Make a clean breast of it
Size ' or a smaller size ' does matter. At least the entertainment gurus think so. So when we frowned on Lara Croft being made a less busty tomb raider (she’s not even a real person, for Chrissakes!), we hardly knew what was to follow. Now, Hollywood actresses have decided that less is more. They’ve asked digital experts to reduce the size of their breasts in movies, in an attempt to avoid offending audiences. Take Angelina Jolie in her forthcoming flick, Mr and Mrs Smith. She got the computer wizes to “trim” her in a shot where a bit of “loose bosomry had to be tidied up”. Next, the 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan got her bust reduced on screen by raising the necklines of her T-shirts in Herbie: Fully Loaded. And before you feel like busting the digital experts, sample this: the buxom Eva Mendes, who’s playing an adaptation of a comic-strip character in Ghost Rider, was asked to “strap down”. Experts say Hollywood, post-Janet Jackson’s “nipplegate”, isn’t sure if big breasts go down well with audiences anymore.
Rojda was forced to marry her paedophile rapist at 13, and when she refused efforts by her father-in-law ' who also raped her ' to force her into prostitution, she had her nose cut off. Birgul Isik was shot by her 14-year-old stepson for talking on television about fleeing from her abusive husband. Such crimes are committed in the name of honour in Turkey, where, until Wednesday, local judges were entitled to hand down reduced sentences to these killers. Now a new penal code, designed to conform with European Union law, classes these killings as murder, with a life sentence attached. Thank God for that!
The Times, London
The King and I
Whoever thought a story about a man rescuing his wife and then banishing her could be the stuff of research for centuries' But that’s the Ramayana, whose influence on families and cultures will come under focus during a two-day International Ramayana Conference at Northern Illinois University later this week. The highlight of the conference is a speech by Sally Sutherland Goldman of University of California, Berkeley, on ‘The not-so-perfect wife: Valmiki’s construction of gender’.
Breakthrough, a Delhi-based NGO, has brought out a resource guide called Strength in Action, A Guide to Preventing Domestic Violence, in an attempt to inform the masses about the different aspects of domestic violence. The report has been prepared on the premise that women’s rights are essentially human rights and need to be addressed with equal stress. At the same time, the guide tries to educate men about domestic violence in general, since the NGO feels that uninformed men could unknowingly perpetuate the patriarchal biases that are handed down to them by society. Would that it were so easy to educate men!
Game for gossip
There was Deep Throat, the pathological gossipmonger. And now there’s Jessica Cutler. First, she set Washington D.C. ablaze with her online diary about her sexual trysts with the powerful. And then, when her boss, senator Mike DeWine, sent her packing after she claimed to have had sex with his staffers, she comes out with a book, The Washingtonienne, the name under which she wrote her blog. The book describes Washington as a town full of nerds where even a plain girl can turn heads, and where Jacqueline (read Jessica) hops from bed to bed. Last heard, a counsel to the senator had sued Cutler.
Overheard... That tobacco companies in the US, in a desperate bid to target women, had actually contemplated mixing hunger-reducing stuff with the tobacco in their cigarettes to lend substance to the myth that smoking depresses appetite.