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Yemisi Ilesanmi (YEMMYnisting)
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2- The assumption that every single woman wants to be in a relationship
Please stop making that nasty, sympathetic sound when a woman tells you she is single. Being single is not something that should elicit sympathy, especially not from strangers.

Single women should not need to reassure anyone that they are happily single just so the pitying looks would stop. Do not immediately jump in to assure a single woman that they will get a man soon.

Single people who wish to be in a relationship do not need a sympathetic look or hasty assurances from you. Being single is nothing to be ashamed of; it is not a shortcoming. Unless you are planning on asking the person concerned out, their relationship status should not be of any concern to you.

Never assume everyone wants to be in a relationship. I don’t like it when people, especially strangers, assume that as a single woman, I must necessarily be looking to get hooked up. There are single women who are seriously not interested in getting into relationships, just as there are those who are seriously looking to get into relationships. It is a personal thing and the generalisation that being a single woman translates to “desperately looking to get hooked”, is just not right.

I hate having to qualify my ‘singlehood’ with the words “I am happily single”. However, asserting that one is happily single seems to be the only thing that takes away the pitying looks people dart our way when told we are single.
It is OK not to be happily single. I can be single and be looking to get into a relationship, but just have not found the right person yet. However, this does not mean I need to be pitied.

It is also OK to be single, ready to mingle and not seriously searching. This should not evoke pity from anyone.

Relationship status is a personal issue. We should not assume we know the reason for the relationship status of others. As a single woman, I definitely do not need anyone assuming the reason for my relationship status.  I don’t need anyone reassuring me that it will get better. ‘Singlehood’ is not a disease that needs to be cured or an appalling status that must be rectified!
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3- The assumption that everyone is heterosexual.
Assuming that everyone is heterosexual gets on my nerves. With all the enlightenment going on about lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender issues, i find it rude when people just assume the sexual orientation of a stranger. 

Yes, we get it; heterosexuality is the default setting. However in this day and age, we should make an effort to acknowledge that there are other sexual orientation besides heterosexuality.

When someone says they are single, we should not assume they are looking for opposite sex partners. For all we know, they might be gay, bisexual, pansexual or just queer. If we must refer to their relationship status, it is safer and non-assuming to use the word “Partner”.
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2- The assumption that every single woman wants to be in a relationship

Please stop making that nasty, sympathetic sound when a woman tells you she is single. Being single is not something that should elicit sympathy, especially not from strangers.

Single women should not need to reassure anyone that they are happily single just so the pitying looks would stop. Do not immediately jump in to assure a single woman that they will get a man soon.

Single people who wish to be in a relationship do not need a sympathetic look or hasty assurances from you. Being single is nothing to be ashamed of; it is not a shortcoming. Unless you are planning on asking the person concerned out, their relationship status should not be of any concern to you.
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Talking about sexist scrutiny, I was at the gym watching Serena Williams majestically take down Maria Sharapova, when a random guy muttered to the guy beside me that Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have a personal beef because they both went out with the same guy who also happened to be a Tennis player.

He proceeded to turn his nose down and observed, “You know what these women are like”, in a tone that left no one in doubt as to what he thought those women are like. The glaring look I gave him dared him to mention the word ‘slut’.

Are adults women not entitled to date within their professional circle without being condemned by sexist pigs? When the guy answered a phone call in Yoruba dialect, I was not surprised that he was from my part of the world, I was just sorry that people with his patriarchal, sexist mindset still exist to make life more difficult for women.

As another talented, beautiful woman, Taylor Swift, sang, “Haters gonna hate, hate,hate, hate, just shake it off, shake it off…”
Serena Williams gave us another ‪‎Serenaslam. She is unarguably one of the greatest of all times. At 33, when most men and women champions are catching their retirement cheques, Serena Williams is ...
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Serena Williams is an inspiration to many. Many big, curvy women are inspired by her mere presence on the world sport scene. She is a role model. I am not a sportsperson; however, I am a curvy woman who takes a lot of inspiration from seeing this curvaceous woman dominate women’s tennis. Whenever I watch her play, I get inspired and I get that extra energy to tackle my gym workouts with a big smile.  Sports, trophies, fame and fortune aside, she is one very beautiful, curvaceous woman with a banging body! Body shaming her does not make any sense.

Some fans are quick to use her beautiful appearance at the Wimbledon dinner to point out that she is not all that ‘bad’ in the looks department.  A facebook friend posted a picture of Serena Williams at the Wimbledon ball and captured it “What a transformation”.  I could not help but think, what was she supposed to be transforming from, beast to beauty?

Why do we allow ourselves to believe the narrative that a strong, fit, muscled black sportswoman is not a beauty to behold when doing her thing on the field?

Why do we see such sportswomen as unattractive, beasts even?

Why do we rush to pour accolades on them when they appear in pink flowing gowns at dinner parties as if appearing in dresses and makeup redeems their credibility as feminine, sexy women?

Would we judge Serena Williams differently if she had appeared at the Wimbledon ball rocking a Tuxedo?

Sportswomen, as all women, should be allowed to dress any way they want, without this added pressure to prove their femininity at sports balls.

Calling her appearance ‘a transformation’ suggests that there was something wrong with how she looked on the field. Everyone should be able to explore and enjoy all facets of their physique without judgement and scrutiny.
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Serena Williams gave us another ‪‎Serenaslam. She is unarguably one of the greatest of all times. At 33, when most men and women champions are catching their retirement cheques, Serena Williams is ...
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All hail Queen Serena. Serena Williams gave us another ‪#‎Serenaslam‬! She is unarguably one of the greatest of all times, what an athlete!

At 33, when most men and women champions are catching their retirement cheques, Serena Williams is saying ‘You aint seen nothing yet!’ Serena Williams is at her best ever and she is here to stay.

The Williams sisters not only changed the face of Tennis, they took it to a higher level. In a game where racism still unashamedly rears its ugly head, where sexism and beauty stereotypes mean the best athlete gets less endorsements than the white blondes she has dominated for years, one cannot but admire the determination of the Williams sisters to excel in their game.Their many victories are inspirational and legendary.

Thank you so much Serena Williams for the inspiration, passion, beauty and the occasional human flaws too!
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I was working out at my gym when two gym regulars decided to strike up a conversation with me.

Gym regular (Male) – You have lost a lot of weight

Gym regular (Female) -Yeah, I told her so too.

Me – Oh, yeah, thanks, the hard work is showing.

Gym regular (Male) – I am sure your husband will be happy

Me – I don’t have a husband. I am single

Gym Regulars – What, you mean you are single?
I am sure you will not be single for long!

Me– I am happily single.
And you know it does not have to be husband.
Maybe i have a wife, or a girlfriend. Maybe i have both.

Gym regulars (both) – Hmm, i guess that is true.

Me – Yeah, just don’t assume it has to be a husband.

Gym regular (Male)- Well, you are right; it could be a husband, a wife, husbands and wives with Mistresses or Misters and a butler too.

Me – Now you get the idea

Gym regular (Male) – Well, if i had all these i wouldn’t come to the gym!

Me- (Laughing)-I suppose one would be too tired performing marital and extramarital duties.

I found this random but interesting exchange full of assumptions I wish I did not encounter daily.
Below are 5 assumptions and lessons from the above conversation-
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2- The assumption that every single woman wants to be in a relationship
Please stop making that nasty, sympathetic sound when a woman tells you she is single. Being single is not something that should elicit sympathy, especially not from strangers.

Single women should not need to reassure anyone that they are happily single just so the pitying looks would stop. Do not immediately jump in to assure a single woman that they will get a man soon.
Single people who wish to be in a relationship do not need a sympathetic look or hasty assurances from you. Being single is nothing to be ashamed of; it is not a shortcoming. Unless you are planning on asking the person concerned out, their relationship status should not be of any concern to you.

Never assume everyone wants to be in a relationship. I don’t like it when people, especially strangers, assume that as a single woman, I must necessarily be looking to get hooked up. There are single women who are seriously not interested in getting into relationships, just as there are those who are seriously looking to get into relationships. It is a personal thing and the generalisation that being a single woman translates to “desperately looking to get hooked”, is just not right.

I hate having to qualify my ‘singlehood’ with the words “I am happily single”. However, asserting that one is happily single seems to be the only thing that takes away the pitying looks people dart our way when told we are single.
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Affirming my beauty is not vanity. Asserting that I am beautiful does not mean i am stuck up, it only means i am beautiful and i know it. No one else can tell me otherwise because my opinion of my body is the only one that matters.

Self-love is important. Many assholes especially on the internet live to chip away at a women’s body worth, we should never give them the satisfaction of seeing us crumble.

Society has invested so much in instilling in women that unless we meet the beauty standard set for us, and act the script prepared for us, we are worthless and not real women. Therefore, it is pure, undiluted joy and freedom to be able to look society in its patriarchal, sexist eyes and tell all its enablers where to stick their opinions and stereotype scripts.

Nothing is more of a turn on than a woman who is comfortable in her own skin. Walk the earth like the goddess and achiever that you are. After all, you were the fastest swimming spermatozoon to get to that ovum that developed into the amazing person you are today. You are one in a million, so walk the earth like you own it, cos you are a goddess.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. See the beauty in yourself and all who disagree can kiss your ass and that is only if they are worthy to kiss your feet.
I Am Beautiful and I know It
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Looking at the way and manner some men are quick to condemn Serena Williams’ physique, one would think they are afraid her muscles would emasculate them. To put her in ‘her place’, they go on a rant about how ‘ugly’ she is or how she looks like a “Tranny”.  Of course, this is a reflection and a dead give-away of how insecure they are in their own masculinity.

Talking about men feeling emasculated by Serena Williams’ physique, when Harry Potter series author, J.K Rowling, congratulated Serena Williams on her win in a tweet, a jerk responded that Serena was built like a man.

Although I wish J.K Rowling did not use the ableist term ‘idiot’ in her response, but she made it clear he was an asshole. J.K Rowling’s response has been retweeted more than 90,0000 times. 

Of course, we must also remember that we live in a society where the value placed on a white woman’s endorsement of a black woman’s body is far more valuable and considered more important than what any other black woman has to say. Just as what a man thinks of a woman’s body is considered more important that what women think.  Indeed, we live in a skewed up society.
http://wp.me/p3uryi-YM
Serena Williams gave us another ‪‎Serenaslam. She is unarguably one of the greatest of all times. At 33, when most men and women champions are catching their retirement cheques, Serena Williams is ...
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Serena Williams is a powerful, super talented woman, a world champion many times over. Serena Williams is the queen of Tennis, a powerful force and a beauty to behold on and off court. It is so appalling and ridiculous that racists, sexists, and brainwashed haters call her names like “ugly” and “tranny”, especially in regards to her physical appearance.

Some people come to her defence with the standard response, “Hate all you like but her big muscled forearms make her a lot of money”. This type of defensive response makes me uncomfortable. Yes, her strong arms and undeniable talent make her a powerful force on the court, therefore making her a champion many times over. However, even if she does not make money from having big-muscled arms, this still should not be reason to body shame her. There are women in sports who are big muscled but who are not exactly raking in trophies and millions. Do they get to be ridiculed if attacked for their physical appearance since they can’t use the comeback “My big muscled body have made me millions”?

We must also condemn the unfair attribution that Serena Williams’ domination of Women’s Tennis is due to her physique. In Tennis, muscles do not automatically bring in the cash and trophies, techniques and mental brainpower count a lot. It is sad that white critics are quick to attribute her success to her ‘genetics’ rather than her own techniques, determination and commitment to the game.
No woman should be body shamed for not conforming to body stereotypes. We should be free to mould our body the way we want without fear of societal repercussions. My body, my choice.

In addition, there is the assumption that once we make money from our body, any type of body shame should not affect us. Of course it does. No one wants to be body shamed. Being body shamed is no fun for anyone, especially for us women who are expected to look and act a certain way, with serious consequences when we deviate from the script.
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Serena Williams gave us another ‪‎Serenaslam. She is unarguably one of the greatest of all times. At 33, when most men and women champions are catching their retirement cheques, Serena Williams is ...
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If after being provided with scientific evidence that homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder, and is in fact as natural as skin colour,  eye colour or left-handedness but for religious, personal or cultural beliefs, you still chose to ignore all the evidence provided, and still demand  that lesbians, gays, bisexuals be victimized and criminalized for engaging in a consensual same-sex adult relationship that does not inflict harm on anyone,  you are the one who has a phobia, it is known as Homophobia. 

Education, enlightenment, an open mind, tolerance and acceptance are known cures for homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Human Rights are not the exclusive privilege of Heterosexuals; every human being is entitled to Human Rights. When you discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals and eagerly support ‘Kill/Jail the Gays’ laws, you are no better than the KKK or Nazi Adolf Hitler.  LGBT Rights are Human rights, Get Over It!

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Proudly Feminist, Proudly Bisexual, Proudly Atheist!
Introduction
Yemisi Ilesanmi is a Nigerian woman, resident in UK. She holds a Master of Laws (LL.M)  degree in Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights. She is a trade unionist, human rights activist, author, poet and blogger.
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Human Rights Advocate, Campaign Organiser, Author and Consultant.
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