Things People Need To Stop Believing

As a dusty third worldling, one of the things I learnt first was to see if there were other dusty people in the room whenever I go to any transnational feminist conferences. Something else I also learnt is to not expect ‘solidarity’ from anyone unless expressly proven otherwise — and these views are a result of the way people view me and my body in notIndia, what people assume of me in most internet spaces and fandoms. My friend and I compiled this list comprising of a few of the most repetitive and inane stereotypes that we’ve encountered of Third World Women. By no means is this list exhaustive, feel free to add your experiences in the comments — and tread carefully, the list is full of racial slurs and epithets.

1. We’re not disposable objects or your fetish or ‘flavour’ of the month. Not all Third World Women are ‘women’, but we don’t have the choice to identify the way we want, because exotification gets in the way of our special plans.

2. Not all Third World Women live in lands that are in a state of constant war. We exist in cities, between towns and villages — many in the West. There is no fixity of geo-political location, we don’t need to be in the Third World to be marginalised.

3. Not all of us live in tin shacks or mud houses, like every other group we too are scattered across classes and communities across the planet.

4. In popular culture and media, if Third World Women characters don’t wear shiny and bright colours, reality will not crack I assure you.

5. Hospitals exist in the third world too. So not all Third World Women need to squat in bushes to give birth.

6. Third World Women aren’t all ‘irresponsible mothers’ or ‘birthing cows’ because they have children at [x] age instead of the more socially ‘forward’ and ‘acceptable’ [y] age. I can vouch that the world will not come to an end if you don’t see Third World Women as ‘bad people’ for ‘not knowing better’ and ‘not having careers’.

7. We’re not your ‘Eternal She’, Earth Mother, Infinite Vessel, [Insert Inappropriate Phrase That focuses And Equates Sex Organ With Gender Here].

8. We are capable of doing more than care-taking children, cleaning houses and sewing immaculate quilts. We exist in all fields of work, equating every Third World Woman as a sweatshop worker is not necessary.

9. There is no situation where phrases like ‘exotic princess’ can be considered a compliment, even more so if this ‘compliment’ is based solely on skin hue.

10. We’re not always natural cooks or nurturing ‘goddesses’. We can do said jobs if need be, doesn’t mean we’re ‘more’ adept at menial jobs than anyone else.

11. We’re not ‘eager’ to dispense dusty wisdom and folktales on demand — especially about breastfeeding or childbirth. Take a close look at the Not All Third World Women Are ‘Women’ bit here.

12. No, we cannot be ‘purchased’ outright — definitely not if the sole ‘value’ that decides the ‘purchase’ are our hues.

13. When we say ‘no’ we mean ‘NO’ too. So saying ‘we can’t decipher your tongues’ is not an excuse.

14. Third World Women aren’t always looking to ‘entice’ White Men. Shocking, I know!

15. We’re more than just ‘enticing eyes’, or ‘gorgeous hair’ — we’re people and not body parts.

16. Most of us don’t have names like ‘Kali’, ‘Sarasvati’, [Insert Name Of Exotic Goddess], generally because we know the magnitude behind adopting such names and the cultural significance they carry.

17. If Third World Women have voice parts in popular media, the world will not turn upside down. Especially not if the said voice parts don’t involve being in the hotel industry.

18. Representation of Third World Women that doesn’t posit the hijab synonymous to oppression will not mess with Global Time.

19. We don’t like to be compared to food — ‘exotic’ or not.

20. When we’re involved with White people — sexually and otherwise — saying, “You’re a beautiful hue of Brown” isn’t helping anyone get laid.

21. Not all Third World Women roam shoe-less. (Sidenote: how come we can be shoe-less, but can afford to buy dresses? Curious minds want to know).

22. We’re not ‘sexually unrestrained’ — our cultures do not ‘encourage’ “godless unions and perpetual orgies”.

23. Not all of us have British accents, we don’t speak in archaic prose when addressed. And we do speak even when no one addresses us — apparently this is very shocking for people.

24. In the rare instance we do have voice-parts in popular media, and we’re speaking out against the dominant culture, our hair is ‘natural’ and ‘loose’ and ‘wild’.

25. In other rare instances where we do get screen time and space in popular media, we’re freedom fighters, UN refugees, sometimes nurses to Big Important White doctors, almost never as fully developed characters.

26. We’re not ‘natural hard-workers’. Back-breaking straining physical labour isn’t ‘easy’ for us either.

27. As Third World Women, we’re not ‘in tune’ with our ‘natural femininity’. Subservience isn’t coded into our genes.

28. Third World Women are queer too! And still people! Who knew?

29. Contrary to popular opinion, I have on good authority that not all Third World Women despise sex. And we need consensual sex as much as everyone else — even the supposed ‘desperate hookers’ from Pan Asia — and yes, they’re all in one monolithic identity like the rest of us.

30. Some of us speak multiple languages, some don’t. Some have the privilege of speaking in our native tongues and not get shamed for it, some don’t. Don’t expect ALL Third World Women to start ‘shrieking hysterically’ in ‘devilish tongues’ over canned soup.

—-

P.S. Thank you Roshan for your help and company while writing this.

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Looking For My Body

It is nearly impossible to be a Dusty Lady and not have your body become a canvas of comments, critiques and opinions; specifically the one’s you didn’t ask for. You know the ones by orthodox ladies — and sometimes, not so orthodox people — who say things like, “I liked it better when your face was fuller, now you just look like a vegetable” or “You call that a chest? Pfft. How will you ever rear children with that?”¹ without lowering their voice or taking their eyes off of you, and then the next minute your head starts hurting and you think to yourself that you will never, ever again go to these silly events again, after which you get your cousin to spike your drink which makes the whole evening bearable, blissful even. Only when you next see these people again, you remember that promise you made to yourself; smack your head — figuratively, for your real hands must never do such a thing in public — and then start looking for a cousin to trick into slipping very suspicious liquids in your fruit juice, so that you can nod and let the words float by you till the time you get home and vow to never, ever go to such silly events till the next time. I don’t know what is more amusing — where amusing becomes the new migraine — that people don’t see the effect their words on the bodies they are commenting on or the fact that I’ve accepted it as a routine activity. Only when this week, some trolls made similar remarks focusing on the body alone, did I start to unravel and start re-acting to their statements and assumptions.

Bodies, dusty bodies particularly almost never speak. We are spoken for — of course colonialism still lives on! What do you mean the British left 60 years ago? — in true imperial fashion,  and this tilted-equation even translates to the way we see, read and frame bodies. Last week, in a study break I ended up watching TeeVee for a bit. And just my luck, I ended up watching two minutes of Dabangg and I couldn’t help chuckling and then sobbing how this less-than-3-minutes trailer encapsulated perfectly how we view bodies. Here’s a convenient list:

  1. Land is feminised — very subtly, I must give them that — so it’s ‘lawless’ and must be ‘disciplined’. Land becomes a deviant body and of course a dude has to ‘bring it back to its place’.
  2. Dudely bodies are mobile. Feminine bodies move in the periphery. And this mobility is not restricted to just physical activity, it shows up in how feminine bodies are dressed too; dudes are in pants and shirts, most women in saris, bringing another form of ‘bondage’ and ‘restriction’ to play, as the sari needs to be physically and compulsively wrapped around the body².
  3. A privileged dudely body need not respect any other bodies. Disabled or feminine, especially not if this body is a ‘criminal’. Bodily agency is for taking, obviously.
  4. When a dudely body transgresses socially, it’s allowed and forgiven. When the dusty lady transgresses — talks back in this case — she is threatened with ‘romantic’ violence³.
  5. If any dusty lady is portrayed as ‘mobile’ then she surely must expose her ladybits for a living — which as society routinely tells us, is a truly terrible, terrible thing to do. Because no ‘good’ dusty female body transgresses; if dusty ladies start doing vile, vulgar things like dance in public, who will cook and rear sturdy boy-children then?

As an upper-caste Hindu lady, I will never know how my identity as a ‘body’ is taken away communally, the brutal way in which Dalit bodies get erased or may never have to veil myself because of religious dictats. In that regard, my body does have privilege or a few liberties anyway; however this doesn’t change the fact that in most cases, because I’m a dusty lady, my body reads as one without agency, as the caste and social status come in later. What fascinates me today is how we’ve ‘accepted’ and mainly shuffled around the Olde DoucheColonial Standarde when it comes to keeping the feminine body free of annoying things like consent and autonomy, especially since we’re a country which claims to have ‘shed its tracts of being colonised’. But I digress.

I don’t really listen to any radio stations — dusty or otherwise — but whenever I do, in about a few minutes I have to compulsively turn it off as every other song is about ‘taking’ love (or bodies as sung by dudes or dude protagonists) and giving ‘herself’ up to the “man” or “husband” or ‘settling in her in-laws’ while every time my LadyBrain screams, “what about her?”. This isn’t to imply there are no songs where the female protagonist of the film gets to voice her point of view — such generalisations are the reason I’ve stopped reading the Times Of India — but that most narratives are built and written around the male perspective, sometimes  even when it’s written by a lady! If I were to set out, figuratively or literally to ‘look for my body’ in re-presentations of our culture, say in mainstream Bollywood movies or songs, I come away with a big gaping void. The Feminine Body™ as it were, doesn’t exist in most representations. We do see a caricature of what femininity or ‘womanhood’ is supposed to be, but characters that are multi-dimensional and dynamic, radical and practical are almost never dusty ladies. This probably explains why I’ve taken to words and poems of Kamla Das, Eunice De Souza and Gauri Despande, almost like an addict, as these are the few spaces where the Body is aired and allowed to be. It may not be my body, or the way I even view the Feminine Body, femininity or even being woman, but such re-presentations reassure me that this body too, has breath and a voice.

Whenever I’ve spoken of such gendered dis-memberment of the Body to my LadyFriend, she laughs and then sighs, as for a person who claims to see the body-policing as a ‘routine’, there are many things that make me uncomfortable and livid. So then yesterday, I asked her amid a rant, “What do I do then? Ignore that I can only be at peace when I hear a few selected Ladies, who are generally white and sadly, dead? Why do I need to go read Dickinson every time I crave for The Body to come alive, or go through reading Das again, even when she says ‘he takes my body away, and I didn’t even nod my head this time?’. Do you suggest that I should learn to not think of how much this epistemological violence the ‘absent’ body undergoes?”  and she told me, “You do what most women in your place did. They wrote”. And that’s what I did, in hopes that The Body isn’t voiceless, yet.

——

1. There are many variants of such body-policing, and these are just examples. The real thing is much worse. You can thank me for sparing your lobes later.

2. No, people who wears saris aren’t ‘bound’. But the way the sari functions, and the way we wear it does bring to mind restricting bodies to certain kinds of mobility. And by ‘bondage’ I didn’t mean to imply kink. Because dusty bodies never do such ‘Western’ things. Not even when you tempt them with coco-cola.

3. ‘Romantic’ violence is violence done or implied by dudes (generally) to feminine bodies because they want to woo them. No, it’s not scary at all, because they always fall in love and get married, so then violence is clearly ‘for a good motive’.

 

A Woman Like That

Last year, I met an extremely interesting woman; she was fierce, passionate and charming. She had one ‘problem’, she was a part of the bigger sect we post-caste Indians have conveniently labelled ‘Dalit’. And to advance her (un)popularity, she was a former sex-worker. She worked as a maid in one of my aunt’s houses and I spoke very briefly with her before my aunt reprimanded me for talking to a woman like that. As if, whatever ‘problem’ or ‘disease’ she had, it would somehow seep through my skin too, or worse I’d become a woman like that too! Or maybe she just really hates two utreuses talking — and you know utreuses,  they ruin everything! — and that’s why she made me go to another room. Or maybe having a woman like that under your roof makes the air contaminated and you need to make sure that her ‘stench’ leaves with her. I for one am confused as to why would you let her work in your house if you feel it’s necessary to douse the house with ‘holy’ water after she leaves (think of the water waste daily!), obviously considering you can’t stand to be in the same room as her. I’d rather not employ someone I have a problem with than to employ them and treat them as less than human. But, that may just be me. I’m just a sillyarse LadyBrain after all.

I’ve heard about women like that since I figured out ‘that’ was a part of the Secret Indian Code parents or grown-ups use when referring to sex-workers. Or a woman who commits adultery — are you shocked that some women out here have affairs? Perhaps you should really give up thinking that all we do is squat in the mud all day. It might make comprehension of humans as a species a tad easier — or perhaps she’s a woman who had pre-marital sex. A woman like that always had to correspond with any vulva going out of line. Somehow circumstance, context and coercion wouldn’t be a part of such a discussion, just emphasis on how wrong the sexual transgression was and it ends with the same bleat of These Modern Women Racing To Be The Next Best Prostitute. Imagine my shock when someone I know called Arundhati Roy a woman like that. It shook the ground beneath my feet — take that Rushdie! — when I realised I didn’t know the Secret Indian Code at all. Turns out, a woman like that doesn’t require special prowess or inclination to indulge in more than socially sanctioned amounts of coitus but rather any woman whom the DudeCouncil considers ‘going out of her place’.

For a while I thought perhaps Arundhati Roy made a statement about feminine sexuality, or even hinted that it exists and that had the DudeCouncil up in arms. Or maybe she called Dalit activists ‘people’ like the last time; then I could understand  the fury that comes up whenever anyone mentions her. This time all she had to do was write a couple of brilliant articles on Indian politics and she has entered the race to become the Next Best Prostitute too, and completely without her knowledge from what I understand. As of now there are four ways one looks at Roy depending on the direct relation of the size of one’s lobes and the person’s inclination to not use them :

  1. Either she’s a sillyarse LadyPerson blabbering about the Maoists and how their fight is justified and she suggests alternative ways to just killing them as one would fleas, so she’s a Leftist and people in the Left are silly.
  2. She is a completely unreliable person when it comes to politics because she started off with writing fiction. And sillyarse ladies cannot be trusted to talk about politics who like to ‘dream’ things up.
  3. She should stick to what she knows best, dreaming up things and winning Bookers.
  4. She’s a LadyVulva. Like anything they say can be important at all.

Any critique of Roy, wise or otherwise, always narrows down to her gender and the profession she chose and then you go on to elaborate what she should do with the rest of her life, especially if it entails quitting to be one of the most outspoken voices of Indian politics. And perhaps you grudgingly acknowledge the fact that she won the Booker so she must have some slivers of talent after all considering she won an International Award Of The Important Variety. And then you add, “Maybe that Booker was a fluke. Explain why else has she not written another novel?” and even my Medusa face doesn’t stop you from detailing the flaws — where flaws become her inclusion of people from the lower castes — in God Of Small Things. And then while someone was ranting about Roy some more, I tuned out and started thinking about other women like that in Indian herstory. Starting from Mahashveta Devi who writes from the Subaltern, to Kamla Das who suffered vicious consequences for choosing Islam over Hinduism, to Ismat Chughtai who had to censor every word she wrote because of how she hinted at feminine sexuality under veiled and contained spaces to the recent writers of today like Namita Devi Dayal who shifted genres from non-fiction to fiction. The basic idea is to contain these writers into controllable spaces where the DudeCouncil can bask in the safety of never being accused. Between these admissions lies a truth I don’t want to acknowledge, that one not necessarily be feminist to be censored or policed, that being female is more than enough.

Women like that have a history of being ostracised, heavily critiqued and sometimes just negated to the point of being invisible. One professor I knew told me how publishing houses like Zubaan or Katha let women’s writing out because “no good publishing houses will publish such substandard writing. They get printed because they are women and not despite of it¹”. As if gender and sex are a blemish a woman can overcome if she tries really hard and adopts an ambiguous sounding name like A.S. Byatt then no one will regulate her into becoming a Silly Lady Novelist. Women like that need to taught their proper place in society, need to allow the DudeCouncil to ventriloquise them without mouthing any inconsequential muffles about ‘each voice for her own’ or other topics we pesky feminist like to take up ever so often, need to accept that no matter what they do, they will never be in a position to reach their MaleStreamed counterparts (who by the way are allowed to hop and skip between as many genres as they like! Ask the dude organising races for prostitutes. He’ll explain) and in a few words, Just Keep Quiet.

And when women fail to do that, they become Women Like That — diseased, contaminated, untouchable — and their tales become cautionary folklore. Every time I mention I hope to be a cultural theorist or a writer someday, all I hear is “I hope you don’t want to be one of those ‘women’s rights women’. They don’t do very well, you know. Some don’t even get married! Can you imagine?”, to which I am now going to reply, “Sorry, it’s too late. I am a woman like that“.

1. I still remember this statement even though I heard it more than two years ago.

—–

Sorry for the sporadic posting last week. As my evil exams are now a thing of the Olde Tymes, posting will be much more organised.

Ramblings On Masculinity: Re-affirming The Female Gaze Or Trying To Anyway

This week I took a long hiatus from blogging, tried to escape the reality of trolls by handing over my moderator-ly duties to a certain pink dragon, pulled up my socks and did my best to repel the gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach that told me I should have been writing all this while. The plan worked, for a while, methinks. Turns out me not writing will be like my teacher not piling pits of reading on us. And just as effective. Though, I published the post on another blog (because I’m just that crazy). Here, let me get you started —

“This week as I lay hiatus-ing, I took it upon myself to dig through the annals of my journal to see if there was indeed any message from HigherPower present in my words, warning me that one day ‘this day shall come’, like a supposed self-fulfilling prophecy that a certain douche dude made about 20 years ago that, “Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream“. Lo and behold for exactly 20 years after we see Ugly Betty©! Thus my sudden need to go complete John Nash on my journals (sans the math of course). The above can also be read as an excuse to do something besides give my dog endless belly rubs or further procrastinating writing papers for a rewarding publishing factory that manufactures mass consent my college program. Or maybe I am just that far gone in the tutu circus. Anyway, my journals have been useless in the science of studying *me* for anything beyond drool marks and kisses around Plath and Gauri Deshpande’s names.

So, you are my witness dear BLOG! reading person, that I’ve never had any pre-anything on expecting that a certain Dude — Let’s call him Jerk # 256 for future reference — from the nooks of my life would come out to say to me, “You can’t write about men! Because you’re not one!”. With that premise, if I were to pull a Felicity Huffman stunt, you think all dude-ly insights will suddenly come running to my now transformed ManBrain in addition to being absolutely insensitive to trans-people? Don’t answer that, seriously. Let’s just pretend I can think like a ManPerson without the virtue of having a dangly appendage between my legs*. Or having the compulsion to scratch my nether regions in public for kicks. Or engage in any other stereotypical ‘manly’ behaviour, for no matter what commercials want us to believe, the key to manliness isn’t drinking peewater beer or using Axe deodorants. At least not where I hail from.

Masculinity as seen here, in the Orient as Said coined us, is basically constant dominance over the Other. The Other is just about anyone who refuses to conform to the norms of the KyriarchalMonster. In this case, even my dog falls outside the patronage of such a system considering I’ve raised him to rebel at everything. At least that’s what I keep telling myself when he’s chewed up yet another pillow. Kyriarchy’s first cousin, MonsieurLePatriarch has been controlling our lives from the day they realised we could be kept quiet, by force or otherwise, many moons ago.”

Read the rest of this article here

P.S. I’m sorry I didn’t reply to everyone who e-mailed me this week (thank you by the way), I promise I’ll get to it as soon as I’m done working on my SuperSecretProject by next week-ish.
P.P.S. I’m wondering if you, dear BLOG! reader will be interested in a series of posts exploring the media re-construction of Indian masculinity and femininity as it is taking place today?

On Tackling The DudeConcil: The Empire Writes Back

Dear DudeCouncil,

I know you are surprised I’m writing to you. We haven’t had the smoothest of relationships these past few years. Fine, I lied. We’ve never had a smooth relationship. You suppress and marginalize just about anyone-who- isn’t-a-Dude for kicks, make sure that everything done by anyone who doesn’t agree to your principles of Dude-ism is silenced. You might as well burn unicorns, kitties and pups in one large bonfire while you’re at it. Can you really blame me for badmouthing you from that day, many moons ago when I learnt to say ‘patriarchal misogyny’ and point directly towards you as you tried to explain to me just why is it wrong to read ‘The Second Sex‘ at 12? Methinks not. Also, good luck for dismissing any of my future rants like you did that time.

Over the years I learnt intimately all your conniving ways; much too closely than anyone would have ever wanted to learn. I’ll take a moment to congratulate you for  recruiting all those Ladies; those you could convince that you were indeed not speaking through your arse anyway.  Till date, you confuse many a FeministLady just how you managed to control so many lives without feeling even a bit of guilt. We’ve had this conversation before many times (with no visible change in you, except your haircut perhaps). Today I’m not ranting about that. Who knew I could actually generate new complaints in the short time we came face to face after our encounter last week ? Oh how much you’d learn if you let anyone-who-isn’t-a-Dude speak once in a while! That again is a rant destined for some other time.

Today, I’m fuming talking about how you’ve percolated in every part of my life. If you thought Narcissus was a wee bit self-obsessed, then all the examples I fish out of my past week might strike you as a little extreme. But then again, why do I care for your discomfort? You never did for mine. You do realise this doesn’t reflect too well on your progenitor, Capitalism. Then again, Capitalism is probably floating away on all our money, laughing at everyone, completely oblivious to anything but the sound of more money down its slimy throat. Be sure to send hir my (un)warm regards.

Error # 1:  You show me this on T.V. the first thing in the morning. Now I know you’ve laughed for the better part of eternity at how dumb and stupid womenfolk are for complying to standards you created, the extremes they go to be accepted by you. I get the joke. Seriously. If you put just enough venom in my coffee, I’d probably even laugh with you. But, just out of curiosity I’m wondering what it’ll take for you to not constantly degrade one gender anyone-who- isn’t-a-Dude. If tomorrow we magically acquire that dangly appendage between our legs, will these jokes stop? I didn’t think so either.

Error # 2:  No matter how earnestly I try to understand your need to constantly fetishize Oriental women as sex-objects, the only reason my LadyBrain comes up with is that you are a complete waste of GrayMatter. Showering me with e-mails that detail what part of my body you want to eat off of makes you smart, you think; in addition to illustrating the classic disease of Male Privilege. You think this further establishes the ‘master-slave’ didactic between us, because I’m a few shades darker than you. Truth is, I’ve never laughed harder at anything else. Also, this is a special shout-out to a special Dude-ly Dude Jasper who drowned me in the biggest number of disgusting pictures of his nether regions over the last week, this is my last reply to you – Be Gone! Also, maybe consult a head-doctor. A tip:  Soaps are pretty awesome. Use them!

Error # 3: You’ve managed to seep into the minds of little children with what the world calls the trickle-down effect. My students were convinced that all men are greater than all women because this is what they see in their homes. Suddenly, the little Dudes in the class start bossing over the little Doe’s. When I complained to the other teachers to stop encouraging such behaviour, they say, “We’re just preparing them for what’s to come” — A statement I’m sure you recognise. Didn’t you chant the very same sentence as you came out of Satan’s cooter? My LadyBrain blanks out on your history ever so often.

Error # 4: You even took the liberty of dispatching one of your PawnDudes to lecture my LadyFriends and I on the dangers of women drinking alcohol and consequently ruining the mood for the rest of the night. I saw that your face became as shoddy as a sour grape when we laughed at your inane theories. When you were almost about to assault us, I swear the drink just slipped out of my hand, almost accidentally on purpose. This should be a healthy lesson for you to shut your piehole when Ladies repeatedly ask you to. I still maintain you tripped on your own though.

And lastly,

Error # 5: You spend months hyping up the new logo and the new thought for Star Plus (which is the Indian version of Twihard for housewives) with the tag line, “Soch Nayi, Rishta Wahi” which means, “Old relationships, New thoughts“. Last time, this meant that the woman was generally given two dimensions, the Good Indian Housewife who was married and conveniently schackled grounded with 2+ kids, roamed about the house looking like a re-vamp  the 1940’s without ever even mentioning her stifled sexuality or the SingleWoman who is tough and ambitious, also the villain whose deepest fantasies include seducing men and becoming an ideal housewife. And this article tells me, what this ‘new thought’ encompasses,”Once again, the channel celebrates the family, with the woman at its core – the woman who keeps the family together and unceasingly supports its aspirations to move up the social ladder. In this family, there is a quest for fulfilment, and strong dreams of a better future. ” So it is actually re-cycled ‘new’ thought. I see.

So, dear DudeCouncil, one last message to you — can you keep yourself out of my life for just a week? I am going on a hiatus for about seven days where I’m going to abandon the Internetz leaving my friend to moderate my blog (read: there are just so many angry Indian housewives I can take a day. Today and the next seven days, I plan to stand none). When I come back, you may resume your DoucheBaggerey ways. Jeez even Beauvoir took breaks once in a while! Mine has come now.

Stay out of my life for a week. We’ll start the yelling match as soon as I return.

Regards,

Jaded16.

P.S. I’m going to be a huge stick up your butt but I need this done now. Can all the people who have read my blog on Google Reader or on any other RSS feed come forward? My blog is appraised for non-misogynist ads (you KNOW how rare that is) and I need the real number of all my readers. Please come forward and confess.

P.P.S. A huge shout out to all of you who e-mailed me last week. Trust me, all that kept me going was your support.

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