talk to a friend of this guy, she is labeled as a hoe, hopojoe, whore, prostitute, etc. in all the languages.
We’re so sick of that! If you and I break up, my guy, your friends are not off limits! Maybe you’ll be given the courtesy of knowing that your friend is now in the game but quite frankly, ain’t nobody owe you shit around here! The relationship is over and that means the loyalty to each other is over. If you factor in the fact that Monrovia is tiny as hell as everybody knows every-goddamn-body, then all these fine men are off-limits just because you and I were together? Meet a guy one day who says he just moved back to Liberia and think “finally, new person!” only to find out the next day that he and your ex-lover sat next to each other at a drinking spot one time and they’re now buddies so, he’s supposed to be off-limits. We tiyah with that crap oh! So we mon na date in this country na? Please mehn.
Now, Liberian men oh, we have a quick question for y’all, who told y’all that when you say “I love you” to a female, after knowing her for two goddamn seconds, she’ll somehow automatically just sleep with you? Okay, we understand, when you’re a kid and you don’t have a game yet, you say whatever you think you need to say to get into a girl’s pants. But when a grown-ass man comes with that line off the jump, it’s just baffling and off-putting.
And another thing! Men, y’all need to stop taking all the credit for sex!
No, you’re not the sole reason it happened! Most probably, the female actually liked you too and decided that you were okay to have sex with before you did anything; trust, if this weren’t the case, the sex wouldn’t have happened because most of y’all have no game in this country, and that’s just straight FACTS. Just because the female was not explicit with her desires and you ended up making the first move should not boost your ego. So, don’t be saying “that girl was not even hard to get oh, it only took a few days and she ended up in my bed.” Boss, she ended up in your bed because she wanted to and rarely because you enticed her to. Your actual “persuasive skills” didn’t do jackshit, we promise you.
On the flip side, maybe more Liberian women need to be explicit about their feelings towards men and start making the first move. We understand the centuries-old patriarchy that makes that hard, but we say to hell with that old narrative of “oh, he might not respect me if I tell him I like him first.” Who cares!? Only small-minded boys will think they are the only ones who are allowed to make the first move and do you really want to be with a small-minded boy, sis? Let’s paint another picture:
Two people meet for the first time and hit it off. The guy wants sex that very night and he says it, the female also wants sex but god forbid she actually says that because what woman from a good home would advertise being a sexual being? The Olivia Pope magnitude of scandal!! Why wouldn’t the female resist and insist the two of them get to know each other first??? How can she just LET HIM fuck so easily? Obviously, she LETS every guy fuck, right? That’s the only logical conclusion.
Now, a few questions:
1) Why is the language always LET? She let him take her out. She let him sleep with her. Why? Let us let you in on something, women don’t just let men do stuff to us, like docile pets; we actively participate in the happenings!
2) Why do we immediately strip women of their agency to pursue relationships and explore their sex lives?
We see females keeping their feelings for guys to themselves because they are afraid of being labeled as thirsty unladylike hoes who have no values. We say to hell with that shit! You don’t see women going around telling their friends men are hoes because they made the first move. Most men like to pretend they like females who are straightforward and explicit with their wants but deep down, y’all don’t. Most of y’all actually enjoy and want a woman to play coy and sexless because when you eventually “get” her in bed, you feel more accomplished. When she’s in your bed and knows her way around the sheets a little bit, that’s great but if she knows “too much”, you’re scandalized. It’s amazing how women are portrayed as the complicated ones when it is men who want an almost virgin who knows the Kamasutra back to front because she was somehow born with that innate knowledge and acrobatic skills. Y’all are wild ridiculous sometimes oh, my dear men. And a small caveat, most of you need to realize that if you aren’t publicly dating a woman, whatever happens between those aforementioned sheets should not be beer table discussion with your boys. It’s absurd how some of you run your mouths in this country; y’all will make some of us join the convent or bat only for the other team if y’all keep this up.
We’ll wrap up this analysis of the so-called dating culture in Monrovia by saying this to all our sisters out there, ride or die ain’t in style anymore oh. Please stop corrupting your values and lowering your standards simply because society has told you that you NEED a man or because you feel you’re in love and no one else will love or understand you like he does. Sis, you DO NOT need a man, it is not love if you cry every day, and always remember that there’s someone out there who is gonna understand you to the point where he (or she, if you swing that way) will know that you’re mildly pissed off based on the curvature of your smile. In the meantime, bask in your self-love, drink enough water, stay away from fuckboys, and know that you have at least two sisters out here who are sending you love and warm hugs through the universe.
Co-authored by Shari Raji & Suma Massaley
Featured picture by Royal Family News