Why on earth is climate change a gender issue?

Women experience climate change differently than men. Why? Two reasons. First, in general, women have less agency, fewer economic resources within their control, more responsibility for the care of young children and the elderly, and much greater vulnerability to dislocation. Men are significantly more likely to be the short-term financial beneficiaries of the status quo. Throughout the global south, women are more responsible for water, fuel (especially firewood), and food production. All three of these are exceedingly, and immediately,  affected by climate change.¹ Second, in general, climate change is understood and interpreted differently by men and women. This is dramatically…

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SPOILED – My Play Lives Again in 2020

You've thought about violence against women - but have you thought about it from the perspective of men? Men are, after all, the perpetrators the vast majority of the time. How can we possibly begin to understand the issue if we only look at half the picture? SPOILED, my vision for a play exploring this theme with examples from India and the US, came to fruition in 2015 when actor and playwright Elizabeth Hess crafted a one-woman show around the idea. But the issue is unfortunately pretty damn timeless, and the Hess Collective has been able to rework it to…

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Delhi Metro: GBV Conversations and Theater

In Delhi, change initiatives are going straight to the people! And what better place to start than the metro? Volunteer students from Delhi University, all men, are taking up posts at ten metro stations and talking to commuters about gender equality, patriarchy, and violence. Organised by the Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), it's a small but necessary start to raising awareness. Volunteers are also helping individual victims by providing a toll-free support line for help and more information. And, near and dear to my own heart, the CHSJ is releasing a book of four plays about gender-based violence…

  • Post category:IndiaMusingsWomen
  • Reading time:2 mins read
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Nirbhaya: Three Years Later

December 16 is the 3rd anniversary of the horrific attack and rape of Jyoti Singh, later called Nirbhaya, in a neighborhood not far from where were living in Delhi. She died of her wounds shortly after, galvanizing a movement in India to speak up about the prevalence of violence against women. The outcry garnered international attention, a critically acclaimed play ("Nirbhaya") and a fine film, banned in India, ("India's Daughter".)  The event was very much the backdrop for SPOILED, the play I created last year. Today, however, three years on, it is clear that meaningful change will be slow at…

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MAVA Mumbai

  Who? Based in Mumbai, Men Against Violence and Abuse - MAVA - is a group I discovered while doing research for my play SPOILED. One day I cold-called Harish Sadani, MAVA's founder and 'chief functionary', from Delhi, seeking information about how boys and young men in India develop attitudes toward women and what some typical experiences were. Harish was gracious and helpful, sending me links and information. When I traveled to Mumbai last year, we had a long lunch together. He fielded all the questions I could think of and supplied both hard data and an authentic, local perspective. You…

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Alpha Montessori Update

It was a total delight to visit Alpha Montessori this past April. The first class of nine students just graduated in an emotional and inspiring ceremony. (See photos below or watch the ceremony here.) Many of these children started in the very early days of the school when Alpha Montessori was not much more than a concept, a vision of what education could bring. Yet all have now been accepted into English medium upper schools, a fantastic accomplishment. They are stunning examples of how confident, competent, self-directed, and articulate Montessori children can become, regardless of background. The students presented individually chosen and…

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News Flash!

SPOILED on Screen   A video of SPOILED will be shown TONIGHT - Friday, March 6 - in New York at the International Conference on Masculinities. We are thrilled to be a part of this large gathering of social scientists, policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and activists, all working together to enhance gender justice. Here's some of the info from our program to put the performance in context. Violence, Masculinity, and the Making of SPOILED All the stories in SPOILED are based on recent incidents in India and the USA. Two girls, living in a home with no toilet, were raped and…

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SPOILED – Staged Performances

Thanks to the wonderful support from many colleagues, family, and friends, SPOILED will be on the stage in workshop performances In New York this February. We received great comments at the reading this month and rehearsals are beginning now. Will you be in New York on February 15, 16, or 17? Come to Stage Left Studio! Tickets for the February shows can be purchased through Stage Left Studio, here: Tickets: SPOILED Still interested in supporting the play - and the cause - but can't make it to the show? We need donations NOW to bring SPOILED to conferences later this spring. We…

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SPOILED: Backer’s Reading January 14

SPOILED, the theatrical performance I've been working on for over a year, is on the way to the stage.  Read on and please, help us produce this work! Performance and Tax-deductible Donations: See Stage Left Studio (Contributions to Cheryl King, our Producer. Note "Spoiled" in the Artist line.) The issue: We know that rigid gender roles contribute greatly to violence against women. But we’ve found that rigid and distorted gender roles really damage both sexes – so we need to understand and involve men in conversations about the roots of this violence. By looking at events in the world’s two…

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