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Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life [Kindle Edition]

Samhita Mukhopadhyay

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Romance and love are in a state of crisis: Statistically speaking, young women today are living romantic lives of all kinds—but they’re still feeling bogged down by social, cultural, economic, and familial pressures to love in a certain way. Young women in the modern world have greater flexibility than ever when it comes to who we choose to love and how we choose to love them; but while social circumstances may have changed since our parents’ generation, certain life expectations remain. In Outdated, Samhita Mukhopadhyay addresses the difficulty of negotiating loving relationships within the borderlands of race, culture, class, and sexuality—and of holding true to our convictions and maintaining our independence while we do it.

Outdated analyzes how different forms of media, cultural norms, family pressure, and even laws, are produced to scare women into believing that if they don’t devote themselves to finding a man, they’ll be doomed to a life of loneliness and shame. Using interviews with young women that are living around, between, within, and outside of the romantic industrial complex, Mukhopadhyay weaves a narrative of the alternative ways that women today have elected to live their lives, and in doing so offers a fresh, feminist look at an old topic: How do diverse, independent young women date happily and successfully—and outside of the box?

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Samhita Mukhopadhyay is a writer, speaker and technologist residing in Brooklyn, NY. She is the Executive Editor of the popular website and is the author of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life. Mukhopadhyay is also co-host of the podcast Opinionated on Citizen Radio. She has written for multiple outlets including GOOD Magazine, The Nation, The American Prospect, Alternet and the Guardian UK. She has been profiled in The Globe and Mail, The Rumpus, Salon, India Currents Magazine, Nirali Magazine, Brown Girl Magazine, and on Alternet.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.9 von 5 Sternen  17 Rezensionen
27 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Thought provoking and relevant! 24. September 2011
Von Nicole S - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I received my copy a couple days ago and read through it in no time. It is an engaging and approachable read! This book provides a thought-provoking analysis of why the world is such a complicated place to be dating while feminist! Samhita explores many of the ways in which society pressures and influences our ideas around romance, articulates the problems with so many dating books, and articulates connections between romance and oppression. She slays myths about feminism, love, and sex, and validates many ways of approaching love.

At the same time, Samhita manages to balance this with an approachable and candid style that I felt I could relate to well. This is not a simple-to-follow dating self-help book with a formula or a specific end-goal. Rather, it is a look at the way oppression, particularly sexism and heteronomativism shape today's dating landscape that feels conversational and realistic. The book does not end with advice, or a path to follow. Rather, it is a critical look at our world that can inform many different, equally valid, decisions about what is right for each person.

While I found it extremely useful and relatable as a fellow single and dating feminist, I think many young feminists in relationships may also find it worthwhile. Outdated's analysis focuses not only on barriers for single feminists but on the role of oppression within personal relationships and how we can work to have meaningful relationships and communities on our terms. I will definitely be recommending this book to MANY many others! Thank you so much for the wonderful book!
15 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Welcome to Feminism 20. Mai 2012
Von nkl1 - Veröffentlicht auf
I didn't identify with feminism - I think I perhaps rejected it; due to lack of understanding. I know I'm not the only one who has ever been a bit uncomfortable by the mention of that word.

It really wasn't even on my list of things to know more about until my last few years of trying to make sense of the pieces of living in our culture that didn't feel good (Love relationships, consumerism, political agendas, rampant dysfuction in our society-how it all the dots connect) brought me to a situation in which I was introduced to the author of this book. She handed me her business card. I looked at it and asked `What is feminism?' I don't remember her answer (the discomfort of the 'F-bomb' made me tune out), but the experience stuck with me and reading her book was at the top of my list.

I got my hands on the book and it's thourough examination of our world sparked some revealing conversations for me. As I was discussing it with some people, I could concede to an understanding of what she was saying about love, dating, equality, political systems, marketing machines, really dated ways of living and how it adds to the confusing messages we hear. She clearly spelled out what I had been trying to untangle in my mind with very little support. It helped me reach clarity about my own experience and empowerment in the choices I was making that didn't necessarily fit in with the rest of the world.

One of the most empowering statements in this book, for me, was : "If you stop worrying about finding The One, you can just enjoy meeting new people and all of the possible adventures that come with that." - It was so nice to see someone else be on board with this; I think I want her to be my new best friend! But me? A feminist? No.

It took some surrender, but I finally understood, thanks to this book, that feminism is simply removing the molds that we're expected to fit into, fairness, equality-not only for women, for us all. Who can't get behind that? Maybe the F-bomb makes you a bit uncomfortable. Tuck that word aside for awhile, get the book, get a few friends to get the book. Read it together. Talk about it together. Maybe one of you will do what I did, throw your hands in the air and declare:

`I'm a feminist.'
15 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fresh and honest reflections for just about anyone 14. Oktober 2011
Von M. Kranz - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is a really interesting meld of analysis and personal reflection that can probably be a great meditation for just about anyone on the nature of relationships.

The author's starting point is very personal, which one of the other reviewers, for some reason, takes as a weakness. For me, however, this is really helpful and honest. By laying out her perspective and making it clear that relationships are not one-size-fits-all, she really leaves a lot up to the reader in terms of where to go with the information and ideas presented in the book. Further, between the references and endnotes, there are a great many directions to go in terms of further reading. At first, it struck me as a little too academic how many citations there were, but, as I moved forward, I realized it was a way to give the reader the freedom to explore all the sources of the author's analysis and draw her or his own conclusions.

And that's one thing that really impressed me about the book, and sets it apart from other dating books: there's no "answer," strictly speaking. There is a lot of really solid criticism of the sorts of patters we're all trained to follow and how these can stand in the way of authentic relationships, but the reader's intelligence is respected enough to not offer a simple, pat alternative.

On top of it all, I couldn't help but bust out laughing in just about every chapter or subsection. The sarcasm and comedy flowing through what is a really heartfelt and smart book makes some of the hard truths in it (like that there's no easy solution) a little easier to stomach. Even the section titles are great (like "Hopeless Romantic or Glutton for Punishment," which is one of my favorites). That said, I think one of the other reviewers probably took a lot of the humor too seriously, though it's hard to tell since of lot of that reviewer's sentences are hard to decipher.

Finally, as someone who, like most people, hasn't lived a fairy tale, this book actually made me feel a bit hopeful and less alone in my struggle to find and build lasting and loving relationships. Between the humor and insight, there's a lot to gather and I left it feeling refreshed and excited to continue building meaningful relationships with friends and lovers.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen There is a message here, but rather lost 21. September 2013
Von Frank Langben - Veröffentlicht auf
Verifizierter Kauf
I really wanted this to be a great -- or even very good -- book, since it came to me highly recommended. But it's not a great or very good book.
The title is "Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining your Love Life." Yes, titles need to have a zing to bring sales. More accurate subtitles would be, "Why Stereotypical Ideas of Gender are Ruining Your Love Life" or "Why Feminism is NOT Ruining Your Love Life," or even "Why Being Marginalized is Cool."
The book has extensive citations, but it has no bibliography or index.
Mukhopadhyay says that society's expectation that conventional relationships lead to happiness puts pressure on women to be in conventional relationships, when sometimes conventional relationships don't lead to happiness. She advocates niceness and stability rather than legality and permanence.
She writes that John Gray's book, "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus," is "(out)dated now." Why? Does a book's age make it outdated? She says Gray "gave us a new and particularly harmful vocabulary for expressing gender difference in relationships." What was the vocabulary? Why was it harmful? Mukhopadhyay doesn't say.
Mukhopadhyay talks about how "gender variance, transgender identities," etc., are on the new and cool cutting edge. Mukhopadhyay's advocacy of gay rights and marriage, and how gays also suffer from society's expectation that everyone go toward a heterosexual marriage, are points worth making, but they are points that she makes over and over and over to the extent that the drumbeat of repetition is a distraction in the book.
Mukhopadhyay criticizes Helen Fisher for expressing "tired stereotypes, like women like to talk more, think more long-term, and lead with emotion, whereas men express their love through action." Tired stereotypes these may be, those statements are true for many women and men -- even those who completely accept gender equality. One wonders why Mukhopadhyay ignores the work of linguist Dr. Deborah Tannen, who wrote, "That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships," complete with many non-judgmental studies of how even the youngest boys and girls communicate differently based on their gender.
Mukhopadhyay criticizes those who reach too many conclusions from experiments, when "really they're inferences based on observations." And yet Mukhopadhyay draws her own conclusions on what's real and true, from much less evidence, principally from her own readings, experiences and conversations with friends.
Mukhopadhyay attacks the societal expectation of mandatory heterosexual monogamy by pointing out the sex scandals of Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, etc. She says, "These incidents suggest that mandatory heterosexuality is a socially constructed myth." Really? Wasn't it already obvious that many people are not heterosexual and/or not monogamous, before Bill got stupid with Monica? Strangely, for a feminist who just named ten public sex scandals all involving men, Mukhopadhyay doesn't discuss why cheating by the powerful is a male phenomena. Why do we read about Bill instead of Hillary, Newt instead of Nancy? An interesting perspective is in the 6/11/11 NYT piece, "When It Comes to Scandal, Girls Won't Be Boys."
Mukhopadhyay spends a paragraph describing Tim Wise's essay, "This is Your Nation on White Privilege (Updated)," on how the media's treatment of Sarah Palin shows our culture of white privilege, but Mukhopadhyay misses the best parts of the essay. Both articles may be found on-line.
Mukhopadhyay does a fair job of talking about societal expectations of gender roles, and how "even in today's society, people are not considered 'adult' until they're married."
In the course of describing the expectation that the man will pay for the costs of dates and eventually be the provider of the relationship, Mukhopadhyay states one of her most repeated, tiresome and stereotypical phrasings: "Women are expected to want a man with money.... And if he does pay, she puts out. Money guarantees an all-access pass to the vagina park." There are lots of women who make at least pro forma offers to share the dating cost, at least as dating continues. And there are lots of women who don't automatically "put out" because the man bought dinner.
Mukhopadhyay is correct that many of both genders hate some of the strictures of societal expectations: "Men don't want to always have to make the first move and women don't always want to feel like they have to wait or be passive," and she correctly describes the bizarrely bloated wedding industry, as well as the standard societal expectations of what it means to be "feminine" or "masculine."
Mukhopadhyay goes into a bizarre critique of the word "single." "Outside of social labels, 'single' is a census category that means little more than lacking a piece of approval from the state.... 45 percent of the adult population is unmarried, but that doesn't mean they are single per se, just not married." Well, yeah, "single" has lately generally transformed from meaning "I'm not married" to "I'm not in a relationship." But does that really make the census's use of the word in its original and slightly dated sense discriminatory? Mukhopadhyay could have written about how, in California at least, for purposes of real estate titles, someone not yet married is "single," but someone divorced is forever after "unmarried." At least for Californians, "unmarried" could have a bit of stigma which "single" does not have.
The statistic that Mukhopadhyay uses to support the assertion that 45% of the adult population is unmarried, uses "over 18" to mean adult. A lot of 18-22 year olds are still in school or just establishing themselves; many persons over 60 or so are unmarried not by choice, but because their partner died. Narrowing the age range would provide a better picture of how many remain single by choice.
Mukhopadhyay claims "the best-selling dating books are written by men, and ... the most popular self-help gurus are men," naming men like Dr. Phil, and, again, John Gray. What about Barbara DeAngelis? DeAngelis' many books on relationships aren't labeled "feminist," but at core they are very feminist, empowering women and men to analyze their situations and seek what they want in relationships. DeAngelis does not shame women or force societal expectations. DeAngelis is all about much of what Mukhopadhyay advocates. DeAngelis is a former wife of John Gray, not to mention that DeAngelis is a better author than Gray is. Mukhopadhyay writes six pages on "Sex and the City" and not a word for DeAngelis?
Mukhopadhyay has an implicit, perhaps explicit, assumption that only liberals can be feminists. This should be addressed. While many conservatives follow religious beliefs of male privilege, conservative feminists exist, and they should be acknowledged at least in passing.
Surely Mukhopadhyay could have asserted the validity of relationship choice without downgrading marriage, but she writes, "Marriage is not a permanent state, but a fickle and very much impermanent one. Marriage is a ritual...." For the Kardashians, yes; but for many, marriage is a viable and permanent lifestyle choice, and isn't feminism about choice?
I love Mukhopadhyay's admission that "For most of us, dating sucks." A friend of mine calls this status "dating hell." Mukhopadhyay's most valuable points IMO are that we should not feel trapped by society's expectations, and that a woman's -- or man's -- sense of self-worth and value are not dependent on whether they're in a relationship, or whether that relationship is headed toward marriage. These points get lost, a lot, in the other assertions and digressions.
8 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Both Intelligent & Readable 24. Oktober 2011
Von Ninaneen - Veröffentlicht auf
I bought this book for a friend who's forever "unlucky in love." I consider myself in a happy relationship, but thought I'd take a peek at the book before I gave it to her. IT'S AMAZING. Great for singles, marrieds, straights, gays, whomever. The author questions why we are stuck in outdated notions of relationships (Cinderella fantasy vs. stereotypical feminist gender wars) and advocates for a new, modern, empowered and happy approach to dating and relationships. It also is a reality check on how much of the "dating literature" and even worse, "marriage industrial complex" is based on making people feel weak, stupid, ugly, fat, etc... so they can sell more products.

It led to many interesting discussions between my boyfriend and I. This book is groundbreaking. Get it.
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