Confession, I'm a Good Girl...Allegedly.
The Black church's intent doesn’t always align with its impact specifically in regards to stripping Black women and girls of their agency. The expectations placed on girls and women from the church play into the patriarchy, specifically the messaging we receive about “waiting until marriage”, “being a virtuous woman”, or “submitting to your future husband”. Somehow instead of being a sanctuary of safety for one’s spiritual journey, we’re faced with harmful rhetoric that if we don’t subscribe to a standard we are somehow deemed unworthy.
In her latest novel, Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl, Joya Goffney delivers a heartfelt and raw coming-of-age story unpacking the plight of a Black girl dismantling the barriers placed on her by religion and living up to the expectations of being a preacher’s daughter. She powerfully curates a story of sex positivity, autonomy, sexuality, and goodness through protagonist Monique Tinsley. The irony of reading this novel during the overturning of Roe v. Wade is timely and pivotal to future generations. While I consider myself someone who commits to their own spiritual practice I would be remiss in not mentioning how this novel was not only nostalgic but reflective. More specifically, on Black parents raising little Black girls in fear instead of providing a safe space to discuss sexuality and agency. The privilege religion provides to men in believing they have ownership and dominance over women’s bodies and lives.
Monique Tinsley, is a timely and fearless character, in her bravery to dismantle the patriarchal norms and discover herself. She is representative of all the Black girls across the world desiring to find liberation, agency, sex positivity, and acceptance in living their truth. A favorite proclamation from Monique that I feel will resonate with millions of Black girls: “My body is mine to give whenever I want to whoever I want. My choice to have sex is just that—my choice” (Goffney 257). Monique will inspire a new generation of readers to go against the grain in shaping acceptance of one’s body and sexuality in fullness. In addition to having a courageous, transparent, and critical dialogue about sex, agency, and autonomy.
If you are a Black girl experiencing shame about sexual desires and body this book is for you, May it inspire and provide you with guidance to know it is always and forever YOUR CHOICE. YOUR BODY. YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Joya’s book by clicking the image and connecting with Joya Goffney on Twitter and Instagram @joya.goffney.