trust yourself. you're really all you have.

like a fish needs a bicycle

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oh, friends. why is it that, right when i think things are bopping along at a nice, even clip, there’s a giant insane conflagration just around the curve?

of all things, this is best explained by the angst j.k. rowling just caused a lot of y’all. now, i am not a harry potter reader. never read a word of the series, not a single one.

[waits for outrage to die down before continuing]

but i have picked up enough about the series from being around all of y’all that the girl doesn’t take up with harry potter at the end of things. she takes up with their other friend instead. and apparently, j.k. rowling just rocked everyone’s world from here to next thursday when she said she wished she’d had harry get the girl. which spawned a river of upset-ness into the internet. that part i get – i have been seriously in love with creative works enough to understand why that would bend a fan’s mind.

but then today, a comedian named gaby dunn posted on twitter a long tirade about how “hermione doesn’t need a man to be free.” leaving aside the weird fan-fiction aspects of an assertion like this (sorry folks; i think fan fiction is odd, and i always will), the twitter-er goes on to expound at length about how hermione should be allowed to take lovers and be fully actualized. this ends with “hermione comes home to her clean, big apartment, pours some wine, and reads with her cat. she is perfectly satisfied without a man. the end.” and i sighed deeply.

one of the patriarchy’s more subtle points of attempted division among women is this whole “you’re only fully realized [with/without] a man” debate. oh lord above, deliver me from this one. deliver me from the sanctimony of the coupled, the ones who make the lot of us look awful by saying the most hideous garbage to single women. you know this spiel: the raft of condescending left-handed slaps, the implication that if you’re not wearing a diamond ring by age 25 that you may as well fling yourself off of a cliff because you are WORTHLESS, the cult of domesticity. god, it’s atrocious.

in reaction to this horrorshow, however, an equally sanctimonious counterforce has developed, and that’s what ms. dunn invokes in defense of the autonomy of a fictional teenage [i think? do they grow to adulthood? i don’t even know] wizard. this is the one where, if you decide to get married or have a family, especially if you do so at a young age, you have somehow sold out the cause of feminism. you’re a throwback. you’re never going to be a “real person” because you’re too busy “subsuming” yourself to the will of your family. after all, the only true self-actualization there is happens when you are single. oh, and by the way, you must be defiantly, sparklingly happy about your single-ness at all times, because if you show any weakness, you’re failing all women everywhere forever. if you aren’t flaunting your independence in the face of all those weak, spineless, defeated half-women chained to men and children at all times, you are just as bad as those limp fake people are.

and look at that: we’re all too busy arguing about our romantic choices, or lack thereof, to notice that louisiana tried to require a 30-day waiting period for abortions last month. boy, that works out well for them, doesn’t it?

god, this is dumb. wil wheaton developed what i think is a great rule for personal conduct, and that is the “don’t be a dick” rule. and in the single/not single debate, pretty much everyone involved is being a dick to the other side. and i want it to freaking stop already. i want the world to spend more time on issues of importance outside of the four walls of a bedroom. the only marriage debate i want to hear about is whether we can get the 33 states that deny equal protection to their citizens based on orientation to stop doing that. once the equal rights of all are secured, i no longer give a flying tinker’s damn whether or not people avail themselves of the institution. whether you are single or married is irrelevant to your standing as a human. there are nice people and assholes in both camps.

you are not incomplete without a spouse. you are also not incomplete with one. you are you regardless of your marital/dating status or lack thereof. you do not need a man, nor do you need a man like a fish needs a bicycle. you need what you need. and it’s cool with me. and it should be cool with everyone. period.

Author: magnolia

grown-ass woman, solidly 30-something. mobilian by raising, with some louisiana thrown in for lagniappe. fiercely devoted lover of my husband, my friends, and my folks. highly reconstructed southerner. teacher of tax accountants. LSU alum. atheist. peace-loving liberal. recognizer of humanity in all of its forms. non-practicing lawya. sports fan. hopefully friendly and amusing. writer of a whole lot fewer fictions than i used to write.

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