In Norah Shapiro’s documentary, Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile, a Tibetan-American teenageer leaves home in Wisconsin, dons a bikini and high heels, and heads to Dharamsala, India to vie for the crown of Miss Tibet. The film follows Tenzin Khecheo on an unusual search for her “Tibetan-ness” by way of a western-style beauty pageant staged by an eccentric impresario in the Indian region home to the exiled Tibetan government.
Personally, I have a ... Read More
BY Susan Avett
on Oct 30, 2014
In sex ed I was taught about menstruation. I was sent home with sanitary napkin samples and tampon samples wrapped in cheery, bubbly packaging that was excitedly embellished with glitter and hot pink. I was given the same information every single year, so that I honestly had no excuse if I didn’t know what to do by the time my period rolled around. This is common in the United States. But as the documentary film, Menstrual Man (2014, available on ... Read More
In the past, Bollywood actresses, like many Indian women, were dissuaded from speaking about important women's issues like feminism, menstruation, and reproductive rights; however, that has, thankfully, begun to change. Notable actress Parineeti Chopra has used her role in the spotlight to step up and speak about taboo topics concerning women and their lives, like rape and domestic assault, which often plague the lives of Indian citizens. Chopra's ... Read More
BY Rebecca Peterson
on Sep 19, 2014
An Indian university erupted in protest early this week, following the failure of administrators to appropriately respond to a student’s report that she was molested during a campus event on Aug. 28.
According to reports, students at Jadavpur University, in Kolkata, West Bengal, are boycotting classes after police violently broke up a student blockade early Wednesday morning. Women protestors were “dragged by the hair and groped, and male ... Read More
BY Sonia Edwards
on Aug 15, 2014
In case you missed it, a fashion shoot by Indian photographer Raj Shetye made headlines for all the wrong reasons. The photo series depicted a model groped in various positions by men on a bus, and was particularly unsettling because of its eerie resemblance to the tragic 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year old woman on a bus in Delhi.
The shoot garnered some well-deserved backlash, including some from Bollywood music director Vishal Dadlani, ... Read More
BY Emma Tilden
on Aug 11, 2014
A teenage girl took a knife to her uncle in India took action when he tried to rape her for a second time, cutting off his penis.
Trigger warning: the second paragraph of this article includes a potentially triggering description of rape.
The girl, who reports have left unnamed (likely because of the stigma associated with rape), was ill and had been sent to visit her uncle Mahendra Mehta for a cure. Mehta, a tantrik (one who practices the ... Read More
Imagine a small village in which women and girls have an unheard-of amount of power, where females bear the family name and are expected to foster their continuing bloodline. Located near the Indian boarder, this place is called Mawlynnong, and it is known as the community where “girls rule the world.”
The photographer Karolin Kluppel travelled to Mawlynnong, explored its 92 households, and documented the lives of its girls. With ... Read More
BY Fatimah Hameed
on Sep 25, 2013
Trigger warning: contains link to graphic video on sexual assault.
A new parody video has been making the rounds on the global interwebs this past week: "It's Your Fault" is an extremely sarcastic response to the culture of victim-blaming and patriarchy that colors people's reactions to sexual assault.
Starring Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin and television personality Juhi Pandey, "It's Your Fault" is an uncomfortable comedy video that isn't funny at ... Read More
When I was a preteen, I was busy riding my pony and studying geometry. Thirteen-year-old Sushma Verma has a very different early teenage life. The girl, living in Lucknow, India, just earned her undergraduate degree and is enrolled in a master’s program for microbiology.
Her story gets even more amazing. Her family is relatively impoverished, and she lives with her parents and three siblings in a one-room apartment. The do not have a ... Read More
BY Katie Fustich
on Sep 16, 2013
The New York Times described a “whoop of joy” echoing through the streets of New Delhi this past Friday, when four men, all of whom had taken part in December’s notorious gang rape and murder, were given the death penalty.
The story started almost a year ago, when a woman who has become known simply as “Nirbhaya” meaning “fearless” was attacked by six men on a New Delhi bus. They raped her, beat her, and used a ... Read More