The Hindustan Times, July 24, 2008
"I get beaten up regularly, you will learn to adjust too," her to-be mother-in-law told her. Luckily she didn't take that parental advice and walked out a week before her marriage. She was 23. Another was not as lucky and grew to be very scared of the night, that's when her husband came back from work. She was 18. He never beat her, technically, but he raped her every night, every possible way. She took three years to get out of the marriage. Both women are 'comfortable' sharing their stories over a cup of coffee but neither of them is a blogger nor wants to be one either. One wonders if there would be any takers for their blogs or would they be labelled 'feminists' and cast aside?
It's ironic that while both 'feminine' and 'feminist' come from 'female', one conjures images of Marilyn Monroe's mystery, Sophia Loren's sensuousness and Bo Derek's twins; the other neither invokes such visual richness nor summons any pleasing reactions. 'Hard-nosed', bitch, needs-a-lay are just some of the polite words. Currently the blog world is divided over feminine and feminist too. Feminine will write about sex, or rather who she 'shags' (and how); feminist will write about who shagged her -- and then beat her.
If on one hand there's cleavage-baring (nice cleavage though) Zoe Margolis aka Abbey Lee aka Girl With A One Track Mind who gives insight on men-women-relationships with a generous dose of her generous , there's Fay Weldon who also gives insight on men and women but sans the cleavage or her sex life. She does write on sex though, more on the lines of "It's OK to fake an orgasm" or "Rejecting a lover can give you more gratification". Those are excerpts from an article she wrote on keeping men happy on Femail daily. If Abbey Lee talks about massaging a man's gonads, Weldon talks about squeezing the same to prove your point.
Feminine or feminist, all women seem to talk about bodies, babies, boobs and beatings. There's Samantha Brett on Ask Sam who answers dating and relationship queries. While Sam's writing is neither witty enough to compare with Abbey Lee nor scathing enough to match up to Weldon's, for some quick easy (at times, can-find-anywhere) advice on what's the right thing to do, she suffices.
For those who'd rather read fiction than facts, there's – hold your breath – Witchy Chicks who write fictional, sex-filled, lustful, orgasmic (etc, etc) stories on wicca, sex, women, sex, wizards, sex… Don't read for much quality – 'Hex Appeal' anyone? – but it's worth a laugh.
PS: Current status: No internet yet, course going fine, met awesome Sri Lankan girl, wore green socks yesterday that were called woolly mammoth and moss among other polite things. Cooked Indian dinner. Gave CV to chef saying I was a baker, he was Greek and said he will call back. So that I can bake for him. Like the idea, it should pay. Let's see. Gotta go, this is the library!!!