Category Archives: gender norms

Hardy Women: Yesterday’s Africans in Today’s Lanka

African sisters in Sri Lanka

On the road to Sirambiyadi

On the road to Sirambiyadi

In every culture family is an important element of human life. For centuries Ceylon had been a maritime domain for foreign traders, defiant conquerors and zealous missionaries. All these foreigners left behind their ancestors, who with time, integrated into our society. There were many nationalities who lived here in those ancient times – Arabs, Europeans, Indians and Africans. Much focus has been given to the various ethnic clans, but, people of African origin domiciled here were marginalised. Once in a while, these African-Sri Lankans would capture our attention via a youtube song video. One of the last such families of direct African origin live in Puttalam. The name Puttalam, is believed to be derived from the Tamil word “upputhalam” – uppu meaning salt and thalam meaning area of production, thus Puttalam is still famous for salt.

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USA’s Recent Blackmailing Efforts against Breastfeeding Resolution at WHO Assembly in Geneva

Andrew Jacobs in New York Times, 8 July 2018, where the title reads Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials”

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly. Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes. Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children

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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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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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