Softboys, sweet girls and the tragedy of 21st century “love”.

9 August 2017 - The softboy -hating SANKOFA

DISCLAIMER : I f*cked with this song before we knew that she was an anti-black hater ass trick. I no longer stan, but for my own integrity's sake I don't retrospectively edit my posts. Nonetheless, understand this girl is CANCELLED.

On this womxn's day I feel like I'm somewhat compelled to help empower my fellow womxn who are plagued with being helplessly attracted to walking trash cans. We can't really help who we're attracted to, but we can help who we emotionally invest in, and date. Exhausted of watching both friends and I invest in well manicured stocks that inevitably plummet into tears and unanswered texts. I decided to conduct a social experiment of my own and take a more investigative approach into how fuckboys work. This seems so obvious, and yet we all know an instance where,somehow, the dashing smile, and well timed jokes got him off the hook for (fill-in-the-blank-with-a-personal-experience-you-actively-chose-to-forget).

Friends, we are facing a new era of fuckery in which fuckboys have evolved past having a combover/dreads/a fade and clean sneakers. Recently it seems the fuckboy has metamorphosed into something that looks less harmless; the softboy. It's as if they realized that our radar was beginning to bleep with every unanswered text message that everything wasn't as savoury as it looks. In any case, I was recently lucky enough to interrogate an acquaintance of mine as to how the moving trashcans inner-pysche works.

DISCLAIMER: He,himself, is a fuckboy/softboy and so this whole article in itself could be misleading crap because let's face it, it wouldn't be the first time I was taken for a p*es by a cute boy who wears Timbs and religiously devotes himself to being in close communion with Ciroc.

In any case, lemme break down the softboy for purposes of understanding the jargon of this SANKOFAS' SPACE article. Okay, the softboy is like the upgraded version of the fuckboy. Think:

-"take care" drake emotional IQ/introspection level

- mixed with a severe dose of  toxic masculinity

- underpinned with intense insecurity issues hidden beneath trap music played on blast and free flowing ciroc

- add a severe aversion to morality

- [optional] add mommy issues and unresolved childhood trauma

Packaged in ripped jeans, timbs/sneakers, a bomber jacket, a disarming sense of humor/ flirtation style and expensive cologne and you're only just coming close to understanding the softboy. Alternatively, the softboy may have long hair that is forever finger-combed, rustled only by the wind, while skateboarding. Forever listening to alt-bands so underground only he's ever heard of them, clad in mismatching textiles or florals that he thrifted in a hospice store in Cape Town before hitting long. Yup, you probably have someone in your head right now- a softboy.

Why soft?

Well unlike the basic fuckboy, your softboy will be clued up on the musings of the ever beloved Rupi Kaur, as well as #menaretrash politics. Your softboy, is a smart boy who pretends to respect womxn not only because it's womxn's month but because he "genuinely cares about feminism"- or so it seems. The truth of the matter is that the softboy is just capitalizing on the fantasy fed to womxn about a "mysterious man". He knows that curiosity kills the cat, and has no aversion to killing cats and adding another body to his body count because let's be serious? To him womxn are social currency, or at least the use and abuse thereof, and to be frank it is abuse- emotional abuse. Which he will romanticize in well rehearsed tales about all of his pain, knowing it will lure you in, because who doesn't want something genuine? Even if it is genuinely BS.

My conversation with my insider softboy started debunking the reason as to why I'm single. I told him that I'm not particularly sure but that recently I'd been told that the reason why I was single is because "my love is too real, I'm the type of girl you marry and so no one wants to jump the gun now." (For the record it's one of the narratives  I hate the most). In response, he laughed.. a little too hard, alerting me to the fact that clearly that wasn't his understanding of the "truth".

" Nah B, I donno who the f*ck gave you that  whack advice, that's not the problem. You're too self-assured".

Apparently, softboys relish the idea of an insecure girl because an insecure girl will talk herself out of asking you what's really going on between the two of you. An insecure girl will seek your reassurance - which is when you can tell her pretty much anything you think she wants to hear. An insecure girl will need you, a self-assured girl will only ever want you- which just isn't enough power. Softboys like power the same as any trashcan who subscribes to societal norms of patriarchy and masculinity. Softboys thrive on being the emotionally dominate person in the relationship. A self-assured girl poses a threat to this power dynamic.

"We like power, in any form we can get it but not so little that it makes us question our masculinity". So get into her head, find a girl whose yearning for real love has made her vulnerable and then exploit her. If you get into her head, her heart is soon after and then her bed will pose no no challenge.

(And yes, they do sit around and talk about girls like this I asked.) #Howtoemotionallyabusegirlsandcallitlove172

(Take a moment and regroup- I had to).

The tea was so scalding hot it burnt my chest.

"So... my 'problem' is that I'm too self-confident?"

"Something like that. Look a self-confident girl is a lot more difficult to run game on, she'll ask you a lot more questions - making being with her a lot more work. You're too much work. Gents don't want to have to keep up with their lies."

"Thrilling... So how exactly do you go about this? "

"This?"

"Manipulating girls into thinking that they matter??"

Don't ask questions you aren't ready for the answer to... it's something I often tell other people as well as myself. This was one of those moment's I should have remembered this saying. Unfortunately, curiosity got the best of me as She often does- happily lead astray I awaited the answer.

At the risk of losing his softboy license I was told what softboys do... or at least the ones in this alarmingly small town.

"Well there are three steps..

1.  Make her laugh. If you make her laugh she'll want to keep you around, especially when things are going wrong. She'll want to see you because you always make her feel better. Except when you do this, you run the risk of only being funny in her eyes, which leads us to two.

2.  Emotional availability - no girl just wants a funny guy, that's how you end up being in the friendzone. You need to able to show her that you're in touch with your emotional side because then you open up her heart- or at least create a seed of compassion from which you can cultivate a non-platonic relationship. So just once you need to seriously commit to opening up. Show her your more vulnerable side, because not only will her sympathy bond the two of you, it will make her feel close to you. Once she feels close to you, she's going to emotionally invest - wheter it's consciously or unconsciously. Once she feels sorry for you, she's probably going to feel compelled to reciprocate your "vulnerability" which is when she's going to open up to you- and that's your in. You'll figure out the landmines to avoid, and the composition of her love.  You'll decode her- and then.. capitalize.

3. Maintain The mystery- You can't give her too much though, which is why you only ever fully open up once- you'll be open but not vulnerable.  There is a difference and she'll make the mistake that there isn't, her loss is your gain.  After your one moment, she'll sense that there are other things... that there is more to you, more depth.  More life. Which is when her curiosity will take over her, it always does. She'll begin to want to unravel you, and find out the sources of the pain that you always allude to and never speak of. That's when she'll become emotionally invest in you and during this period of emotional labour, she'll fall in love with you. The rest is history."

Yeah.. I know right?

So why tell  us this than SANKOFA?

It's my civic duty... but also this is why we say #menaretrash.

In any case, it's not about them- the emotionally stunted children who dress up as men until the club doors close. It's not about the fact that he lied, or the fact that you ignored the voice in your head that told you not to. It's not about him, the one that it took months to bleed out his image from your mind or his smell from your sheets. It's not about what was lost- despite the fact that much has been lost. So mourn, what was lost and recuperate because time waits for no man, and he was a thief that stole precious moments that were entitled to you and you alone.

What scared me more than the fact that this game plan sounded alarmingly familiar to me - is that I'm not the only one that this would resonate with. What scared me is just how fierce womxn in this town and country are forced to safegaurd our spaces. If it isn't our physical space on the streets - it's the mental space that softboys like this spend time infiltrating just for fun. When the truth of it is that there's no fun in having to permanently be on gaurd- ready for all and any attack loged against you. Where are womxn supposed to feel safe?

Is it on platforms like these, or the darkness of the night where only God is permitted to  bear witness to our pain. What does emotional safety look like? What could be refuge for a pain too unspeakable to give life to speaking  out-loud? And yet, by suppressing it, silencing it, we bury it. Buried in the graves of our soul, the grave of another unmarked disappointment lies. Inevitably damned to have to exhume the corpse of our love later. Dissecting the ways in which the pain from all the unspoken and yet, not dissimilar deaths have managed to claw their way out of the grave just long enough to colour in every new experience with mistrust. Where can refuge be sought if not in the comfort of our own minds? How can it be that his fuckery took root even here- in the inner-sanctum of my being?

What does healing look like after believing in a fake " I love you." ?

Well... to me healing looks like God's love. To you it might look like self-love which to me is the same thing.

So here's what I will say,

1. "We accept the love we think we deserve"

In ( maybe one of the best novels ever) The Perks of being a Wallflower; this is said.

This is by no means condoning self-damnation or the switching of blame. People are trash independent of you and will continue to be emotionally violent independent of just how great you are. However, sometimes our silence co-signs injustice. And it is an injustice- having your love being ridiculed and reduced into a 3 step process is an injustice to the magnificence that is womxn- that is you. You are capable of forging life from the very genetic fiber of your being. You are capable of knitting together the fabric of the universe and creating a world good enough for you to live in . We are what we say we are. What have you been saying that you are? Worthy? or Unworthy? Necessary? or disposable? This is your life, you dictate the narrative and the fingerprints that will get left on your heart at the end of it. What have you been saying about the standard of love that you are willing to accept? Have you set a standard or has it just been aimless trial and error? Or have you been talked out of having a standard for fear of "being demanding" ? We accept the love we think we deserve. What do you not only think, but actively believe you deserve? Because more often than not, that is what will manifest in your life. For a longtime my belief was manifesting in softboys... recently its manifested in a wonderfully peacefull oneness with myself that some people call single. As ironic as it is, you are charged with safeguarding your peace and if you've never found peace, perhaps it's time? Perhaps its time for plant flowers on the unmarked graves and calling them by the name- the past. Leaving those same memories where they belong - in the past. Maybe it's called peace?

2. "You teach people how to treat you." How do you treat yourself? Would you talk to your best friend with the same tone you address yourself in, in your head? It should be the same tone, because you should be your own best friend. Friend, you are not obliged to accept mediocrity in the name of love because in that case it isn't love - its softboy anarchy calling itself love late at night in incidents you're too ashamed to tell even your best friend about. You deserve a love that treats you kindly, that respects all that you are and all that you strive to be. I pray that you are so full of love that your soul permanently dwells in unshaken love. A love so stable, so prone to uninterrupted multipilcation that you will not even notice when they take. So when a softboy takes, it will not rob you but only add to your understanding that the universe removes people to safeguard you from unnecessary pain.

3.  You are entitled to be both an artwork as well as a work in progress simultaneously.

We're all in the process of learning and unlearning, not only the normalization of toxic masculinity but the idea that you will occupy too much space asking for what you think you deserve. And perhaps you will be occupying too much space that's traditionally reserved for his ego, but friend, you are not a concept unlike his ego. You deserve to occupy space- take it, it's your to have. You are entitled to remember and be reminded that you are not your mistakes- especially the ones which will take you longer to forget. Healing is not a destination but... rather the moment when the melody of a song returns to you as just that- a song. Not a moment that was once shared between the two of you. Stop beating yourself up, healing is a process and self-love a daily act of courage not a destination.

That is why I attached the video of Sabrina Claudio, the song is called "Belong to You" , but the you she was referring to was herself and it was an act of self-love. We all belong to ourselves.

I belong to God first, then myself, then those I chose to allow one person a front row seat to my love. Never shy away from declaring your capabilities not only to flourish in the love of another, but to bathe in the ever-producing well of your own love.

So to all my womxn on this sacred day- this isn't your day. Every, single day belongs to you and the divine truths that you've been oppressing in the name of respectability politics.

Free yourself, I await your liberation.

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SANKOFA WORKS HARD & DOESN'T LIKE THEIFS! don't copy paste my work babe x