February 07, 2013

Not A Cactus

And if you are a woman you learn early, how to draw yourself in, and survive on very little water, in fact, a few drops of dew will do. Careful about smiles pulling them indoors if they happen to escape in the rain like errant children to dance, to soak, aimless paper boats. Wearing a […]

October 17, 2012

Performing Dance, Performing Gender

This time, last year, Kavya Krishnan, a PhD scholar in Cultural Studies had made a presentation of her important work on gender performance and dance. She had analysed how dance, specifically looking at Mohiniyattam in Kerala, becomes a site for gender performance and how it disciplines and orders the female body into certain gendered performances […]

October 26, 2009

Retin A Expiration Date


ALL I KNEW WAS that this non-profit group called MARAA Retin A Expiration Date, was organising some sort of performance on gender and sexuality. A friend told me about it and even offered to pick me up. Work lay unfinished on my table, but what the hell, I decided, Retin A Expiration Date paypal, I could always catch up later. And that's how we found ourselves at Jagaa, which calls itself "a community space created to serve the arts, technology and social change communities in Bangalore." We climbed up two flights of metal staircases to find a fairly large group of people, sitting, standing, 40mg Retin A Expiration Date, leaning on the banisters - and listening attentively to the performers - a group of people variously called hijras, transvestites, transgenders or Aravanis (The Indian concept of third gender is somewhat different from Western conceptualizations - read here).

My Kannada is not good enough to catch the nuances, Retin A Expiration Date craiglist, but the emotions could not be missed. They sang of the families they had built for themselves, among people they could be themselves with - when everything else is denied to them, Retin A Expiration Date. We have no mothers, no fathers, no sisters, no brothers, no work, Retin A Expiration Date canada, no family, no home - except our own community, they sang, and even through through the underlying sadness, Retin A Expiration Date mexico, the sense of pride in the community was evident.

Then, a slightly built woman in a white kurta and jeans, began the 'main' performance of the evening. She started telling her story, a powerful one that kept everyone in the audience enthralled, 500mg Retin A Expiration Date, despite the absence of any props or instruments. Told in the first person, in direct and evocative Tamizh, this was the story of a young boy's journey to understanding his own nature and the long road to his finally becoming a woman. Retin A Expiration Date, The life of the Aravani community, their challenges, their origin myths and their family dynamics were all part of the story, but the most powerful part of it was her longing to be a woman, and the desire for it which is so powerful as to enable her to endure the ritual castration, done by a traditional healer without anaesthesia. Retin A Expiration Date overseas, The performance was all the more gripping for its blunt edge, though laced with plenty of humour and witty dialogue.

So gripping was the story and its telling that I assumed it was the performer's own story. Only at the end did we learn that the performer, Pritham Chakravarthy is not herself part of the community, but a theatre activist and researcher who has spent considerable time researching the stories of the Aravanis, 20mg Retin A Expiration Date, and brings them to a wider audience through her story-telling.

One question remained at the end of the performance, which I was somehow reluctant to ask, but now regret not asking. Something which came up repeatedly during the performance was the attraction to objects traditionally viewed as marks of the Indian woman - saris, bangles, flowers, Retin A Expiration Date. 1000mg Retin A Expiration Date, In urban India, at least, the markers of femininity themselves are in a state of flux.  In that context, is the Aravanis' ideas of womanhood a constant or how is that changing. In other words, 10mg Retin A Expiration Date, how closely is womanhood for them linked to the outward symbols of femininity and in particular, to these symbols. Do they need the 'display' of womanhood or is it simply enough to feel woman to be a woman. In this context, I thought blogger Deborah's piece on the cluster-concept of being a woman was worth reading.

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July 21, 2009

Does Anthem Cover Cialis


That girl at twenty-

Does Anthem Cover Cialis, her black hair ripples

through the comb

in the pride of spring --

such beauty.

(sono ko hatachi kushini nagaruru kurokami no

ogori no haru no utsukushiki kana)

- Yosano Akiko, Midaregami: The Poetry of Yosano Akiko, 1952.

2005. THE L'OREAL SALON in Chennai. I was at the eye of a storm, all because Susan (one of the head stylists) and I had bonded instantly over the fact that I wanted my hair cut, as short as possible. Something with an edge, I said. Susan’s smile on hearing the word “edge” was the biggest I had ever received in a salon, Does Anthem Cover Cialis. She went to work with razors, clippers and two vats of colour, one copper, the other fire-engine red. Considering every other female there was getting a “trim” with the odd blonde highlight or two, Susan and I had unknowingly provided entertainment and conversational fodder for the next two and a half hours. From that day onwards, the fire-spikes got me more than just a little attention. A nun at my college (yes, 1000mg Does Anthem Cover Cialis, it was a catholic institution) hinted that I might be setting a bad example, but found it hard to explain herself when I asked her why. Does Anthem Cover Cialis, It confused the good people of the city. The look and my behavior didn’t fit into the virgin-whore dichotomy which was applied by locals to all female inhabitants of this South Indian urban village where gender is reduced to male and female, with every other identity broadly mocked, shunned or witch hunted, depending on what the mob had for breakfast. So though I never received comments fueled by either rejection or revulsion, I was broadly given to understand that I was an outsider. A strange anomaly that was ignored in the hope that it would disappear.

What’s a girl to do.

I always had short hair, Does Anthem Cover Cialis. My parents figured it was cheap and easy to manage. Growing up, this made me happy because I never had to deal with well-oiled hair or lice; infernal attributes of long-hairiness I observed my compatriots struggle with.

The happiness turned to angst soon enough. What my parents hadn’t told me was that there exists a direct relation between the length of a woman’s hair and her perceived attractiveness and femininity in the eyes of a majority of the human specie. Does Anthem Cover Cialis, I first thought it was an Indian male thing. A thousand apologies, my countrymen. I have wronged you. You who are woefully unenlightened in terms of female sexuality, ye Freudian frou-frous, 500mg Does Anthem Cover Cialis. Scared of strong women due to your unaddressed mother issues, God how I love you all. Group hug, Does Anthem Cover Cialis.

However, time and travel has taught me otherwise. Men—and women—are biologically programmed to perceive hair length as being significantly correlated to female attractiveness (Grammer et al., 2002)

According to the Second Annual Sun/COMPAS Sex Survey (1999), the following attributes are what men seek in a potential mate:

  • Average body type over 20 lbs above average

  • Any kind of smile

  • Brown hair over any other natural colour or dyed blonde

  • Long or medium length hair over short

  • The same height or slightly shorter but not taller

  • The same education or more but not less

  • The same income or more but not less

  • A kindergarten teacher or perhaps a businesswoman but not a lawyer, and

  • One who liked to wear jeans or perhaps fancy apparel, but not mini-skirts.

Sure, the sample's limited generalizability needs to be taken into account, and the culture, education and religion of the survey participants might have influenced their responses. Perhaps these answers only relate to the male readers of the Toronto Sun for the year 1999. But I would humbly proffer the opinion that demographic differences despite, optimal hair length is a pretty engendered idea in our collective awareness. Does Anthem Cover Cialis, Women (and men) across cultures have written about the emotional connection they have with their protein filaments. Hiromi Tsuchiya Dollase, assistant professor of Japanese at Vassar College, has written on female sexuality in the poetry of Yosano Akiko. Does Anthem Cover Cialis australia, According to her,
Hair is another important symbol of femininity. Long and black hair has been admired and depicted in works of art for centuries… it is part of women’s identity. Long black hair symbolizes the nobility, gracefulness and sexuality of aristocrat women. The image of hair is a significant motif in the depiction of romantic situations in Japanese literature.Yosano Akiko, who grew up reading classic literature, had a romantic attachment to the traditional image of hair and a longing for the passionate and romantic love which is associated with beautiful long hair, Does Anthem Cover Cialis.

Measures my hair a full five feet
And washed and combed so soft and fair
As is my heart virginal and sweet
I cherish with a tender care
[trans. Honda Heihachiro]

(Kami goshaku tokinaba mizu ni yawarakaki
Onnna gokorowa himete hanataji)

The girl's soft, black and tender hair is cherished by the girl herself. Just like her cleanly washed hair, she is pure and innocent... In ancient court poetry, hair was often used to express the inner feelings of women. Does Anthem Cover Cialis, The movement of hair was used as a perfect means of expressing such feelings as anger, frustration, confusion, and jealousy which were caused by romantic relationships with men. Izumi Shikibu, a female poet from 11th century, presents a wonderfully emotional hair image:

My black hair tangled
As my own tangled thoughts,
I lie here alone,
Dreaming of one who has gone,
Who stroked my hair till it shone.

(Kurokami no midaremo shirazu
uchifuseba mazukakiyarishi hitozo koishiki)

Black tangled hair implies the confusion and uneasy feeling caused by love relationships. Tangled hair also suggests erotic beauty and implies the intimacy of men and women in bed… The flood of emotion and overwhelming feelings of love are expressed through hair.

Why did no one tell me this, Does Anthem Cover Cialis canada.

Oh, wait. Perhaps they did, Does Anthem Cover Cialis. Except their stories never included women with beautiful, long hair who did much more than tend gardens or their families, cast spells and then get kidnapped and rescued in equal amounts. Instead of embracing this idea of femininity, I decided to go another way. Would I have had the same personality and received the same attention, positive and negative, if my hair had been of a different length. I have no way of knowing this. Does Anthem Cover Cialis, I do know that during my two year experiment with long hair, I received far more compliments and admiration from both sexes than ever before. Men I hadn’t spoken to in a while saw my picture and made amusing attempts to re-establish contact. Women began discussing how they ran their household and took care of their kids with me. Cosmetic counter girls stopped ignoring my presence. “Uncles” and “Aunties” began asking me about my future, if I had “found anyone” yet.

Maybe it just got to be a bit much, Does Anthem Cover Cialis. A drag act that didn't have a curtain call.

Reger, Does Anthem Cover Cialis mexico, Myers & Einwohner, the authors of Identity work in social movements, write about the song "I Am What I Am" from the musical, The Bird Cage--

In drag shows, this song becomes a ritual not only because of the frequency of its inclusion but also because the manner in which it is performed is highly predictable. During each performance of the song, Margo removes her wig at the end of the number, breaking the illusion of femininity by exposing her underlying short and thinning hair... Removing the wig at the end of this song is a common technique institutionalized by drag performers across the country... Does Anthem Cover Cialis, Describing her feelings the first time she saw a drag queen perform "I Am What I Am", a focus group participant stated: "... I always get choked up now when I hear that song because there was a thing of acceptance..."

Hmm. The end of an act, then.

I do love the rituals of having long hair, though. The oiling, shampooing, conditioning, the rinse and repeat. The towel turban I could wear high on my head, Does Anthem Cover Cialis. Flicking it over my shoulder just when I knew that adorable lad who got off at Kendall Square was looking. Hell, 20mg Does Anthem Cover Cialis, I’ll say it-- I loved the admiration. Years of keeping the hair treatment-free had resulted in the long black silk that is the gift of my mother's genetics.

But it got hard to deal with, on windy days and late nights back on a long train ride. Does Anthem Cover Cialis, The hair was tied up when I had to work. The more I had to work, the more annoying the mop got.

Whimsical Assumption #1: Women in positions of power or who commute at a high rate have shorter, more manageable, practical do’s.

Corollary to Whimsical Assumption # 1: Women with shorter, more manageable, practical do’s have to work harder to allay perceptions of them being dominating, mean-spirited, hard, butch, gay, a misandrist or given to hard-line radical feminism.

There’s a great article on Divine Caroline regarding Michelle Obama and her hairstyle choices:

In her own role as potential First Lady, 30mg Does Anthem Cover Cialis, Michelle Obama’s hair is politically correct. America expects the wife of Barack Obama, the man who wants to be president, to project an image of sophistication and near perfection, Does Anthem Cover Cialis. That image includes having hair that doesn’t make waves.

The article goes on to illustrate the troubled relationship that hair and politics have in the U.S. Throw in racial stereotypes and it turns into a Molotov cocktail—
Mainstream America considers styles that reflect the European aesthetic more acceptable and less likely to offend. Hairstyles with African roots don’t get the same respect. To say someone has a nappy head is considered an insult, and the word “nappy,” which merely describes the kinky texture of hair, is practically considered a profanity. Does Anthem Cover Cialis, In polite circles, the word is euphemistically referred to as “natural.”

Natural hair wearers have seen their politics; patriotism and even their hygiene come under attack. Their Afros, braids, locks and twists have been considered unprofessional, and many who have worn the styles have been demoted or have lost their jobs. Wearers of natural hairstyles also have not escaped being labeled subversive or being perceived as social misfits.

Jessica Lyons over at AlterNet has an article on why female hairstyles in politics benefit from being unchanging. Read it here.

According to Connie Koppelman, a professor of the Women's Studies Program at SUNY Stony Brook,

Hairstyles can signify conformity, for example, to army regulations, monastic celibacy, Does Anthem Cover Cialis coupon, or any group-determined aesthetic. Hairstyles can also signify rebellion, Does Anthem Cover Cialis. Today many women choose to shave their heads as a sign of female bonding and sometimes as a form of protest against the beauty myth. Whether they go bald for personal or political reasons, bald-headed women are often perceived as threatening, perhaps because of the negative connotations associated with baldness as a sign of age, punishment, illness, or rebellion... hair ’s sexual attraction is controlled by society-or we should say patriarchy--as it has been for thousands of years. According to many polls, hair remains one of the six most sensuous parts of the body.

This is all very interesting, of course, but where does that leave all of us, the ones who aren’t running for government any time soon, who aren't starting a revolution, the ones who left the confines of Indian tradition seven seas behind, the ones who cut it on a whim, cut it because shampoo costs too damn much, Does Anthem Cover Cialis india, cut it or shaved it clean because it was less painful than watching it fall off in clumps or two strands at a time. Does Anthem Cover Cialis, What happens if you live in a country like India, where it doesn’t matter how liberal, educated or well-traveled you and your parents are, where everything about your appearance is judged as you grow up, and then judged twice as much once you approach that brutal phase referred to in the vernacular as “the marriageable age”.

Walking back from my hair appointment, my neck feeling colder than it had in a long while, I considered what I had given up, if I had given up anything at all. The stylist kept pausing to ask “Are you okay?” Apparently she is used to women bursting into tears mid-snip.

I thought back to that long ago evening with Susan in Chennai and laughed. I remember how I tossed my head, a rockstar now, getting high on every look of shock, disgust and admiration. I remember wearing a sari that matched my copper-red highlights for a college ceremony, Does Anthem Cover Cialis. I remember spiking my hair carefully, wearing a sardonic look with humility and grace, and feeling incredibly left out of the female collective of my colleagues at the end of that day. Still alone, that strange anomaly.

Walking through the front door, my other half greeted me with a smile and the following words—“You look just like you did the first time I met you.”

And just like that, my neck was not cold anymore.

Do what you have to do, Does Anthem Cover Cialis paypal, ladies and gentlemen. Wear your hair in a way that fills you with pride, comfort and sexiness at anytime of the day or night. Cut it to make a statement, cut it because you are tired, cut it to donate to Locks of Love. Fight that niggling urge to explain yourself.

And if you lose, like I did, go blog, and send me the link, will ya.

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August 24, 2008

Colchicine Migraine

Annie Zaidi

Colchicine Migraine, WHEN I WAS A KID, my favourite colour was red. I still remember a red silk dress I had, with thick silver trimming all over the bodice and sleeves. And if you're a close friend of mine, you'll probably have heard my little story about the huge tantrum I threw in Hazratgunj, Lucknow, once -- all about wanting a pair of red shoes.

I don't know at what point I stopped saying that red was my favourite colour, and when I went through a shifting spectrum of favourites -- 'white' and 'black' and 'sea green' and, at one point, Colchicine Migraine coupon, 'lilac'. Pink, however, was never 'my' colour.

Nevertheless, there was a lot of pink in my wardrobe. And I didn't have a problem with that. Pink was just another colour -- nice, Colchicine Migraine. Lots of other girls wore pink and I was told it suited me. That was all. I never really thought about it much until I grew up and heard phrases like 'baby blue' and 'baby pink'.

It was the women's magazines, I think, 50mg Colchicine Migraine, that started me off on this gender association with colours. Magazines like Femina and Cosmo would educate me about which colours to wear in which season, and what men were supposed to wear and what not, and what look marked  you out as what type, and what colour to paint your room when you started to plan a family.

Pink still didn't start being my favourite colour. Colchicine Migraine, What did happen was that my brother stopped wearing it. And he gave up red too. And bright yellows. Actually, 1000mg Colchicine Migraine, by the time he went to college, my brother's wardrobe was reduced to shades of blue, white and black.

Still, I never paid close attention to this 'pink'ing of the female half of the globe until recently, when I bought a pink and white shirt for myself and suddenly realised that it was the only pink item of clothing I had bought for myself over the last six years.

And then I began thinking about why. It isn't as if I have anything against that particular colour but there's something in me that's sort of turned off by a certain kind of pink. Not hot pinks, Colchicine Migraine. Not pale, rusty pinks. Not shades of maroon. Just the particular shade of pink that's typically associated with girls -- the one shade most men will not be seen dead in, Colchicine Migraine craiglist. Maybe it was my feminist streak rebelling against the stereotype.

Perhaps, it's all psychological. Colchicine Migraine, I did get quite exasperated when one of my landlords had his entire barsaati whitewashed pink, when he realised that his next tenant would be a single woman. Not that I particularly like powder blue, but I insisted on his repainting a room blue instead -- just to make a point.

At any rate, all this got me obsessing about colours. I notice colours on walls, on cars, on street signs, 200mg Colchicine Migraine, at cafes, corporate furniture, logos, banks, advertisements, electronic goods.

And I notice that pink doesn't really figure in our world. There are no pink cars in showrooms. Over the last few years, I have spotted only one baby pink Ambassador (it reminded me of a giant upturned cradle for some reason) near a shopping complex in Delhi. It had a laal-batti on top, so perhaps a woman sarkaari official, Colchicine Migraine. I'm assuming that this is because the assumption is that women won't be the ones buying the cars, Colchicine Migraine overseas, even if they do learn to drive them. Car colours are therefore mostly greys, whites, blacks, blues, and a couple of  'safe' ones like red and yellow, which men wouldn't mind being seen in.

There were no 'pink' sign-boards. No pink cafes. Colchicine Migraine mexico, No pink computers. Colchicine Migraine, No pinks on bank doors or cheque books. And even goods that are traditionally handled by women weren't really available in shades of pink. No pink refrigerators or washing machines or even mixer-grinders, for instance.

Where I did find pink was for services that were exclusively for women. There's a taxi service in Mumbai that's supposed to be especially for women. And sure enough, it had a pink thing going -- the cars had a pink line painted somewhere and the female chauffeurs wore pink uniforms. More googling revealed that similar women's only taxi services in the UK and in Russia and almost everywhere else also had pink names and pink themes.

In small towns and villages where there is no conscious, generally accepted gendering of the colour spectrum, I see a lot more pink, Colchicine Migraine. Men wear pink turbans. Walls, doors and windows are painted a very pink shade of pink, 40mg Colchicine Migraine. Pink-n-gold parandis glitter around rear-view mirrors in autos and cycle-rickshaws. The horns of cows and bullocks are painted pink and so are many shop signs and the nails of several men with big moustaches.

It is clear that pink is seen as a women's colour in many places, and it is also clear that wherever this prejudice prevails, pink seems to vanish from the public eye. Colchicine Migraine, And it is not like I am surprised. If something is defined as definitely, exclusively meant for one group of people, the other group is made uncomfortable by it. In a world where everything must sell, 500mg Colchicine Migraine, nobody can afford to alienate customers.

But of course, the final clincher is the fact that women are never alienated -- or so the market assumes -- by typically male colours/contours. They rarely protest at things always being blue or black or grey. They don't mind things not being pink. In fact, if they're like me, they may even wrinkle their noses at pink, perhaps subconsciously resenting it.

Now, having thought all of this out places me in this weird situation, Colchicine Migraine. What do I do about pink. Get more pink. Get rid of it. Ignore it. And what do I do about blue. What does a modern feminist do?

I don't know, 30mg Colchicine Migraine, of course. But for starters, I've bought myself a new pink toothbrush -- a first in over a decade, (I refer to the colour, not the newness of the brush). Maybe I'll find a few answers in the sink some morning.


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