dinsdag 6 juni 2017

BOI >> BXI


some days later, i gained some knowledge about the word BOI. I read this information as a response to a question a friend of mine posted on facebook:

‘how is ‘boi’ black cultural appropriation?’

here's the info:

not so long ago, i would have instantly changed my self claimed identity and profile picture and everything i ever posted about the word to correct myself. I would have been ashamed for not knowing and wouldn’t want anyone to see it, for they might not like me anymore.
however, I don’t believe this ‘self-censorship-and-shame cocktail’ is the attitude that helps anyone. nobody knows it all, and even though i try to be as open minded as can be, i still have limited outreach and i can’t see all the sides of the elephant at the same time.

so, with this writing i want to reflect upon my feelings and thoughts related to the term i was happy to claim as part of my identity, one day not-so-long-ago. after the dynamics of reflection and talks with others, i hope i can make a decision, as wisely as possible.

a short summary of the sources i found on the origins of ‘boi’- it’s in my own words, which is important because i need to really get this:

whereas the term ‘boi’ is used in different parts of the queer/LGBTQ+community in order to create a different manifestation of masculinity (from masculine lesbians to feminine gays and submissive whatevers)---

‘boi’ originates early 1990’s from the black community and served a totally different purpose, “it was more likely a play off the racially charged meaning that has long been associated with the term, given the long history of whites, calling adult black men by the diminutive term “boy.” black men reclaimed the word and changed it into ‘boi’.

-I am still curious about how widespread this word is known amongst the black male community, worldwide. because:
 personal sidenote: early 90s, i lived a great part of my life in the midst of communities of colour, or i'd rather say in one mixed poc-community. I never picked up on the term ‘boi’ back then, but hey, i was also called ‘wigger’ (i am not even going to write down where this comes from), without this being offensive for anybody at school back then. and i was a fan of both boyz II men and the backstreet boys...who knows what weird bubble i was living in!
times change, we have to as well. thank goddess. I lived in rotterdam, it might have been, or must have been, a totally different reality from racially mixed schools or communities elsewhere, during that time. of course now i know that even though i was from the same neighbourhood as my black/poc classmates, and even though my parents had more or less the same income as theirs, and we got the same education, there must have been moments when certain doors remained closed for them, whereas for me they were wide open. again: back then, i didn’t have a clue. we just didn’t talk about that. or my poc classmates didn’t talk about it with me...which makes me sad, and wish i'd done better.

anyhow: it’s a good thing that i have to go back to those times and think about it again. and it’s good that i know now where the word ‘boi’ originated from.
but now what?
is it an inappropriate word for me to use, as a white person? or is it merely a positive thing that words lead us to do research on other minority groups, as long as we’re open to do so? and given that, does doing this research make it more appropriate for me to keep on using the word? or should i change it, knowing what i know now?

the following part might be hard for people to follow. please ask if you are curious and don’t get it.
I love it when people call me ‘boi’. it feels playful, it excites me, and it suits me ‘cause it’s bratty, and faggy. it’s the more cheerful and easier way to say ‘fag with cunt’- which also has appropriation glued to it, but since i don’t identify as woman and since i just AM a fag, i already made up my mind about this and continue using it. My faggotry comrades agree. ‘boi’ also has a kinky element, which i also like. I want my lovers to be able to call me boi, because it sounds just right.

still, i want to respect and acknowledge the cultural heritage that sticks to the word, and the sensitivity it can cause for others, with different stories than mine.
>>>

so..
since it is all about the spelling (you can’t hear the difference between boy/boi/bxi/bxy when you say it), i decided to change the spelling. i think the queer community needs to change and update their labels continuously, this is my contribution for now. the ‘x’ has been used in a variety of forms already, in attempts of making ‘old’ words more genderfluid - seems pretty good to me! i hope that with this reflection and minor change i can show the process that comes with trying to take into account all 'other' minorities, and how complex this can be, but also: how necessary. respectful feedback always welcome.

xx

BXI.

zaterdag 27 mei 2017

BOI

last night i went to a party organized by some friends, the House of Boys. i would like to share a story about that night. (first of all: dear friends/boys from House of Boys--it was a great party, i am very proud of you and this is in no way meant to be criticism)

i speak with a lot of gay boys: about their coming out, about public spaces, harassment, gender expression, etc. i love doing that and it makes me happy and proud to see them gather and have fun together, creating their own safe space. i also love the fact that a lot of them come up to me because they see somebody they apparently want to talk to. and i love how they perceive me as this queer person who doesn’t give a fuck. but in fact, i do give a lot of fucks (pun intended) and i am still very vulnerable and in search of my own gender identity and expression. i also thinks this never ends. as i said to one of the boys last night: it gets better. but being vulnerable about being seen in the way you want to be seen and getting hurt because stuff people say or do...it never really stops. it’s inherently human.

as you can see in my profile pic, i had the word BOI* written on my chest. this was a risk i took, i realize now. it seems i value the word a lot more than i thought and i underestimated how writing something this precious on your body makes you some sort of diy target. i came out again last night, every second i was there. at first, it felt good. then something happened and it hurt like hell. picture me, some friends, and a stranger coming up to me:

‘So why doesn’t this say BOOBS?’

the moment someone says something to me that points out my body, especially when it’s being perceived as a (sexualized) woman’s body, i want to disappear. no, i want to scream. i don’t know, it makes me angry and sad and there’s so many feelings that i just don’t know what to feel or say or do anymore. so i stuttered:

‘Because i am not particularly fond of my boobs.’

this is not really true. i have had to deal with a lot of body image issues during my life, but my boobs (i don’t like that word but it was said and i don’t know a better word) have never been part of this. i don’t LOVE them, they’re just there, as a part of me. and they’re small, so they don’t bother me a lot. and, most importantly, they give me pleasure.
but at this point of the ‘conversation’, i was still processing the fact that someone perceived me as a cis woman with boobs, and the fact that i was approached as if they were the most notable aspect of my presence.

Why are you showing them off like that then?!’

i wanted to say that i wasn’t showing off anything, but that i just like to show skin with loads of glitter on it and my chest happens to have those two things people call boobs, but that for me they’re just a part of my body as a whole and not necessarily a special, striking part. i wanted to say that i wrote BOI on my chest to kind of show this to others, to make sure that people DON’T perceive me as cis woman and WON’T point out my boobs. (also: free the nipple!)

i didn’t say much though, i just mumbled to my friend that i was going somewhere else and i walked away, leaving the person in question behind in an indignant state.
my night was ruined. i tried to be my own kind of ‘boi’ at the House of Boys, but i suddenly i couldn’t be anymore. i felt exposed and unsafe. i put on a shirt and tried to process what happened, inside my head**. this writing is what came out.

i am sharing this because i want to point out not only that i am not the fearless and untouchable creature some people might think i am, but also that i experience myself, every day, how violent the gender and beauty standard prison can be, and how important it is to create safer spaces for all things queer. i refuse to believe i was the only one that got hurt last night. i am sure there were more genderqueers there, who experienced some kind of dysphoria because of something that happened. and i want them to know that i need them, and they need me.
i want to expose the vulnerability that comes with being queer, and i want vulnerability to be seen as strength, and as a force that can drive away toxicity. so...


hey bois, femmes, fags: let’s talk.
and while i am at it, hey partypeople: be careful with your comments and take care of each other.

*I use the word BOI to identify myself as ‘fag with cunt’, which is the gendercocktail i feel comfortable with most of the times, and stems from the way `boi’ is used in

1. the lesbian community, a young transgendered/androgynous/masculine person who is assigned female at birth and presents themselves in a young, boyish way; a boidyke; often also identifies as genderqueer.

2. in the gay community, a young gay man;


3. in the BDSM community, someone who presents themselves in a young, boyish way and is usually a bottom/submissive.

**of course this incident doesn't stand on its own. i am using it now because it was the last straw. other things had made me stagger and shake earlier, this made me trip.

zondag 5 maart 2017

shit people say: 'if i were into women...'

#shit people say:


“If i were into women, i would definitely fuck her/you.”


Please stop saying this. Do you want to know why? Maybe you have heard people say it as well, but it didn’t offend you. Maybe you even said it yourself once. Then please, read along. I will explain my kindly demand based on several occasions in which i heard somebody say this. Disclaimer: those people were of all kinds of gender and sexual orientation.


This one is not very hard to explain. You are assuming the person you would want to fuck is a woman. Would it be different if they had a penis, though? (just asking)


  1. It is abusive language and objectifying.
You can not just decide who you are gonna fuck, without the other person wanting this too. This is called consent, and this sentence assumes so little of it that i think we could call it abusive language.
Also, by saying this, you are making an object of the person you are talking about. I am not even gonna explain this point.


  1. It is mostly based on beauty standards. (and therefore objectifying again, but i already used this argument)
This has to do with why i chose to use ‘women’ and not ‘men’ or both. Like i stated before, i heard people of all different kinds of gender and sexual preference say this, but all of them were talking about women. It probably has been said about men as well, but i think there’s something different going on then, which has to do with beauty standards.
If you are not attracted to a certain gender, in this case women, ask yourself: why is that? And doesn’t this label come with the condition of wanting to fuck only a part of the gender spectrum, which is not women? So why would you assume something that far outside of your world of sexual fantasy? And why would this person then all of a sudden cover your needs? I think it has to do with standards of what is ‘fuckable’, set by media, mostly. Of course women are very much framed into a certain beauty standard, so if they can live up to this, they must be fuckable. You have to be very strong and willing to resist the standards of which woman is fuckable set by media, hollywood, and everything else they call capitalism. Those sources forced upon us also determine what is fucking, look at point 4.
Example: gay boys who are in denial and try to be with women mostly fall for the tiny, pretty, classy girls. This is totally suitable for the picture perfect they are trying to uphold, and less of a threat than the rebels with a strong opinion or the deviant bodies amongst females. When they come out and are comfortable with their sexuality they usually don’t have a problem anymore with the latter categories, on the contrary.


  1. It is fucking binary.
And i use the verb ‘fucking’ here on purpose. Fucking binary, i could write an essay about it, but i want to get to my last point, so let me put this as shortly as possible by just asking a lot of questions: fucking is not easily defined. What is fucking? Is fucking something you do when you are horny? Or can you do it without being horny as well? Is fucking when you are both naked? Or can you fuck with your clothes on? Does fucking mean (a form of) penetration? Do you kiss when you fuck? Does fucking always involve genitalia? And when they are involved, is it always called fucking then?
Please define ‘fucking’, because i couldn’t, and wouldn’t.
What i do know is when i did fuck. In retrospect. It just felt like we fucked. I wouldn’t know why and what was it that made this fucking, but i know we did. What i also know is that when i am intimate with a person i never thought of as ‘fuckable’, it can suddenly change. Or even when we are not intimate, and something just happens and i see them in a different light all of a sudden. Or when i am just aroused or excited by the situation and we are all willing to go for it.
I believe there are fuckable moments, not people.


  1. It hurts.
I am a fag with a cunt, and it hurts if gay men tell me they would fuck me if they were into women, or if i were a man. It hurts because i feel like a forever lonely queer when they tell me this, and also because of all the things i mentioned earlier. And mostly because i know i am not a woman, not in daily life, but certainly not when i fuck.

Please queer the fuck up, my friends!
Thanks for reading this, it’s appreciated.
<3



dinsdag 13 december 2016

jouw pijn mijn pijn

Jouw pijn is niet erger dan mijn pijn he?

Deze zin spookt sinds vrijdag j.l. door mijn hoofd. Het is zo veelzeggend en maakt me zo boos en bang en verdrietig.

Los van de context, wat zegt deze zin je? Ik denk dat je er wel een zekere kleinering in kunt lezen, vooral door het woordje ‘he?’. Hallo, weet je nog, mijn pijn is er ook he? Niet vergeten he? Ik heb ook pijn! Het klinkt als een schooljuf die gepest wordt door haar leerlingen. Jongens, ik heb ook gevoel he!

Je kunt je misschien iets voorstellen bij deze zin, een situatie waarin dit wordt uitgesproken. Tussen 2 geliefden wellicht, of tussen 2 mensen die allebei hoofdpijn hebben, maar die ene klaagt er heel de tijd over, en die ander luistert daar al heel de dag naar en is het nu wel een beetje zat.
Stel dat dit de context is, wat vind je dan van deze zin? Terecht? Of een beetje kinderachtig? Je kunt immers ook gewoon zeggen: ik ben je geklaag over je hoofdpijn nu wel zat. Of: wil je nu even je mond houden, want ik merk dat mijn hoofdpijn hier niet echt beter van wordt.

Jouw pijn is niet erger dan mijn pijn, he?

Oke. Als ik nu vertel, dat het gespreksonderwerp in de context waarin dit werd uitgesproken, racisme was. Wat stel je je er nu dan bij voor? Ik vermoed dat je al aardig in de buurt komt.
Dan is het nu tijd dat ik mijn narratieve beschaving loslaat en zeg wat er op mijn hart ligt.

Deze zin komt namelijk van een ex-raadslid (vrouw, wit) van Leefbaar Rotterdam. Iemand die vaak een platform krijgt in de media. Ze sprak het uit tegen een zwarte vrouw, die zojuist had verteld dat zij regelmatig te maken heeft met racisme, en hier een voorbeeld van gaf. Mevrouw Leefbaar maakt regelmatig soortgelijke dingen mee: ze wordt namelijk wel eens aangezien voor een racist! Weten wij wel hoe dat voelt??

En ja, in dit gesprek keerde zij zich richting een zwarte vrouw, en sprak de woorden:

Jouw pijn is niet erger dan mijn pijn, he?

Een hele ruimte vol beschaafd links Rotterdam zat erbij en keek ernaar. Niemand zei iets. Toen zij vervolgens een pro-Trump betoogje hield, implodeerde ik zowat, en trok ik mijn mond open. Ik deed het te laat, niet goed genoeg, maargoed: de rest zweeg. Ze veegde mijn woorden van tafel en nam weer de ruimte in, keer op keer, met elke keer dezelfde woorden. Zonder gene. Volledig comfortabel.

Stop. houd je mond. Stop alsjeblieft. Houd je mond. Zorg dat je pijn je kwetsbaar maakt, en voel dat, en kom daarna terug, voor een prettig gesprek.

‘Ik ben zo verdrietig. Help.’

zaterdag 1 oktober 2016



Aan de betrokken kansrijke Rotterdammer,


De afgelopen maand is beschaafd Rotterdam weer veelvuldig samengekomen. Het culturele seizoen is geopend, en vanaf nu kunnen de esthetici van Rotterdam weer genieten van een rijk aanbod aan kunst, literatuur, muziek en theater. Ook was er vorige week Rotterdam Pride, voor mij en mijn community een kans om onszelf te laten zien aan de rest van de stad.
Wat al deze evenementen gemeen hebben is dat ze een groep mensen bij elkaar brengen die betrokken zijn bij Rotterdam. Ze willen dat Rotterdammers met elkaar blijven praten, dat Rotterdam cultureel op de kaart komt, dat er mooie dingen te zien zijn en dat iedereen gelijkwaardig is. Dat is een toffe groep mensen dus, vind ik, als geboren en getogen Rotterdamse en wereldverbeteraar (bewijs? lees maar verder).


Maar ik maak me ook zorgen om de mensen die door deze groep worden uitgesloten. Ik merk het in de wandelgangen, en de laatste tijd ook in columns en opiniestukken die massaal worden gedeeld en geliked: zij willen (onbewust) niets weten van een categorie mens die het iets minder getroffen heeft in het leven. Veelvuldig wordt deze groep weggezet als ‘junks’, of ‘(crack)hoeren’, en vanuit betrokken Rotterdam komt er dan zeer weinig kritisch respons.


Een voorbeeld uit ‘mijn eigen community’: de populaire column ‘Liveliketom’. Hij schrijft over "(..) de plek waar vroeger hoeren en junks foeterend achter elkaar aan zaten", en gebruikt dit in zijn stukje om het contrast aan te geven tussen het Rotterdam van toen - waar hoeren en junks het straatbeeld ‘s nachts domineerden, en van nu - met homo's die op straat openlijk liefdesdrama’s kunnen uiten. Hij ziet dit als een voorbeeld van hoe goed het gaat met Rotterdam, en hoe tolerant onze stad nu is. Dit contrast juist zo expliciteren vind ik zeer problematisch. Het laat een beweging zien van het doorschuiven van een minderheidsgroep naar de meerderheid: blanke homomannen zijn immers lekker door geëmancipeerd en mogen (volgens dit verhaal) uitgebreid zichzelf zijn op straat. Super! Maar lieve blanke homomannen (ik ga jullie even direct aanspreken), jullie weten toch nog wel hoe het voelt om dat niet te kunnen? Om op straat bang te moeten zijn uitgescholden te worden? Om als oud vuil (=afval, =junk**) te worden behandeld? Misschien zijn sommigen dat even vergeten. Begrijpelijk, er is zoveel leuks en dat mag best gevierd worden. Maar toch zou ik jullie er graag aan herinneren, in de hoop dat ‘gelijkwaardig’ een term wordt die ook opgaat voor mensen die dakloos, verslaafd of erg in de war zijn.


**>>Even wat taalkritiek. De term ‘junk’ is heel erg naar, het betekent namelijk ‘afval’. Ik zou graag zien dat deze term net zo not done wordt als het N-woord, of het F-woord. ‘Hoeren’ is in deze context al helemaal onverklaarbaar. Wat hebben prostituees/sekswerkers hiermee te maken? Ik vermoed dat je voor de blanke privilege een ‘hoer’ bent als je een (dakloze) vrouw bent die bedelt? Want dat moet wel een hoer zijn, een dakloze vrouw? Deze terminologie is vreselijk stigmatiserend. Laten we hiermee stoppen en elkaar, als welbespraakte hoogopgeleide mensen, erop wijzen.<<


Ik denk dat je kunt spreken van een schijntolerantie als we als ‘betrokken Rotterdam’ massaal gaan juichen/liken als zij die steun van een stad het hardst kunnen gebruiken netjes worden opgeruimd om plaats te maken voor een bekender beeld op ons aller netvlies. Weten jullie nog: alles van waarde is weerloos, de omgeving van de mens is de medemens, en de meeste mensen zijn andere mensen?
Een beschaving, beste blanke (linkse) gepriviligeerden, is er juist om zij die minder kansen hebben gehad te steunen door ze te zien en te helpen. Niet door ze van straat te vegen om plaats te maken voor onze eigen volgeconsumeerde lichamen, maar door ze te erkennen als onderdeel van ons straatbeeld en ze te leren kennen als volwaardige mede-Rotterdammers. Dit is een minderheid die bestaat, die er altijd al was, en altijd zal blijven. Dat maakt Rotterdam een wereldstad.

dinsdag 7 juni 2016

A Love Letter to Queer

Dear queer,

It is hard to know how to do it.
I have written several love letters in my life. All the previous ones were about/to a person. One person, with whom i was in a kind of relationship. Most of those ended, and i think this is mainly because you have always been there.
Can you help me? You are the one that got me here in the first place. But now that i am here...
It’s hard to know how to do it.
How can you do something without knowing how?

Can you help me laugh about those movies that they made, and i tried to live?
Can you help me defy the romantic ideal about love and sex?
Can you help me get rid of my own expectations?
Can you help me let go of the tragic of disney, consumerist decadence, and my parents?
Can you help me write my own lovestory, which is about multiple forms of love, friendship and intimacy? (i don’t think you can do all this)

I am really really scared of you, and i feel so safe with you at the same time. You have been so disappointing and so satisfying. You have made me feel at home, thank you for that. I am sorry I got annoyed and bored that one time in Berlin, and wanted to leave a while later...even you can not prevent this from happening. I am still with you though, cause you are the only one who can handle and restrain my fear of commitment, or even more: my fear of separation.
But.. it is so hard to know how to do it. You keep asking me what i want, it freaks me out. I don’t know what i want. I need your help. And I need your intimacy.

Maybe you don’t want me, i am not good enough for you, i don’t belong to you. These insecurities make me doubt my devotion to you sometimes. Do i fit you, queer? Am i not too cisgendered, too white, too much into boys -and dick- as well?

I can be vulnerable with you. Other people often make me feel vulnerability is weakness. But even though you make me feel my vulnerability makes me beautiful and strong -make my body, my complex, never perfect body, beautiful and strong-
It is hard to know how to do it.

I walked through the streets of Berlin, looking for you. I found you in a lot of places, safe spaces as they call them. It is not a given thing for me to feel safe in public spaces, and with you i did. But i also found that you are not there when i am not: that you are a part of me, and that i am the one that should ask for you to appear. You are something strange, something other, something different, not only in society and other people, but mostly: in me. You make me feel alone and isolated, but then you tell me to get up and put lots of glitter on and go dancing. We go dancing together, we are the queer genderclowns.
You tell me i am not like the others, and sometimes i hate you for that. But once i start looking for you in other people, i feel all the more comforted and loved. You make me feel like i do belong, there is hope, i can have sex, i am allowed to enjoy my body, but i can also be in pain and say no, i can wear all the crazy shit i can think of, i do not have to care about what people think, i don’t have to be woman, or girl, but i don’t have to be man either. I can be a true clown with you and you are not scared of my needs.

I can find you anywhere. I mean this spiritually, your energy is everywhere, but also as in most cities. Most cities have a part of you, a place and community where you are the common ground.
Dear queer, there’s only two 2 things i think you need to work on:
  • Rotterdam, and a sense of humour.

Let’s work on that together.

Love,

Manon

vrijdag 20 november 2015

the greatest love of all: one playful moment in time


i believe the children are our future.. -whitney houston's greatest love of all is the most tragic song in pop-history. think about it: whitney's child, daughter bobbi kristina, died a short period after her mother, in more or less the same way -they both were found dead in a bathtub. as for the rest of the lyrics of this song, listen to them: it won't make you think of a life like whitney's. but how could we live the greatest love of all, when we are told to live and love like whitney, for this one purpose: romantic love?

born in 1982, i grew up in the 80's and 90's listening to the radio. my earliest memory is of sitting at the table in the living room, coloring or dwawing something, with my mother in the background doing stuff. my mother always listened to popmusic on the radio (she was only in her 20s then) and so i heard it too. whereas madonna was my big idol, and I had my own cassettes with her songs on it which i begged my mother to play over-and-over again, whitney has always been around too. i found her voice so beautiful, but for some reason I never wanted to 'come out' as a whitney-fan. madonna was way cooler, i guess.
when i was 13, i had a crush on a boy from my neighbourhood. i never spoke to him of course, but he had a scooter and i saw him crossing round town on it, and everytime he suddenly appeared i got so nervous i fell off my bike or drove it into the bushes. must be love right? at night, i listened to whitney, whitney houston's famous hitrecord which my mother had bought back in '86, on my discman. didn't we almost have it all and where do broken hearts go were the songs i listened to most, while i fantasized about the scooterboy noticing me and smiling at me. (yeah that's it. no kissing, no dancing, no talking even. i was so innocent.)
i use these 2 memories to explain my fascination for whitney, which remained throughout my life. later in the 90's, she came back with her famous bodyguard record and movie, and i found myself being mesmerized by her appearence again. this time, i think i loved looking at her more than listening to her songs though.

when I heard about her death 3 years ago i was shocked..the tragedy was complete. i think whitney stands for the extreme terror ending of living the perfect romantic love, and i think i was influenced by this, which is quite the bitch about tragedies -they influence people with illusions they keep up.
i internalized the lyrics i heard when i was drawing as a little girl. i thought 'this must be love, and it seems like the most important feeling in the world'. for whitney, this was the case. she married a man named bobby brown, and i think there are not a lot of people who take their wedding vows as serious as she did. she stood by her man. (he is still alive now, and he is a dickhead) i don't think whitney was very intellectually gifted, but i do have a strange sort of respect for her and the choices she made. she stuck to the plan. and because the whole world wanted to take over her life, which is what comes with the fame, all she could do (like so many others did) was to claim agency by taking drugs and booze. the other tragic of course being that the drugs and booze will take the last piece of agency you have away from you anyhow. her death was a combination of bad luck and a body that is very fragile because of all the drugs and alcohol it had to deal with: she took a bath after snorting some coke and drinking something, she slipped, hit her head and drowned in the bathwater. could happen to anyone, really. just like the tragedy of romantic love could happen to any girl (m/f).

with this writing, i want to talk about the ideal of the romantic love that whitney (together with disney, society, my mother, etc.) got into my head. because we now know where it leaded her, and i think i decided a decade ago that i didn't want to end up like her. but there is of course always beauty in tragedy..and we need to talk about new forms of beauty to start seeing them.

a lot of feminist philosophers and writers have written about the burden of romantic love, in search of other stories. a while ago i read all about love (2001) by bell hooks, in which she explores the rather complex and abstract topic. what is love? for hooks, it is certainly not something you can make a hierarchy of, with the love for that one significant other at the top. hooks thinks that f.i. friendship is a form of love highly underappreciated. she states that women often take shit (i re-phrased freely) from men that they would never take from a friend, all because of the destructive hanging-on to the romantic ideal. i think whitney is the living proof this and i very much agree. but, instead of discussing when love is 'wrong' or 'destructive' (which i think is very important to do, and must not be neglected, but i want to get to my point more quickly), i would like to go beyond this and look for other affirmative narratives on love.

simone van saarloos is the latest dutch philosopher who wrote about this, and gives us a lot of empowering sources to live by. i am a big fan, i think she captures a very important aspect of emancipation for both men and women of our times. for me the ethical slut bij janet hardy and dossie easton (1997) was an important source to start with, but i could not really relate to the stories it showed me. written by two women from a different generation, it gave me the feeling this ethics belonged to a certain time and place, and i couldn't think of a place like that in store for me, right now. still, the loving-ethic and the reflections on jealousy, sex-positivism and vulnerability were a major breakthrough for me personally.
but van saarloos i like even better, because she is a philosopher, and most of all, of my generation. her book is called the monogamous drama and pleads for being single forever. van saarloos doesn't want the romantic love story, because she thinks being single is not a phase in which you search for the next love, but a status that can be cherished because it gives you the chance to love and live, playfully. she claims that relationships have become too static, rigid, serious. i couldn't agree more. to 'play' is my favourite thing in the world: to play with the diversity of relationships i have -friends, random people passing by, lovers- and the challenge to keep it a 'fair play', which is sometimes very hard. to be honest about feelings, to communicate with integrity, and to not be afraid of being rejected or maybe even more important: to not be afraid of your dark sides. whitney lost her playfulness, took her love very seriously, and was very afraid of her dark side. beautifully tragic, but not something to teach our children (which are indeed, our future).

well, i still want that one moment in time, when i am more than i thought i could be. i think it is now my favorite whitney-song (of course we are still talking about my guilty pleasures now), because it is not about love for one person. and especially if you think of this moment to be a very small one moment in time, it could happen everyday. everyday we can be more than we thought we could be. (this is not enough for me, obviously-yes i know)
and remember: if by chance that special place that you've been dreaming of, leads you to a lonely place: find your strength in love.

epic. RIP whitney.

**disclaimer: i know i just made a serious confession for a person who generally loves 'good music'. 

simone van saarloos:
https://decorrespondent.nl/3612/Het-monogame-drama-een-pleidooi-voor-multi-intimiteit/494834883312-95d7bcb9

more about playful love in this episode of the dutch show 'je zal het maar zijn':
http://www.npo.nl/je-zal-het-maar-zijn/17-11-2015/BNN_101376172