Positive Female Role Models


Now that I have dissed on one of the feminist book of 2016  here, what are the alternative? What are the positive (female) role models I would recommend? These recommendations are not for females alone, it is for all genders.

Note – To be honest, I am unable to offer resources for people of all genders (like trans) or all sexualities because I have limited time and can only consume a certain amount of media (in terms of books, movies, blogs, and TV) and I will look for relevant resources should the need arise in my life.

Books

  1. Zita the Spacegirl series
  2. Delilah Dirk Series
  3. Giant Days series
  4. D.I Kim by Angela Marsons – Well, women have their demons too but smart, strong women for the go.
  5. Amy Stewart’s Kopp Sisters series –  I loved this one.

TV Series

Many of the shows I watch have excellent strong female role models (I am surprised as I thought of it for this article because I wasn’t analyzing it when I was watching them that way).

The Arrow – Felicity, Thea, Sarah & Laurel Lance, the villains – all smart, intelligent, funny, amazing women and some are lesbians/bisexual.

DC Legends of Tomorrow – Sarah Lance is a lesbian leader of the group. She is smart, strong and an excellent warrior.

SuperGirl – The main characters are strong women. There are coming out scenes and same gender relationships.

The Flash – Again, no shortage of strong, intelligent women with healthy relationships. There are 2 interracial relationships at the moment now. The women are strong, decisive, intelligent and give great advice.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead – Strong women. They are smarter than men actually.

Lucifer – Again, the women are strong with a better moral compass and all of this without hating.

Now that I think of it, there are so many healthy role models around. We don’t really need a book spewing hatred to teach feminism.

One Hundred Nights of Hate


I read this book – The One Hundred Nights of Hero (Early Earth) which has been highly acclaimed and suggested as the perfect gift for daughters for introducing feminism – One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenburg. This has been hailed as one of the best graphic novels in 2016 and has a 4.5 stars rating on Goodreads. To me, this is not feminism. This is more like a book written from the viewpoint of a man-hating lesbian.

The art work was okay. The stories were not that engaging. I was not dying to finish the book but I read them only because of Uncle’s critique of the book and he wanted me to judge for myself. Honestly, the book did not touch me.  The book is more of a reimagination of the creation story and Arabian nights.

My Critique of the Book

  1. The blurb on the back says that this is a book about love but the overall theme in the book was pure hate. I was surprised at the amount of hate emanating from this book.
  2. The entire book was about men vs. women. No cooperation. No kindness. I am not sure how we can spread feminism if we make an entire section of the society unwanted and unwilling to support feminism.
  3. The book perpetuates stereotypes of  women as dumb, naive, petty and mean falling for the first man who is nice to them. How is this even empowering?
  4. The book goes on and on about sisterhood. From my life experience, sisterhood exists but we cannot make an assumption that all women look out for each other. They are equally capable of betrayal and leave you in the lurch as much as any other gender.
  5. Open agenda against one gender.One hundred nights go hero
  6. The author’s attitude. When people critique her book as man hating, she uses it as an example and an extension of the men in her book on how they control women and lock them up and don’t let them read books.Isabel Greenberg Response to critique
  7. According to this book, the only true love is lesbian love.
  8. No healthy heterosexual relationships in this book.
  9. All the men in our lives are vile creatures according to this book

Do I really want my daughter to see the world this way? I will not prevent my kid from reading this book but I will not be gifting it to anyone. Instead I would love to discuss with my kid on how this is not okay. If an entire book were written stereotyping women and showcasing them as an evil gender today, it would not be acceptable (though there are several examples in history). Similarly, a hateful book about any other gender is also not acceptable. This is 2017 not 1373. If an agenda against homosexuals/bisexuals is not okay, then an agenda against heterosexuals is also not okay.

Sadly, books in favour of traditionally oppressed groups putting down and blaming the dominant group have been bestsellers and really popular. The popularity of this book reminded me of Susan Cain’s book – Quiet which blames extroverts for everything from the recession to wars and how superior introverts are. Something like this book.

Feminism does not mean hating other genders or blaming them for all the world’s problems. Instead, I would call this ‘placing women on a pedestal‘ syndrome wherein we start believing that the root of all evil is men and that women are incapable of any wrong. The truth is the world would not necessarily have been a better place had women been in charge because we are all humans and there are good, bad, ugly, mean, selfish, nasty, wicked people irrespective of gender.

On Goodreads


I was facing a reading drought in 2014. I was reading more non-fiction than before but was at a loss on what to read in fiction. Every time we were at the library, I would go through the fiction section and did not know what to borrow and ended up choosing the same old authors – Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovich or pick nothing. I was getting tired of them and wanted to expand my reading repertoire. Choosing non-fiction was relatively easier: just go to a particular section like health and check out whatever looked interesting. But then, I wanted to go beyond certain topics in non-fiction too.

That’s when, I saw ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette‘ by Maria Semple recommended on a blog (A cup of Jo) and picked it up from the library and I loved it! What’s more, I had been to Seattle and knew the places and things the author was referring to. I still remember this because this was when my reading changed dramatically.

After this book,  I decided to look for other recommendations on blogs, Goodreads and started filing books for my future reading.  I tried to have a good mix of fiction and non-fiction. Having this ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads really made my life easier and organized. I knew what books to look for in the library and I started borrowing more because I did not have to spend time in indecision every time we were in the library. I just went through my list and checked what was available. Later on, I started noting down the catalogue number of the library of the books and availability even before I visited the library to be more efficient.

This one change increased the number of books I read dramatically. In 2014, I read 15 books of which 6 were fiction and I didn’t like some of them. In contrast, I read 6 times more in 2015, 50% of which were fiction. All because I had a list and was more organized. Of course, one does not need Goodreads to organize their books but I like it.

Some people may see list making as a chore but I love it and feel it contributes to my life significantly and I am so glad to have my lists.

*This is not a sponsored post and is my personal experience. 

On Gone Girl – 2


Contains spoilers.

From the time I was freaked out by the movie ‘Gone Girl‘ and decided against reading the book, I read 2 other novels by Gillian Flynn. As I liked her work, I decided to read Gone Girl but I couldn’t find a good edition in the library. I mostly came across those tiny print books and not the larger hardcover edition for the last few months. The moment I saw the hardcover edition, I picked it up.

So, have my opinions changed since I last wrote about it?

Not really.

For starters, I have become fairly familiar (and not too shocked) with psychopathic characters and their behaviour as I read other novels with similar characters and read other books by Gillian Flynn.

I found the book a bit slow in the first 120 pages and then it was terse and great. I do wish I had read the book before the movie and it is quite rare that I have watched a movie before the book. I have to admit that I would not have seen it coming the way I could in the movie.

I felt the book overall, had an undercurrent of hatred running through it.

  • Nick and his dad – Seem to hate women
  • Amy – Seems to hate her parents and Nick and men and has contempt for everyone.

I liked how the book explored additional things like how Nick felt when Amy came back, thoughts running through their minds and the additional people Amy had harmed. One thing I could not get, was how 2 psychologists could not see the psychopathic tendencies of their own daughter. Also, I felt Nick should have walked away citing (publicly) that he was not good enough for Amazing Amy, the moment, he found and destroyed her vomit jar and not have informed her that he threw it away. His reasons for staying pre-baby seem unsatisfactory to me.

This book paints a very depressing and creepy picture of Missouri.

Did I feel it was a portrait of a marriage after reading the book?

Not at all.

The section that seemed like a commentary on marriage was the first part with Amy’s diary entries but clearly it was engineered and written by a psychopath after studying people and other media (books, movies etc.). Psychopaths are great at studying others and make it seem like they get it but they really don’t and they can be highly intelligent and never get caught for all their lives. These mundane things like normal relationships bore them. They love playing and challenging people, both of which Amy did. I think it is pointless to try to understand the mentality of a psychopath because we never can. They are great at manipulating by mixing what triggers us at the raw emotional level with what they want. At the time of the book, Amy wanted a perfect marriage.

  • Amy pretends to be a ‘cool girl.’
  • Then, some guy (Nick) likes her.
  • Nick with a huge need for approval from everyone was also pretending to be this likeable guy .
  • All seems normal till now because many people are pretending while dating.
  • However, she is a perfectionist and has contempt for every human fallibility (another psychopathic tendency).
  • Everyone and everything has to be perfect.
  • They stop pretending after marriage.
  • She fills with hate when she realises that he doesn’t like her the way she is and when he is not perfect either.
  • Of course, the guy is a total douche bag and deserves to be dumped.
  • She plans for an entire year and works hard to frame him for murder.
  • He plays her and makes her come back.
  • He is shit scared of her.
  • He stays because he can’t settle for the normal girl anymore.
  • She gets pregnant by her own scheming.
  • He stays to protect the baby.

If marriage with a psychopath and a crazy jerk is the portrait of a marriage, then Gillian Flynn’s other books should equally freak us out about trusting our own parents and siblings. So, should Angela Marsons’s books. Because, everybody is out to kill you by that token.

Was this book feminist or misogynistic (one of the critiques to the author)?

Neither. Nick’s dad was misogynistic. Nick was afraid of turning into him. Amy zooms in on everything that can go wrong in marriages and wants her marriage to be perfect. Additionally, she goes on ‘feminist’ rants when men seem to like the woman she pretends to be and not what she really truly is and how she has to pretend. To me, this comes of as this man-hating anger and full of resentment and not really feminism. Amy has contempt for everything that is not perfect, so there’s nothing surprising there.

It also makes me wonder how when a guy is a psychopath, he is just a psychopath. When a woman is a psychopath, she becomes a representative of all crazy bitches women and cannot be just viewed as a psychopath.

 

What I’m Into – May + June 2016


Books

You can follow me on Goodreads here. Books I really enjoyed reading in the last 2 months are:

  1. Habits of a Happy Brain – Interesting take on modern Neurobiology and helped me connect several of my ideas.
  2. Reclaiming Conversation – I thought this book would be boring but  I liked it a lot! It is about talking in today’s age of emails and avoiding face-to-face conversations
  3. Gut – I really liked this. I miss scientific books put in a fun way. I got so many ideas from reading this.
  4. A man called Ove 
  5. D.I Kim Stone Series – I really loved this and can’t wait to read book #3

TV Series

  1. Game of Thrones – This week’s episode was one of the best this season!
  2. Full House – I love it!

Movies

  1. The Conjuring 2 – Was a good horror movie

It is summer time and I have lots of books to read. So, I have cut down on my movies and TV series!

How To Take Care of Books


Updated on June 8, 2016

Dear Book Readers,

Try as I might, I cannot forget the trauma I endured today, when I was reading a book and feel the urge to say this for the common good of mankind and all library users.

DO NOT pick your nose and stick the boogey with your thick black nose hairs on the pages of the book. Doing it even on a page is not okay but doing that on every page from page 15 to 60 is unacceptable. Makes me wonder, how hairy your nose is!

Pointers on how to take care of a book

  1. Do not pick your nose while reading a book.
  2. If you do, wash your hands.
  3. Stick the hair and boogey in a tissue and wash your hands.
  4. Do not stick the boogey with hairs onto every page you read. A book is not the place to stick your nose hair you plucked with your fingers.
  5. If  you do, clean the shit up! With alcohol. Just don’t do it, please.
  6. If you want, do this with your own books not borrowed library books. Because nobody wants to discover your hair stuck on every page for 2 chapters.

Besides, the book was meant for medical students and people with advanced science degrees, not 3 year old kids. God help me, if you are a doctor.

P.S: I cannot bring myself to read the book now but I diligently cleaned the pages with a sanitizer. Don’t ask me why.

Updates: I went to the library and showed the book to the librarian. I had missed out on cleaning 3 pages which was good because I could show the librarian the condition of the book. I told them to create some educational poster telling people not to do that! Phew!

What I’m into – April 2016


A summary of media I am taking in.

Books

You can follow me on Goodreads here.

Books I really enjoyed in the last 2 months include:

  1. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
  2. Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
  3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

TV Series

  1. The Night Manager – I really enjoyed this short series and thought the lead actor was great (He played Loki in the Avengers).
  2. Quantico – I wouldn’t really recommend this. It is like they thought of extending the series after a few episodes and came up with a botched up story line with unbelievable twists.
  3. 11.22.63 – Started out great, fizzled out in the middle and the ending was better. Could have done with fewer episodes. Not bad overall.
  4. Game of Thrones – It is back and I am glad because I love it. I want to binge watch all the episodes and all the future seasons at a go now but I can’t bear waiting till all the episodes play.
  5. Fuller House – Full on nostalgia factor here. I felt it was above average.

Movies

  1. Kung Fu Panda 3 – It had its funny moments and I liked it.
  2. Captain America – Civil War –  I felt it was definitely better than the previous Avengers movie-Age of Ultron but slightly less great than the previous Cap movie. It is humor and heart and I cared about the characters. Some scenes were great but there were moments the camera spun too fast.

The Need for Independence & Control


I was reading Atul Gawande’s ‘Being Mortal’ when this hit me.

The author discusses how old people became depressed being in old age homes as there was loss of independence and privacy. They were being treated like kids – the home tells you when to get up and when to eat and what to eat. This is why assisted living in the original sense (the author talks about how assisted living as a concept changed over years) became popular because people could live in their own home by their own rules. The medical system and the oldies families were concerned with safety while the old peoples were more concerned about living the way they pleased with nobody dictating their lives.

If human nature strives for independence and control which is evidenced by research and old people are so unhappy about being told what to do, what about the countless daughter-in-laws (DILs) and sons in traditional societies who never get to be independent?

The moment the DIL comes into the family, everyone from her husband’s mother to father to other relatives take it upon themselves to show the DIL her place. They tell her what to cook, what to wear, when she can go out and even, if and when she can talk to her own parents. For the sons, unless they have studied/worked in another city, many of them never get the opportunity to explore their own tastes or desires. For the couple, they often do not get to explore setting up their own house or creating a home with their own rules. Often, it is about assimilating into somebody else’s home. 

On top of it, the in-laws and the husband are surprised when the DIL is upset about ‘trivial things’ like the colour of the curtains and wonder why she can’t ‘just adjust and give in’. That is because nobody likes being made to live their entire life according to another person’s whim and fancy. Yes, one could argue that one has to follow laws but everyone likes to have a semblance of control over their own lives to the largest extent possible as an adult.

Also, we (I sometimes do) often tend to go into parent mode with our parents as they grow older. Something we need to work on avoiding. 

Food for though for older people who wish to control their kids and their spouses lives. They may obey but they are not happy and this is why. If you are a DIL who feels irritated but can’t find anything wrong, this is why. Our societal norms are so ingrained in us that it is difficult to articulate what feels wrong. If you are a husband whose spouse complains about your mom/dad/sis/relative picking on her and you can’t get why she is so upset, this is why.

Give space and freedom to adults because that is how we are meant to be. How can one truly lead a fulfilled life if they do not get to live an independent life?

What I’m Into – March 2016


I have been wanting to write a summary of what I’am reading, watching or listening to after seeing many other bloggers write about it. I love reading such posts and because I consume so much media, it is a great way to reflect and track for me. I wish to post at the end of every month as a summary but I can’t wait to get the first post out of my head!

Books:

You can follow me on Goodreads here.

Roller Girl: It is technically meant for 8-12 year olds but I liked it. Nice story. I was introduced and learnt a new thing – roller derby!

Roller Girl

Spark Joy: I loved her previous book and I liked this one too. It had sections I wished the first book had- about kitchen and other parts of the house. I did not find it weird because in a way I am exposed to Japanese culture.

Spark Joy

TV Series:

One Punch Man: One punch manI watched this in February and loved it. In general, Japanese anime does not interest me but I found this interesting and funny. It mocks all the superhero genre movies (like the Avengers) and show the superhero doing mundane stuff like grocery shopping. Do note that there are barely any good female characters and if they are there, they are pretty or crazy. No normal ones which again is typical in a way of this genre. I watched it in Japanese with Eng subs.

Walking Dead: Walking DeadAfter watching every single episode from Season 1, I finally decided to stop watching this series. I am tired of the repetition and lack of hope. Every time it is the same story – find a new place to settle > Some crazy guy comes in > They lose the place > Move to a new place.

Agents of SHIELD:

Agents of Shield

Another TV series, I decided to stop watching. It is not great. We initially started watching it because it was mean to be tied to the movie universe but somehow, they have decided to not link them at all. So, out it goes.

Agent Carter:

Agent Carter

I liked this TV series because it has a strong normal woman as the lead and her chemistry with the butler – Jarvis is awesome. Hope they continue and move ahead in terms of how SHIELD was founded.

Movies:

Lately, I have been into R rated comedies.  Kindly don’t watch if you have a problem with people cussing.

Deadpool: It was funny and different from most Marvel/superhero movies. It made fun of  Marvel Superheroes and of X-Men. Interesting because it broke the 4th wall.

Deadpool movie

Spy: Funny and I loved how it mocked James Bond movies.

Spy  2015

The Heat: Was funny and I liked the female buddy-buddy detective theme.

 

I feel both Spy and The Heat pass the Bedchel test, especially The Heat. You have a not-skinny woman dealing with not-love problems. That is rare.

Will you refuse to date someone who sends you this SMS?


I read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and liked the book overall. I love reading books on talking about modern social issues and those that are easy reads not boring textbook like.

However, I just could not wrap my head around the situation described in p42-44. He is talking about the importance of sending the proper SMS which would determine if someone would go out on a date with you. The example he uses is below –

IMG_20151122_161831_HDR

Modern Romance SMS

I really saw nothing wrong with this text. The guy was not a creeper, did not send an inappropriate message (like the sexual kind), introduced himself, clarified how he got her number, established a common friend connection (safer and kind of trustworthy) and seemed overall nice. 

Another point to note is that Rachel and Will met in person before this SMS at a wedding. In today’s world of flakiness and no replies, anybody making an effort to find out your number and not creeping you out is a great.

However, the young people including the author disagreed. Maybe, it was author’s license but I could not believe the entire audience of 3600 & Rachel was put off by 1 word – ‘texty’.

IMG_20151122_161845_HDR

Give the guy a break. Writing off someone because of 1 freaking word and it was not even creepy.

IMG_20151122_161845_HDR

Another thing they didn’t approve of was ‘toooooootally’ & ‘ Feliz cumpleanos’.

IMG_20151122_161906_HDR

I absolutely disagreed with this opinion and wondered why Rachel had refused to date him.  I asked Uncle what he thought and he could not believe that someone would be rejected for that. He could easily see himself writing such an SMS.

I felt that it was ridiculous that people are rejected on such a frivolous basis and it seems so shallow.

This is acceptable if you are 16 years old but not when you are 25. I wish the author had put in Rachel’s age because that would definitely give me a perspective on the behaviour. If someone is 30 years old and rejects guys based on this, it is pretty obvious why they will not be going out on dates or be in a healthy relationship anytime soon.

The guy is expected to make the first move and if they are rejected for stuff like this, I do not think we can complain when guys copy paste the same message for all girls on online dating sites because that clearly seems to be more efficient.

What do you think?

At The Library – 2


EVERY TIME WE GO TO THE LIBRARY

Not really  every time because the library does not have these kind of promotions all the time.

At the library - 2

Lots of stuff and strange creatures


This is a month of with lots of to-do’s:

  1. Every year during school holidays, the local libraries double the number of books one can borrow. This time,  I go into an overdrive and borrowed 10-12 books (Remaining 4 slots for Uncle). Now,  I have a huge pile of books waiting to be read and be returned by their due dates – talk about books making you feel guilty ha ha.
  2. I still have a lot of TV series  + movies to watch.
  3. Lots of blog posts to read. Usually I am on top of my emails and blog reading. Last week, I guess not.
  4. My cooking projects – kinda running along. Hey, at least I made a chocolate cake, so that’s great. 

    Dark Chocolate Cake
    We eat first and remember to photograph later which explains the cut cake.
  5. Packing Gathering stuff and+ shopping for an upcoming trip 
  6. Language practice – slowed down, I hope to pick it up.

Strange Creatures

Last night as I was walking home, I saw something stuck onto the stairs. I was not sure if it was a frog or a moth or a dried leaf/flower. I wanted to take a closer look at it but people were walking by. I used a leaf to poke it because I felt I was imagining things and it was live and it let out a tiny squeak but did not budge. I took a photo but did not really try to get a better one because:

  • people were walking by and I don’t want to seem like a creep taking photos of people’s legs.
  • my photography skills are not great.
  • I was very nervous that I was going to disturb it and it was going to fly in my face or scurry away (mainly this).

Upon close examination, it seemed like a baby bat to me! I haven’t seen one live before.

Baby bat

I check the stairs in the morning on my way to office and it was gone! 

On Gone Girl


Last night, I watched the movie “Gone Girl” and it left me deeply disturbed. Maybe, I should stick to movies like Avengers and Cobra.

Edited to add in a section on marriage.

Note – This post has spoilers.

On wanting to read the book:

I had heard that the book was great and originally wanted to read it. The library had a list of reservations running 1 year long which explains why I had not yet read it. After watching the movie, I dropped the idea promptly. Of course, I went online and read the differences between the book and the movie.

On the movie:

The movie was good and disturbing. Many people raved about the twists in the movie though I could guess some of them as  I watched the movie –

  1. She was not dead, she had run away.
  2. She would go to Desi when she was robbed of her money. Who else could  she go to?

It was easy to see this coming.

Dating Advice:

What the hell does dating advice to do with an article about Gone Girl? Well, there is something to be learnt from it which was painfully obvious –

  1. STOP PRETENDING in a relationship.
  2. Communicate.
  3. Perfectionism kills.

The basis of Amy’s and Nick’s relationship was shaky. They both pretended to be who they were not. I do not think it is okay, even in the initial stages of dating. I will concede, I understand that a lot of people who got into relationships pretending to be someone they are not. You can pretend for some time but not all the time! They do not know each other at all!

Another thing was they never talked about stuff that mattered. As you watch the movie and there are scenes from the diary, it is shocking how they started dating in 2005 and only in 2007, Amy talks about Amazing Amy and how it was related to her life. WTH?! They never discuss giving money to Amy’s parents. They never discuss moving back to the town where Nick’s mother is dying.  They jut don’t discuss anything!

Amy is a perfectionist. Perfectionism is tiring because you can never be perfect all the time. Our media may sell us perfect skin to perfect hair to perfect marriages but let us be honest here- Perfect does not exist in real life. Amy tries to maintain a perfect facade but that breaks her down and her marriage. In some ways, her parents are to be blamed for this. Things have to go her way – the perfect way. Neither of them relaxed into the relationship because she wanted her marriage and the guy in to be perfect. Nick was like a project to be worked on.  Nobody likes to feel that they are a project. I am tired just writing about the perfectionism aspect.  Take it from a recovering perfectionist, it is very tiring.

On Amy:

Crazy perfectionist psychopath A-type personality. Who wants to marry someone like that? I can imagine there are plenty of people like this in Hollywood without the psychopath part, of course!

On Nick:

He is a douche bag. And a coward. Just get a divorce instead of sleeping around with students. And just run away instead of remaining married to a psychopathic murderer even if it means that the world hates you. There will always be another news.

Maybe, he really was a misogynist and selfish lazy guy but that does not negate the fact that Amy was a psychopath.

I could not understand why the hell, he would choose to stay alone with a crazy person. She could do anything next. He was in alone in the house with her for god’s sake. What if she killed him? It made no sense. And how could she impregnate herself with his frozen sperm without going to a clinic? There must have been some proof, right? She knew how to manipulate him at every step and knew he would not leave. He should have just left somewhere with his sister, instead of staying with Amy, in my opinion.

  1. Amy is back to pretending to be perfect and last time that happened, she broke down. What makes him think she will not break down after becoming a mother at some point in the future?.
  2. Why the hell would you want to bring a child in such a family even if Nick stays around to protect the child?

As I have not read the book, maybe the movie missed out on Nick’s character sketches seen in the book. If he is a psycho as well, well he should also be in a mental institution. 

On media:

It made me realize how often we fully believe the image and perceptions that the media gives us. How we judge people in public cases without knowing the entire truth and assassinate people’s characters while many powerful people are never spoken about like that. I always knew and understood, that movie stars / singers / politicians are a result of a careful PR campaign but it never hurts to be reminded of that.

On Gone Girls being misogynistic:

When I was looking up for more articles of Gone Girl, I was surprised that this movie/books was accused of being misogynistic.

The misogynistic argument I found over the internet are in short:

  1. She falsely accuses men of raping her and is met with sympathy. This gives a perception that lot of women do it while in reality the % of women doing it is very little.
  2. Women are not met with support and sympathy like in Gone Girl.
  3. Women are portrayed negatively as crazy bitches.
  4. After seeing crazy Amy’s behaviour, misogynists have more ammunition to label women as crazy bitches who deserve to be ill treated.

My point is why can’t we just take characters for what they are and not based on their gender. Yes, she is a crazy psychopath and she should be in a mental institution AND she happens to be a woman. Just because, you read about nut case dictators, do you go about generalizing ALL men? No, right? Then, how in the world does it make sense that people will go about generalizing ALL women based on one fictional character?  Whoever does that is a jerk, anyway. Men can be villains but we have a problem with female villains! People of any gender can be psychopaths. My assessment remains the same irrespective of gender.

On the false allegations of rape, she was listened to because she was a rich privileged, fairly famous personality. How many times do we react with outrage to the atrocities happening to poor tribals? Compare that with when something happens to be middle or upper middle class? Yes, that is why her complaints were taken more seriously.

On cool girl:

This is the excerpt from the book that has been getting a lot of publicity and everybody (for example – link) seems to be sharing or quoting  (it applies to a more western dating scene) –

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.”

“Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, co-workers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.”

Again, stop pretending to be anything you are not just to snag a guy. Yes, society puts pressure on us to behave a certain way but you do have a choice.

Cool girl is often misinterpreted by women.  If a guy treats you poorly – does not commit, is abusive, harassed you etc. – DUMP him. Stop being the cool girl and putting up with it and being resentful of how society forces you to fit in. Being cool means, you do not have to do everything together 100% of the time and there is no need to be nervous about it. Have your own life. Nobody is perfect and you will have to compromise on some things and that should be mutual. Some people want to control the other person in a relationship to an irrational extent and that is NOT cool, no matter the gender. At the end of the day, the person in the relationship is an individual. Be cool and let the other person have their life. Does not mean, you have to be doormat. Being cool when you are not happy, does not change things. It only increases resentment.

My experience says that doormats and “cool girls” (like described above) end up with controlling jerks because they are “cool” with being walked over and controlling guys are quick to catch on that.

On who Amy reminded me of:

As I watched the movie, I was reminded of someone who put on the same perfect facade as Amy. Always stoic. Always with perfect hair and make up. No emotions. Straight A’s. I never really liked her and the feeling was mutual. I heard she dated some guy for a short while before getting married and that d she completely changed for him. A path to disaster. 

Note – I am referring only to the perfectionist aspect of Amy and no other mental disorder aspect.

Also, this reminded me of many women who will never allow the man to see them without make up. Many Korean women apparently wake up earlier than the guy just to put the make up on. This is often the pressure people put on themselves than other people at that moment in their lives.  Maybe, someone said something to them years ago and they are still carrying it.

On marriage:

There have been several articles, viewing Gone Girl as a critique on marriage and I really thought it over. Honestly,  I did not really view it that way at all. Yes, there was only one point in the movie, when they were married that seemed creepy to me. Many people use Nick and Amy’s marriage of how we can never really know the other person in the marriage or understand what they are really thinking (example – link).  Let us be realistic – 

  1. You can never ever know what someone is thinking or go in to their heads.
  2. Of course, people change over time.
  3.  I always believe people may change a lot but their core essence generally remains consistent over a time period unless something really dramatic life altering event happens.
  4. Nobody can predict how things will pan out in the future but one can make some fairly decent judgement based on the facts in front of them.

I would not use Nick and Amy’s marriage as an extension for marriages because they were both crazy (mental institution crazy) and they both were fake. For heaven’s sake, that person did not show a twinge of remorse for killing someone. What do you expect?

If we start thinking, “what if my marriage ends up like Nick and Amy’s?”, we would all be shit scared to ever date and marry ever again. There are plenty of instances, where would do nothing because we are scared we would end up like shitty guy or that person. We would pick ourselves apart and drive ourselves crazy because we cannot read our spouse’s mind. Instead of getting ourselves in a twist, the best thing would be to focus on what we can control – ourselves. The question to ask is  – “Would you continue staying in the marriage/relationship, if you discover that your spouse is a whacko murderer or leave?”

So readers, have you watched or read “Gone Girl”? Your thoughts?

The book that changed my life in 2014


I read a decent number of books and have always loved reading. Maybe I do not read as much as I did before, but I still do read a fair bit. I go through phases  in the kind of books I like reading and how much I read.

The book that had a huge impact on me this year was: My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey.

Another bread making book I tried using the no knead method was Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking by Zoe Francois  and Jeff Hertzberg.

Note – Both these books are available in the public library  in Sg.

I clearly prefer Jim’s book because:

1. It is has nice colour photographs – I personally think cookbooks without photos next to the recipe are lame.

2. Jim’s was the original guy with this idea and the story he wrote about how he got into bread making makes you enthusiastic. He went to Italy and learnt how they made their bread.  He clearly sounds more passionate. I read parts of his story to U and U insisted that if we ever went to NY, we MUST go to his bakery because here is a man who loves and understands bread.

3. His recipes use very little yeast. You save more money long term and it is good for people with any fungal infections (aka me).

4. Zoe’s book asks for kitchen equipment I do not have and I do not want to buy so many things considering I am renting.

Otherwise there is not much difference in the basic recipes of both these books. I think I am going to buy Jim’s book – which is very atypical of me! I rarely buy books.

From Jim Lahey’s book I have tried:

  • The basic bread recipe – Excellent. I used this dough to make buns as well.
  • Whole wheat bread recipe – Excellent 
  • Pizza dough – Excellent 
Note – All the bread reviews are by me and U. U is a bread enthusiast and loves bread. So, I just go by U’s reviews.

Here is a picture of pizza I made last weekend:

Pizza ready for baking
Pizza ready for baking
Hot pizza from the oven.
Hot pizza from the oven. Sorry about the dark photo. We were too hungry to wait.

Have you ever tried the no knead method for making bread?

My thoughts on A Billion Wicked Thoughts


What the world’s largest experiment reveals about human desire – That is the tagline of this book.

I read a recommendation for or about this book on some blog and though I should check it out. Here is a brief description from Amazon about this book which made me want to read it more:

Two maverick neuroscientists use the world’s largest psychology experiment-the Internet-to study the private activities of millions of men and women around the world, unveiling a revolutionary and shocking new vision of human desire that overturns conventional thinking.

In their startling book, Ogas and Gaddam analyze a “billion wicked thoughts” on the Internet: a billion Web searches, a million individual search histories, a million erotic stories, a half-million erotic videos, a million Web sites, millions of online personal ads, and many other enormous sources of sexual data in order to understand the true differences between male and female desires.

9780525952091B

Sounds cool eh? Sifting through billion data? But trust me after reading the book or rather skimming through the rest of the book after 4 chapters I was not impressed very much.

There are 11 chapters in the book and by the time I was at end of chapter 2, I lost my interest. I read through Chapter 3 & 4  because they were talking about female sexuality and I wanted to read it well before I commented. I skimmed through the rest of the book.

What did  I think? – Well, they did compile some facts, used few  examples from animal kingdom to support their results but I was not impressed.

For starters, have you heard of Dogpile? All the data they show for internet searches is from Dogpile. I have never heard of this search engine and it is the 770th most popular site in USA according to wikipedia. The data for internet searches may be reliable but what kind of sub group use this search engine. This would result in skewing of data.

I found some of their explanations (using scientific studies or data) to support their results weak.

The biggest flaw in their arguments  – They did not take into account a very big variable: cultural, social and religious conditioning.

They tried to justify a lot of their results using example from animal kingdom but that cannot suffice to explain human sexuality without taking into account conditioning. They quoted from romantic literature for women and again of course the stress on virginity. Seriously and they look for biological explanations?! So, they make it sound like men are looking to spread their seed (what’s new?) and women are holding back sex, waiting, judging to see if he is a long term partner before committing, that female are less sexual than men, that they have more problems with sex than men, that they have lesser orgasms than men. I believe there is a huge huge social and cultural component to this than a result of biology. Sounds patriarchal to me.

Primates are generally polygamous (not only the males) and research has shown that women cheat as much as men sexually, only that they are more discreet.

The female romance book ” the flame and the flower”  they quote often from in the chapters on female sexuality and the passage they quoted in the book shows how the female was virgin and a a burning pain spread through her loins when penetrated.

In the earlier parts of the book, they say that their research is more sound because they rely on internet searches, rather than asking people questions about sexuality as people often do not reveal their true thoughts in questionnaires but they use the answers of similar questions from okcupid  to support their results when they need it. But then, isn’t okcupid answers also modified due to conditioning and by the fact that people can view your answers and see your photos from your profile?

Overall, the book is a mixed bag, few known facts, a few new things, a few conclusions or ideas I disagree with and definitely a very poor analysis of female sexuality apart from a few good facts which are not a result of their own studies anyway.

Nothing startled me in this book.

P.S: Uncle’s Review: Just by glancing at this book and fa ew notes, I knew it was rubbish and had poor methodology. Uncle knows best 🙂

Another Random Weekend – 3


Then as the cafe was closing, we left and walked through Duxton road. And I saw a book shop I had read about on the blog – Littered With Books.

It was again housed in those charming shop houses and I loved how they had filled it with books. The people there were very friendly too. Helps that this store is near the offices and touristy streets. I lied how they had added personal touches by writing tiny notes about the books and putting it on the shelves. This is more of a browsing book store and the books are placed in categories but I am not sure how I will find a book in particular. You go through all the books? Or ask the people there to help you I guess.

It was a nice cozily decorated place. There were 2 kids screaming and running about. I wish their parents had told them to be quiet.

As I am not the picture taking kind, you can view more pictures from this post 🙂 – Post

And then though I like book stores, I prefer cafes. Also,  I do not want to buy physical books. I either borrow them from library or use ebooks because I do not want to accumulate stuff and it is not fun lugging 20kg of books when you are shifting.

The walk along Duxton hill road is quite good – Post

Then we went from the book shop to Queenstown library. The library seems like it is in middle of nowhere with ope spaces all around, which I am sure will be taken over by flats and malls pretty soon.

They had a nice small exhibition with old photos of that area inside the library. I found it quite interesting.

photo_4 (2)

This is one of the libraries I like because it is cozy though too cold as always like all buildings here. I wonder where in the world, do they get so much energy to waste without a conscience.

Anyway, spent so much time browsing through books till the library closing time.

End of Saturday.

Reading: Archie’s comics


During the last week I read: Archie’s Americana Best of the Forties Part I, Archie’s best of the nineties and Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty 

Archie’s Americana Best of the Forties Part I has the first Archie’s comics ever and it was interesting to see how the characters evolved over the decade to how we know them when I knew them (i.e. in the 90’s and later)

Archie, Jughead look so funny back then. And Mr. Weatherbee was first introduced as a thin wiry man. Somehow, I laughed more in this book.

Archie marries Veronica/Betty, I felt missed certain angles like painting a picture perfect marriage of Veronica and Archie but showing some cracks in Betty and Archie’s marriage. But it was an interesting read nevertheless. I liked the ending best 🙂

Archie Best of the 90’s was interesting and funny too.

I often like reading silly, light and funny books.

Reading: Archie’s Americana Best of the Forties Part I


Reading something I wanted to; for a long time – Archie’s comics 🙂

Found two of them in the library yesterday. Though I ended up reading only the first story (the first ever Archie’s story) and dozed off. All the characters look so funny back then!

Yes, I still like reading Archie’s comics and it is sad that my Uni library did not have them! 

I love Stephanie Plum books


Since I got the new library membership card, the first author that came to my mind was  Janet Evanovich. I had not read her Stephanie Plum books in a while as I had read all the available books in the previous library. They had more books in the series in the new library.

Stephanie plum is a bounty hunter and these books always make me laugh so much. I like the characters in the book – Stephanie, her parents, Rex, Vinnie, Joe, Ranger, especially her grandma Mazur.  They are so funny.

Of course, conservative people might not find it funny, they might in fact be appalled. The Indian Uncle reckons the book is against Indian culture what with description of thongs, ex ho’s for colleagues, the protagonist divorced and two hot men – Uncle disapproves. Bad western morals spoiling our pyoor culture. Not good, not good at all (and he nods his head round and round) but that does not stop me from enjoying the books 🙂

Can’t believe the last novel I read was months ago! Maybe I should start reading her other series also…