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.”
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.
XXFactored Jun11: Living In, Female Sanitary Products, Appropriate Parenthood, Male Orgasms & A Playboy Bunny
June feels like a good month. It’s the first time I have ever welcomed a monsoon in Mumbai.
I’ve been doing some writing, outside of these two blogs. My commentary on relationships has been getting an interesting (read masaledaar…look at the comments) response at Yahoo! Real Beauty. But the site’s new Recommendations section also featured a style post, a book review and 2 app stories, all by me. FriendsOfBooks carried my list on 10 Great Vacation Reads For Children. I did some advisory content work on the topics of Romance, Relationships, Love & Sex (sorry, I can’t explain more due to the terms of the contract).
And in between all that, here’s what I was reading:
- ‘Notes On Living With My Ex-Boyfriend For Eight Months‘ : Egad! When living in goes wrong. It was strangely comforting, though….to know that you don’t stop feeling or living. (via ThoughtCatalog)‘
- ‘Should I Be Embarassed To Buy Tampons?‘ : Funny, I always thought it was very thoughtful of local chemists to newspaper-wrap sanitary napkins on sale. Was I being unknowingly regressive? Or do we just not *have* to shout out every little detail about our bodies? (via TheFrisky)
- ‘Dads, Hug Your Daughters!‘ : Pertinent but preachy? (via TheFrisky)’
- ‘Man Takes Revenge At Girlfriend With Abortion Billboard‘ : Does this make you go “Aww, how sweet!” or “Ooh, touchy, touchy!”? (via YourTango)
- Just in case you ever wondered…’What A Male Orgasm Feels Like‘ (via YourTango)
- Indian parents seem to be caught in that unfortunate tug-of-war between the conservative ‘ladki se paisa nahin lenge’ attitude and pro-feminist/independence world for their daughters. (via Twitter)
- ‘The 5 Stages Of Most Relationships ‘ : Rather depressing how many of these are true! (via Maxim)
- A rather funny (and annoyingly familiar) flow-chart on ‘How Men and Women Argue’ (via Maxim)
- ‘The story of an ex-Playboy bunny‘: Actually a rather good read. (via The Good Men Project)
XX Factor has been having a few adventures this month. I contributed an article to Femina.in (linked below). I faced down a copycat attack and with a lot of support from the onlineverse, got him to take it down. Quarter-year and I’m also looking at diversifying the interests of this blog and changing its tone. I think it’s time to take XX Factor from a personal confessional into a full-blown social commentary space. It’s been on that path for awhile, all that remains is to make it ‘official’. But nothing happens without your okay so please use the pollbox or the comments section to tell me what you think of this.
And after that, here’s what XX Factor is featuring this month:
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