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Feminine or feminist fatale?

While ‘feminine’ conjures images of Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious aura, ‘feminist’ neither invokes any such visual richness nor summons any pleasant reactions. Jhoomur Bose writes.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2008 14:49 IST
Jhoomur Bose

‘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. 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 the words come from ‘female’, ‘feminine’ conjures images of Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious aura, Sophia Loren’s sensuousness and Bo Derek lithsome jog from sea to beach; while ‘feminist’ neither invokes any such visual richness nor summons any pleasant reactions. ‘Hard-nosed’ and ‘bitch’ are just some of the more polite words. Currently the blog world is divided over ‘feminine’ and ‘feminist’ too. Feminine blogs will write about sex, or rather who she ‘shags’ (and how); feminist blogs will write about who shagged her — and then beat her.

If on one hand there’s cleavage-baring Zoe Margolis aka Abbey Lee aka Girl With A One Track Mind (girlwithaonetrackm-ind.blogspot.com) who gives insight on men-women-relationships with a generous dose of her own generous life, there’s Fay Weldon who also gives insight on men and women but without 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 (dailymail.co.uk/femail/index.html).

Feminine or feminist, all women seem to talk about bodies, babies, bosoms and beatings. There’s Samantha Brett on Ask Sam (blogs.theage.com.au-/lifest-yle/asksam) who answers dating and relationship queries. While Sam’s writing is neither witty enough to compare with Abbey Lee’s nor scathing enough to match up to Weldon’s, for some quick-easy 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 (witchychicks.blogspot.com) who write fictional, sex-filled, lustful stories on wicca, sex, women, sex, wizards, sex… Don’t read for much quality — ‘Hex Appeal’ anyone? — but it’s worth a laugh.