March 05, 2014

Women-driven Bollywood Films

Coincidentally or otherwise, too many of my Twitter conversations end up in a blog post. This post too, got kicked off by a tweet-discussion with Dilnavaz about ‘women-driven Bollywood movies’. Always grateful to people for giving me filmi things ponder about, I wondered what, if any, the difference between [...]

September 12, 2013

Gloria Steinem in Comic Form!

IT DELIGHTS ME TO share this news with you: Pioneering feminist and woman of power Gloria Steinem will now be the leading lady of her very own comic book. This latest addition to Melissa Seymour’s “Female Force” series will highlight the icon’s contributions to the world. It is a bonus that her story will be [...]

September 10, 2013

Always Around the Corner: Using Female Abuse to Sell

I RECENTLY RECEIVED a comment from a reader of another blog I write, stating that she didn’t believe patriarchy was such a menace in America. I read the comment, took a deep breath, and pondered on the gentlest possible way to dispel that notion without mailing her a dossier of statistics. Turns out I didn’t [...]

August 16, 2013

Loving “her” to Death

By Janaki Nair   A grisly attack on a young woman student and the violent suicide of a “spurned” boyfriend has shocked and alarmed the campus community at JNU in Delhi. Long believed to be the small “republic” where few of the violent hierarchies that are the staple of Indian life prevail, and where the [...]

May 14, 2013

Book Review: The Song Seekers

A powerful and poignant exploration of the oppressive darkness that lurks beneath the veneer of ‘modern’ India, Saswati Sengupta’s debut novel, The Song Seekers, raises compelling questions that continue to haunt the reader for a long time. Set in the turbulent 1960s in Bengal, the novel revolves around the life of newly wed Uma, an [...]

April 24, 2013

Event Announcement: Talk

        Women and Democratic Movements in India: Changing Dynamics, Altered Perspectives Date & time: Tuesday, April 30, 2013; 1 pm Venue: Encina Hall West, Room 208, Stanford University, 616 Serra St., Stanford, CA About the event & the speaker: Fee: This event is free and open to the [...]

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 [...]

November 21, 2012

On Writing, Civil War, & Feminism: An Interview with Nayomi Munaweera

NAYOMI MUNAWEERA IS A Sri Lankan-American author and artist. Her first book, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, was published in September 2012, and I interviewed her about her work–as a writer, a feminist, and a member of the South Asian diaspora.   DB: Hi Nayomi, welcome to Ultra Violet! Could you tell us about yourself [...]

October 23, 2012

Let’s do it, but only if it’s fair and tight!

Ironic how our country saw the launch of a ‘vaginal tightening’ cream just a few days ahead of Indian Independence Day. How can we put two and two together? The ‘empowerment’ of women and their independence from the shackles of patriarchy, right? Wrong. Watching this ad brought back memories of a similarly endorsed product for [...]

October 10, 2012

Gush & Awe: How American Politics Reinforces Stereotypes of Wifehood

    Some weeks ago, I watched two prominent women in the national spotlight, who spoke to American audiences in their roles as longtime partners of the men contesting the 2012 Presidential election. In speeches that were televised across the United States to an audience of millions, first Ann Romney and then Michelle Obama [...]

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