Monday, August 24, 2009
Check it out, and follow if you're actually interested in my work. If you're just interested in my shenanigans in India, keep reading this one.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
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Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
When I saw this clip of Hillary Clinton giving a “sharp response” to a Congolese student who asked what Mr. Clinton thought of China’s loan to the DRC, my first reaction was my aggressive feminist side: way to go Mrs. Clinton, way to stick up for yourself and show ‘em that’s not acceptable.
My second reaction was holy shit, that’s the DRC. And that got me thinking. Did she come off a little strong? Granted, I can’t tell the context of this interview session or what was said before, but I can imagine a few different interpretations of this question besides “you respect my husband more than me because he’s a dude”: how about “because he’s a former president of the United States” or “because he just got back from diplomatic negotiations in North Korea” or “maybe something was lost in translation”?
On the other side of the coin, what if the kid meant exactly what it sounded like? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m your biggest neighborhood fan of the long-term systemic need for women’s rights in a society. But maybe, just maybe, for a country that’s been ravaged over and over by war and corruption and genocide in recent years, ensuring gender equality in the home isn’t at the top of the priority list.
Which brings me to my biggest gripe. Probably the most high-profile and influential woman in the world, one who has years of public speaking behind her back and is responsible for international conflict resolution, had the opportunity to start a dialogue about a critically important global issue and instead came off looking like a bitter whiny old lady. Seriously you think the phrase “my husband is not the secretary of state, I am” comes off as anything other than the emotional blabber of a woman who’s sick of being stuck in her husband’s shadow? When she could have asked the kid why he cared about a civilian’s opinion, stimulated a conversation about gender equity and provided the example of a woman who has the power to challenge engrained cultural viewpoints, she may well have caused the opposite impression: that’s what happens when you put a woman in power, she gets all emotional and defensive at routine interview questions.
Wasted opportunity, Madame Secretary.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
For those who haven’t been following recent (not so recent anymore) news from
Now Baba Ramdev, a very famous acclaimed yoga guru with millions of followers, is shooting his mouth off and trying to get the ruling overturned. Below is the (albeit very biased) summary of a (somewhat more, but still outdated) recent interview on Hindi TV from an LGBT listserv I get:
Just saw Baba Ramdev's Interview on :Seedhi Baat" at Aaj Tak.
Prabhu Chawla, the interviewer tried to bring in some objectivity and reason to the rhetoric, but the baba went on and on with his tirade against
homsexuals. The gist of his arguments:
1] Its harmful to the character of the nations and therefore should be criminalised.
2] Only criminalisation will ensure that these people are brought in for 'rehabilitation'
3] That he will organise rehabilitation camps and change people using yoga.
4] That it is all about national interest and that irrespective of the court, the people of
who are opposed will win, because theirs is the India
path of truth.
5] That his stand is constitutional because the exceptions to fundamental rights includes grounds like national sexurity and morality and
homosexuality is against both.
6] That WHO, UN etc are wrong in describing that homoseexuality is not a disease, and that he is right in describing it as such
AND FINALLY THE CHERRY ON THE CAKE:
7] That because homosexuality is a disease, homosexuals should be barred from donating blood, since anyone who receives this blood by transfusion
will also be infected with homosexuality.
I think the WTF is self-explanatory. I did like this response comment on India Today though:
Baba Ramdev said on Seedhi Baat that receiving blood from gay people makes the recipients gay. Why don't the people follow Ramdev's advice and donate blood to gay people and make them normal?
In better news, the mood here in Tamil Nadu is a bit more optimistic. Chennai, a particularly conservative part of