Angela Simmons confirmed her pregnancy and all hell broke loose. How dare this woman, after proudly and openly discussing her decision of abstinence, pop up pregnant after a whirlwind engagement? This same woman who, as recently as January 2016, told The Breakfast Club that she would remain sexually abstinent until marriage has now told the world that she’s excited to become a mother.
People demanded an explanation. The comments on her Instagram post are littered with both criticisms and defense of this woman’s vagina/uterus.
“I thought you said you wouldn’t have sex before marriage did y’all have some secret ceremony @angelasimmons?” tweet
“Many young girls looked up to her…I think she should apologize. I wish her well.” tweet
“Hypocrite much?” tweet
“She’s gonna act like she’s been a virgin up until she got pregnant but most of her poses and pics on IG say otherwise. Why lie tho is the thing? Nobody would have cared.” tweet
You get the point. There is something to be said about a woman’s decision to have sex (and subsequently a child) being hotly debated as right or wrong. Especially when it’s being done on the basis of morality by a not-so-insignificant population of people who are quick to defend the sexual antics of loose dick pastors.
This isn’t about Angela’s morals though.
The criticisms for Angela aren’t given out of a desire to hold her spiritually accountable for preaching one thing and living another. The criticisms are rooted in sexual politics and the perceptions people have of those who practice abstinence. To put it plainly, people are pissed that this so-called good girl (whose sexual piety deemed her as good) who had been esteemed as better than sexual women has now made an equalizing choice to have sex. The commentary reeks of bitterness of assumption that Angela’s pride in her choice of sexual prudence was a targeted shot of shame at women who choose differently. The criticisms are rooted in the inherent need for the Purity Movement to have examples to point to in order to reinforce the possibility of remaining “pure” until marriage. Whichever way you look at the coin, the criticisms heaped upon Angela are largely because she made a consenting choice to use her sexual agency without consulting the opinion of the general public.
And we know how people feel about women attempting to assert control over their own bodies.
Angela’s virginity has long since been questioned. Her pregnancy is merely veritable proof and carte blanche to project insecurities onto her. People have long salivated to hit the hypocrite button on Angela and it speaks more to their character than hers. The Good Girl/Whore complex rears its head once more. As men (and women) propped Angela up as a involuntary model of Good Girl righteousness, she became a symbolized indictment of other women’s morality. Now those same people are out for blood in a chorus of “I told you so, hypocrisy! She really is no better than me!”
But Angela Simmons don’t owe you shit.
Her sexual choices are just that: hers. Your salvation or moral code shouldn’t be predicated on the fall of another person. Whether she decides to have sex with 50 men or nobody ever again, her sexual choices should neither be the standard nor justification for someone’s lack of morality. Pretty sure the bible still says you must work out your own soul salvation, not meddle in the affairs of your neighbor. In fact, Jesus called that hypocrisy and advised that one remove the moat from their eye before worrying about the beam in their brother’s eye. But I digress.
Just like millions of women everyday, Angela made a choice that she felt best suited her life and her needs. The ensuing insults to that decision speak volumes to just how much people desire to strip women of their agency.
“But Danyelle, I’m just calling out her hypocrisy.”
And I’m just calling out yours. Angela Simmons is an adult woman who is financially stable and capable of providing for a child. She’s being criticized for that choice. Where are those moral criticisms when people attend and gift baby showers for the regular unmarried chick having kid #4 that she cannot afford? The immorality of that becomes justified by claiming that the pregnancy was “God’s will” and that “the sin was in the sex and not the baby.” People who have freely given their $0.02 and then some regarding Angela Simmons are the same ones who are quick to state that “only God can judge me” when called on the carpet about their own hypocrisy.
So what precludes Angela Simmons from the same grace? Has she ever declared that women who choose sex before marriage are less than those who do not? If she had, then I could certainly understand the uproar. But this is more about what people perceive her attitudes are and less about what Angela herself has actually said or done. This kind of grace can only be extended by understanding that we are all created differently and each of our struggles will be different. We may share similarities, but we all have our own burdens.
For Angela, her burden is now facing the long road of having to reconcile her past choices with her present choices. Even so, she doesn’t owe an explanation to any of us for the decisions she makes concerning her body. Her celebrity doesn’t preclude her from the right to live out the life that she deems best for herself. Your salvation and/or morality is not hinged upon her choices or your judgment of them. Her pregnancy was as much a consenting decision as her abstinence. We need to accept not only the right to choose but the right to change one’s mind.
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