Shoebox – I

*dusts cobwebs*

I wanted to share a few articles that I’ve read recently. Mostly because I wanted to put them in one place (shoebox) and treasure them.

Some random thoughts and articles on feminism
America Made Me a Feminist: I had told a friend once, maybe 8 years ago, that I considered myself to be a feminist. I believed in equal opportunities for all. I strongly believed that women should not be denied education or jobs solely on the basis of their gender. I did not agree with stereotypes about women being better caregivers and homemakers. But I had not realized then that feminism had come to mean something ugly. The word feminist had become an insult. A loud, screaming woman who hated men. My friend shook his head and seemed disappointed in me.
I am confident now about who a feminist is and what feminism means. I know where I stand now, but for a few years after that incident, I was confused and hesitant about feminism and calling myself a feminist. One of Sonam Kapoor’s articles talks about something similar here.

“Feminism is not simply a ‘viral phenomenon’ and equal rights and opportunity in all spheres of life is NOT a ‘fad’!”

I guess what I’m trying to do, really desperately, and especially because it’s Women’s Day, is to demystify and un-romanticize the specter that feminism has become. Feminism is not a movement, and a Feminist is not a tree-hugging, jhola-wearing, bespectacled, short-haired, man-hating, bra-burning individual. A feminist is simply someone who respects the choice of an individual to lead her/his life the way she/he sees fit. And when you see it for the simple philosophy that it is, it’s hard to understand why anyone would choose to be anything other than a feminist!

Importance of Dust
Another interesting article I’ve read recently describes how dust is transported from Sahara deserts in Africa to the Amazon jungle. I just find this amazing.

The data show that wind and weather pick up on average 182 million tons of dust each year and carry it past the western edge of the Sahara at longitude 15W. This volume is the equivalent of 689,290 semi trucks filled with dust. The dust then travels 1,600 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, though some drops to the surface or is flushed from the sky by rain. Near the eastern coast of South America, at longitude 35W, 132 million tons remain in the air, and 27.7 million tons – enough to fill 104,908 semi trucks – fall to the surface over the Amazon basin. About 43 million tons of dust travel farther to settle out over the Caribbean Sea, past longitude 75W.

Carrie Brownstein
If you’ve watched Portlandia, then you probably know who Carrie Brownstein is. I read an excerpt from her memoir here. I loved her writing style and decided to read her memoir. The book begins well but has been disappointing so far. Yet to complete reading.

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