Ebola and My Dog’s Toenails

There's a connection. I have been interested in Ebola for years - first in 2007 when an outbreak hit the Congo (DRC); shortly thereafter when there were cases in Uganda; then again when it re-appeared in DRC. The stories were undoubtedly fear-inspiring: a virus of unknown origin, with no known treatment or cure, which appeared to almost dissolve the cells leaving those infected bleeding from every orifice, vomiting, overtaken by diarrhea. Virtually everyone was dead within days.  This is not a pretty picture, even by the standards of those used to malaria, schistosomiasis, untreated HIV/AIDS, and chronic civil war. It's…

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SPOILED Reading & Welcome to PM Modi

No, there isn't really a connection between our first very successful reading of SPOILED on Friday and the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend.  Or is there? Our reading was a benefit and fundraiser for the League of Professional Theater Women's International Award, given this year to Colombia's Patricia Ariza. We were thrilled to receive incisive feedback from our first public audience. SPOILED covers some pretty heavy material - rape, domestic violence, infanticide, abduction: this is not necessarily the stuff of an evening's entertainment. But these stories - all taken from real events - are interwoven with windows…

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First Reading of Spoiled

Friday, September 26 at 7 PM Theaterlab 357 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor Tickets $15 A benefit for the League of Professional Theater Women's Gilder/Coigney International Award. For the past two years, I've been following recent trends in violence against women (VAW) in India and the US: reading about the background, talking to people, researching, writing, arguing. Along the way it became apparent that the focus was NOT really women, it was men. What captured my attention were the social and cultural forces that produced male abusers. Where had these men and boys come from? Teenagers, especially in India, were…

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Bollywood Women Rise Up?

Whew. Thank you Deepika Padukone!  And Parineeti Chopra...and the small group of Indian women who just might be starting a backlash against the intensely sexist Indian culture, right at its core: Bollywood. In case you missed it, Padukone, an extremely popular film star, was featured in a Times of India tweet showing a chest shot with the tag:"OMG: Deepika Padukone's Cleavage Show." Yup, just flashing some cleavage seemed 'newsworthy' for the Times of India, theoretically one of India's more reputable dailies. What really made news, however, was her response: ""YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage!…

  • Post category:IndiaMusingsWomen
  • Reading time:2 mins read
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CEDAW – The International Women’s Rights Treaty You Never Heard Of

SEPTEMBER 2015 UPDATE Sarasota, Florida has added its name to the cities seeking local CEDAW ordinances. We hope to join San Francisco, Los Angeles, Louisville, and many other cities bringing CEDAW to their communities. Stay tuned and see here for more info on the Cities for CEDAW initiative. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ June 2014 A Primer: What the hell is CEDAW and why should I care? What is CEDAW? CEDAW – conveniently pronounced “see-daw” - is the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Admittedly, this is a mouthful, but most international treaties are, so we won’t let that…

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Alpha Montessori

Alpha Montessori As a committed Montessorian, I was curious about what Montessori schools were in New Delhi.   The first ones I visited were very disappointing. The Montessori name has been an advertising slogan for many years, often disguising schools with little to no Montessori practices or philosophies at work, and that is what I found here. So I was delighted  when I found Rajesh Batra, school director, and he led me to Alpha. "The Alpha Montessori School, located in Mandawali, an impoverished community in East Delhi, India, was founded to provide high quality education to low-income children and provide them…

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Sanitation in India

Poor Sanitation in India May Afflict Well-Fed Children with Malnutrition, by Gardiner Harris, in Monday's New York Times, discusses something that has been puzzling health and sanitation experts for a while: why are so many children in India with improved food quality and quantity not thriving?  Why are patterns of growth stunting so persistent? If this emerging hypothesis is correct, then it would seem the clue to the disturbingly high rates of stunting is sanitation, not food.  The large percentage of the population in India who defecate in the open may be the cause; the theory is that the bacterial…

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College Campus Assaults – Call for Comments

An article in today's New York Times, Reporting Rape and Wishing She Hadn't, is one of many recent print and online pieces addressing campus rapes and sexual assaults.  These incidents are both disturbing and yet not at all surprising – the tea leaves have all been in place for a very long time. Our forthcoming play, “Spoiled,” explores masculine self-images behind gender violence in the USA and India. In preparation, I would love to get comments on this topic. For example: Why do some men come to see these type of assaults as acceptable? What really are the cultural influences shaping young…

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Walter Dean Myers 1937-2014

  Thank you  Walter Dean Myers. You are a godsend to a teacher. All those reluctant readers? All those boys who couldn't find ANYTHING they wanted to read? All those topics - war, families, race - that needed a good shared book to get the conversation started?  I knew I could always find something in your voluminous portfolio that would fit. I have used Fallen Angels repeatedly - always with success - and then been able to offer Sunrise Over Fallujah right behind it.  I've been able to offer up books on sports figures, history, ballet, teen pregnancy, jazz, the Old Testament, cowboys, Somali…

  • Post category:EducationMusings
  • Reading time:3 mins read
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Lady Pockets

Satire Any Feminist Will Love If you haven't found Lady Pockets, yet, look it up.  It's the brainchild of Philadelphia-based costume designer and writer Katherine Fritz, clearly a woman with a sense of humor.  If you're a reader of women's magazines - or even a supermarket aisle browser - you'll get her take. Any woman who can find even a vein of humor in the frightening Hobby Lobby decision is okay in my book, and the fact that she works the obsessive adult arts and crafts movement into a recent post doesn't hurt either. I mean, really, "Get the Look" posts…

  • Post category:MusingsWomen
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