Love via TEDxParis, Oct 2012

"...becoming aware of this general imposture that concerns all of us would ease our love relationships. It is because I want to be loved from head to toe, justified in my every choice, that the seduction hysteria exists. And therefore I want to seem perfect so that another can love me. I want them to be perfect so that I can be reassured of my value."

-- Yann Dall'Aglio, "Love -- you're doing it wrong(TEDxParis , Oct 2012)

On "Partition" #Yonce

"...But [Bey] does something new on Beyoncé...Men and love are a focus, but she makes sure to let us know that those songs are also about empowerment: there’s even a spoken word passage in “Flawless” from a Nigerian feminist that calls for young girls to “lean in” and be more than someone’s wife. She sings about love and sex more boldly than ever, peppering those songs with messages about independence and motherhood. And we’re eating it up.

Maybe the reason my millennial generation feels so entitled is partially because Beyoncé told us we could be. We can have it all. But don’t take my word for it. Look at the lyrics...There are feminist lessons for every woman entwined among the usual addictive musical riffs.

beyonce-in-partition-music-video.jpg

3.Partition— It’s important to please your man (yep, that’s feminist).

Driver roll up the partition please
I don’t need you seeing ’yoncé on her knees
Took 45 minutes to get all dressed up
We ain’t even gonna make it to this club…
Oh he so horny, yeah he want to f***
He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse
He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown…
Take all of me
I just wanna be the girl you like, girl you like

“I just wanna be the girl you like” isn’t the most feminist message — especially compared to the rest of the album. It’s not a give and take like “Blow.” It’s simple submission. How do you reconcile being a proud, independent woman and wanting to be desirable and please to your man? But wait! Beyoncé has an explanation. You might have missed it because it’s in French, but it’s there.

Est-ce que tu aimes le sexe? Le sexe, je veux dire l’activité physique, le coit, tu aimes ça? Tu ne t’intéresses pas a sexe? Les hommes pensent que les féministes détestent le sexe mais c’est une activité très stimulante et naturelle que les femmes adorent

The translation, thanks to one of my French-speaking co-workers:

Do you like sex? Sex, I mean the physical activity, coitus, do you like it? You’re not interested in sex? Men think that feminists hate sex, but it’s a very stimulating and natural activity that women love.

The Dude fans might recognize this as Julianne Moore’s monologue in The Big Lebowski. The message: feminists like sex too. So brush up on your French, haters."

-- "Flawless: 5 Lessons in Modern Feminism from Beyonce," TIME

A thought process on intimacy via some definitions

ro·mance/rōˈmans,ˈrōˌmans/

noun
1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.

  • love, esp. when sentimental or idealized.
    synonyms: love, passion, ardor, adoration, devotion
  • an exciting, enjoyable love affair, esp. one that is not serious or long-lasting.
    synonyms: love affair, relationship, liaison, courtship, attachment; flirtation, dalliance

2. a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life. 

  • wild exaggeration; picturesque falsehood.

verb
1. court; woo, chase, pursue.

  • informal: seek the attention or patronage of (someone), esp. by use of flattery
  • engage in a love affair

2. another term for romanticize


mus·ing /ˈmyo͞oziNG/

noun
1.
 a period of reflection or thought


fling /fliNG/

verb 
1. throw or hurl forcefully

noun
1. a short period of enjoyment or wild behavior


interaction /ˌintərˈakSHən/

noun
1. reciprocal action or influence.

  • physics: a particular way in which matter, fields, and atomic and subatomic particles affect one another, e.g., through gravitation or electromagnetism.

situation /ˌsiCHo͞oˈāSHən/

noun
1. a set of circumstances in which one finds oneself; a state of affairs.
2. the location and surroundings of a place.
3. formal: a position of employment; a job.


arrangement /əˈrānjmənt/

noun
1. the action, process, or result of arranging or being arranged.

  • a thing that has been arranged in a neat or attractive way

2. plans or preparations for a future event.

  • an agreement with someone

ca·su·al /ˈkaZHo͞oəl/

adjective
1. relaxed and unconcerned.
2. not regular or permanent, in particular.

noun
1. a person who does something irregularly.
2. clothes or shoes suitable for everyday wear rather than formal occasions. 

On Valentine's Day, tech, and the democratization of intimacy

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ve started thinking a lot about how technology (and esp. technology in the hands of us millennials) has changed the landscape of this Hallmark holiday.

Before, it felt as if Valentine’s Day was the polarizing force between two somewhat rival camps: those in relationships & those not (thus the trite “Happy Singles’ Awareness Day” tweets & Facebook statuses, etc.) However, on this 14th of February in 2014, we have a combination of things that we have not had in the past; and therefore the tension between the camps is diffused a bit as those in search for companionship on this former ‘couples only’ day can now find what they are searching for.

The combination to which I am referring is 1) Tinder, and 2) the formerly slow but now strong acceptance of the usage of such ‘dating’ apps. Don’t get me wrong, I know that Tinder existed this time last year, but I found that my peers still avoided talking about their Tinder’ings. Now, people openly profess that they are “so excited to go meet Tinder Bob” or sit at the bar telling the bartender that they are “just waiting for my Tinder date.” Sure, not everyone is as open, but there has definitely been a shift towards acceptance of usage of this app, that is part of the larger ‘epidemic’ (for lack of a better term, apologies for the snark) that is online dating. (I bite my tongue slightly here as I may get backlash for this if I do ultimately end up marrying someone from OKCupid or Match.com, Buddha forbid).

I will admit to dabbling in the Tinder-ness here and there, but never taking it too seriously.  Yet, I was still very taken aback when asked by a friend, “So, do you have a Tinder date planned for Valentine’s Day?” My immediate response: “Wtf no. People do that?”

Now I realize that yes, people do do that. It’s a thing this Valentine’s Day, opening this channel up for Valentine’s Days to come. For Sochi’s sake, even Olympians are using Tinder as we speak — and oh, to be in their search radii…(think of all the right-swipes!). It is interesting to think that even just a year ago, this was a ‘holiday’ reserved for those couples ‘in love,’ or at least secure enough in their relationship to celebrate such a declaratively commitment-filled day…

image

And now, apps like Tinder and sites like Grouper have, essentially, democratized ‘intimacy.’* A year ago we thought Tinder was crazy…yet look where we are now. Where will this date/intimacy-tech space take us next?

* Intimacy in quotes to build in wiggle room for our generation’s wide spectrum of interpretation of the meaning of the word.