Reading Matter
Friday Ephemera


Isn’t it difficult to register on these dating websites with only one name?

So asks the wonderful Mr Eugenides, with what I feel ought to count as a Classic Sentence from the Guardian. He’s responding to this,

After this long, dark, pointlessly bitter winter, my sap is rising at an exponential rate.

And this,

Usually, I only act when I see something completely and utterly spectacular, the ultimate best thing ever, a sole Prada piece in a sea of Primark.

And this,

What if “true love” is a pathetic, filthy, perfidious gigolo who will open its pants for anyone who shows it a little bit of attention? That is to say, it’s a deceitful and damaging fantasy.

All of which alerts us to the mating urges of Bidisha, the rising of whose sap raises issues of great intrigue. Who, after all, could hope to meet the exacting standards of a “non-white angry political female” who can detect misogyny and racism in the movements of atoms? And who describes those who don’t share her dogmatic suppositions as “lazy,” “complacent” and “apolitical.” And surely an official partnership is out of the question?

Wedlock. It’s the kind of word that ought to send chills down a modern woman’s spine. It describes with deadly aptness the prison-like qualities of that institution and evokes a cold sense of confinement and consignment... The hermetic seal of wedlock provides the perfect cover, the immaculate veneer which conceals at worst domestic violence and emotional abuse and, as a norm, a vast well-documented housework and childcare disparity between the sexes... I have no deep desire to get involved in the legalised prostitution trap cum labour exploitation racket that is wedded bliss.

There was, I seem to recall, a brief enthusiasm for the “kinkiness” of celibacy. Followed by much pining over the actress Sandra Bullock:    

I love Bullock’s tawny tallness... I also want to buff her all over and comb her russet hair for hours like a keen stablehand at a pony parlour.

I’d assumed Bidisha dealt with any residual mating urges by less orthodox means, thus signalling her status as a counter-cultural force. Say, by releasing spores into a strong crosswind.



Brilliant start to my day. Thanks.

From Bidisha:

"Hard-faced hack seeks similar for wild repartee and dorky banter. Must share a love of fine stationery, fountain pens, painfully long walks and incomprehensible science fiction series with muscly heroines."

From the comments:

"So basically you're looking for your self image of you."


Ahh, I thought CiF saved classic Bidisha articles for Fridays...

'..releasing spores into a strong crosswind', eh..? Maybe that isn't volcanic ash closing down our airports after all...


Let me get this straight. Most men are misogynists, women are always oppressed, marriage is like a prison and love is a "damaging fantasy". Then she complains about not being inundated with offers.


“So basically you’re looking for your self image of you.”

The curse of the narcissist looking for love elsewhere. Chronic disappointment.

Mr Eugenides

Haha, I actually thought about alerting you to this Bidisha article... but then I realised that you wouldn't miss an instalment for the world.

She's probably on your RSS feed. Isn't she?


She should attach a strap-on dildo to a mirror.

Mr Eugenides

Isn't that seven inches of bad luck?

carbon based lifeform

"Who, after all, could hope to meet the exacting standards of a “non-white angry political female” who can detect misogyny and racism in the movements of atoms?"

Bidisha's WAY too into herself to find love. Except in a mirror.


You mispronounced her name.

It's Bidi-SHA! [Jazz hands]


Given how Bidisha has cultivated the obligatory menu of patronising assumptions and ideological ticks, I’d assumed a kindred spirit would be easy to find, at least in her own circle. She is, after all, a generic – sorry, classic - Guardianista.

It hadn’t occurred to me that such people might find each other repellent too.


Got hung up on one response from Bishida's commenters. It was in response to some other idiotic comment about requiring a date to donate to a charity before going on another date:

"That just sounds silly!
Some people think that giving to charities is morally wrong, you know... nothing to do with their generosity. I for one would be much happier paying higher taxes in order to deal with the problems that charities so ineffectually try to mop up... and many charities spend more money on campaigning than they do on getting the job done. A fairer society is everyone giving to it to make sure it happens not just chucking a pittance here and there!"

I had to read it three times before I understood that it wasn't meant to be sarcastic...I think...Actually, I'm still not sure...


With those horsey metaphors, surely she is another closeted zoophile, oppressed by our society's lack of understanding of her natural desires; er, desires for nature.


Mr E,
She's already cracked, so no.

Wonder Woman

It's a wonder of all wonders, she's not scooped up yet! Who wouldn't swoon at such sappy optimism?!

Spiny Norman

What the hell was that I was reading???

Damn. I know Guardian articles aren't intentionally fictional, but I have to wonder, is aiming so blatantly for a Bulwer-Lytton prize grounds for disqualification from the contest?

Spiny Norman

Err, rather:

"What the hell was I just reading???"

Sorry, editing error on my part...


Karen M

In the Grauniad comments WildWomanFund says "Dear Bidisha, I love all of your columns. Don't listen to your obviously misogynistic commenters."

I didn't see any "obviously misogynistic" comments so does she mean any man who disagrees is "obviously" a misogynist?



“ does she mean any man who disagrees is ‘obviously’ a misogynist?”

If so, it’s a popular conceit. It can be quite funny watching someone trying to hide a feeble argument behind The Shield of Besieged Womanhood. As if the thing being mocked was half the population, whatever their views may be, and not just a particular claim made by a particular woman. For instance, Margaret Jamison often resorts to this manoeuvre and reacts to criticism with accusations of oppressive intent. Sort of, “Aha! You’ve dared to make me look foolish. Look at your misogyny! See how right I am.”


Oh no, no, no, a man does not have to disagree to be a misogynist.

Being a man is entirely sufficient.

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