While her rhetoric is largely inclusive, there's little discussion of the effect these narratives have on queers that could not have been included as a footnote.
The result is an (unintentional) recreation of the erasure of queer desire present in the narrative she's opposing.
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? I was hoping it would be an enlightening feminist guide to dating, but it was more of a debunking of the "romance industrial complex" and the myriad ways dating is socialized along gender roles.
As other reviewers have pointed out, if you're immersed in the feminist blogosphere or were, at some point, a gender studies minor, you're likely to end up frustrated by her refusal to go past a "101" level analysis.
For that very reason, I *would* recommend this book to new feminists or other young people, who are just beginning to think about what society expects from them as daters. That point brings me to the most personally frustrating element of Mukhopadhyay's text: it is almost exclusively unpacking how these ideas affect straight women (or -- possibly -- women attracted to men).
I find it much too basic and repetitive but 18 year olds might respond differently... I cannot believe how much I have been wanting this book and have needed to read this.
IN this book, one of the editors of Feministing takes a look at dating, the dating book and magazine industry and some of our ideas about dating, romance etc, and how they are misogynistic and sexist.
It felt more like one really long blog entry, especially with the citing of Facebook and Twitter as sources (to be fair that only happened occasionally, and there was also referencing of actual books).
I think the formatting of the book also lent it its air of superficiality, with the huge margins etc.In Outdated, Samhita Mukhopadhyay addresses the difficulty of negotiating loving relationships within the borderlands of race, culture, class, and sexuality—and of holding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Outdated analyzes how different forms of media, cultural norms, family pressure, and even laws, are produced to scare women into believing that if they don’t devote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.And, for me, it resulted in a book that (up until the final chapters) was either boring, frustrating, or both.It's always easier to tell an author how they should have written than it is to write, so I'm hesitant to take such issue with what Mukhopadhyay does not include.And I think it will inspire me to examine a little more critically the automatic paths I always assumed I would follow (long term relationship - wedding/marriage - babies - so the traditional path that's expected of me). I picked up this book because I was intrigued by Samhita Mukhopadhyay's Occupy V-Day project and thought it would be interesting to hear a more thorough critique of "the romantic industrial complex" from her. The majority of her critiques -- of pick-up artists, dating manuals, and familial pressures -- are important but not new.