Category Archives: Bookmarked
Other sources relating to the issues discussed on XX Factor
Arre ran one of my stories this week and I’m thrilled. It’s about my experiences as an ‘older’ woman on the dating apps, primarily Tinder. A very young friend told me how nice it was to see older humans not dissing the idea of online dating. I couldn’t stop laughing when I told him that my generation was the one that invented the concept of falling in love online. These were actually lines in my original draft of the article, that got dropped during edits:
“Speaking of dickpics, these didn’t shock me as much as my millennial friends thought they would. After all, the internet is basically my younger sibling (being that I was 16 the year VSNL made internet connection, an ‘it’ accessory). My generation had its first romantic exchange through a glass screen, hallelujah chatrooms! We invented (discovered?) so this was the inevitable future.”
Anyway, I’m really happy with the way my story shaped up. Writers tend to shape our own world view with what we write. And it’s put me into a very good frame of mind to have worked on a piece that is about carrying away experience, not cynicism from life.
Show me some love and read the article, people! It’s up here and it’s called:
I decided to bring back the XXFactored posts chronicling what this blog has been interested in, in the past month. It’s been awhile but we’re still about relationships, urban womanhood, body positivity and feminism.
- Toxic lies on gender and why both men and women suffer for it. “4 Lies ‘Nice Guys,’ Pickup Artists, and Everyday Misogynists Tell You About Women — And Why They Hurt Us All” (via Everyday Feminism)
- To conform for validation, that’s the worst thing I could do. But then the life of an independent woman has never been easy.
- ‘Women empowerment’ is just another fad that a lot of brands are cashing into. The agenda is always to exploit the consumer’s psyche and sell more. Let’s not kid ourselves that a soap brand or a diamond manufacturer actually cares about women’s (or any other group’s) issues. “John St.’s Latest Merciless Satire Just Destroys the Dove Style of Marketing to Women ‘If she’s crying, she’s buying’ By Tim Nudd” (via Adweek)
- There are as many different ways to be a human being as there are human beings. Why do we assume that there is only one kind of relationship?: “I was in a committed relationship with two people—and then I got pregnant.” (via HelloGiggles)
- A modern relationship on Fast Forward predict mode.
- A hilarious and true story about a menstrual cup virgin: “Misadventures with my menstrual cup” (via Menstrupedia)
- This is for all of you who have ever said “But I’m not a feminist.” You’re entitled to your politics, and make no mistake, it is political. But know what you’re saying. “RainbowMan: I’m a Feminist and It’s Not a Bad Thing” (via The Quint link courtesy Harrish Iyer)
- Being friendly’ versus being friends: “What I learned when my ex asked if we could be friends” (via HelloGiggles)
- Flirtmoji combines technology and body positive messaging with their ‘vagmojis’: “Hooray! Vagina emojis are here.” (via Alternet)
This April, I’m trying out XXFactored as a weekly instead of a monthly feature. Drop me your comments or Tweet to @ideasmithy, letting me know what you think. Also, if you see something you think should be XXFactored, let me know and I’ll post it with due credit to you. You can also post a link to XXFactor’s Facebook Page.
Here’s what I saw this week:
- BuyMeCondom is an Indian eCommerce portal dedicated to condoms and contraceptive sales only. Connected India is certainly coming of age. And no, this is not an April Fool joke. (via BuyMeCondom)
- Things like this make me question the sanity of whoever invented marriage in the first place.: ‘Man seeks to divorce wife for refusing to make love to a snake‘ (via AfricanSeer)
- This is an anonymous reply to a post that got featured as a follow-up post. It was written by someone I know and echoes the unacknowledged sentiments of a lot of other wonderful people in my life. Here’s to honoring the spirit of those that charge bravely where angels fear to tread – new ideas.: ‘Here’s Why You Should Date An Entrepreneur‘ (via YourStory)
- When the difference between boys bikes and girls bikes is purely accessorial, why do we propagate gender segregation?: ‘Insisting on Boys & Girls Bikes‘ (via The Society Pages)
This wasn’t a perfect Valentine’s month. But then, last February was and look how that turned out. Still, I got through it (this one and last year). The journey back to life is neither neat nor straight. At least it wasn’t boring. Here’s what kept me company along the way:
- A truly howl-a-rious thought in tweet via Chandani Agarwal.
- A year ago, I struggled with the burden of the label ‘fiance’. Now I find other people have felt the same burden of the even heavier label of ‘wife’. An interesting perspective gets added by the gay community reclaiming some of these words.: ‘Labels of Married Life, in a New Light‘ (via NYTimes)
- Books and dating – my two favorite topics!: ‘What your Bookshelf says about you to a Date ‘ (via HowAboutWe)
- This sounds like a relationship-in-denial to me, but what the hell? ‘Flirtationship’ is a great word!: ‘20 Signs You’re in a Flirtationship‘ (via Thought Catalog)
- I’d love to know who agrees with this: ‘What your favorite sex position REALLY says about you‘ (via HowAboutWe)
- In my teens, I’ve been pressurized to wear a dupatta ‘properly’ (read: across both shoulders with the bulk of the fabric hanging down covering torso) in Chennai. In the same conversations, I was also told the value of ‘addakam’ (loosely translated as restraint in Tamil) to a woman’s character. I see the connection in this piece, do you?: ‘Tied up in knots: The many meanings of the dupatta ‘ (via The Sunday Guardian)
- Stereotypes. Entertainment. There’s a connection, isn’t there? This is a comprehensive breakdown of every female stereotype and pop culture examples of each.: ‘The Female Character Flowchart‘ (via Overthinking It)
- A common theme in popular fashion poses is to portray the woman as ‘weak, slightly insane and even deranged’. Yolanda Dominguez’s project ‘Poses’ captures real women in daily situations in these poses to highlight this fact.: ‘What Model Poses would look like in Real Life‘ (via Messy Nessy Chic)
- If it’s written by a woman and talks about love & relationships, it’s ChickLit. And what if it’s written by a man?: ‘Women in Love, Only if You’re DH Lawrence‘ (via Annie Zaidi).
“Women writers could go out and wrench such columns for themselves by building a body of work in non-fiction that makes them difficult to ignore. That would mean hardcore research. That would mean a lot of time and energy taken away from creating fiction. This is not impossible to do. But given that their male counterparts get away with merely having opinions, it is also not fair.”
I’ve really spent 2012 so self-absorbed, haven’t I? In my defense, I got into the utlra hot-and-heavy of commitment, did the deep soul-searching that everyone does after getting engaged (don’t they?), hit rock bottom with a break-up, wrote plenty of mournful stuff, bored myself and got back with the ‘Really now, are you over *all* the drama finally?’ and here I am. So yes, I haven’t really spent much of the year looking at other people and their relationships and what they think of them. But a new year is here with new people, new problems and adventures of the heart. And I’m promising to bring back the social butterfly that I and this blog have always been. Let’s start with a round-up of interesting reads:
- “When a woman is the sum total of her headscarf and hymen – that is, what’s on her head and what is between her legs – then nakedness and sex become weapons of political resistance.” A thought-provoking article on the objectification of women’s bodies. ‘Nudity, Niqab and the Illusion of Free Choice‘ (via The Express Tribune Blogs)
- I’m most intrigued by no.4. We never seem to think of condescension & sarcasm as would-be abuser traits. These seem to be cool & attractive behaviour, drawing us in like flies to honey. ‘Are You Dating An Abuser?‘ (via Psychology Today)
- ‘The Subtext Of An Entire Relationship In 4 Minutes‘ (via TheFrisky)
- Some surprises here on what guys do on Facebook before dating the girl: ‘10 Ways Guys Use Facebook For Their Dating Lifes‘. (via HowAboutWe)
- A great answer to ‘What Do Guys Wish Girls Knew?’ (via Quora)
- When do you google your date? The obvious answer was ‘before the first date’. But I’ve been meeting so many familiar strangers on account of social media that I find I only google after a couple of dates now. ‘Poll: When Do You Google A Date?‘ (via HowAboutWe)
- Ever notice how Satan’s head bears an uncanny resemblance to the female reproductive system? (via 10 Daily Things)
- Cosmopolitan’s hilarious and terribly wrong sex advice (via Uptown Magazine)
- What the dating guide has to say about Facebook: ‘When Is It Okay To Friend Someone You’re Casually Dating?‘ (via HowAboutWe)
- A study says bisexual women are likelier to be abused/raped. This article points out a few holes in that theory. (via Thought Catalog)
- 25 Things You Wish You Could Ask Someone On A First Date (via Thought Catalog)
I didn’t post an XXFactored update in February because the month was so busy that I barely had the time to scout for links. Other people however, did share links and I really wanted to showcase them. While on this, allow me a brief crib about the new Facebook page format. It shows the page admin’s links on the main page but other members links in a tiny box. Not cool, I say. It totally kills the spirit of community that link-sharing used to do.
Now on to the links.
- Someone’s idea of what happens to people of either gender when they fail their exams. It sparked off a heated debate. (via Lakshmi Jagad)
- HOWL-a-rious! ‘- 14 Realities of Romantic Relationships in chart form‘ (via Cracked)
- In memory of a remarkable woman and a talented musician laid to waste – ‘I’m Every Woman‘
- I’m sure a whole lot of us will be silently thanking the makers for this handy tool! – ‘5 Signs You’ve Been Stalking Your Ex Online Too Much‘ (via How About We)
- Harsh, hard-hitting….dare I say…true? The undeniably justified cause of gay rights, seems to have become no more than a free ride of attention and entertainment for those so privileged. ‘The Queer Movement is dead; Long Live the Queer Movement!‘ (via DNA Newspaper, link courtesy Dhamini Ratnam)
- A hilarious set of charts – check out the ones mapping people who use Twitter daily versus others. – ‘10 Charts about Sex‘ (via OkCupid)
- ‘Why Indian Men are still boys‘ (via Tehelka, link courtesy Gautam Ghosh)
- ‘No, Catcalling is not a compliment and here’s why’ (via Hello Giggles, link courtesy Ashwini Mishra)
- If this 60s show has sparked off your fancy, here’s a look at some of the female stereotypes of the time by how Don Draper sees them. ‘4 Types Of Women Don Draper has Dated.‘ (via YourTango)
- ‘What Your Favorite Mad Men Lady Says About You‘ (via TheGloss)
- This is totally off the edge – ‘Marketing Xenosexuality: Women & the Sex Robot taboo?‘ (via Future of Sex, link courtesy Gautam Ghosh)
- “Lighten up” can be the most passive-aggressive chauvinistic phrase ever! ‘The Million Little Barbs of Lighten Up!‘ (via BuzzFeed)
- ‘Where Have All The Young Men Gone?‘ (via HR Blogs, links courtesy Gautam Ghosh)
- This is true of any movement – rabidity only works against you in the long run. ‘How Pro-Lifers made me a Pro-Choice Activist.‘ (via TheGloss)
- ‘5 Warnings to go with 5 Types of Men who make great husbands‘ (via From Outside The Mall, link courtesy Gautam Ghosh)
You can catch the links as they come in and even post your own to The XX Factor Facebook Page.
It’s been a gritty month here at XXFactor. I didn’t get as much writing done as I’d have liked to (even though my Drafts folder is overflowing). My reading has been more sombre than usual too. Here’s starting the Valentine’s month with some link-love:
- ‘My strength is not for hurting‘: An anti-rape campaign targetted at men. (via Facebook, link courtesy Kiran Manral)
- ‘First Date Questionnaire: 30 Something Edition‘: A crazy-ass questionnaire from that old favorite Thought Catalog.
- ‘Why Men Need Marriage‘: Very, very preachy & judgmental (though not as much considering the writer is a pastor). (via Washington Post)
- ‘Can You Tell The Difference Between A Men’s Magazine And A Rapist?‘: I’ve never quite been able to reconcile pop culture’s permissiveness of porn with my fear of being labelled a prude. And now this article just makes me sad that I may have been right. (via Jezebel)
- ‘A Rant About Women‘: Women may get judged harsher than men. They’re also less inclined to take risks (of being wrong, of being caught, of looking foolish). This difference may be costing us more than we realize. (via Shirky, link courtesy Rehab Chougle & Phyrodite)
- ‘Why College isn’t really necessary for girls’ or ‘How to prove you’re an idiot’. (On Facebook, link courtesy Johann Matthai)
- You know how they say you should make a bonfire of the paraphernalia of a bad relationship? Instead, make some money off it by selling it off on Never Liked It Anyway.
You can catch the links as they come in and even post your own to the XX Factor Facebook Page.
In XX Factor news, longtime friend and well-wisher of my blogs, Meetu (also known as WOGMA) joined XX Factor as its newest guest-contributor, giving her own introduction with her first post ‘Mom-me‘.
- ‘Why Marriage Is A Declining Option For Modern Women‘ (via Guardian, link courtesy Gautam Ghosh)
- ‘Pick A Number‘: A hilarious point-scale of sexuality (via NewYorker)
- A graph on how the sexes name colour – Do men and women really see colours that differently? Or are men just plain lazy? (via Venks)
- ‘The Top 10 Relationship Words That Aren’t Translatable Into English‘: Sex and the City gave us ‘La Douleur Exquise’ but who knew the deliciousness of ‘Retrouvailles’ or the sensuality of ‘Cafuné’? If you’re confounded, the article explains their meanings. (via BigThink, link courtesy Smriti Ravindra)
- ‘The Surprise Spanx Make-out‘: A fun read on the battle between getting help to look good & letting the world see that. (via Salon, link courtesy Lakshmi Jagad)
- A dating site and my new project!: ‘Ten Things Men Should Never Do While Dating‘ (via LoveBeckons)
- ‘Biggest Relationship Trends of 2011‘: The accompanying images are more than half the fun! (via Glo)
- ‘She’s Got Game‘: I’m not the kind of girl gamer she talks about. But I’ve felt the same ‘You’re off your territory’ attitude in the comics section of bookstores. (via Michelle Oraa Ali, link courtesy Ashwini Mishra)
- A way to get men to stop making those %^$ period jokes! (via RaggedTag)
- A funny cartoon on haircuts, men and women (link courtesy BlogAdda)
You can catch the links as they come in and even post your own to the XX Factor Facebook Page.
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!