Jane the Virgin is Woke AF

 

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Last weekend I was catching up on a couple episodes of Jane the Virgin, the amazingly exaggerated CW telenovela, when I was struck by how much I related to the usually over-dramatic show. ‘Chapter Seventy-Five’ centred around the concept of “re-framing”, a narrative device that uses previously withheld information to reshape the context of the plot.  In Jane’s storyline, the episode focused on re-framing her relationship with old flame Jonathan Chavez, her hot graduate professor that she almost lost her virginity to.  This episode really struck a nerve with me, dredging up emotions I’ve been wrestling with the past few months and rousing me from a 2.5 month blogging stupor. Jane, and her complex relationship with Chavez so articulately encapsulate everything I feel toward Mr. Man. So to borrow a page from Jane’s own playbook, I’ll be using her story to re-frame how I’ve been feeling in mine. Meta…I know.

Scene One:

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Jane needs a job, which leads her to message Chavez asking for an introduction to a professor who is currently hiring. Rightfully so, she feels tentative about reigniting things, re-writing her email to him over and over to ensure she’s portraying the right message of easy, breezy, and unbothered by the shitty end to
their relationship.

Cut-to: Me trying to compose work emails to Mr. Man that are friendly without being flirty, polite yet professional, but not like I’m trying to intentionally be so. Our ending may have been a little different from Jane’s (she cried before a hook up, while we just stopped talking) but nonetheless, the same awkward, unresolved tones hang in the air in both cases. Honestly, I’m sure that I’ve written university papers that are less edited than some of my responses to Mr. Man.

Scene Two: 

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 6.43.56 PMJane manages to overcome her email communication hurdles and reconnects with Chavez, just in time to learn that he’s seeing another student. She stalks him a bit online only to see that this pattern has happened not once, twice, but at least four other times…ouch.

Cut-to: Me finding out from a friend at work (Margaret) that Mr. Man has a rather widespread reputation for hitting up young girls in the office. Nice huh? This new-found information made the whole situation seem incredibly icky and I couldn’t help but feel like it was a reflection of my own optimistic naivety, where I somehow thought that I was *shudders* something special.  Maggie & I agree that it’s possible that I was to some degree based on what he’s shared with me, but it doesn’t matter either way. Finding out about this pattern basically invalidated all of my feelings and made me realize that at best I am just a rainbow chip in a larger chocolate chip cookie…damn, now I’m depressed and hungry.

Scene Three: 

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 1.00.48 AM.pngJane explains the situation to Raf in the quintessential intersection of her storyline and mine, sharing how she (and I) felt in two succinct sentences:

Jane: “I didn’t feel like he took advantage of me, at the time. I had a  huge crush on him and I went after him. But knowing that he slept with all these other grad students, it just reframes everything.”

Raf: ”You should report him.”

Jane: “For what? He’s not Marissa’s advisor. I checked. And there’s no clear university policy.”

Raf: “Well there should be, those are some intense power dynamics.”

Swap out Jane for me and Raf for Maggie and I SWEAR I’ve had almost this exact  conversation. While I don’t think that Mr. Man has ever ventured as far as Chavez, the parallels are still apparent. I didn’t feel like anything was wrong with his attention because I was really into it, I let him know I was open to something and was not innocent prey by any means. But knowing that he may have tried to pull the same thing with others is so disheartening, as is the realization that what I deemed to be ok behaviour really wasn’t, it just seemed that way because I was drunk on hormones.

So, should I report him? I’ve thought about it…but what would I report? Clearly he’s well-practiced in tip-toeing the line, making sure to push his bounds while never doing anything I could overtly point to at the end of the day. Thiss tactical approach only shows me how well-versed he truly is at this game, definitely upping the ick factor.

I feel as if the notion of power dynamics is one that becomes even more exaggerated in a business context. This is because in a literal sense some positions are just more powerful than others, a notion that isn’t groundbreaking by any means. However, on a more nuanced level, men in powerful positions also seem to have an inflated sense of self-importance, as if their role somehow points to having a higher status level overall. I can’t definitively claim that Mr. Man’s role at work made him feel as if he could treat me like a play thing with no feelings. But as the ‘feelingless play thing’ in this particular circumstance, it sure as hell seems that way.

So shout out to Raf for saying it best…those really were some intense power dynamics. Really what else was I to do in that situation…Be rude? I had no reason to think that he was being anything but genuine and only looking back does the game become more clear. From the moment he bought me a drink at the bar I was indebted to him to some degree. He always got our bills, made me feel special (*shudders* there it is again) and even recommended me for another job, making me feel like I should be grateful for his attention and cleverly masquerading whether or not I was being manipulated. He’s mindfucked me to the point that even now I feel absurd writing this blog post when “nothing” has really happened…but “nothing”doesn’t bother you for months after, so it’s time to put to rest the notion that this fabrication was created all on my own.

The last thing I will say is that I am so grateful that Jane the Virgin, which sounds like campy show about sex, tackled an issue as difficult as the power imbalances between men and women. While I never thought I was the only person to experience something like this, it was comforting seeing my own experiences articulated so clearly, and helped me re-frame those 6 months for what they really were: an inflated fantasy of an office romance constructed by trashy rom-coms, my own optimism and most of all, by Mr. Man.

 

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Yay for Thought Catalog!

Shutterstock / Stokkete

Samantha – Something pretty cool happened recently that I wanted to share with you guys. A few weeks ago I sent in my post, “Mr. Disappearing Act” to Thought Catalog on a whim.  I’m pretty proud of the piece and think it’s quite relateable, which is why I took a chance and submitted it for review. This seemed excessively scary at the time, but as one of the first “emotional” pieces I’d written, I was worried about how it would be judged.

Well, much to my surprise, I received an email two days ago that my submission was posted….YAY!!!

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I know this isn’t that big a deal, but I’ve never submitted a piece of my writing to be published before, and was also very excited that  – aside from the title – little to no changes were made to the original piece.

Snaps and claps for Samantha, professional blogger-in-training!

Check it out here 🙂

Our Two Cents- 59 Things Everyone Has Experienced While Dating Online in 2015

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Introducing the inaugural entry to our brand to segment, Our Two Sense, where a pair of our esteemed daters provide their commentary on other awesome posts about life, love and all that good stuff.

Last Tuesday, Thought Catalog posted an article about the 59 Things Everyone Has Experienced While Dating Online In 2015. The post was just too good not to share so we’ve included it below along with our two cents! (hehe, get it?)

Legend:
Thought Catalog
Samantha
Miranda

1. Ugh, I don’t want to be on any dating apps. They’re such a waste of time. Is this a sign I’ve given up on finding someone the traditional way? AM I UNLOVEABLE IN A TRADITIONAL SENSE? I’m pretending to be above online dating, but I want to find my TINDERELLA tale too!

2. …Well maybe I’ll try [insert app], people seem to like it. My friend just downloaded it and met her boyfriend on there so it must be chill. I’ll just focus on this one success while ignoring the countless stories of fuckbois from friends who have had no luck at all. Ya, total denial of horror stories is advisable if you want even a chance to survive 30 seconds on any dating app.

3. Ok which of my Instagram pics would make the best profile pic? And how edited can I get away with without catfishing the poor guy who swipes right? How old is too old for my pictures to be? I looked way cuter 3 years ago.

4. Right, so now what do I say on my profile? Do I try to be witty and cute or do I say nothing and work the mysterious angle? Ex. My current description: “peace, love and pizza” as told by emojis. Same here- I basically just profess my love for food, they don’t actually care what I’m about anyways.

5. Profile’s done!  What a carefully curated piece of artwork- I should be in a museum.

6. Oh he’s cute *swipes right.* Dayyyum, how do I get with that?

6.1. Oh he’s super cute! Does that warrant a super like?

7. Ugh this guy looks like an asshole *swipes left.* Fukboi 101 alert.

8. There’s no way I would be his type *swipes left.*

8.1. I’ll swipe right on this guy because I have a feeling he did too *swipes right*

9. Is that my ex-boyfriend’s torso? *Favorites* Uh. No thanks. He’s called an ex for a reason.

10. Hmm this guy looks really hot in this picture but in this one not so much *not so sure where to swipe*. [Closes app, as if to really think it through]. Men, stop trying to trick us. We’re way too paranoid to swipe wrong for your “method” to work.

10.1 *Swipes right anyway hoping he looks like the cute pics* Apparently the method works on some of us…

11. OMG it’s been like 20 minutes and I don’t have any matches. Am I ugly! What’s wrong with society! Thinking positively – maybe they just haven’t seen me yet? It needs to time to load….

12. Whatever I’m so over it. I never wanted this dumb app anyway (this is a lie).  

13. Deletes app. Or just ignores it for a while. This usually lasts 2-3 weeks, based on my previous experience. Until you’re bored enough to try it out again…

14. Repeat 2-10.

15. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling into the wee hours of the night.

15.1 I’ll just swipe until my next match.

15.2 I’ll just swipe until my next chat.

15.3 I’ll just swipe until I’m done shitting.

16. Goes to sleep, finally. Wakes up, phone underneath pillow, excited to see that there are so many new matches and messages! With only a few creeps to spare!

17. Today is going to be a good day. I walk with a strut in my step. The sidewalk is my runway. Bitch, move out of the way. WERK.

18. Oh yeah, he’s really cute. And I don’t even have beer goggles on. Success!

19. “Hey!” How many yyy’s are appropriate?

19.1. “Hey”, “Heyyy”, “Heyyyyyyy”.  Ok, now I just seem drunk. Samantha may be wearing beer goggles in this case.

20. 8 hours have passed. I CAME ON TOO STRONG I KNEW IT. Should’ve limited it to only 6 “y’s.”

21. Well it says he was last online an hour ago but he hasn’t responded to my “hey” yet. I hate playing these games.

22. RUDE. Why am I playing these games?

23. Oh, this one’s even cuter.

24. “How’s it going?”

25. “Fine and u?” This is fascinating…Like dating wallpaper.

26. “Yeah I’m just busy with work, meh. Hey I saw you love Moloko — I love them, too!” *Feigns interest in your interests*

27. No response.

28. Still no response.

29. That’s fine. Whatevs. Self-protective armour – ACTIVATE!

30. This guy says he’s only into other fit masculine normal guys. I mean…

31. Oh he looks fun, I’ll message him.

32. We’ve been sending cute messages back and forth for like 2.5 days now, maybe it’s time we TOOK THIS TO WHATSAPP. Baby steps now, we don’t want to scare him off.

32.1. I don’t get WiFi in the office and Tinder is eating up all my data…

33. Just ask for my number! This is so the biggest step when dating online.

33.1. Praying he asks for my number before people catch me on tinder in public. Current life status.

34. Ok his name is David, I know way too many Davids.

35. But this David has really nice abs.

36. So I’ll put him in as David Abs, which is different from David Tinder and David Total Top. It’s fine – I only need to know the difference anyways.

37. Messaging with someone you haven’t even met is so fun! We connect so well even just through typing! My soulmate! We have so many superficial similarities. It’s like he gets me or something.

38. You love picking up the phone and seeing all the green Whatsapp notifications. It’s like you’re winning. No notifications is very sad 😦 Winning at the game we call life.

39. Something always goes wrong at this stage of the courting. Because the guys online always take it one step too far – Ex. “Hit me up tomorrow” “Oh ya, I’ll hit you, but only if you hit me back ;)” NO. JUST NO.

40. Scenario #1: SOMETHING GOES WRONG. Cute guy says something stupid/racist/misogynistic/idiotic. 90% of the time this is true.

41. NEXT.

42. Scenario #2: PERSON IS TERRIBLE. Hey, let’s meet for coffee.

43. Ok well that was terrible. NEXT. Oh god why did he have to try and hypnotize me in public. Shameless plug: see Mr. Hypnotist post for the details.

44. Scenario #3: Hey, let’s meet for coffee.

45. Oh wow he was so cute! And we had so much to talk about, I can’t believe I was there 5 hours.

46. After the first date he disappears completely. Messages are much less frequent. What did I do to turn him off? Was there not a mutually intense connection?

47. Scenario #4: Hey, let’s meet for coffee.

48. Oh wow he was so cute! And we had so much to talk about! I can’t believe I was there 5 hours.

49. Gradually we’re hanging out more and more.

50. He sleeps over. Tehehehe. An adult sleepover. Very mature Miranda…

51. He starts leaving things at my place — a tooth brush, a clean pair of underwear. He brings the coffee he likes and stores it in my cupboard. Like, does this ever really happen though? Never. The tell-tale sign is usually the girl leaving the bobby pins at the guys place.

52. He’s my boyfriend! Like official boyfriend anyway. I considered him mine after the second date. HAHAH Bitch, you crazy.

53. Where did you two meet?

54. lol.

55. Do we tell the truth or do we lie and say “mutual friends”?

55.1. Secret desire is not to meet anyone awesome on tinder so the meet-cute shared at your wedding doesn’t revolve around an app designed for getting laid.

56. Maybe online dating isn’t so bad after all.

57. Ok we’ve been dating for [insert length of time] now…why are you still on Tinder/Hinge/OkCupid/Grindr/Match? Should I still be too??

58. Hmmm.

59. When it ends — if it does — repeat 1-58. It’s back to the notification screen.

So, thought catalog got it pretty spot on…more or less.

Agreed. They did really well in the beginning, but lost me in that last part. If we successfully found someone on tinder, we probably wouldn’t be here right now writing this post.

At least there’s comfort in knowing that although online dating is a huge fail, at least we’re not failing alone. 

Yea…cuz you can really cuddle up with the idea of not failing alone on a Saturday night…

Preach sista. Till next time, this has been Our Two Sense!