If you are anything like me (born before the ’90s, social media wary, technologically mediocre), you may occasionally feel a droning sense of fatigue while scrolling through Instagram and realizing that there is an entire meme jargon that reads more like Morse Code to your seasoned ears.
And yet, no matter how much we resent it, not understanding the language of the Internet is similar to not understanding the language of the country you live in – highly liberating, yet a surefire hazard for getting screwed over. Since I certainly don’t want you to get screwed over in the dating arena (leave that one to me!), I have compiled a handy little guide that will allow you to both decipher and chime into the wild jungle of Generation Hookup with a few gems of your own!
I have a confession to make: I have always been slightly intimidated by Moscow. A native of Saint Petersburg, i.e. Russia’s intelligentsia hub, I was practically raised to look down upon ‘Moskvichi’ for their (presumed) gaucheness and cultural deficience. And yet I always suspected that my closed-mindedness was partially driven by my own sense of inadequacy. In Moscow, an oasis of concentrated wealth, beauty and corruption, I always felt too lumpy, too naïve, too low on the totem pole.. And so, as God and human nature intended, I judged.
Alas, there comes a time when everybody has to face their fears. Mine came when my brother proposed for me to temporarily abandon family duty in Saint-Petersburg and hop onto his weekend trip to Moscow, a decision he later came to regret. Not only did I come, but I annoyed the living daylight out of him in the process, earning myself a firm placement into the “unmarriable” category. Marriable or not, I also used it as an opportunity to do some qualitative research into the curious world of Moscow men, which I chronicled for you, my dear readers! With pictures!
As a Russian woman, International Women’s Day has always had an important place in my heart. After all, it is a national holiday when school is out and the entire country turns into a floral greenhouse and guys are nice to you for a full day – think Valentine’s day sans reciprocation of effort!
It is only when I moved to the US that I realized that, for the majority of the Western World, International Women’s Day actually serves as a day to not only celebrate the contribution of women to society but also push for important and relevant agendas, aiming to drive change towards a more gender inclusive world. (Little known fact: while Russia is hardly an example of gender equality, Russian women have officially had equal rights since the October Revolution. So let’s forgive them for skipping their routine tribulations for just one day to – literally – smell the roses.)
With the 2017 agenda being BE BOLD FOR CHANGE, I decided to ask 8 phenomenal women (and a slightly more mediocre moi) the following question:
What changes would you like to see for women in this world? How are you planning on contributing?
Here’s what they had to say!
This valuable insider’s guide is brought to you by our latest international contributor. Marina Amaro, 26, has the sun in the perfectionist Virgo and the moon in the imaginative Pisces. (Yes, it’s that confusing.) She loves fashion, great books by female authors, and a stellar fitness routine. You can explore more of her via her Instagram (can you imagine what that Virgo-Pisces mix does for her aesthetics?)
Some time ago, a Brazilian friend living in Melbourne brought her Australian boyfriend back home to show him the motherland. After a month of exploring the best parts of the country, they returned to our city of Porto Alegre and I got a chance to meet him. I was immediately struck by his interest in specific aspects of my life; a stark juxtaposition to the natural conversation flow customary of our culture, where you to learn random details of one’s astrological chart while remaining clueless about their last name and occupation.
Love makes the world go round. I’m not sure if I first heard these words in Madonna’s ’80s ode to do-gooding, or if it simply one of those saccharine clichés that is culturally ingrained in our brains, but I never gave said phrase much thought. Then I got older and life got messier, and suddenly clichés became the ultimate crutch for rose-tinted philosophical rhetoric. No matter where we hail from or how much of a cluster*ck this world becomes, I prefer to believe that we are all bound by something larger than us, something that gives us purpose and drives us to tap into our better selves, something that ultimately keeps the orbit spinning: love.
While I can clearly write like a Hallmark copywriter, my own relationship with the High Holiday that is Valentine’s Day is about as complex as the US-Russia conflict – cold, impassive, potentially unresolvable. And yet, this year I decided to take the high road and use this day to celebrate the idea of love as a universal phenomenon. How? By cajoling every international couple I know into fessing up to their innermost secrets, of course.
Couples are filtered in ascending order according to years spent in each others’ vicinity. Questions vary mildly, double as an excellent Valentine’s Day torture test / drinking game. Enjoy!
Five decades after the first women’s rights activists burned their bras in a brave statement against female oppression, a new feminist wave has risen. From comedians like Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham creating bold female-centric content, to actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence and Emmy Rossum spearheading the fight for equal pay, to designers including Maria Grazia Chiuri and Miuccia Prada sending feminist-theme collections down the runway, this is a fight that has been brewing for years. Women have never been more resolved to equilibrate the ground we stand on once and for all, a quest that saw the fruits of its labor when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in November.
And yet the path to success is never linear. Despite all the attained growth, the recent Electoral College victory of an unabashed male chauvinist to America’s highest office of power has pivoted us back to a battlefield we thought we had left behind. “I think before the election, misogyny was very prevalent but it was more insidious. Now it’s in your face and blatant,” says Observer sex columnist Jasmine Lobe. “When [Donald] Trump said, ‘grab ’em by the pussy,’ he validated men’s bad behavior. I felt this new sense of danger and lawlessness.” In Trump’s America, misogyny is not only commonplace, it’s condoned.
Read on HERE!