Digital Culture

'Auntie Network': The Reddit group helping women get abortions in the US

Following news that the US could potentially overturn the legal right to abortion, people started organising protests. Meanwhile, a different kind of organising was taking place on Reddit. Posts with titles like ‘Oregon Auntie ready to help’, ‘AL Auntie stepping up’, ‘Librarian in Massachusetts Ready to Help’ started popping up on the subreddit r/auntienetwork soon after the news broke. The group, created in 2019 as a ‘place to help anyone who has a uterus’, is dedicated to providing informat

I tried BeReal, the Instagram alternative, and I don't see the hype

BeReal is the new social media app that’s taken the the world by storm, currently occupying the number one spot on Apple’s ‘Top Free Apps’ in the UK. The app even made an appearance on Elon Musk’s tweet complaining that Donald Trump’s Truth Social was overtaking Twitter and TikTok on the App Store. BeReal claims to be ‘Not another social network’ by discouraging filters and capturing life as it is. Everyday at a different time, BeReal simultaneously notifies its users to capture and share a p

Locked down Shanghai residents turn to WeChat groups for food

WeChat groups are becoming lifelines for desperate residents stuck in China’s strictly locked down areas. The Chinese government has struggled to evenly distribute essentials to its 26 million confined residents. In response to the social media pleas for food and medicines, people have taken matters into their own hands with residents acting as intermediaries and sourcing essential supplies for their communities. ‘On the building’s WeChat group, someone would share a post saying “Hey, we are

The metaverse is not designed for women

In December 2021, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, launched Horizon Worlds, a free virtual reality (VR) space where you could play games and socialise with people’s virtual avatars. It was the dawn of the ‘metaverse’. Just days after its launch, Nina Jane Patel, a psychotherapist and researcher reported being sexually assaulted there. ‘Within 60 seconds of joining — I was verbally and sexually harassed — 3 – 4 male avatars, with male voices, essentially, virtually gang raped my avatar and took

How women are feeling the full force of the Indian government's crackdown on dissent

On 13 February 2021, Disha Ravi, a 22-year-old climate activist was arrested by the Indian police. Her alleged crime? Editing a Google Doc ‘toolkit’ containing information on how to support the ongoing farmers’ protests in India. Toolkits are standard advocacy material used to coordinate protests and educate people about a movement. But in this instance, the Delhi Police named Ravi as a “key conspirator” alongside climate activist Greta Thunberg

Entertainment

What Bridgerton gets wrong about Indian culture

The new season of dropped over the weekend and, as expected, Indians around the world were giddy with excitement. Rightly so, as we get one of the best representations of Indians in Western media, and in a Regency-era romantic drama at that. The does a lot of things right when it comes to South Asian representation – but it also has some culturally iffy moments, which have made Indians do a double-take. We're introduced to the gorgeous Miss Kate (Simone Ashley) and Edwina Sharma (Charithra Cha

Why does the white boy always get the girl in Netflix rom-coms?

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Kissing Booth are two of Netflix’s most popular young adult franchises, having already spawned multiple sequels (the third instalments are slated for the near future). As with the majority of American high school movies, both are replete with mean girls, bad boys, misfit best friends, clandestine romances and college applications – and both revolve around typical teen girls who have a crush on the school heartthrob, who happens to be out of her league an

‘This is a great time for women in cinema’

A year after tying the knot and a host of releases lined up, Samantha Akkineni has us believing that an actress can really have it all. In a chat with MetroPlus , she talks about her upcoming films, women, and choosing scripts. U Turnis the remake of the successful Kannada film. You were very intent on making this happen. Why is that? I believed that it needed a larger audience. And since I’ve always been in touch with director Pawan Kumar from the time he made Lucia , it was about time we wo

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