Six Reasons To Be Wary of Death Sentence for Delhi Rapists

In New Delhi last December, Jyoti Singh Pandey, a physiotherapy student out to a late movie with a friend, boarded a bus in which she and her friend were attacked by a group of men. Brutally gang-raped, Pandey succumbed to her injuries a few days later. The case evoked unprecedented resonance among many groups, especially […]

In India or U.S., No Safe Haven from Gender Violence

When you cry “rape,” who can hear you? Should it matter how you are heard? On reading American student RoseChasm’s terrified litanies of sexual harassment, rape and stalking during her experiences in a study abroad program in India, I was angry and outraged on her behalf, and empathetic based on my own experiences in India. […]

Rites of Gun Passage

Dear Gun Lovers: We hear you: Guns are beloved custom and culture. They are rites of passage, in which 5-year-olds are given shotguns, along with bicycles with training wheels or tea sets, to bring them into adult culture through play. They are the means through which fathers (and likely mothers) inculcate their children into the […]

Click! My Grandmother’s Resistance

“How am I going to manage without you?” my maternal grandmother Pata wailed at the viewing of her husband’s recently deceased body. As a precocious and carefully inscrutable 12-year-old, I remember feeling embarrassed on her behalf, and thus mine, that she expressed public grief for logistical support rather than the passionate loss I had seen […]

Marriage, Unnatural In Every Way

Following Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision overturning Proposition 8, the accusation that he is furthering “unnatural” marriage is being spouted so often that it is quite obviously a deliberate talking point: notably from Pat Buchanan, or a variant coming from L.A. Cardinal Michael Mahoney that “the union of a man and of a woman in a […]

Can Women Officeholders Really Change India?

The Rajya Sabha (Upper House) of the Indian Parliament passed a bill on Wednesday approving a constitutional amendment to reserve 30 percent of  seats for women in national and state legislatures. This would not only improve India’s rate of women in parliament from the current 10 percent, but also put India in healthy comparison with […]

On March 8, Bouquets or Marches?

If March 8 happens to fall on a day when I’m teaching in Lexington, Kentucky, I valiantly remind students that it’s International Women’s Day and try to rouse some enthusiasm. A couple of feminists in the room look pleased at the validation, but for most the event is likely to fall into the usual morass of […]

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