So apparently being female and on Facebook is all about seeking validation

I hope Tracy Clark-Flory was just bored, or something. I hope it was a slow news day.

Because – and I mean this in the spirit of sisterhood and camaraderie – who gives a fuck?! And who sincerely wants to live this way? A Facebook friend gets married and posts a bunch of pictures and you’re “pressured”. A single friend jets off to Brazil for Carnival and posts a bunch of pictures and you’re left “bemoaning your choices” or some crap like that. You know, I never thought I’d get to use this word as an insult, but how… middle-class of you.

Is this actually an article about some sort of disorder people have? The “if there are people in my social network whose lives do not line up my own experiences and choices 100%, I’m going to get all down and confused about it – because my ultimately destiny is to be a herd animal” illness? Or does it come down to having way too much time on your hands? Do many men also agonize like this – and simply fail to mention it because men are never supposed to let on to anyone that they, well, agonize like this?

I also love this whole notion how one can either be a woman with kids or a woman with a career – at least according to the article. The one woman profiled who does have kids and a career comes to us via a secondhand account – and is to be pitied, because she sends people late-night texts or whatever. I mean, I understand that so many of these Salon stories are filler, but come on.

Social anxiety is an interesting subject. We express it in new ways (via FB, for example) but the basic concept has remained the same. For people who can afford to take time out of their day to worry about crap like this (is my carriage fashionable enough? Are my status updates witty?), it can indeed be a burden (and just for the record – I can be very sensitive to this stuff as well, when I have the time). But the way it comes of here is flat, one-dimensional and annoying – I don’t have sympathy for the women Clark-Flory profiles, I merely experience a twinge of mild horror at their preoccupations.

This is why I have liked some of the comments to this article:

There are actually grown adults who feel affirmed by making judgmental assumptions from a photo or two on someone’s FB page?


I find it incredible that sites like Salon need to make women feel like they are ‘un-affirmed’ because they are living the life they want.

Me too, actually.

Yawn. Your women friends are boring

Boring in a horrifying way that’s hopefully at least partially exaggerated for the sake of the article.

I’m a married woman very much in love with my husband and I post pictures of my baby as my profile pic because she’s cute. I also am a VP at a large entertainment company and I work hard to have a family, a career, and a relationship.

But you’re not affirming Katherine and Kelly’s choices, dammit! Come on, at least admit that you secretly sniff glue and masturbate to mainstream torture porn! It’ll make other women feel better about themselves! …

… In other news, I should probably just stop reading Salon.

From Facebook: 15 Books in 15 Minutes

Besides work (please read Sarah’s excellent piece on Iran & Twitter, by the way), it has been a slow couple of days. We’re going to Petra tomorrow, and have rented a fancy-schmancy car for the occasion. Tonight, I drove in Amman for the first time. I even rolled down my windows and played particularly trashy techno  music as I ripped through Abdoun, before buying my brother dinner at Blue Fig. Together with my darker hair and my obnoxious handbag, I have become a stereotype. Naturally, I love it.

There’s a cool new meme floating around Facebook this week, and since it has to do with books, I can’t pass it up. Behold, 15 books in 15 minutes:

Continue reading “From Facebook: 15 Books in 15 Minutes”

Sexual Harassment: taking one for the team on Facebook

I’m friending back the strange men who add me on Facebook via the Jordan network, then having protracted conversations with them as to why they’re adding me, what they’re hoping to accomplish, etc. What immediately struck me is that they don’t try to make me interested in them – they assume I am interested right away, hot and bothered and ready to go (well, I added them back, so that would be a clue – although I tell them immediately that I thought I knew them, and now I’ve realized that I don’t, and hence am confused as to why they added me to begin with).

This is more fodder for an article I’m doing, hence “going out into the field,” so to speak. The funny thing is – the minute I ask them, in Arabic, if they’d like it if someone treated their sister this way after I’ve gotten all I need from them and the sleaze quota has been reached, they either up the level of insult or start insisting that they only wanted to be friends.

Poor boys. A blonde foreign woman added them back, then wasn’t interested in sleeping with them after all. And gave them a lecture on top of that. Tsk tsk.

I can’t deny that a part of me has been enjoying this.

Another part, however, is sad.

How NOT to friend me on Facebook

Message me with any variation on the following: “hai can we be friendz lol bye.”

Ask me the following: “u look hot to handle… will I melt if I touch?”

Have any of the following in the Interests section of your profile: “f(uc)king girls,” (thank you so much for clarifying, it’s good to know you’re not into farm animals)

“getting laid,”

“buying new threads,”

“p(us)sy posse” (the only thing sadder that Leonardo Dicaprio’s 1990’s public persona is imitating Leonardo Dicaprio’s 1990’s public persona),

“livin’ it up” (the apostrophe says it all),

“da bomb” (why is that still in your lexicon? And why is it part of your interests? Are you into linguistic terrorism?),

and “laughing at fat people” (I have done a fair amount of fat-shaming in my life, before I realized just how inexcusable that sort of thing was. But Jay-sus, putting that in a social networking profile is something that I wouldn’t have done on my worst day. You’re a loser. Bye).

Put up a magazine scan of an oiled-up torso as your profile picture.

List various body parts as “favourite food” in the About Me section and, furthermore, direct my attention to this.

Tell me that “The Da Vinci Code is really, really deep.”