Category Archives: gender norms

In Appreciation of My Talented Sister, Audrey

Michael Roberts, courtesy of the Sunday Times, 1 April 2018, where the title is Snapshots of a life lived to the full”

My sister Audrey Roberts passed away in Oxford in February, a little before her 84th birthday. A divorcee, bearing the name of her second husband as Audrey Maxwell, she had no issue, but can claim to have lived a full life marked by remarkable energy, wide-ranging friendships and a camaraderie that has etched her memory in many minds.

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Filed under charitable outreach, cultural transmission, female empowerment, gender norms, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, voluntary workers, welfare & philanthophy, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes

Restoring the Hymen or Re-virginising

Re-virginising: From an Australian clinic’s advertisement offering hymen repair surgery, or hymenoplasty

Many women approach us to have their hymen re-instated for social, cultural and religious reasons. Many women’s hymens may have inadvertently broken through strenuous sporting and vigorous activity. We have been performing this simple procedure for many years.

The Wonder Down Under: A user’s guide to the vagina by Ellen Stokken Dahl and Nina Brochmann.

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The Vagina: Exposing Its Myths

Helen Rumbelow, courtesy of The Australian, 19 January 2018, where the title runs “The Vagina Myths Exposed” ... with emphasis in highlights added by The Editor Thuppahi

It is nice that little boys are so proud of their penises. It’s an enthusiasm that never goes away: a lifetime bromance of “check out this little chap” swagger. Their wrinkly tube of erectile tissue gets to be a wingman, with a name, a personality and a lot of reflected glory. Could women ever feel this fantastic about their genitals?

Authors Ellen Stokken Dahl and Nina Brochmann reveal a few truths that eluded Masters, Johnson and many other experts.
Authors Ellen Stokken Dahl and Nina Brochmann reveal a few truths that eluded Masters, Johnson and many other experts.

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Danielle de Niese straddles the World in Opera

Justin Burke, courtesy of The Weekend Australian Review, 28/29 October 2017 where the title is “Homecoming Queen”

When opera superstar Danielle de Niese returns to Australia next month to perform in The Merry Widow, among the audience will be one particular fan from her past: Johnny Young. For it was in the final year of Young’s long-running TV talent show in 1988 that de Niese, then a precocious nine-year-old singing Whitney Houston ballads and musical theatre standards, got her first big break.

Young Talent Time never ‘made’ anybody’s talent, Danielle’s wonderful voice was a gift from God,” says Young, of the series that aired on Channel 10 for an astonishing 18 years. “Danielle was a sweetheart, and she became more and more relaxed as that season went on, and by the time she won it you could see this girl was going to be something special.”

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Religious Dispensations and the Subordination of Women

Upul Wijayawardhana, courtesy of Daily News

The systematic suppression of women, persisting over centuries, has been legitimised, largely by religions and is an art-form mastered by ‘Men in Robes’. At the dawn of civilisation, women were considered superior for the simple reason that only they could produce an offspring for the continuation of the species. There is evidence to show that in Mesopotamia, one of the cradles of civilisation, if not ‘The Cradle of Civilisation’, there was equality. In the early Sumerian period, “a council of elders”, represented equally by men and women, ruled the population but gradually a patriarchal society emerged.

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Speaking of the Self: Gender Issues in South Asia

Niroshini Somasundaram, in IIAS Newsletter, reviewing A. Malhotra & S. Lambert-Hurley. 2015. Speaking of the self: gender, performance, and autobiography in South Asia. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822359838

In the last few decades, scholars of South Asian history have disputed the notion that South Asian cultures do not possess the autonomous representation of the individual, particularly in documenting histories, compared to their European counterparts. To that end, the numerous ways in which self-representation has been practiced in this region in different forms and time periods have been increasingly explored in scholarship. The rich collection of essays in this volume, edited by Anshu Malhotra and Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, challenge the existing boundaries and discourses surrounding autobiography, performance and gender in South Asian history by presenting a varied and fresh selection of women’s autobiographical writing and practices from the seventeenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The compelling choice of authors explored in the essays include Urdu novelists, a Muslim prostitute in nineteenth century Punjab, a Mughal princess, a courtesan in the Hyderabad court and male actors who perform as female characters. It moreover challenges conventional narratives in the field of autobiographical studies by relaying in careful detail the different forms which ought to be encompassed within the genre of autobiography such as poetry, patronage of architecture and fiction. Continue reading

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Sinhabahu: Reverberating Memories

KNO Dharmadasa, in The Island, 18 November 2011, where the title is “Sinhabahu : Fifty Years’ Memories”

The year 2011 marks fifty years after the first staging of Professor Sarachchandra’s play Sinhabahu which shares with his own Maname (1956) the record of enduring presence among theatre goers in Sri Lanka since the day they were first staged. The University of Peradeniya, the birth-place of the play, will ceremonially celebrate this golden jubilee on the 22 nd and 23rd of this month. The first item of this celebration will be the staging of the play in its original venue the Sarachchandra Open Air Theatre on the 22nd. The Rasikas will enjoy this performance free of charge, the University bearing the expenses. It will be followed on the 23rd with a seminar-discussion in which the original and later generations of actors and Rasikas will share their views and reminiscences.

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