Updating after a really long time to wish a happy birthday and wonderful year ahead to Karthik Subbaraj–one of my favorite directors, whom I discovered through wanting to watch more Vijay Sethupathi movies after 96 and Vikram Vedha.

He’s inspired by the Coen brothers and Tarantino, but without their annoying self-referential cynicism. My favorite of his movies is Iraivi (Goddess), which is on Amazon Prime with subtitles. Iraivi reminds me very much of Jane Campion’s work, especially In the Cut and Top of the Lake. So, not an easy movie to watch in parts, but ultimately a satisfying story.

The trailer for Iraivi really doesn’t convey the movie well–it was clearly more to get people into the theater than to give an idea of the tone or themes of the movie. Instead, here is a song which neatly illustrates all of the main characters of the movie.

Vijay Sethupathi is Michael, a really not nice guy who is marrying lovely and naive Ponni, played wonderfully by Anjali, mostly out of revenge to the woman he actually loves. Surya is Arul, a deeply unhappy man who drinks to dull the pain and just wants everyone to be happy–especially his wife Yazhini, played by Kamalinee Mukherji. He’s the one who grabs a mike and starts singing and dancing to lift the mood of the reception. Finally, Bobby Simha plays Jagan, Arun’s younger brother, seemingly trying to restrain Arul’s excesses, but with deep motivations of his own. The abrupt shift at the end of the song is very Karthik Subbaraj and has a trademark twist. It shifts to the garlanded bed of the newlyweds and you think, oh, how sweet. But then you abruptly see that poor Ponni will not have the romantic first night she’s been dreaming of. It’s quite a brave performance by Vijay Sethupathi, because there is very little redeeming about his character. Loyalty to his friends, that’s about it, and it causes mostly destruction in the film.

Here’s a more analytical take on why Karthik is a good, maybe great, director. The substance and subtitles start at 1.26. Warning, there’s a fair amount of violence in the clips shown.

Finally, a sweet video with Vijay and Anjali from an entirely different, non-Karthik movie, Sindhuubadh, just to show what nice chemistry they have together, whether in an antagonistic or affectionate relationship.

Happy birthday, Karthik sir! 🙂

Shah Rukh Khan birthday post: some of my favorite candid shots

I’m putting up a quick post to celebrate Shah Rukh Khan’s 53rd birthday today. You can generally find me hanging out and commenting on Don’t Call It Bollywood  talking about Indian movies, especially Hindi movies. Margaret, the Blogger at DCIB, me, and many of the commenters there are Shah Rukh fans, so he’s a frequent topic of conversation. Margaret’s been doing a whole series of Shah Rukh related posts in October, including one which had some of her favorite candid Shah Rukh photos. In that happy birthday sharing spirit, here are some of my favorites. First, Shah Rukh on his own:

Next, Shah Rukh with others (All connection and consideration. Not sure who is cuter, unknown actor in the first one, Aziz Sahab, the puppy dog, or Rekhaji):

And finally, Shah Rukh in motion:



Happy Birthday, Shah Rukh! Happy Birthday, Pooja Dadlani! And Happy SRK Day to all his fans and well-wishers!

Shift in direction

Hi followers, readers, Internet denizens. I hope all is well in your world.

Hey, what the heck does it mean to have a social media presence? What do you use it/them for? What does maintaining one or more presences do for you in your life? I ask because almost 3 years after starting this blog I really have no idea. I know that I don’t have the energy to maintain multiple presences which show different sides of me, and I also think it’s not healthy to do that. However, given that I hold some truly minority positions–gender abolitionist, pro-sex but anti-porn and prostitution–it’s not really safe in the current environment to be “me” online if I want to, ya know, keep on earning a living.

For about 6 years I had been retreating into a radfem-separatist stance–that the only way to fight the global “megatheacorporatocracy” as Twisty Faster calls it, is to participate in it as little as possible. But, on 11/9/16, my little privileged bubble was shattered when my fellow white Americans put an inexperienced maniac in power, backed by white supremacists, international criminals, and Christian dominionists. Holy shit. I mean, I was completely sideswiped. Crying into the champagne and fizzy apple juice I brought home from work to celebrate the election of the first woman President with my daughter.

I realized I can’t not participate, because others don’t have the luxury to separate from the system. Now I’m desperately trying to learn from those who predicted the election outcome–mostly folks who study authoritarianism and people of color involved with BLM and community-based justice organizations. I’ve been marching, writing/calling elected officials, and trying to keep up with the multiple facets of policy disasters, state oppression, corruption, and sheer incompetent cruelty of 45 and the gang.

As part of this shift I’ve moved away from most long form blogs, including WordPress, and spend most of my personal online time on Twitter. One exception is reading Bollywood related blogs, review sites, and YouTube channels. In 2015 I fell hard for Shah Rukh Khan–the person and the actor–and Hindi movies generally. Ironic for a radfem, but highly satisfying for middle-aged white lady thoroughly bored/disgusted with Western films and TV.  My comment history on WordPress documents this shift. 🙂

So, now I can’t decide what to use this blog for, or whether to continue doing anything with it other than maintaining a presence to comment on Shah Rukh/Hindi movies/associated bits of Indian and Western pop culture. I’m guessing my blog experiment will end with a whimper, not a bang. C’est la vie.



QotD: “Gender disproportionately distributes power to males”

Beautifully said, simply true.

Anti-Porn Feminists

Sex matters because having a certain kind of genitals at birth is a prerequisite to socialization as a “boy.” Sex matters because the social role “boy” is a more favorable social role than that of “girl.” Girls are devalued, sexualized, and discriminated against simply because they are “girls.” There are objectively measurable material advantages to being male at birth. For example, boy-socialized people will be paid more for the same work.

This is no accident; it is precisely how the human system of sex-based gender socialization works and has worked for thousands of years. Gender disproportionately distributes power to males via the cultural hegemony of over-valued masculinity. Gendered socialization begins at birth and has lifelong formative effects on the psyches of both men and women. The ugly result is institutionalized male dominance over females and femininity. There is no nation in the world primarily controlled by girl-socialized people. Not a…

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Female Erasure : What You Need To Know About Gender Politics’ War on Women, the Female Sex and Human Rights — GenderTrender

So glad to see this anthology. Donated/ordered and can’t wait to read it!

“Less than 48 hours since the announcement of the upcoming Female Erasure anthology and the anti-women, anti-lesbian, anti-speech activists are already swarming with efforts to stop its publication. The book, to be published by Tidal Time Publishing under editor Ruth Barrett, features a forward by Germaine Greer and the writings of fifty women from various […]”

via Female Erasure : What You Need To Know About Gender Politics’ War on Women, the Female Sex and Human Rights — GenderTrender

New Statesman | A woman’s body is not a disgrace

Thanks for this. The journey you describe is so close to mine that blood is rushing in my ears as I finish it. In addition to not feeling “right”, not feeling competent, not feeling welcome doing physical activities, regular occurrences of sexual and emotional abuse (from different people) over a decade helped to fully alienate me. As a smart girl I also opted for what I thought was the sci-fi, philosophical solution–ignore the body, focus on the mind. The baby analogy is a good one. I do feel a bit like a baby again–maybe about 4 years since I started trying to love my body, to be in it, to experience it, and to care for it. Better late than never, truly.

Sarah Ditum


Boys grow up by getting bigger, stronger, louder. The things that a male child is encouraged to be good at are, by and large, things esteemed in the male adolescent too. But for girls, adolescence is a time of loss. Becoming a woman means giving things up, explains Deborah Cameron in The Myth of Mars and Venus, and taking up new and feminine occupations: “In particular, [girls] abandon physical play: instead of using their bodies to do things, they start to focus on adorning them.” Somewhere in the passage between being a child and becoming a grown-up, girls learn that our bodies are not ourselves, but a portable property that we must cultivate, display, and trade for the best bargain we can make.

Read the full post at the New Statesman

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“Gender ideology harms children” – American College of Pediatricians

Oh wow. Like a breath of fresh air; a cool shower after a sweaty laborious day. Clear language and no bullshit. Goddess bless these people.

Gender Is War

Encouraging children to transition is “child abuse.” Please signal boost this policy statement by the American College of Pediatricians.

Gender Ideology Harms Children

The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality.

1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident. The exceedingly rare disorders of sexual differentiation (DSDs), including but not limited to testicular feminization and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, are all medically identifiable deviations from the sexual binary norm…

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