Longing to Tell: Anondra

In Longing to Tell by Tricia Rose, Anondra sees intimacy as when you feel comfortable.  Growing up, her parents never brought up the topic of sex and because of that, she wants to be more open with her own daughter about this topic.  This has been a common reoccurence for many girls growing up, where the topic of menstruation and sex have been avoided within their households. This lack of knowledge growing up has motivated a lot of women to want to be more open and informative about these issues with their own children in the future, so hopefully these topics will be less taboo and future generations are more informed.   Anondra saw virginity as something she had to get rid of, as if it was something shameful to hold onto. This is problematic because many young girls that also have this view will then rush into having sexual relations before they are ready and educated on how to protect themselves and their partner.  One of the woman in the book had questioned why virginity was seen as a woman giving up something to the man she is with, rather than an experience that they share together.  At the end of this experience, the woman will still continue to be her own person and won’t be “damaged goods” just for having sex.  All this focus on talking about importance of virginity and sex often neglects the emotions and intimacy that may or may not be associated with sexual relations.  Another recurring theme in these women’s stories was the distinction between having sex and intimacy; it is possible to have sex with or without intimacy and vice versa.  I think that this was especially important because it challenges the notion that girls need to preserve their virginity for as long as possible and to only have sex after marriage. Men are socialized to gain as many notches on their belts as possible whereas women are socialized to only sleep with people they are in a committed relationship with.  By challenging the fact that women don’t need to have intimacy with someone in order to have sex with them creates liberation within women’s sexuality.  Anondra mentioned that black men have more privileges than black women, as indicated by the rap industry which perpetuates this power imbalance.  For example, black men can publicly discuss their sexual prowess whereas black women must keep their promiscuity underwraps. Additionally, black men’s sexuality is celebrated while black women are overly sexualized.  With Anondra’s past relationships, she wanted to focus on the positive aspects as that gave her hope for future relationships.  This ties in with the overarching theme within this section of the book, where the women didn’t focus on optimistic dreams for happy endings but rather they focused on the positive aspects of their past relationships.  

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