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XXFactored! Dec2010 – Social Networking, Relationship Dilemmas, Fashion Follies & A Masulinist Edge

December has been full of drama and dazzle as always…a wonderful way to finish the year! I’ve been running ragged between parties, lunches, brunches, dinners, meeting out-of-town friends and family and celebrations. But I have managed to keep up with what’s hot and happening on the internet as well. And here’s what I was warming my fingertips with this month on XX Factor:

  • Financial independence, earning capacity…What’s sex got to do with it? (via Yahoo! Real Beauty)
  • Does this mean I can claim my romcom DVDs under ‘Education Expenses’? Lessons from 90s romcoms (via YourTango)
  • Grrrlllll power! Or maybe men are just easier to pick up than women! (via RhealityRings)
  • We’ve seen ChickLit and then DickLit (or LadLit). Now here’s to GadLit (which is my truncation of Gay Lad Lit)! Tell what is thunk? (via Gaysi Family)
  • Other people’s mistakes almost always provide a laugh…especially when they’re bigtime celebrity types. So here’s appealing to the inner cat in all of us. Miaow to that! (via Yahoo!)
  • Maybe a lack of flexibility is the cause for most of our problems. That, and the fact that we expect people to love in exactly the same way we do. (via Twitter)
  • My post on Yahoo! Real Beauty and a version of it that appeared earlier right here on XX Factor. I’m still asking for your thoughts.
  • Five secret tests guys use to evaluate you while on a date (via Glamour).
  • You can outsource anything in today’s day and age!! (via idump4U)
  • Of course, this has a misogynistic air about it but it is funny. How to spot (and save your wallet from) a golddigger. (via The Bachelor Guy)
  • Earlier posted on The XX Factor and now also on Yahoo! Real Beauty – the world’s most popular social network adds another layer of complexity to the already-intricate labyrinth of relationships.
  • If our relationships are a reflection of the games we’re used to playing, maybe the people we date, are images of our favorite toys. Who then are we, by the toys we play with? (via Yahoo! Real Beauty).
  • I can’t vouch for the people but the idea sounds interesting. For all you single bibliophiles out there! Alikewise is a dating website that matches you with people of similar book tastes.
  • Really interesting how many of the roles depicted on this list tackled gender stereotypes. Ten ladies who’ve cross-dressed for roles. (via TheFrisky)
  • Revolutionary or ridiculous? You tell me. I’m going with funny. “French Women Who Like To Swim Topless Protest By Asking Men To Wear Bikini Tops” (via TheFrisky).
  • I tend to avoid risque on The XX Factor but this one was too good to pass up! TheFrisky‘s Sexy Rating Chart!
  • Eh heh heh. This site makes fun of the Forever 21 brand. But this post likened superheroes to hookers. Funny, that resemblance never occurred to me. (via WTForever21)
  • Earlier on The XX Factor and now on Yahoo! Real Beauty: Why do we trade in the attention of a hundred men for the indifference of one?
  • A rather looooong article but it brings up some salient points. Gender equality isn’t quite as simple as it sounds, is it?”A modest proposal for male reproductive rights” (via MensNewsDaily).

If you found yourself featured here, if you’d like to be or even if you just enjoyed anything on this list (or…umm, didn’t), hop over to the XX Factor Facebook Page and talk to me about it! A very happy new year, everyone! XX Factor will see you on the other side of 2011.

The Female Dilemma: Managing Male Interest

“Why do we trade in the attention of a hundred men for the indifference of one?”

I’ve been pondering this for awhile. I remember reading this in a booklet of quotable quotes by famous women about men. That alone tells me, it’s a dilemma that other women have grappled with.

It is a common notion that men change once they enter a relationship. A wave of attention and affection and solicitousness comes our way from the man, during the initial heady wooing days. As we settle into the comfort (no doubting) of a relationship, the tide starts to pull back. Where the minutest change in our appearance would have been cause for a deluge of compliments, an entire makeover elicits not a grunt. At one point of time, the man is vying for a slot on our busy schedule. Now that our schedule is built around him and his idiosyncrasies, it is no more interesting than last year’s calendar. This isn’t what I’d call intentional malice or cruelty. But it does sting at a profound level when you’re at the receiving end.

Compared to the average man, the average woman has a higher degree of attention coming her way from the opposite sex (sorry but that’s the way nature goes). She decides to trade in all that for one man, whose interest declines eventually. Most women do this and what’s more, do it willingly, joyfully and earnestly. So why do women put up with it?

Are we so desperate for the illusory security of one relationship that we’ll throw in all the promissory notes of flirtation that we had earlier? Are we so masochistic that we can’t fathom, cannot bear the idea of being so universally adored and must settle into the mediocrity of accepting less, much less? Or are we just being realistic and trading in our chips before they all lose value, for something that depreciates but stays our own, nevertheless? It bears thinking about.

Manguide 3: Hobbies & Interests

We know where they live. We know what they do for a living. But what do they do that makes their life more than an existance?

I used to wonder at people who had no hobbies or interests at all….I mean, what is that all about???!!! Now I know a new breed of people. The kind who grew up from the ones I mentioned earlier and ‘cultivated’ a few hobbies. I know it is perfectly appropriate to say that a hobby is cultivated but well…that’s just it, isn’t it? As far as I’m concerned, you love doing what you love doing because you love doing it. Simple? Not to a lot of people apparantly. So here’s a sassy ode to my favorite species of lab rats and the things that they claim to enjoy doing! Ha!

The Bibliophile: Okay scream your lungs hoarse, men, before you proceed reading. Yes, tell me that some of you actually do enjoy reading. Fine, now that we have that out of the way, here’s why I don’t believe you. I claim to love reading. I like some authors, some ideologies, some styles of writing and I know why I like them. I think over what I read and I have an opinion. Reading is, I have said before, like sitting inside another person’s head and seeing the world through their eyes. But it doesn’t stop there!!!! I am so sick, sick, sick and tired of men who parrot out things other people have said. Like hello, I know some brilliant people have said some brilliant things but quoting them ad nauseum does not make you appear intelligent, it just reminds me of a tape-recorder. And oh, by the way Peter Drucker, business periodicals and Chicken Soup for the soul don’t count as signs that you are a bibliophile. So for gawdssakes, ladies, before drooling over the ‘intellectual’ find out whether that’s second-hand intelligence that you’re being fed!

The Listener: Likewise actually where music is concerned, as for books. Moreover I want to strangle the person who said ‘If music be the food of love…’ (oh deyaam, was that Shakespeare?). Beware, beware, beware of the specimen that has a song for every one of your moods, women. That’s a man who has been reading ‘How to hook a woman by snooping into her playlist’. Yeah, yeah I’m a cynic. And I’ve just heard too many renditions of ‘Lady in Red’. I have nothing against romantic numbers but its fun to turn around and tell the guy you dig Floyd and Maiden and see what he comes up with then.

The Musician: As opposed to the above species that only listens to music, this one actually makes music. Now he may be good or he may not. I’ve known a few and I can tell you most artists, even the amateurs are faintly temperamental. Which is probably part of their allure (oh, ask me!!) On the other hand, do be prepared to become the audience for the anthology of your new boyfriend’s compositions. Not to mention private renditions of their works-in-progress. A song, just like a building can be a masterpiece when complete. But just like the brick-laying and cement-mixing isn’t pretty, the process of finding the correct tune, getting it right on those instruments is fairly nerve-wracking (especially if you have to listen to ever goddamn plink and wrong boom-thump) Another point to note is he’s likely to have some kind of a band, even if they only play in the car park (we don’t have that many garages here!) And no, if you think you like one musician and you’ll love the lot, you’re likely to be disappointed. It was a musician-boyfriend who pointed out the different personality types in a band. He said,

The lead guitarist is probably a charmer, the smooth talker, who gets in with all the babes. He’s the most visible one of course. The drummer is likely to be anti-social, which is why he prefers sitting behind the huge set up making big noise and not being disturbed by the world.

Ah, and what did my boyfriend do? He was the bass guitarist, easy-going and charming enough to be part of the ‘front’ but not so ambitious as to want to upstage the lead. I validate that as well as his observation of the rest of the band. Pick your musician with care.

The Traveller: Now this type is fairly fascinating for his multiple exposure. I’m however crossed by the sneaky suspicion that he views the world by a Marie Antoinette-esque viewpoint, oblivious to the idea that most people wouldn’t choose to live in shanties, dirty roads et al if they had a choice. Besides, you know what someone’s grandma said (mine didn’t, she wouldn’t have approved of dating!)…”Don’t fall in love with a traveller, I’ll tell you why, he’ll take you to the airport and kiss you goodbye.” Well, realistically speaking this is obviously a man who likes a change in scenery ever so often so what does that say about his stability? Debatable I know, but worth thinking about.

The Conoisseur: Oh god, how I hate/loathe/detest/abhor this type! His muse may be wine, fine art or literature. Whatever it is, you can be assured that you won’t be spared without a lesson at every opportunity. And no, don’t think it’ll work out well if you share the taste. The conoisseur is snobbish about his interest and it defines him. He’ll brook no competition and it will perpetually be a game of one-upmanship of who knows better. Blah, who gives a damn…I know I’ve wanted to stuff the grand interest in some extremely uncomfortable places.

The Couch Potato: Ah, the only real hobby that my generation has. It’s called the idiot box, darling, but the idiots sit outside it not inside. Nuff’ said.

The Monitor Maniac: Okay, this is a tad different from Couch Potato. The internet is a smorgasbord of delights after all. Gaming, chat, blogging and let’s not forget…porn. There’s a whole new world in there! So what’re you doing outside it, baby? Perhaps you met online. Chweet. Maybe you should keep it that way instead of trying to take it offline. ‘Never the twain shall meet. So forget about the “Do you think we should meet?” It spells doom for an online relationship in the exact same way that three other little words do on a real-world relationship.

The Gamer: As specifically different from Couch Potato and Monitor Maniac. Some things that should be warning signs. 1. He enjoys speeding, fighting and cussing. 2. He is thrilled by the idea of hitting a few buttons and changing lives. 3. His latest score defines how happy he is. Once again, he’s similar to the Conoisseur in that his interest governs his sense of self-worth and while he may seem to gravitate to you on the grounds of shared interest, he most certainly won’t brook any competition. Well, go battle it out over the joysticks if you like. I’ve thrown the damn lot out of the window with the remote control.

The Artist: Now this type I do like. Also unlike the Gamer/Conoisseur, there’s no such a thing as competition among those who love their art and are confident about it. If you share the interest, you might even learn something from each other. On the other hand, there is the temperament, weirdness and the addictions that build the stereotype. Ah well, roll me another joint baby…

The Sportsman: This one as different from the Gamer since he plays games in the real world, not on a computer/TV screen/mobile phone. I don’t actually know too many of this type, possibly since I gravitate to the more ‘heavy-head’ types. I imagine the guy would be quite pleasant if he played some sort of team sport though there’s the whole thing of his having way too many ‘boys’ nights out’. I’m mortally afraid (like every other woman) of the locker-room talk phenomena as well. But that’s unfair I guess, men gossip as a rule, behind lockers or water-coolers. On the other hand, this type is likely to be closer to the whole virile-brutal-masculine thought than his less ‘active’ counterparts. Well, if you can bear to live in ‘Oog hunt. Oog kill. Oog be number 1.’ land, then he’s the one for you. Besides he’ll come in useful if you’re faced by a gang of hooligans.

The Gastronome: I never know what to say to this type. I’m after all, someone who thinks that food is fuel to the body-machine and nothing more. Also, the typical Indian man who loves food is scandalised by the thought of a woman who doesn’t enjoy cooking and horrors, admits to it as well! Whatever on earth can be so interesting about eating? I’m flummoxed. But well, this man is probably the easiest to hook with the age-old wisdom of the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach. Hmm, just watch it with the oily snacks though, you don’t want that adage to refer to cholestrol and have him blame you for his deteriorating health.

The Chef: Yes, this type I am absolutely floored by. When a woman can go out and do things that men have been doing for years, what’s better than a man who comes in and does what we’ve been doing for years? A man who likes cooking is a big, big, big turn-on. Besides this is one interest he can’t fib about. :-)

Have fun with the boys….just check in on how they’re having their fun!

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