dismantling double standards

I will never apologize for
my overly sympathetic nature
an excessive lipstick collection
the tendency to cry when moved
& no desire to ever go camping.
I will never believe the myth that
masculinity is strength &
femininity is weakness —
a false dichotomy that exists
because people let it.
I will never be silent so long as
women are belittled
for not being enough like men
& men are mocked
for showing emotions.


Writing Process Blog Hop

Robert invited me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Hop. He’s a fellow writer whose blog From a Clogged Mind features poignant poetry, exciting flash fiction, and occasionally, music videos for songs he enjoys. My favorite of Robert’s works are his flash fiction stories — action-packed with an air of mystery.

The rules:
1. I must answer the four questions below.
2. I must link back to the person who invited me to this Blog Hop.
3. I must name four writers who will continue this Blog Hop and notify them.

1) What are you working on?
Aside from what I’ve been posting here, I’ve been outlining a romantic comedy trilogy. It may or may not be based on my hilarious female friends’ adventures in dating. It’s definitely based on how as twenty-somethings, all of us are trying to figure out how to be adults while still having fun.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?
With my poetry, I have a signature punctuation style — I use parentheses, don’t typically capitalize titles or within poems, and use dashes rather than ellipses. My short stories are dialogue-driven (sometimes, the story ends up being completely comprised of dialogue), which probably makes them read more like a play. I’ll get back to y’all on the novels once I’ve hammered those out.

3) Why do you write what you write?
I’ve kept a journal since I was four. Writing is my stress reliever. It’s the way I cope with and sort through my emotions. The reason I’m going to write those romantic comedies is that the genre is one of my favorites and there are too many cliched and unrealistic series out there. I wanted to write a rom-com series that was relatable and not rehashing what we’ve been forced to read, for lack of a better selection.

4) How does your writing process work?
Like Robert, my poetry is usually inspired by whatever music I’m listening to, or in my case, my mood. For short stories, I have an idea for a funny conversation or situation and write without planning it. For novels, I brainstorm, outline the characters and plots, then write (and continually revise).

Look for the Blog Hop to continue next week at these sites:
Author Miranda Stone
Miranda is a fantastic author. Her poetry is moving and has extremely vivid imagery. Her short stories have unique characters who don’t typically do the right thing, yet you find yourself sympathizing with them anyway because you’ve glimpsed why they’re flawed.

Little Steps
Dean is an expat whose life was turned upside down once she became a mom. She shares her stories and photos about the “little” triumphs (and struggles) of motherhood, as well as photos and stories from her travels with her family. She features other parents on her blog, as well.

The Lovely Photog
LeSha is an amazing photographer. She showcases her photos, gives helpful tips to newbie photographers, reviews beauty/hair products, and shares stories and photos about her family. Her blog is a collection of everything she loves.

Unzip These Lips
Vic is a youngin’ (a high school senior), but is mature for her age. Her blog features evocative poetry and prose posts about her budding relationship. She also reblogs feminist and LGBTQ articles, as well as other bloggers’ works that she enjoys.

I’m going to cheat and mention one other blog for y’all to check out, which I recently discovered:
Benjamin’s The Breakdown of Taboo – his poems are uniquely structured and thought-provoking.

Four reasons you should watch The Mindy Project

Some people have dismissed The Mindy Project as a silly romantic comedy show. While it can be, at times, it’s so much more than that. There are a million reasons why you should watch it, but I’ll give you four main ones for the sake of brevity. There’s over a month until the season two premiere, so there’s plenty of time to catch up on season one.

Four reasons you should watch The Mindy Project

1. Mindy Kaling’s titular Dr. Mindy Lahiri a badass (yet flawed and relatable) woman of color.

People of color are underrepresented in the media. Too often, a person of color’s character is shunted into a stereotypical role, so the character serves as the token supporting character in an ensemble show. Other times, that character plays as a perfect hero/heroine — a symbol of the peaceful movement to overcome oppression or the like. This isn’t the case with The Mindy Project.

Though Dr. Mindy Lahiri is a badass OB/GYN and an awesome friend, she’s also oblivious and (generally) has terrible taste in men. She drinks too much and doesn’t exercise enough. She admits that her body type ranges from “chubby” to “curvy.” She watches too much reality TV and meddles in her friends’ (and coworkers’) lives. She isn’t a flawless saint who represents every woman of color. She’s a relatable woman who makes all women feel better about not having it together 100% of the time.

2. The realistic portrayal of healthy female friendships.

One of the TV/movie tropes that I hate most is that “women are catty and can’t be friends.” While I’ve met women who demonstrate this, my female friends and I are truly like sisters. We protect and confide in each other. We don’t have secret resentments, talk shit, or plot to steal each other’s men. Though Bridesmaids attempted to be a female buddy comedy, it focused a lot of Annie and Helen’s rivalry for Lillian’s friendship. The Mindy Project doesn’t do this.

The Mindy Project portrays healthy female friendships that are like the ones I have with my friends. Mindy and Gwen are the ethnically reversed version of Andrea and me. Mindy, Gwen, and the rest of their friends actually enjoy hanging out together. They’re not passive aggressive, jealous rivals. They don’t just talk about their relationships; they help each other with legitimate problems.

3.  Mindy is half of an interracial couple throughout the show.

Some people complain that there are way too many basic-looking white guys on this show. I agree, but Mindy Kaling (and Mindy Lahiri) digs that type of guy. No one questions why a white woman who plays a lead in a show would be primarily dating white guys, so I don’t think that criticism should be leveraged against The Mindy Project, either.

I don’t think that Mindy Kaling thinks white guys are the best men; that’s just her preference. It’s refreshing to watch a show that doesn’t make this an issue. I doubt that there will be an Indian guy who will turn out to be Mindy Lahiri’s soul mate, just because he’s Indian (another trope that I hate). Still, the show addresses the difficulties that come with being in a relationship where both people are have different occupations, backgrounds, and religions.

4. *Spoiler alert* Mindy and Danny’s begrudging professional relationship that evolves into something more.

I’m a sucker for drawn-out romantic developments on TV shows. At the beginning of the show, Mindy and Danny are coworkers who are diametrically opposed in almost every way possible. After being forced to work together, they reluctantly start to respect each other. They eventually become friends and their bickering becomes affectionate.

Danny is the guy that Mindy never saw coming. They have other love interests, but their chemistry is what keeps a lot of fans (myself included) watching. It’s possible that they will turn into Jack and Liz from 30 Rock. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how their non-relationship continues to evolve next season.

Go watch The Mindy Project, already! Are there any shows that you don’t think enough people are watching?


How to be a good girl


The first (and most important) rule in the good girls’ code was simple.

“Don’t have sex.”

Not because of health risks, the possibility of pregnancy, or emotional ineptitude.

“Because good girls wait until marriage.”

“Correct, anak. If you don’t have respect for yourself, a man certainly won’t.”

“What if you’re engaged? You and your future husband love and are committed to each other, so why can’t you do it then?”

“If you’re waited all that time, it’s sayang to have sex then.”

“But if you’re going to be together forever anyway, then how is it a waste?”

“Just listen to me, I know from experience.”


Being your mother’s best friend meant being privy to things a daughter should never have to know. Compartmentalizing had become second nature. While Mom would confide in me constantly, I knew better than to tell her everything.

“Anak, last time I was here, the salespeople kept bothering me.”

“It’s Victoria’s Secret, Mom. I’m pretty sure they get paid on commission.”

“They kept following me around the store, asking to help me find what I was looking for.”

“That’s their job.”

“Why are they so nosy, anyway?”

“Why do you care if they know what you’re buying? What did you need, a new bra?”

“Well, I was looking for crotch-less panties.”

Silently, I cursed scientists for pursuing worthwhile research instead of creating brain bleach.

“They don’t sell those anymore. You’ll have to buy them online at from a different company.”


Setting boundaries with my mother became increasingly difficult from college onward. She claimed she wanted to know about my life, yet overreacted whenever I was upfront.

“I just wish you could be happy for me.”

“I’m supposed to be happy you lost your virginity to your boyfriend?”

“I didn’t.”

“God! All those years I talked to you, you never heard me.”

“No, Mom. I listened, I just don’t agree with you.”

“It’s because of your friends, isn’t it? They’re all having premarital sex, so you wanted to be like them!”

“I think it’s sad that you think I’m worthless because of the status of my hymen. I’m still me.”

“You always said you would wait until you were married, like I did.”

“Yet you still harass Dad about his ex-girlfriends from thirty years ago.”

“So you’re mocking me and my choices?”

“Maybe it would’ve been good for you to date and sleep with other people.”

“Insolent child.”

“I’m not a child anymore. I haven’t been for a long time.”