Not feminine enough

Thought Trigger: Grunthus Grumpus’ article

It was my own misogyny that very early on, I had decided that I am not going to be pretty. I was not an ugly kid, but I still decided that I won’t be pretty. Today, I feel to an utmost certainty that I am not pretty, and even slightly indulging in dressing up makes me feel like a fraud.

I disrespected femininity. I saw it as shallow. I saw it as an act, definitely inauthentic. I also disrespected the kind of guys who fell for that display of femininity. I wanted to be a boy so I could show boys how to be better at it. I wanted to access the power that even young boys possessed- of being the last word in a discussion with friends, of everybody in your family pandering to you, of that automatic respect and partiality that teachers bestow on guys for being rebellious. For a girl, friendship becomes not about wit, but about being agreeable and bubbly; family teaches you to adjust than demand, and teachers shower you with attention for sincerity and not mischievousness. I really felt jealous of guys for the fucking fluke of being born a guy. I was miserable to watch stupid guys reap benefits of a patriarchy.

I ended up being totally played into becoming a “proper girl with brains”.  I weaponized “being smart” and “not girly”. I was very uptight and judgemental about a lot of things, all of them rooted in misogyny. On one hand, I rejected girls who were good at using their femininity as a tool, but I saw them being disrespected by their peers for the same. On the other hand, I chose to compete with boys but with an internalised hatred for my gender which made me smaller to them anyway. I dismissed and even patronised guys who were not smart. So, it was like choosing to rebel but still remain within the themes dictated by the system.

My rejection of femininity really affected me as a teen. I, of course, came across as a lesbian, but not even desirable to a lesbian. I was constantly reminded how I could dress better or how I was not feminine enough to be objectively pretty. There were too many failed attempts to pretend to be feminine. My parents also kept pointing out about my unfeminine ways of sitting, sleeping, combing my hair even. Dressing up is still a soul-sucking chore for me. I don’t go to social occasions or a fancy place most of the time, because of how arduous it is for me to dress up and fail at it so conspicuously. I always fall prey to expectations of me. Recently my guy-friends point out my fake laugh, or my dead smile to something that’s not funny, which made me reflect on when the fuck did I fucking pick up this creepy habit? Oh, it was for that crush when I was 15. Kill me.

My successful rejection of prettiness has led me to be the most confident when I present myself in a desexualized way. I get really uncomfortable and angry even if I am reminded that I am a woman. I was uncomfortable with my body perceived under the male gaze (not because I was uncomfortable with my body as a woman.) There is some sense of control I can assert when I interact with people in a desexualized manner. I rid myself of the possibility of a flirtatious interaction where I have to play feminine to succeed. (Not that I have never been part of such conversations, but how demeaning and problematic that short-lived experience is, is brilliantly articulated in the above article. I have this clarity only in hindsight.) I guess, desexualizing is also a preemptive rejection of myself before a dimwit guy reminds me I am not ‘his type’.

The sexualized self of myself has adopted stifling masculine notions of sex. In my teens, I ended up discussing sex with only guys, and I have inherited this shitty competitiveness of men when it comes to sex. Sex has actually become a list of to-dos for me. Have I done that? Have I experienced this? Next time I need to try that. How many times I have done it? This was so detrimental and toxic for me. I was so frustrated to not be able to masturbate as easily as a guy, not reach orgasm as quickly as the guy. Imitating this twisted focus on the sex and not the eroticism to reach the headspace for sex. How many sex-ed videos and columns and books created by women have I watched/read to decode how my own body works and how my own desire manifests itself. Despite that, there is a sense of the male gaze transfixed at the back of my head. There is this struggle when I don’t know if I am playing into it, or this expression of desire and sexiness is mine alone. Even the suspicion that I am catering to men can shut me down.

Because my reality seems like an ironic dorky ugliness in the face of a singular type of beauty, my fantastical desire requires utter narcissism. But I can no more bridge the two in my erotic life. I also can’t bridge my intellectual belief of equality with men and my reality that teaches me to be suspicious of men, and that woman>>> men. These conflicts have no positive effect on my personal life.

There is so much more that she (the writer of the above article) talks about, which I relate to in some way. I get her angst:

“How to deal with the dilemma of hotness as a feminist? Im a journey to be your own person/woman? Either you commit yourself to being ugly as a statement or you think of everything about you as attractive, also as a statement. Desiring in spite of feeling undesirable. Desiring in spite of feeling like your ugliest, most unfuckable self. If there’s one thing I have learned, it is to listen to what my paranoias and fantasies are trying to tell me. Who do I tell myself I have to be in order for me to stop punishing myself? Whose pleasure, whose power? I have been using hetero-romance as a way to wound myself, oscillating between wanting to reject the everything I have been told I should be and feeling rejected because I know I never was “that girl” anyway.”

Suspicious of Likes

I don’t like it when people “like” anything I post online when I don’t know the intentions of the person, or I suspect that the person has no filter and “likes” everything. It annoys me no end.

Last year, my blog was as inactive as it is possible to be but I still got around 50 likes or more on my Facebook page. It confounds me! I get so furious to even receive that ‘you’ve got 3 new likes this week’ statistic. I get paranoid about it: Are people with fake profiles using my page to seem authentic? Am I being used in some bigger troll propaganda? Why will a guy who clearly isn’t a reader even be interested in this page? Does Tame SheWolf seem like a pornstar name? Why do they simply ‘like’ and interact with no other posts on the page? What is their agenda?

You see!

I hate even random Twitter followers. Any activity that I don’t approve of triggers a string of questions-  Why would this teenage girl follow me? Does my content (retweets and complaints) appeal to teenagers? Why does this marketing brand think I will follow back out of politeness? Why would anyone follow me when they have nothing in common with me (not even one tweet) and they don’t even read my blog?

This is not limited to my blog-related social media profiles. I totally get uncomfortable with unnecessary likes on my status updates on my personal Facebook profile. If I’ve posted a feminist rant or just an observational rant, I hate it if someone I know… like, I KNOW… is sexist or does the exact same thing I am ranting against likes my post. I just lose my calm! And it takes everything in me to withhold myself from calling them out. I am not ranting against that person in particular, but I still am so irritated at the cognitive dissonance and the complete lack of reflection. I am screaming in my head:  What are you liking this for? Supporting this statement and then going on about your life, as if I didn’t just virtually slap your behaviour?

Then, there’s the other type of people, who disagree with what I say but would not comment just ‘react’ with a laughter emoticon (in response to a solemn post) or an anger emoticon (in response to a funny post). Comment, no? Why should I drag be that person who has to drag them into a disagreement? They want to be heard and not heard at the same time? Like, my god, why don’t they just unfollow me than simmering inside! [What I learnt from these dissonant ‘likes’ was that the reactions to my post are not a reflection on me, but on the post. Basically, it has taught me to disconnect from what happens to a content after I have posted it. But have I really, truly learnt this lesson thoroughly? Nah.]

The other thing that has my metaphorical soul twist and turn inside my very real body is- loyalty. I can’t bear a ‘like’ out of loyalty. It is okay if you agree with me, and you generally agree with me and therefore, you like my status updates. BUT, when I know that that’s not what you really think, and you liked it out of loyalty and kindness, it makes me seethe inside. If someone likes every single one of my post, I chafe against it. Why. Why. WHY. I don’t need this loyalty and unfiltered fanship.

I get uncomfortable because that write-up did not deserve that awesome, kind person’s thumbs up. I don’t know how people accept adoration gracefully, and I, therefore, become suspicious of people who encourage that blind enthusiasm to stroke their egos. Because I know I am a mess. If you adore me, you should know that I am absolutely terribly human. If you ‘like’ something with the awareness that I have been stupid more times than I have been smart, I can accept it. You have to acknowledge that some of my posts are stupid and therefore, not ‘like’ it. I will accept your comment even if it breaks my heart a little, but I can’t accept a mindlessly kind ‘like’. I think, I get so upset because the person’s opinion matters to me, and when I know they don’t really agree and still like it,  I feel as if I have forced that ‘like’; as if they can’t disagree with me anymore or express how they truly feel; as if I will be betrayed if not for the show of solidarity; as if I have given rise to this dishonest space between us.

I know I have over-thought this but really, how can anyone just like for the sake of like?

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

PS: My boyfriend has been banned from interacting with any of my tweets because I am embarrassed by his incessant ‘likes’. It’s as if the only person who talks to me in this void called Twitter is him. That’s even more pathetic than silence. It’s a matter of self-respect.

P.PS: How does social media marketing even sustain itself with these bullshit statistics to measure engagement? Anything else is more efficient than ‘likes’ as a measure.

One step at a time

Even though last year I made a declaration that I would not overthink and not be afraid of making mistakes, I did and was exactly that. I ended up writing only three posts, and all of them were in February last year. I was so afraid.

I had also decided that I was tired of ranting emotionally and had to find an intelligent, argumentative voice. I felt small compared to the writings I had been reading, written by people around my age. I still don’t believe I can achieve that kind of calibre. I still feel the task that I have set for myself will be met with failure and embarrassment, maybe. It makes me hesitant. It also makes me regret very deeply how much time I took to just understand some truly basic stuff, like the reality and ramifications of inequalities. I regret the circumstances that I’ve been born in that have perpetuated ignorance and valued obedience.

I don’t know what to write. This post is equivalent to putting one foot in front of the other. Let’s see where I end up in January 2018.

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

PS: WordPress’ interface has become so much cooler since the last time I checked. Another motivation!

Not without a review

I don’t know how to say this without sounding an idiot- I can’t read a book without a review. I can’t watch a film unless I have read that it is good.

I can’t watch something just because it is new!

I think the only exception to this is listening to recent podcasts or watching new vlogs. So, I rationalize that by saying: this is just a ten minute video, or I am listening to this podcast while doing a mechanical chore/activity. The vlog-watching is really unproductive, because you can be carried away into a content consumption spree after excusing yourself from work for some ‘break-time’. On the other hand, podcast-listening makes me feel that I am being super-productive as I am getting things (that don’t require as much of my attention) done, and still listening and learning good things.

Anyway, I won’t watch a TV series if people don’t recommend it. I think, TV is commitment! Commitment to download so many files, commitment to invest time on the characters. So, I definitely have to know if it is good. Sometimes, I do end up watching crappy shows because of friends who ‘highly-recommend’ crap. I hate-watch such shows. Hate-watching is venting frustration about the characters, making fun of the dialogues/plot and sending angry messages to the ‘friend’ who recommended it. I have not been able to successfully filter good shows from bad shows.

With respect to movies, I feel I can’t pay for a bad movie. I am not the person who will walk out of a movie because it is bad. I will watch a bad movie till the end. So, I would rather just be assured that it is a good movie and it is worth my time. Again, I was reflecting if there was any movie that I watched the first day-first show. If there was some movie like that, it must have been a “franchise” movie, but I don’t think I indulged in even that unless I have read online reviews by American audiences.

You’re feeling sad for me by now, right?

I have not been able to read a new book, just because it is new. I can’t allow myself that because I feel guilty about not having read the good, old classics or contemporary hits, to indulge in reading the new, unestablished authors. I also feel bad that this kind of thinking, does nothing to encourage new authors and writers. It will also come to bite me when I finally publish something someday. I don’t remember when I read a new author last. Maybe, it was The Hunger Games. But even that I read because it became popular.

Horrible, right?

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

PS: Tell me you do it too, and our sins will become commonplace and petty.

Do people really change?

So, I have made quite a few observations recently, and my pessimism has found that no one really changes.

Belief: Reading makes you empathetic.

I find nowadays that people who identify themselves as readers, are too proud and vain about reading. They become “grammar Nazis”, getting pissed at people for not knowing what they know. There are so many popular memes making fun of common mistakes, and all the while being patronizing about it. There are also who identify with the hobby of reading so much, they take pride in their identity, and beat themselves up about not being able to read or not being able to control their book-buying/hoarding tendencies. I feel upset at this kind of elitism displayed. I sometimes also find that people are empathetic only to the characters in the fictional world, and in the real world, they switch back to their views. Actually, it could even be with non-fiction readers, really.

Reading has just become a passive activity. No more is reading an active back and forth with the book. It has just become passive consumption of knowledge.

Belief: Travel helps you grow

I never really understood of travel made people grow. I have never had a life changing travel experience because I am stressed while travelling. I stressed about how the bathrooms will be, if I lose anything, if I miss the train/bus/flight. Plus, I find it difficult to just loaf around in any place.

Out of curiosity and being the one completely disconnected to the allure of travel, I have always asked people who identify themselves as “travellers” and romanticize being a nomad- what is it that they gain from travel? They tell me: you get to experience culture of different place, you get to be in the rhythm of that place, and you get to rejuvenate and to reflect.

Fair enough, I say. But then, none of them return home with “experience”. The travel is so limited to being “touristy”. In terms of “change in world-view”,  there is a complete lack of empathy or even, awareness to the disparity of wealth one sees in smaller towns/larger cities, the privilege or lack of privilege you have while going to certain places.. Everything is just accepted at face value. Not to be mean, I also think after the travel is over, one just falls back into the same personal rut. I just don’t accept that travel changes everyone.

Since watching vloggers Damon and Jo on YouTube, I am vicariously living the travel experience through them, and again I have realized, like reading, travel has to be an active engagement with local culture, studying the history of the place and not just visiting the touristy places.

Belief: Persisting with people through rational discussions will change their minds

There is so much online discussion going on, about every issue there is. I like to read comments. That’s one of the time-wasting things I enjoy. But sometimes the comments are so ignorant and hateful, I really have to make an effort to stop myself from trolling old uncles or cursing at young people.

When in a discussion, I am open to what the other person if trying to tell me. But then, I have also realized it has become a game now;  a game where you win or lose, you convince or you give up. It really frustrates me that views have to be so polarizing. I have tried to argue rationally and tried to argue emotionally, but I have failed both times and many times. Not to say that, I am always right but I feel people are unncessarily staunch. Their beliefs are entangled to their identity. I have accepted that I don’t have answers many times. Once, in one such “discussion”, my “friend” argued that capital punishment was is right, even necessary, as convicted terrorist are a liability to the nation, and gave me some examples in defence, and I didn’t have an argument against that specific point, which I accepted. (I mention this because I am scouting for a good defense for this point.) But I feel disappointed that people don’t have the same sincerity and the debates continues with circular reasoning and bitterness.

Today, I saw John Oliver’s argument for “pro-choice” abortion laws, and there were still people in the comments being self-righteous. I mean, what else do you need? Someone just made a serious topic accessible, funny and informative and you’re still unwilling to even pause and reflect?!

People don’t change.

I am so bummed out.

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

PS: I couldn’t find any quotes. Everyone famous believes that other people do change.


Locus of control

Thought trigger: Tejas Harad’s post

I have always had a strong “internal” locus of control that means I strongly believe that what I get in life, is because of my actions. If you have a strong “external” locus of control, you believe that other’s action affect you on a much larger scale than your own actions; so if you fail, you would blame fate, or a person, or the system or God, or whatever.

Since I have a strong internal locus of control, my failures are my fault alone and my success is also only mine. So basically, I am what Tejas calls a person with a “stinking sense of entitlement”.

Because of this post, I reflected on my own locus of control and recognized that it not only affected my rationalizations about myself, but also my world-view and my political views etc. And maybe, I never explicitly think of people under poverty as people who “could just work harder and not be poor” but I have to confess that I did agree with motivational crap like “if you are born poor, it is not your fault; but if you die poor, it is.” I am really embarrassed of this stupidity on my part.

Lately, I have come across terms like “social capital” (the network of people your family, your parents or you know and have access to), “cultural capital” (marked by your level of education, your style of speech/appearance, your access to good art) and I recognize my own privilege. I recognize that the world is not a level-playing ground. I am a third-generation English speaker in my family, and I have taught English to six-year olds who are their family’s first. This disparity, which for the most of my childhood I had completely blocked out, is so vivid since my teaching stint.

I guess, Barack Obama was right about misunderstood teenagers being impressed with Ayn Rand (cue: blast from the past). I realize that Ayn Rand appealed to me because of her strong inner locus of control.

However, her idea of what a “self-made man” looked like was completely different from what they really look like in real life. I am so lucky to have already met friends who are unimaginably self-made, and they weren’t anything like Fountainhead’s Howard Roark and Atlas Shrugged’s John Galt. They (my friends) are not heroes that isolate themselves from the world, and are not proud to be “above average” (inside joke). They are not people who don’t have an internal locus of control, and they are not unsympathetic to human shortcomings. They are not blind to systematic oppression based on gender, race, caste, sexual orientation etc.

I completely understand the frustration that Tejas displays in his post at people who are blind to their privilege:

“As if people operate in isolation. As if external factors don’t matter at all. As if capitalism is such a fair system that it rewards people commensurate to their hardwork/ talents/ skills. This false notion which is passed on from one generation to the next and accepted as commonsense by everybody, is insidious. It makes any critique of our unjust system impossible. It pits one person in competition with the other. And it is completely devoid of empathy.”

A declaration

Guess who has lost total faith in capitalism and Ayn Rand’s idealism?

(Awkward silence)

I feel like a total idiot while writing this today, but I think I need to write all this and more since I have changed so much in the past two years. It feels like my insides have flipped and I don’t even recognize myself. The bad part of this change is that I have no record of it whatsoever. So, this year, my goal is to track this philosophy shift by reflecting on the things I have seen, read and learnt.

Obviously, I am afraid of making the same intellectual errors as before. But, I have realized that I am more articulate when I write, and the discussion that ensues helps me see the holes in my argument, which helps me either revise it or discard it.

This declaration also does not mean that I will stop whining like an entitled, little baby. You should know by now, that the rants are a part of me.

I aim to write at least once every week and not let fears and over-thinking get the better of me.

I am going to make mistakes, left, right and centre!


Tame SheWolf

Come, walk with me


Things I have learned:

Endings are not sudden
…………— they accumulate like dust
Nobody really knows
…………— they see what they want to
…………….(even I do)
Promises are naïve
……….. — they are not necessarily bad
I cannot begrudge you
…………— ..
……………(I hate that I pretend to understand)


It is sad to talk in lists.


remember how I used to save a seat for you discuss before and after the lecture never in between nobody nods anymore they reply how taxing I say you said you needed me time and I thought soulmate songmate you can have that any time I refused to hug you right in the middle of a crowded railway station because I just cannot assert myself in public spaces now it makes me wonder why did you put up with me why does anyone put up with such irrational rejection I would like to think I am a little less stuck up than I was before I will always be grateful to the persistent part of you remember that silly inside joke where you gave me a nickname cooler than me and I gave you a phrase come walk with me


I could cry. I do cry.
I try unsuccessfully to be accurate,
to punctuate (I over-punctuate).
Conversations have begun to demand some context.


It is the grief that keeps probing the wound.
Has it healed? Has it healed now? Has it? Has it?
Can we ever un-love someone who has been
nothing but nice, something but absent?
I ask the day, are sins of omission as sinful?
I ask the night, how could she marry at 22?


Come, walk with me, one day
when I will be married to
a person who under-understands me,
I’ll sigh at the conversation’s dead-end
breathe in the cold moonlight,
and miss you terribly
like this—
all over again.

Pathologically bored

“I’m bored with it all. ”

 ~ Last words of Winston Churchill

It is scary to me how easily bored I get of people, things and activities. It is really worrying me nowadays.

I sign up to do something, and for the first few days I am happy learning something new. Soon, my over-thinking, pessimistic, critical brain just mucks stuff for me. I start seeing the work as easy, silly, and meaningless. After that, it is a struggle for me to stick with it. I complain. I seek validation for these thoughts in jokes, or people who think alike and then I completely hate it.

Even though I hate it, I can diligently see it through. But then, it makes me miserable while at it.

Right now, there are many things I have taken up voluntarily and I am really thankful for it. It gives me a source of income, or it fills my time. But I feel an inexplicable restlessness to escape. I feel that this is not what I wanted. I just get disillusioned so quickly. I feel I need to escape. Escape this apathy. Escape this indecisiveness. I can’t stretch myself to stick to a routine. Day in and day out, I feel this resistance to routine, and everyday I realize that routine is not just important but necessary. Routine keeps us sane and purposeful. But I don’t think I know what I want to feel purposeful, so it just seems oppressive. It seems like a false emergency to me.

There are so many things that I take up and lose interest which makes me panic about my future. What will become of me? It is seeping into the things that I used to do.

I read but nowadays I can’t read. I have become such a slow, distracted reader. Even a really nice book takes me months to complete. I read two-three books together so that I can switch if I get bored.

I like to write. But I write in bursts. I find it difficult to write as an occupation, because the available work is boring. Writing for other people or for brands (even worse) sucks! I get bored out of my mind. It doesn’t let me experiment with anything. I learn nothing meaningful. But I can’t even focus to make independent, creative writing my living. Nowadays, I don’t write down ideas. I can’t even maintain a daily blog. I come up with exercises to get over the creative block, but I abandon them in a week.

So, to counter this period of un-creativity, I took a poetry course in Coursera. (I have realized I am addicted to the fake goals it creates for me, and I also like that there is no one monitoring me all the time.) Again, yes, the poetry course is great. It is a really in-depth study of American poetry. But four weeks in, I am completely bored of how verbose the course is. I am irritated that even when the poem is obviously sexual, the course is describing it in a roundabout way. I find it hard to be completely off-the-charts subjective too! At forums and peer reviews, I get annoyed at some asinine comment being indulged. I am frustrated with it but I know I am going to see through this course till the end with all its assignments and complete it. What I don’t like is that I have already written them off. Why do I that? It only spoils my experience!

Do I get any form of perverse pleasure by being half-interested? No! Then, why does this behaviour persist, growing stronger with each day? It’s sheer torture. I don’t know how to “cheer up”.

I think that sometimes I reject things because I believe that there is no long term benefit attached to the activity. I chafe against things that don’t seem to have a direction, a utility in the long run. But the contradiction here is that I hate committing to a long-term plan because I know that as a person I am fickle. I passionately like something now, and then I don’t. Recently, it seems to me that my insides have flipped. I am not the same person I was three years back. I find existing with the current me such a bummer. This is not me. But then what is me? I am disconnected to everything. I am so lost. I try to keep finding solutions.

I have stopped having little notes of zillion ideas. I resign to doing ‘duties’ mindlessly or sign up for the conventional ‘safe routes’. However, it does not work out. I expected to have a serendipitous realization of what I wanted to do. Of course, that has not happened!

I am scared that I am sinking into depths of avoidable misery. It is scary how easily I get bored. How do I make meaning of my work? Why do I tend to be gloomy in the first place?

Everybody hates people who are bored. Bored people are privileged idiots. Maybe they are themselves too boring. Nobody ever romanticizes boredom. It is the quality of the lazy. It is inexcusable. But I think boredom is really misunderstood. There is a deeper problem to this empty, uninspired way of being. Many people won’t find this relatable.

I am personally tired of succumbing to boredom. Please help me think properly about this stupid condition I am in. I could really use some help!

A grumpy kid,

Tame SheWolf

Boredom: the desire for desires.

~ Leo Tolstoy