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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

What's The Catch?



Brides Magazine

The internet streets are still rousing about Green Bay defensive back Jonathan Owens and his belief that he is “the catch” in his marriage to gymnast Simone Biles.

 

Jonathan is being mocked by some people because we had no idea who he was before he started dating Simone. His virtual anonymity compared to Simone’s worldwide presence makes people feel some kind of way because she earns more. Not sure how many of those people are football fans, because the sport is prime soil for toxic masculinity.

 

If we take that part out of it, just for a minute… and place yourself in Simone’s shoes. I’ll wait…

 

Are you mortified? The least bit embarrassed? I would be. However, she didn’t seem to be. Simone seemed pleased with herself and proud; giddy even. Smiling from ear to ear.

 

Why do we care? Because we do. And if you’re like me, Jonathan saying that he’s the catch goes against everything I’ve been taught – that women are the prize. Nonetheless, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it never benefits us to be concerned with the verbal shenanigans of another woman’s man. So, if Simone says she likes it, and she’s healthy and happy, then more power to this young couple. On the other hand, I just find it to be in poor taste. The entire conversation that happened on The Pivot podcast was cringe worthy. And hearing, “From one pretty red dime to another.” What now??

 

It’s perfectly fine for a woman to pursue a man. If a woman is in control of every other facet of her life, she can be in control of her romantic life as well. So yes, she drove to him, and pursued him, even though he had no idea that she is one of the most decorated athletes in the world.

 

This whole dynamic of men speaking as if, frankly, they are a “bad b*tch” is just gross. It’s gross when women do it too.

It’s fine for men – and women for that matter – to have high self-esteem. But when you’re doing the whole, I’m so pretty, I’m so cute thing, it’s just plain narcissism which nobody benefits from but the narcissist.

 

For Jonathan to go out of his way to say he did not know who she was – it just feels false. Over-emphasizing the fact that he’s attractive, desirable and that she pursued him. What are you trying to accomplish, sir? What he said, and the manner in which he said it, were an attempt to humble Simone.

 

When things go left, the instinct is to blame the woman for the choices she has made. It cannot be lost on us the reality of power relations. People are saying if their roles were reversed, no one would be saying anything about this. Well, they’re right. You know why? Because we are living in a patriarchy; a misogynistic society. Remember, we do live in a world where no matter what romantic partner choice you make as a Black woman – dating up, down, or even laterally – people will have something to say. The impact on Simone Biles is greater because of who she is.

 

Power relations create marginalization. Never should we expect Jonathan and Simone, or any couple for that matter, to be our barometer for Black love representation. Have we not learned our lesson from Teyana and Iman? Keke and Darius? Black women who are more successful than their partners being publicly humiliated and shamed by narcissistic men who do not have the capacity to handle that.

 

Let’s be clear. I’m not saying Jonathan doesn’t love Simone. But you can love someone and still play them. And he played her; embarrassed her and made her the butt of the joke. He sat around and laughed with other people at her expense. So much so that she felt it necessary to go on social media to defend him. She should have never had to do that.

 

When it’s all said and done, we can’t mistake self-worth for the sum of net worth. And, it is perfectly accurate for Simone to be the catch — even if she wasn’t the G.O.A.T in gymnastics.

 

Beneath all the labels, they’re just ordinary people primed by their uniquely personal journeys. Suggesting one is better than the other is suggesting that bank accounts and zip codes determine one’s inherent value. And we know that’s just not true.

 

Unfortunately, we cannot label our way out of patriarchy. Ladies, that doesn’t mean choose whatever man is breathing, or be with the first man that grins at you with all his teeth. But it does mean that there are no fail-proof choices in life; no guarantees. We do the best we can with the intentions we choose to use.

 

 

 

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