From the monthly archives:

March 2013

Story of My Life

March 16, 2013

in random

One of my 10-year-old’s favorite conversation starters with me is the fact that I have a Ph.D. in theatre (and from a very prestigious program and school too. Please allow me to brag. I kind of need a little bit ego booster lately. In addition, I am reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and felt vindicated when she said that women do not share with others our accomplishments often enough for fear of not being liked. But of course, I digress)

Perhaps because children are more honest and straightforward, they instinctively know the most vulnerable place to aim? Or perhaps my child, Mr. Monk, is a future David Frost in the making. Either way, he has a talent of asking me questions that make me feel cornered. I have no answer to any of them, or perhaps I simply don’t want to answer. Afraid to.

“And you are not using your degree at all? Then why did you get it?”

“Isn’t it a waste?”

“Do you remember anything?”

“Is anything that you learned useful?”

“What good is your Ph.D. degree then?”

“Why didn’t you do something with it? Why didn’t you fulfill your potential?” Yup, he said that.

We would be doomed if our kids ever turn the table and ask us to assess our lives with the encouraging words that we use to inspire them.

“Have you reached for the stars and followed your dreams?”

“Have you lived your life to the fullest?”

“Why not?”

And we’d have to bite our tongue.

Finally, after much pestering which at that moment felt more like missile attacks, I looked him in the eye and confessed, “The reason why I refrain from answering these questions of yours, about why I did not do more with my life, is because anything that I want to say, if I am being honest, may be misinterpreted as I regret having ‘this life’.”

How apropos then that soon after our unavoidable heart-to-heart, we moved everything out from the basement and I decided that it’s time I threw away the research material for my dissertation.




The box contains three years of my life and more than ten years of secret self-delusion that I am a research scholar/academic/intellectual at large.

Farewell to secret double life that never was. I only wish that I could have set it ablaze to send it off in style instead of unceremoniously dumping it into the recycling bin.

Story of my life.

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Behold, m’ladies. The latest ironic, gender-stereotype-busting, geek-affirming musical video designed to empower us, by showing the world: Fuck Yeah, We Are Women, We Are Bad Ass, We Like the Same Things that Men Like and We Are Good At Them, Too. Plus, We Have Boobs.



This video and this tweet from Nathan Fillon (yes, of Firefly fame) is why I should not be allowed to roam the Interwebs…

I find offense everywhere I turn and then burn a hole in my head because I agonize over things that, to most people, don’t matter. Look at me, here I am, trying to find fault with a musical video featuring female (supposedly) geeks named TEAM UNICORN. Come on, what’s the matter with me, shouldn’t we all love geek girls and Everything Unicorn?

I can never decide whether to rejoice and feel empowered or to throw up my hands and resign because of what is now considered to be “female empowerment”… by those who are on our side, men who are supposed to be more enlightened than most of their counterparts.

The top comment for the video is from a proud dad whose daughters watched JLA before Dora the Explorer. I am very happy for him and proud of his girls too for smashing gender stereotypes, crossing the boundaries. I loved ThunderCats & Transformers etc. when growing up. So people are liking and sharing this video NOT because of the gratuitous boobage?…


"Sexy Ass"=Sexy + Badass? Nicely done. All our feminist foremothers thank you.

It is getting harder and harder to be a modern woman.

In her seminal essay “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All“, Anne-Marie Slaughter, perhaps facetiously, wrote, “… women feel that they are to blame if they cannot manage to rise up the ladder as fast as men and also have a family and an active home life (and be thin and beautiful to boot).”

At the turning point when high heels are no longer tortured devices invented by men to force us to all sway our hips unsteadily in order to exhibit the fantastical, imagined femininity but rather a figurative pair of Samurai swords that we wear to demonstrate our resolve, and to dare men to face our sexuality and general badassness with respect, I became extremely confused and simply gave up.

Show your sexuality. BUT demand respect and autonomy. What the lady giveth, the lady may taketh away.

Be a diva if you’d like. Be girly and feminine if that’s your style. Accumulate wealth. Climb the ladders. Emulate men in all their power, glory and vice. Be all that you can be.

That’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? When everything counts in theory, nothing makes impact in reality.

We are not being allowed to be all that we can be. For starters, we are NOT free to be un-sexy, un-pretty, un-thin. Have you noticed the myriad of female empowerment icons all looking pretty darn hot? If they don’t look hot now, no worries, they will as soon as they take off their geek glasses and their hair pins. We are being (re)trained to (continue to) be the object of desire. Do your progress thing. Be a Super Woman. Better yet, handle everything. You’ve got the power. But make sure you look hot while you are doing it. The male gaze lingers on. Probably even more perniciously because now we are in on it.

Sometimes I just want to stand up and scream, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house!”

Then I reprimand myself for possibly (mis)appropriating Audre Lorde’s famous words and for being a defeatist. I also feel guilty for not being a feminist AND a sexpot AND a fierce warrior Ninja AND a genius mathematician all at the same time.

Sitting down now. But not before I post this:

Helen Keller FTW. Absolutely no boobage required.


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