A college of her own
Miranda House has been taking in boys since last year and the second batch is all set to enter the once all-girls’ college. However, a feminist debate is now raging on whether the presence of males would dilute the ‘empowering’ atmosphere of the college. The objections come from the strangest of quarters. Brinda Karat, CPI politburo member and ex-Mirandian, is believed to have said that “Co-ed colleges are good but I would certainly like MH to be preserved as a women’s college. A women’s college allows girls to develop and think independently because they feel freer in this atmosphere. The college has had a tremendous history and why would anyone want to change that'” And Manushi editor Madhu Kishwar, also an ex-Mirandian, says, “Girls tend to be more self-conscious with boys around. I personally enjoyed the atmosphere at an all-girls’ college ' we could walk around in our nightclothes in MH.” Unselfconsciousness is fine, but whatever happened to healthy competition between the sexes'
It was a birthday bash with a difference. Last Monday saw a crowd of 300 gather at the Max Mueller Bhavan in Calcutta to celebrate the sixth birthday of Sappho, the only support group for lesbian, bisexual and transgendered women in eastern India. This was also the occasion when the fourth edition of their newsletter Swakanthe was released. That was cause for celebration, because, as a member recalled, they were not sure if a lesbian newsletter would go down well with people. “We hawked it at the Calcutta Book Fair last year, asking everyone to give us a chance,” she says. They’ve come a long way since then.
Don’t watch TV
Ever wondered how Indian men get away with it' But they always do, as the Muslim clerics of Barhapur-Nagina in UP have. A group of 14 imams has issued a gaglist on local women which includes a ban on stepping out of their houses, watching television and films, and even listening to modern music. Not just that, the imams have also set up a monitoring committee to keep tabs on women violating the diktat. Seems like we have our own version of the Taliban right here.
If reducing the number of women in prostitution was so easy, why didn’t anyone think of it before' Sweden has devised a way to do just that, and in the last five years, has brought down the number of women in street prostitution in their capital Stockholm by two-thirds. The magic formula is a law that decriminalises the selling of sex but criminalises the buying of sex, hence regarding prostitution as an aspect of male violence against women and children. And that, it seems, has done the trick.
When in a hotel, do as hostesses do. Which means, wear make-up, or get fired. A US appeals court faced the question on Wednesday when Darlene Jespersen, who worked as a casino bartender in a hotel, sued her employers after she was fired for refusing to wear make-up.
Earlier, a three-judge panel had ruled in favour of the casino, as the Reno gambling den argued that they also required their men to be well-groomed. However, a new 11-judge panel reopened the case last month arguing whether employers could require men to wear dresses or even make-up. Touch'.
Overheard... that kids’ channels in India draw double the number of boys than girls because there is a serious lack of gender-driven programming on most of them. That’s ironical, considering how the TV guys are so eager to target adult women as audiences.