Hola amigos!

I hope you are finding ways to stay sane amid… everything.

I wanted to share a few notes before we hop into today’s discourses. Firstly, if you haven’t already read the latest from the 5XPress advice column—you can do so here.

You can also submit your own questions/conundrums anonymously through this form. 

This week, I also wrote an article about expanding how we define “community,” unpacking the importance of intentional and reciprocal allyship with Indigenous communities. You can read it here. 

Okay, that’s enough housekeeping.

Onwards and upwards. (Or downwards, depending on how you look at it).

Marriage Ultimatum

You may or may not be familiar with my mild obsession with reality TV, but there is a new show that is currently making my brain explode and I need to tell you about it.

Netflix has released another unhinged reality dating show, Marriage Ultimatum: Marry or Move On. In the show, couples arrive with their partner, who they have given an ultimatum. Either they are to get married, or split up. 

They arrive with their partner and spend one final night together before they “split up” and begin to date among the other couples who have given their partner an ultimatum. At the end of the week they pick a new partner, who they stay with for a few weeks before reuniting with their original boyfriend/girlfriend and then deciding whether or not they want to get married.

The funniest part is that all of the couples are dead serious, and think that having an ultimatum doesn't mean that their relationship is basically already over. They are also between 22 and 25-years-old, which seems like a very strange time to be giving an ultimatum, particularly after a year or two of dating. Just as a general rule of thumb, if you find yourself giving or being given an ultimatum, your partnership may be toxic. If the only way for someone to see your worth is when they think they may lose you, or after they do—then they do not deserve you. Period.

I know, this all sounds like flaming hot garbage, and it is. But there is something about reality TV that is so delicious. It suspends reality for a moment and lets you escape into a world with an exaggerated version of all of the worst people you know. The chaos feels so removed from your real problems, that for a second, all that matters is the drama between two ridiculously good looking people that has absolutely no bearing on your life.  

I’ll be honest, I don’t trust people who think they are too good for reality TV. No one is too good to watch Real Housewives fight each other or watch an already doomed couple become even more doomed by adding a camera to their deteriorating relationship. How! Fun!

Anti-Blackness in the South Asian community

After a Sikh senior was violently attacked in New York last week, instead of focusing on how we can address the rising hate crimes against the Sikh community, somehow, some folks are making time for anti-Blackness.

While this is just one tweet from one person, the sentiments sadly aren’t isolated, and reflect feelings that still exist in some parts of the South Asian diaspora at large.

It’s gross, and it must be denounced. 

I previously wrote an open letter to our community about anti-Blackness, urging us all to reflect on the ways these sentiments are still present and to think about how we can quell them.

“While people of colour face a unique set of struggles, discrimination, and racism when navigating society in the Western world and beyond, these struggles can no longer be used as a veil to cover up our own complicity, or to assuage our guilt for the inherent racism we have shown towards the Black community in a variety of ways.”

Comments like the one above show that there is still so much work to be done. Using our community’s struggles to belittle other communities and justify racism against them is wrong on so many levels, and we need to do better. There is no excuse for it.

Russell Wilson/Future debate 

There is a strange fixation that men on the Internet have with debating about men who are well above their tax bracket and don’t know they exist, and this week, the podcasters were back at it again.

This time the obsession was with football star Russell Wilson (also known as Ciara’s husband). The podcasters were saying that Wilson was a “square” and that Ciara would not be with him if he did not have money. They compared him to Ciara’s ex and father of her son, Future, who she previously dated from 2013 to 2014.

“She went from Future to Russ..” 

They continued to call Wilson, who has not only shown himself to be a standup guy on the field and off, a goofball, while defending Future, who has 8 kids with 8 different women. 

Future has somehow become the Internet’s poster child for toxic masculinity and disrespecting women, but for some reason, many of the men who celebrate him, juxtapose him to Wilson, who by contrast is just… a good guy.

Being a grown adult calling a man “corny” because he and his wife love each other is a pretty clear example of fragile masculinity. If your only way to feel “cool,” is to make fun of a guy who really hasn’t done anything other than be respectable in his career, charity work, and private life, then you clearly are trying to knock him down a few pegs for a reason.

Being mean to or disrespecting women does not make you “more masculine.” It makes you a loser. Good day sir. 

Da Baby is still a weirdo

Da Baby has repeatedly proven that he is a weirdo. 

In addition to being homophobic, violent, and sounding the same on literally every single one of his songs, he recently clearly demonstrated the disgusting entitlement of men in positions of power or influence.

In a video, the rapper is seen grabbing a fan’s face and pulls her in, trying to kiss her, which she very clearly rejects. The fan moves her face away and he continues to attempt to pull her in, she turns her cheek away and shakes her head and he does not relent until she puts her hand in front of her face and says something to him, which wipes the smile off of his face.

Grabbing someone without their consent and trying to kiss them is sexual assault. Plain and simple. Despite being a celebrity who for some reason, I’m sure some women would want the chance to kiss, he picks out and continues to make attempts with one woman who is clearly not interested. This is not a video of him being “curved” this is a video of an attempted assault. 

It doesn’t matter if this woman was a fan, or was there to see him, none of this warrants her being grabbed and kissed against her will. She wasn’t “asking for it,” but he did it anyways. This video depicts the experiences of many women, who have to constantly navigate a world where men feel entitled to our bodies. 

Da Baby later issued a statement saying that he wasn’t trying to kiss her, and that she rejected his kiss because he blew one at her friend first.

Regardless, sir, you can’t just grab people. I’m pretty sure they teach us to keep our hands to ourselves in like, Kindergarten. So cut it out you weirdo.

Anyways, that’s all from me today friends. As we complete another week and move into the next, just remember—don’t be a weirdo. 

Stay blessed, y’all. See ya next week. 

About the author

Rumneek Johal

Rumneek is a journalist, host and speaker. She is currently the BC Reporter at Press Progress where she focuses on systemic inequality, workers and communities, as well as racism and far-right extremism. Her previous work centers on asking tough questions within her community, starting conversation and chipping away at the status quo. Other focus areas for her work include the South Asian community, arts and culture, pop culture, and more. She is a proud Punjabi woman from Surrey, BC.

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