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So yesterday while perusing my Facebook page, I noticed several posts of a now famous mugshot of a man who is “criminally handsome.” His name is Jeremy Meeks and women seem to be going bat-ish crazy over him. There even seems to be some sort of movement to raise up his bail. I don’t know how true that really is, but I was surprised to read comments from women who said such things as “I got $5 on your books boo!” or “You can (rob, rape, steal) from me any day!” As sad as all that sounds, it made me think about the dating options for women today and how desperate…or blind…we may be to who we choose to date.

There are those women who may start to share men more, as in “Big Love”. They may begin exploring dating their own sex. And many may start dating men they may not have considered in the past, like (ex) convicts – like Phaedra on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I don’t know how serious some of those women were who said they’d give this gorgeous jail-bird the time of day, but they didn’t seem to be ashamed of their public declaration of adoration for him. For some women, having a fine man is all that matters – criminal record and all.

I can’t say I know too many women who would admit they’d be proud to date an ex-convict, but are women potentially closing themselves off to love by excluding someone who has spent some time in the clink? Say what you want to say, but most of us care what our family and friends think of our choices when it comes to who we’d like to settle down with. My mother was more concerned with the type of man I’d marry than if I ever had kids – mainly because she thinks I deserve the best and wanted to make sure I was left in good hands. If I told her I was dating a felon, she’d probably look at me like I had three heads. What kind of future could one possible have with a convict for a husband? But our choices are our choices right? As long as we’re happy, then they should be happy for us, yes? Easier said than done. My sister would think I lost my mind if I brought home someone straight from Rikers. And I can’t say that I’d blame her. But “ex-con” means just that, right? Ex…as in “not into criminal activity anymore.” After all, no one is above redemption. Making a mistake and paying your dues should mean that you shouldn’t have to keep paying for your mistakes forever, right? Everyone has made mistakes, some just got caught. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t learned from their mistakes and are changed for the better.

And not for nothing, I don’t know too many women who would turn down a date with Michael Vick, 50 Cent or Chris Brown for that matter. Now, maybe they aren’t the best examples since they’re all famous and making money. But does that mean Pookie, Ray-Ray and Craig ‘n Nem don’t deserve to get the same love – especially if they’re having a hard time finding a job? Or would you date an ex-con depending on the crime he/she committed or the amount of time they spent in jail? Rapists, murderers, child molesters…none of them would ever get the time of day from me. If you’re a registered sex offender or were convicted of a violent crime, don’t even think of looking in my direction. But if you slung rock or pulled a Bernie Madoff, is that not so bad? Jay-Z was a criminal at some point – now he’s a mogul with a mega, super star wife. Beyonce doesn’t seem to mind, so should we? I guess famous people shouldn’t count when it comes to this debate, but when the average Joe has super model looks, would you give him a chance?

Would you date someone who spent 6 months in jail vs. someone who spent 6 years in jail? After all, doing a bid suggests the crime was serious, and no matter how “rehabilitated” he or she may be, that just doesn’t look good on the dating resume no matter how fine you are. So what say you? Have you or would you ever date anyone who is an ex-con? Does your answer depend on the crime he/she committed? Is a criminally minded person always a criminally minded person and can’t be trusted? Or do you think everyone deserves a shot at love and a second chance? Would you tell a mugshot boo to holla?

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