The first is this article. It's all about the "academic paywall," which is basically the way that publishers keep the general public out of academic/industry research. I'm bringing it up simply because I often link to online journals. After I read this article, I realized that if many of you want to read one and aren't currently affiliated with a university, you can't access them. So, in the future, if anyone wants an article, just let me know, and I'll send it to you. After all, I'm a firm believer in open-access research!
The second interesting article I wanted to highlight was a show from Al-Jazeera's "The Stream" entitled: All The Single Ladies. It's discussing how changing attitudes regarding work, individualization, marriage, and of course, love are affecting women in China, India, and other parts of Asia specifically (Hmm, that sounds familiar...). Here's the synopsis of the program: "Is it okay to pursue your own path in life--even if it means bringing major disappointment to your family? As the middle class grows in China and India, more women are choosing to delay marriage and children. Instead, they're pursuing their futures independently, devoting themselves to a lifestyle that is not necessarily husband- and kid-friendly. What is the 'right' thing to do?." It's linked above via YouTube, so anyone should be able to watch it too!
|Just hope the "right thing" doesn't involve the "Precious."|
For one, on February 13th, in lieu of Valentine's Day, I gave a presentation at the premiere 2013 Global Nights event of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana. It was all about my thesis research, and was a wonderful opportunity to connect my life in Lebanon with my life in Louisville. Moreover, I was the keynote, so I got to spend over 30 minutes discussing it! It was received very well, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. There was a fairly large audience, and they asked great questions. And although it wasn't taped, I was really thankful and grateful for the opportunity!
As far as the job goes, I'll be building a project whose aim is to foster critical thinking and more effective dialogue. So, I'll be working with activists, conducting research, performing outreach, working with/in schools, doing a lot with social media, grant writing, networking with organizations and people, etc. Basically, it's perfect for me! The organization is called Meta-Culture. You can read more about the organization here, and more about what I'll be doing here.
As far as the blog goes, no worries! I still plan on blogging, and may I remind you that India IS the land of the Kama Sutra. Maybe I'll learn a few things about love(in) after all ;) And when I'm there, I'll be sure to blog and tweet about it. In fact, I've already formulated the Twitter hashtag (#) I'm going to use to talk about all things related to love, relationships, etc. in India: #INDAmacy. It may not be as catchy as #LOVEanon, but it's the only thing I could come up with that incorporated India with a word related to personal relationships! I'll use it, for instance, when I'm talking about increasing amounts of Indian women going to work and challenging gender roles and norms, or how, like in the Arab world, social constraints mean having to balance marrying for love with family and social approval.
|My heart's about to be colored orange, white, and green (obviously from the curry).|
"Dating in the 21st century is by far one of the most ridiculous processes ever. People are so complicated. You must play games. You must lie. You have to act like you don't care even if you do. You must date multiple people to keep the attention of that one because its generally just casual. You must be unavailable if you are too available people get turned off. You have to ignore calls even if you want to pick up. Essentially if you are a true lover, you have to resist everything that comes natural to you to play this f**king "game" you f**king idiots love to play. It changes everything for me to pretend like I don't care. I actually stop giving a f**k." -- Quote from Tumblr.
Although the LOVEanon Facebook Page post didn't get much interaction, I was blown away by the amount of people who commented on this status on my personal page, and by the different opinions and sentiment it seemed to evoke. It made me think a bit about dating, and then I saw this New York Times article a few days later: The End of Courtship? Now, you know how the Internet works. Something gets discussed for anywhere between 5 minutes to 2 days, and then is forgotten about forever. I didn't want this post to emerge out of hype or some stupid fad. I wanted to give it attention because I've been thinking about dating a lot recently.
Indeed, it seems that dating has lost a lot of it's flair. Now, some people think this is a good thing, others think it's a bad thing. I'm not here to make a judgement one way or another, but I have heard from many different people about this, and as I said, people have strong opinions about it. Regarding the NYT piece above, one friend of a friend said: "This article has such a narrow, mostly white yuppie perspective, and the people profiled sound absurd. If you are 30 and you want to act like a 15-year-old and not demand more than a text message from the guy you're interested in, that's your own damn problem. Technology and online dating apps don't make it more difficult to find meaningful relationships. You bring your values, your desires, and your preferences to them, and it's up to you to be an adult and be clear about what you want in your life, romantic and otherwise. With or without OkCupid."
After the NYT article was published, a Huffington Post Women associate editor named Emma Gray wrote a rebuttal article entitled: "Why It's Kind Of Irrelevant Whether 'Courtship' Has Ended." It was a good perspective, but I'm always 50/50 about articles like these. Because I understand what she's saying, and I partially agree. But I'm also perhaps a bit "old-fashioned" still. I definitely do think that there is room to incorporate change into dating, but I seriously think that most people set themselves up for either failure or shallow relationships. And that's what I have a problem with. Yes, enjoy your life, but when it comes down to it, don't forget that if you want kids, your life and your decisions effects theirs. Then again, perhaps that's too much of my own opinion. Consideration is a great thing, and important in all aspects of life--including (or rather, especially) dating.
What about you, how do you feel? Do you agree? What's your opinion about the article and the Tumblr quote? I'm curious to think whether you think changes to dating and courtship are good or bad. What are you experiences like? Do you wish you could date more? Do you identify with the people interviewed in the article? Let me know in the comments! And make sure to catch the second post on this topic where I'm going to include links to more articles discussing dating, love, and the changing dynamics of courtship, offer idea for fun dates and tips on how to plan a date, and much to your amusement, I'm going to spill the beans about all the dates I'VE planned/been on in the past. The fun ones, the romantic ones, and even the awkward ones. It should be fun!
See you in South Asia!
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