Tag Archives: women

There were 700,000 Google searches for self-inducing an abortion in the US last year

There have been a few studies — and plenty of anecdotal evidence — pointing to an uptick in self-induced abortion attempts as the result of dwindling access to legal abortion in many states. Now an economist at The New York Times looks at what Google search patterns reveal about the trend. 

Last year, there were more than 700,000 Google searches in the United States looking into self-induced abortions. These included about 119,000 searches for the phrase “how to have a miscarriage”; 160,000 for things like “buy abortion pills online” and “free abortion pills”; 4,000 looking for directions on coat hanger abortions, including — horrifyingly — about 1,300 for the exact phrase “how to do a coat hanger abortion.”

These kinds of searches were less common a decade ago but increased by 40 percent in 2011 — the year that state abortion restrictions hit record-breaking levels. Most tellingly, there’s a clear correlation between the states with the least access to legal abortion and the states with the most Google searches for DIY alternatives. “The state with the highest rate of Google searches for self-induced abortions is Mississippi, which now has one abortion clinic. Eight of the 10 states with the highest search rates for self-induced abortions are considered by the Guttmacher Institute to be hostile or very hostile to abortion.”

chart of abortion restrictions and google searches over time

Of course, these numbers can’t be taken as a evidence of how many people actually tried to self-abort, but the author points out there’s a discrepancy between the decrease in the abortion rate in states with fewer clinics and the increase in the birth rate in those states in recent years — perhaps the fact that some women are successfully self-inducing explains some of that gap.

It goes without saying that it’s outrageous that any person, in 2015, in a country where abortion is supposedly a constitutionally protected right, is forced to try to end their pregnancy on their own. However, if you or anyone you know is in that position and googling for things like coat hangers, bleach, and punching yourself in the stomach, know that there is information out there on how to do it safely and effectively: check out this guide or this one.

Image credit: Bill Marsh/The New York Times

Hijab Is Sexist, Not Anti-Racist


When I saw the event titled “Hijab som politiskt motstånd” (hijab as political resistance) and read its description, I realized the importance of demonstrating in front of the place where it would be held so that other voices from Muslim majority countries are heard, and the propaganda presented in the event is not the only information about the subject.

The event is held on 6 March, two days before international women’s day in Mångkulturellt centrum (multi-cultural center) in Fittja. It presents hijab as feminist and anti-racist. I think marketing hijab as such is harmful to women from Muslim families, to the status of women in general and to non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries.
Hijab is marketed in a different way in Muslim majority countries, than it is in the west. Women are compared to objects to be consumed and owned by men. They are told to be like wrapped candy or precious hidden diamonds, while men are questioned on how they cover their cars, but let their women go uncovered, but women are people not objects. Women are ordered to cover up not to arouse men, get themselves raped and corrupt society. The more the sexist ideology behind hijab spreads, the less safe it becomes for all women living in the same society because women and their bodies, unlike men who are viewed as “users of women” are viewed as sexual objects, and they more they cover up, the more they are blamed for being abused and required to give up their rights. When I talk about hijab, I don’t talk about a piece of cloth, but about a complete set of rules for how women should behave, hide and withdraw. A veiled woman wouldn’t for example have freedom of movement or sexual freedom.
Since women are viewed as properties and honor of men, women’s families, relatives, husbands and families of husbands interfere in how women dress. Women are even treated as public properties, so if a woman’s direct family failed to control her, strangers would step in to correct her appearance and behavior with sexual violence.
I met countless women who were forced or pressured to wear hijab, who wanted to take it off but feared incarceration, beatings and/or social rejection. My best friend was locked and tortured in a mental institution after she took off the hijab she was coerced to wear as a child, and was only considered sane enough to be let out when she wore it again against her will, I also know a woman who was locked up at her parent’s home and jumped from second floor to escape the threat of being murdered by her family after she took off the hijab and countless other women who were locked up, beaten, had virginity tests, had their hairs cut and had their books torn up for resisting the obligation to veil. Some women only wear hijab in front of their families, while others only only wear it while taking public transportation. In a society where veiling is the norm, non-veiled women cannot dare to deviate much from that norm without taking a risk. Adding to that being brainwashed since childhood that they must wear hijab or they will hang in hell by their hairs, how much choice do women living in Muslim majority countries or with Muslim families in the west have?
Most people tend to adapt to social norms, and know their places in a social order, that’s why there are women defending sexism, and why there were black people defending slavery or at least living by humiliating rules which take way their dignity, it’s especially true for women to accept sexism, since a society of only women never existed, and most people would rather be accepted in a group than stand up for themselves. That some women defend oppression doesn’t mean it’s fair or it doesn’t hurt women. The fact that more women defend it than oppose it, especially in public, is also associated with the risk of doing the later. Women who take off hijab, or reject living under the control of their country men in any other way such as living alone, not with a male guardian, end up living in shelters or protected addresses and threatened and harassed both by family members and strangers. Those who chose to speak out and help others are at even greater risk. I receive messages from women who complain to me about the oppression they live under daily, but most of them are too scared or considerate about what people would say to change their lives or speak out themselves.
Hijab is an extreme and strict version of the sexist culture western feminists are fighting, but many of them make an exception for hijab and even view it as feminist. Women who demand the same rights for all women are considered to adapt a “western feminism”, but I don’t think such division in feminism is necessary. Instead of focusing on issues specific to Eastern women such as virginity tests, so called “Islamic feminists” focus on issues that are not specific to women such as racism, which is an important issue, but it shouldn’t be prioritized over women rights, and argue preserving some forms of discrimination against eastern women, since, according to them, they don’t need the same rights as their western sisters. Feminist is a movement for change, but they are more conservative than progressive.
When Egypt was colonized by Britain, same women who fought British occupation began to defy the rules to veil and started a feminist movement just as Western women began to demand their rights during the industrial revolution, yet the event presents veiling as anti-colonial, such arguments lead to labeling people who are fighting for women rights or who have different beliefs in Muslim majority countries as traitors, and make it harder for these societies develop the same way western societies developed and are still developing.
While western racists attack Islam and hijab out of rejection for other groups, although they share similar sexist views with those they are attacking, other people, including people from Muslim majority countries attack the same things out of care about the rights of women and individuals in conservative societies and communities. Individuals inside groups from another countries shouldn’t be trumped over in an effort to understand or accept these groups. Some people may think they are accepting diversity in western societies, while in reality they are standing against those who are fighting to make conservative societies more diverse and individualistic.

Zoe Saldana Portraying Nina Simone is a Gross Whitewashing of Unapologetic Blackness

A few months ago, I wrote that I did not support the casting of Zoe Saldana as songstress Nina Simone. And now, with a release date set, and a promotional poster and trailer revealed, I stand — even more ardently — in my assertion that Saldana’s casting is both inappropriate and violent to Simone’s radical pro-Black legacy.

Nina Simone’s core pro-Black value system is the cornerstone of most of her cultural contributions. As Ruth Feldstein describes in “‘I Don’t Trust You Anymore’: Nina Simone, Culture, and Black Activism in the 1960s,” Nina Simone was radicalized following the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing (1963), and subsequently disavowed gradualism and respectability politics as effective methods towards racial justice.

My country is full of lies/We all gonna die/and die like flies

I don’t trust nobody anymore/They keep on sayin’ ‘Go slow.’

To Nina Simone, doing “things gradually, will bring more tragedy.” And she was right. With the gradual rollback of visible Jim Crow segregation, Black people are now merciless survivors and victims of mass incarceration, poisoned water, and politricks. Gradualism has worked to invisibilize anti-Blackness — its continuing violence conveniently hidden in a massive web of laws, schemes, and bureaucracies.

Nina Simone brilliantly intertwined gender and sexuality politics with her racial justice cultural activism. In many of her records, Nina’s protagonists are Black women, thus allowing space for the artist to masterfully detail the particular struggles and conflicts of Black women forced to live under the suffocating dynamics of white supremacist racism and patriarchy — namely how our sexuality is taboo and inappropriate in times of mass uprising.

In the song “Go Limp,” Nina tells the story of a young woman who decides to march. The protagonist’s mother warns her daughter to remain a nonviolent virgin. Feldstein writes “Simone used humor to suggest that it would not be easy for the young woman to meet these dual goals.”

Oh mother, dear mother, no I’m not afraid/For I’ll go on that march and return a virgin maid

With a brick on my handbag and a scoul on my face/And a barbed wire in my underwear to shed off disgrace.

“Go Limp” is illustrative in its wit and profundity; it’s a politically charged commentary on how respectability is especially (mis)applied when Black women’s sexuality is intrinsically present in Black uprisings.

Nina Simone is an exemplary icon for unapologetic Black cultural activism. She is versatile in her craft, vocal in her womanist radicalism, and authoritative in her self-determined identity. She renounced Eurocentric beauty standards, centered Black freedom over white feelings, and provoked thought through a sex-positive gendered lens.

And then there’s Nina’s appearance. A direct affront to white supremacist beauty standards, her appearance spoke volumes against those racist metrics that deem our natural physical attributes as ugly and unfitting. Nina embodied the mantra “the personal is the political.” Blogger Kirsti-Jewel of She’s.Got.The.Mic writes poignantly:

Nina Simone’s appearance shaped her experience, and view of the world. While she was political for many of her choices, she was inherently political because of her appearance.

And this is why Zoe’s casting as this incredibly complicated, multi-layered, dark-skinned, nappy-haired Black idol is violent.

The whitewashing of Black herstorical icons is standard practice in Hollywood. StonewallExodus: Gods and Kings, and Gods of Egypt are recent, well-publicized examples.

But given the current socio-political climate ushered in by the emergent Black Lives Matter movement, Nina Simone’s necessary depiction requires a significant level of pro-Black understanding. Saldana’s casting is brutal in its obvious whitewashing and racialized tone-deafness.

As a Black Lives Matter community organizer and independent media maker, I care about Nina’s holistically accurate representation. The movement of which I am a part brings to life her Black radical ideal. Our principles are those that are queer, trans*, and female-bodied affirming. We do not uplift the myth of racial gradualism and respectability, and refuse to be manipulated by the dominant political establishment. We are courageous in our justified anger, and vocal in our renunciation of anti-Blackness.

I understand that Zoe Saldana gotta eat. There is an entire scholarship on the lack of diversity in Hollywood, and I am absolutely positive that as an Afro-Latina actress, getting career-making roles is a sparse reality. But the portrayal of Nina Simone isn’t the role for her. The blotchy makeup and prosthetic noses pieces ain’t working. She is simply not fit to depict the icon whose radical socialization was shaped by both appearance and experience.

In this contemporary moment of mass racial upset, Nina’s representation is crucial. She must be embodied with perfection, care, nuance, and sensitivity. She need not be tamed to make her more digestible to a white mainstream audience.

Because it’s not a far guess that she’d be the last one to stand for that.

7 Questions with Gogu Shyamala about Radhika Vemula, Solidarity and Dalit Rights

By Ila Ananya


Dalit writer and activist, Gogu Shyamala is at the Hyderabad Central University when I first call her.Shyamala is the author of the critically acclaimed collection of short stories, Father May Be An Elephant And Mother Only A Small Basket. She sounds tired, as though she has been rushing from place to place, but when I call her back later, she is at home and calmer. She she talks at great length about the formation of the Radhika Vemula Solidarity Committee, for Rohith Vemula’s mother, after his death. She describes him quietly, as someone who “respected knowledge, and wanted a scholarly life,” before the conversation shifts to his mother, and the need for us to know her story. “What is this society?” she repeats over and over, “everything is Brahmanical and patriarchal.”

Perhaps we could start with talking about Radhika Vemula. Until yesterday, we’ve seen far too little about her in all the conversations that started after her son, Rohit Vemula’s, suicide.

Radhika Vemula, a Dalit woman, married a Vaddera man. Now, since we live in a Brahmanical, patriarchal culture, Radhika Vemula isn’t considered as having an identity outside of marriage, and her sons are expected to take on their father’s caste. In Radhika’s case, her husband started harassing her about her caste identity. The violence she faced wasn’t only domestic violence, but caste violence within it. At some point, Radhika left home with her three children because she expected them to be harassed as well, and went to live in a Dalit waada. People here welcomed her, and she could get her children educated, but many others would question her choice to leave her husband, spreading rumours of illegitimate children.

But after Rohith Vemula’s death, Radhika wasn’t given any identity in the entire discussion. This isn’t just Brahmanical upper-caste politics, this is patriarchal politics as well—she has a story of her own, but nobody is interested in it. When Rohith died, she went into a corner mentally—I’m sure she had a lot of desires that got dismantled. “I shouldn’t have sent him to the university,” she would say. The media was busy putting her husband in the limelight, even though he’s an irresponsible father, a drunk, and a womaniser, and was never around. As a woman, as a single mother who fought the violence inflicted on her by her husband and brought her children up, and even as a Dalit woman, Radhika Vemula needs to be heard.

How did the Radhika Vemula Solidarity Committee get formed? What is its aim?

After Rohith Vemula’s death, we realised that a lot of the focus seemed to shift towards debating whether he was a Dalit or Vaddera, but it must be remembered that his experiences were Dalit experiences. Rohith came to Hyderabad Central University because he didn’t want to be a clerk, or work in the fields, but because he respected and wanted knowledge. Radhika’s story needs to be told—I want her to be a woman leader because she is talented and strong, and Indian women need such people, not husbands, fathers, and brothers. We want to learn from her, we don’t want women like Smriti Irani or Sushma Swaraj—they are not thinking like women, they are thinking like men.

Dalit women are constantly asked every time they begin to demand something—“how can you talk like that?”—and are told not to talk to the media. But our aim is to help her talk to the media, the police, to women, and to universities and students. We have challenges; we are not taken seriously as women, and we are Dalits, but we will question universities that don’t give students an education, but kills them instead. This is what her tone must become.

What happened at the public meeting that was held on 4th February in Hyderabad?

It was supposed to be a press meet, because we needed Radhika to also be focussed on in the media. The meeting was held in Lamakaan, and we were joined by many women—K Sajaya, journalist and Vice President of Anveshi Executive Committee, A Suneetha, from Anveshi, and many others. A tribal sarpanch talked about non-tribal women marrying tribal men, and about the identity of the women once they are married, and how they are negotiating their rights. It isn’t only an open dialogue that is necessary, but the complexity of issues surrounding Radhika need to be addressed more deeply, and not peripherally. We called a lot of people from the media, but of course that wasn’t all that successful.

Do you think English language media comprehends these issues, or do Telugu newspapers have different things to say? Who would the committee want to address?

The problem is that we want the English language media to start writing more about these issues. We want them to realise that this is not only about Radhika Vemula, but also about women, single women, the rights of women, and how they negotiate and deal with patriarchal rules. She is a context to the woman question. English language papers don’t cover enough. What is this society? The Telugu media has channels that will give Manikumar Vemula a chance to speak, but only because they have made their decisions about the issue and know what they want to present—they want to support the BJP and dilute the issue by questioning Rohith’s Dalit identity. Where is Radhika Vemula’s chance to speak?

Do you think it’s true that it is usually Dalits who are identified/perceived as anti-national?”

Those in the government are only playing games. In modern times, they begin to call Dalits as anti-national, and before this, they called them untouchables. With the Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, any form of discrimination became punishable. So all the government could do was to change their strategy, and begin to call them anti-nationals.

What seems to be happening to our educational institutions, to our universities right now? 

Very often, the government’s target becomes anything that is knowledge based, and not based on belief. For BJP, India need not represent any form of knowledge, but must represent mythologies, beliefs. They want the image of a crying Sita, or a Kali, to show such women, and these images of crying Sita become the norm. They will not show strong Indian women like Savitribai Phule. Knowledge is something that can’t be restricted only to the Brahmins like it used to be, and so all this changes into an intolerance and phobia, which makes the government begin to use terms like anti-national. The government thus attacks educational institutions, and very often uses the ABVP to create problems for students. They begin to target student leaders by calling them anti-national, as in Kanhaiya Kumar’s case in JNU. But the attack also becomes on the representation of India around the world, not just individual universities.

What are the ways in which this compromises and affects Dalit rights? 

Lots of Dalit students are entering universities and they’ve had to face threats or violence. The argument is that even though someone like Rohith Vemula, who had so much knowledge, had made his way to a university like HCU, why should professors focus on them, or grant them PhDs? They can just be watchmen or labourers like the members of their family have been. They closed all the ways of Rohith’s study. As it is, many Dalit students come into universities with an inferiority complex, and language barriers, and now everyone else makes it harder for them. Everyone else is out to humiliate, silence, and suppress, because nobody wants to allow Dalits into positions of knowledge.

The Dalit movement in Andhra Pradesh was a community movement, it was about a Dalit voice, education, and rights. I feel, being a part of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), Rohith Vemula should have turned to his community, and taken lessons from the movement. I think, this is sometimes the gap between the Dalit movement at grass root levels, and Dalit scholars. There is so much literature by Dalits about their stories, their history, and so much can be learnt from these movements, about the politics of education and untouchability. This community movement needs to be understood, I think.


I wish Rohith Vemula had turned to his mother. She taught her children everything she could from her experiences, and how to navigate society, and perhaps he underestimated her strength.

Image credit: Screenshot via Dalitcamera Ambedkar


The post 7 Questions with Gogu Shyamala about Radhika Vemula, Solidarity and Dalit Rights appeared first on The Ladies Finger.

89 Gold, 37 Silver, 13 Bronze: Indian Women At the South Asian Games

Woman boxer practising.

Indian boxer Sarita Devi, who won a gold at the South Asian Games 2016.

I’ve heard, you’ve heard, we’ve all heard the news: yesterday, India was wayyy ahead of everyone else as the overall winner at the South Asian Games. We were left with 188 gold, 90 silver, and 30 bronze medals – a grand total of 308 medals on our hands. And out of that, our women won 89 gold, 37 silver and 13 bronze – that’s a total of … 1, 2, … a whopping hundred and thirty-nine medals. Can we please all take a minute to think of their hard work, their mental toughness, and the 139 or so obstacles in an Indian sportswoman’s career?

Aaaand here are the medal-count-swelling and heart-swelling numbers in the women’s competitions. (Needless to say, Mary Kom is one of the three boxing golds.) Enjoy!

# Sport Event Gold Silver Bronze
1 ARCHERY Recurve Team 1 0 0
2 ARCHERY Recurve Individual 0 1 0
3 ARCHERY Recurve Individual 1 0 0
4 ARCHERY Compound 0 1 0
5 ARCHERY Compound 1 0 0
6 ARCHERY Compound Team 1 0 0
7 ATHLETICS Marathon 1 0 0
8 ATHLETICS 4 x 400 M Relay 1 0 0
9 ATHLETICS 200 M 0 1 0
10 ATHLETICS 200 M 1 0 0
11 ATHLETICS 10000 M 0 1 0
12 ATHLETICS 10000 M 1 0 0
13 ATHLETICS 1500 M 1 0 0
14 ATHLETICS Javelin Throw 0 1 0
15 ATHLETICS Javelin Throw 1 0 0
16 ATHLETICS 400 M Hurdles 0 1 0
17 ATHLETICS 400 M Hurdles 1 0 0
18 ATHLETICS 4 x 100 M Relay 0 1 0
19 ATHLETICS 400 M 1 0 0
20 ATHLETICS Triple Jump 0 0 1
21 ATHLETICS Triple Jump 1 0 0
22 ATHLETICS High Jump 0 1 0
23 ATHLETICS High Jump 1 0 0
24 ATHLETICS 100 M Hurdles 0 1 0
25 ATHLETICS 100 M Hurdles 1 0 0
26 ATHLETICS 100 M 0 0 1
27 ATHLETICS 100 M 0 1 0
28 ATHLETICS Long Jump 0 1 0
29 ATHLETICS Long Jump 1 0 0
30 ATHLETICS Shotput 0 1 0
31 ATHLETICS Shotput 1 0 0
32 ATHLETICS 5000 M 0 1 0
33 ATHLETICS 5000 M 1 0 0
34 ATHLETICS 800 M 0 0 1
35 BADMINTON Doubles 0 1 0
36 BADMINTON Doubles 1 0 0
37 BADMINTON Singles 0 1 0
38 BADMINTON Singles 1 0 0
39 BADMINTON Team 1 0 0
40 BOXING 75 Kg 1 0 0
41 BOXING 60 Kg 1 0 0
42 BOXING 51 Kg 1 0 0
43 CYCLING 80 Km Ind. Road Race 0 0 1
44 CYCLING 80 Km Ind. Road Race 0 1 0
45 CYCLING 80 Km Ind. Road Race 1 0 0
46 CYCLING 40 Km Team Time Trial 1 0 0
47 CYCLING 40 Km Criterium 0 1 0
48 CYCLING 40 Km Criterium 1 0 0
49 CYCLING 30 Km Individual Time Trial 0 1 0
50 CYCLING 30 Km Individual Time Trial 1 0 0
51 FOOTBALL Team Event 1 0 0
52 HANDBALL Team Event 1 0 0
53 HOCKEY Team Event 1 0 0
54 JUDO 78 Kg 0 1 0
55 JUDO 70 Kg 1 0 0
56 JUDO 63 Kg 0 1 0
57 JUDO 57 Kg 1 0 0
58 JUDO 52 Kg 1 0 0
59 JUDO 48 Kg 1 0 0
60 KABADDI Team Event 1 0 0
61 KHO KHO Team Event 1 0 0
62 SHOOTING 10 M Pistol 1 0 0
63 SHOOTING 10 M Pistol 0 0 1
64 SHOOTING 10 M Pistol 0 1 0
65 SHOOTING 10 M Pistol 1 0 0
66 SHOOTING 50 M Rifle 3 Position 1 0 0
67 SHOOTING 50 M Rifle 3 Position 0 0 1
68 SHOOTING 50 M Rifle 3 Position 0 1 0
69 SHOOTING 50 M Rifle 3 Position 1 0 0
70 SHOOTING 25 M Sports Pistol 1 0 0
71 SHOOTING 25 M Sports Pistol 0 0 1
72 SHOOTING 25 M Sports Pistol 0 1 0
73 SHOOTING 25 M Sports Pistol 1 0 0
74 SHOOTING 50 M Rifle Prone 0 0 1
75 SHOOTING 50 M Rifle Prone 0 1 0
76 SHOOTING 50 M Rifle Prone 1 0 0
77 SHOOTING 50 M Rifle Prone 1 0 0
78 SHOOTING 10 M Air Rifle 0 0 1
79 SHOOTING 10 M Air Rifle 0 1 0
80 SHOOTING 10 M Air Rifle 1 0 0
81 SHOOTING 10 M Rifle 1 0 0
82 SQUASH Team 1 0 0
83 SQUASH Individual 1 0 0
84 SWIMMING Medley – 4×100 M 1 0 0
85 SWIMMING Butterfly Stroke – 50 M 1 0 0
86 SWIMMING Butterfly Stroke – 50 M 0 1 0
87 SWIMMING Free Style – 100 M 0 0 1
88 SWIMMING Individual Medley – 200 M 1 0 0
89 SWIMMING Relays (Free Style) – 4×200 M 1 0 0
90 SWIMMING Back Stroke – 50 M 0 1 0
91 SWIMMING Butterfly Stroke – 200 M 1 0 0
92 SWIMMING Free Style – 400 M 0 1 0
93 SWIMMING Free Style – 400 M 1 0 0
94 SWIMMING Free Style – 50 M 0 0 1
95 SWIMMING Back Stroke – 100 M 0 1 0
96 SWIMMING Free Style – 800 M 1 0 0
97 SWIMMING Breast Stroke – 100 M 0 0 1
98 SWIMMING Back Stroke – 200 M 0 1 0
99 SWIMMING Individual Medley – 400 M 0 1 0
100 SWIMMING Individual Medley – 400 M 1 0 0
101 SWIMMING Relays (Free Style) – 4×100 M 1 0 0
102 SWIMMING Butterfly Stroke – 100 M 1 0 0
103 SWIMMING Free Style – 200 M 1 0 0
104 TABLE TENNIS Doubles 0 1 0
105 TABLE TENNIS Doubles 1 0 0
106 TABLE TENNIS Singles 0 1 0
107 TABLE TENNIS Singles 1 0 0
108 TABLE TENNIS Team 1 0 0
109 TAEKWONDO Over 49 Kg Not Exceeding 53 Kg 1 0 0
110 TAEKWONDO Over 57 Kg Not Exceeding 62 Kg 1 0 0
111 TAEKWONDO Over 46 Kg Not Exceeding 49 Kg 1 0 0
112 TAEKWONDO Over 53 Kg Not Exceeding 57 Kg 0 0 1
113 TENNIS Doubles 0 1 0
114 TENNIS Doubles 1 0 0
115 TENNIS Individual 0 1 0
116 TENNIS Individual 1 0 0
117 TRIATHLON Individual 0 1 0
118 TRIATHLON Individual 1 0 0
119 VOLLEYBALL Team Event 1 0 0
120 WEIGHTLIFTING 75+ Kg 1 0 0
121 WEIGHTLIFTING 75 Kg 1 0 0
122 WEIGHTLIFTING 58 Kg 1 0 0
123 WEIGHTLIFTING 69 Kg 1 0 0
124 WEIGHTLIFTING 48 Kg 1 0 0
125 WEIGHTLIFTING 53 Kg 1 0 0
126 WRESTLING 75 Kg 1 0 0
127 WRESTLING 69 Kg 1 0 0
128 WRESTLING 63 Kg 1 0 0
129 WRESTLING 58 Kg 1 0 0
130 WRESTLING 53 Kg 1 0 0
131 WRESTLING 60 Kg 1 0 0
132 WRESTLING 55 Kg 1 0 0
133 WRESTLING 48 Kg 1 0 0
134 WUSHU SANSHOU – 70 Kg 1 0 0
135 WUSHU SANSHOU – 60 Kg 1 0 0
136 WUSHU SANSHOU – 52 Kg 1 0 0
137 WUSHU Taijiquan & Taijijian 1 0 0
138 WUSHU Nanquan & Nandao 0 1 0
139 WUSHU TAOLU – Changquan 1 0 0
TOTAL 89 37 13

Photo Credit: Facebook Page ‘Boxer Sarita Devi’, January 1, 2016.

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Monday Open Thread | Jimi Hendrix Week

Hello 3 Chics family! This week’s featured artist is the incomparable Mr. Jimi Hendrix.

C-Jimi-Ladyland-po_1711987i (1)

James Marshall Hendrix

November 27th, 1942 – September 18, 1970

Widely recognized as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix pioneered the explosive possibilities of the electric guitar. Hendrix’s innovative style of combining fuzz, feedback and controlled distortion created a new musical form. Because he was unable to read or write music, it is nothing short of remarkable that Jimi Hendrix’s meteoric rise in the music took place in just four short years. His musical language continues to influence a host of modern musicians, from George Clinton to Miles Davis, and Steve Vai to Jonny Lang.

Jimi Hendrix, born Johnny Allen Hendrix at 10:15 a.m. on November 27, 1942, at Seattle’s King County Hospital, was later renamed James Marshall by his father, James “Al” Hendrix. Young Jimmy (as he was referred to at the time) took an interest in music, drawing influence from virtually every major artist at the time, including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Holly, and Robert Johnson. Entirely self-taught, Jimmy’s inability to read music made him concentrate even harder on the music he heard.

Al took notice of Jimmy’s interest in the guitar, recalling, “I used to have Jimmy clean up the bedroom all the time while I was gone, and when I would come home I would find a lot of broom straws around the foot of the bed. I’d say to him, `Well didn’t you sweep up the floor?’ and he’d say, `Oh yeah,’ he did. But I’d find out later that he used to be sitting at the end of the bed there and strumming the broom like he was playing a guitar.” Al found an old one-string ukulele, which he gave to Jimmy to play a huge improvement over the broom.

By the summer of 1958, Al had purchased Jimmy a five-dollar, second-hand acoustic guitar from one of his friends. Shortly thereafter, Jimmy joined his first band, The Velvetones. After a three-month stint with the group, Jimmy left to pursue his own interests. The following summer, Al purchased Jimmy his first electric guitar, a Supro Ozark 1560S; Jimi used it when he joined The Rocking Kings.

In 1961, Jimmy left home to enlist in the United States Army and in November 1962 earned the right to wear the “Screaming Eagles” patch for the paratroop division. While stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Jimmy formed The King Casuals with bassist Billy Cox. After being discharged due to an injury he received during a parachute jump, Jimmy began working as a session guitarist under the name Jimmy James. By the end of 1965, Jimmy had played with several marquee acts, including Ike and Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, the Isley Brothers, and Little Richard. Jimmy parted ways with Little Richard to form his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, shedding the role of back-line guitarist for the spotlight of lead guitar.

Throughout the latter half of 1965, and into the first part of 1966, Jimmy played the rounds of smaller venues throughout Greenwich Village, catching up with Animals’ bassist Chas Chandler during a July performance at Caf‚ Wha? Chandler was impressed with Jimmy’s performance and returned again in September 1966 to sign Hendrix to an agreement that would have him move to London to form a new band.

Read the rest here.

Jimi Hendrix’s restored flat a glimpse into swinging London life



Read more here.


Our FLOTUS Celebrates Dance at the White House During Black History Month


FLOTUS Black History Month 2016-1

“Looking out at these beautiful, talented young women, I know that we have the power to keep reaching higher and defying the odds, and achieving those firsts, and seconds, and thirds, and hundreds, and thousands until a black principal dancer is no longer a cause for headlines. And our children are limited only by the size of their dreams and their willingness to work for them.”
— First Lady Michelle Obama to the 51 talented young dancers who came to the White House to perform for Black History Month

Yesterday, famed choreographer Debbie Allen held a clinic for 51 beautiful and talented young Black girls.

Here are some of the comments from our dear First Lady, Michelle Obama.


This is her last Black History Month in the White House as First Lady…I can’t help but be sad about it.

Sure, Rihanna Was Not Around in Chennai When I Needed Her. But I Can Wish, Can’t I?

By Priyanka Joseph



If you are the kind who builds a weekly/monthly soundtrack to your life, then ANTI belongs on it for both Spring 2016 and the ongoing apocalypse. Every song is in first person, and their tones and lyrical content convey morally ambiguous, complex narratives of resistance and desire. Rihanna is unflinchingly, unapologetically in control of these narratives, and this fact, combined with the fact that the songs on this album shatter good girl/bad girl formulae make ANTI a very smart pop album, one that is, despite and perhaps because Rihanna is so mainsteam as a performing artist, both personal and political.

When I look outside my window

I can’t get no piece of mind

When I look outside my window

I can’t get no peace of mind

The opener, Consideration, is Rihanna sweetly telling everyone to go fuck themselves, she has her own plans. It’s this tightly produced piece of reggae, with a great sub-chorus from SZA, whose down-up-down lilt over bass and drums kept me hitting repeat. The second verse to this song has an insidious, subdued clap beat—totally burrowed into my brain. Consideration is a very private power groove. This is for alone time in the balcony at someone else’s party. This song has no fucks to give about who said what about which album. This song is a dropped mic—it couldn’t be bothered with being a diss track. This song doesn’t care what I think of RiRi’s previous work. Rihanna doesn’t need us to tell her she’s all grown up now. She doesn’t need us at all.

I’m tired of being played like a violin

What do I gotta do to get in your motherfuckin’ heart?

I wish this album had come out when I was still a teenager in Chennai Madras. I listened to horrible stuff as a kid. All the wrong songs. Songs where the girl cooed—metaphorically—about having tender, spirit-lifting first-time sex, or about withholding sex till the penis-carrier in question had proved that he could hang with her crazy, wacky, sexy friends. I spent 1997 to 2000 avoiding Celine Dion and her songs of monogamous devotion. At a crucial age, there was too little No Doubt. There was far too much Savage Garden. And all this served to reinforce dangerously coy ideas I had about love and sex, stitched together from my own awkward imaginings, as well as culturally reinforced nonsense—such as the assumption that any kind of relationship must always mean heartache and compromise. And worse—in my Madras at that time, there were no songs by women, no female-centric pop culture to pull from about being sexually independent or ambitious. And this is all the long way to say, listening to ANTI made me want to go back in time and fix what 16-22 year old me called pop music.

Love isn’t wasn’t healthy in your my tweenties. I wasn’t the only one—there were hundreds and thousands of us being raised without sex education on the actual curriculum, in gender-segregated schools and colleges, conditioned to keep secret anything remotely sexual about ourselves. Key moment came in 2003, when a girl from some other college was slapped—now we’d say assaulted—outside Sathyam Cinemas. All day, us Second Years whispered about it in classrooms and hallways, till our Vice Principle glared at us and demanded WHEN THEY STEP OVER YOUR LINE, HOW OFTEN WILL YOU ERASE IT, STEP BACK AND RE-DRAW IT? TILL YOUR BACK IS AGAINST THE WALL?

None of us understood.

All I had to at my disposal to navigate my budding interest in sex were my blessed grandfather’s James Hadley Chase novels, very early internet, and bad, bad music TV. Everything would have failed the Bechdel Test. Far too much awful late 90s label-pop had turned me off what female artists I had access to—the Corrs? All Saints? The split-up Spice Girls? When I was 14, Britney drove me insane, because I couldn’t manage the thought that if I perhaps did not look like that I would then perhaps never have sex (a lie, I have since discovered).

How did those of us who wanted to have sex back then manage? Carefully. Clandestinely. Money and mobility made a big difference—being able to pay off police men, watchmen, drivers, and servants was an accepted practice, and a huge bonus. If you were middle class like me, that meant being as inventive as you could be. The goal was to always maintain a shining halo of decency. As long as no one pointed fingers, as long as the news didn’t make it to campus or an aunty, you were safe, your family was safe. How many of us built an elaborate system of missed calls on our little Nokia bricks, to coordinate meeting at Marina Beach, or for tiffin at some Bhavan? How many of us never held hands or kissed in public, believing it to be completely normal not to do so? Where could we touch and be touched — autos, hallways, bathrooms, terraces, doorways? Our houses if your parents and that nosy neighbor were away. A friend’s place if you had such a friend, and could make a strong enough chain of excuses to account for your absence from home or tuition or campus. Were we stressed back then?

Everyone pretended we were all sexless marionettes, walking around in gender-segregated campuses, and that it was normal. We went mad slowly, on the inside, as we began to believe our own lies. We didn’t love him/her—we were just hanging out with friends. It was always “just a thing,” because even calling someone boyfriend/girlfriend (yuck) meant they thought you wanted your parents to meet them or you wanted to meet their parents. We never called each other anything. When we kissed, one of us kept an eye out. When we took public transport with our lovers, we’d act like staid cousins, unless it was late at night and the Auto Anna was too tired to care. Love, or sex, or going to the movies, or just reading together didn’t call for honesty or integrity– it called for an iron-clad alibi.

How much time did we lose, posturing or lying to ourselves?



RiRi could’ve saved me from almost a decade of painful unlearning. She still might. Look, James Joint is a gorgeous little interlude. Loop that shit. Loop it. It’s a haiku-sized celebration of being both high and in love. It’s so important that the lyrics say it straight here: the pot reference is immediately stripped of posture, and is instead conveyed as a simple truth over a melody that is silk. RiRi embraces the everyday high, normalizing what people have tried to turn into a “thing” that edgy chicks do. See– Women (and some men, allegedly) of all ages love to get high and then maybe frisky, if we’re up to it. We never say this out loud though, because we are TIRED of then immediately being labeled as quirky girls who get high, broke girls who get high, teenagers who get high, statistics who get high. We are just women, and some of us smoke. Some of us feel that doing it with someone you can make out with after is even better.


Kiss it Better sounds like a Prince track. The way the song climbs and climbs at 00:45:

Man, fuck yo pride

Just take it on back, boy, take it on back, boy

Take it back all night

Just take it on back, take it on back

Mmm, do what cha gotta do, keep me up all night

Hurtin’ vibe, man, it hurts inside when I look you in yo eye

Ri delivers this lush mix of frustration and affection, and her voice will make your cold little heart prickle all over. If you’re my age (almost 31, fuckers) you may want to feel silly about thinking about feelings you haven’t considered since you were 24, but you don’t, because this song, like this album, is completely devoid of cynicism. It demands at least as much from you. The production on Kiss it Better is legit. Those are 80s Prince sounds with conviction. Ri has no room for rhetoric or gesturing. This entire song is a tender challenge—“what are you willing to do?” but with this 80’s deep eye stare—

80seye1 80seye2
80seye3 80seye4In Work, the lover is challenged to step up to the plate, recognize what the other is putting into this thing they have, and what they must both do, these fallible people who know each other’s dirt, to earn back the right to touch each other the way they used to. It feels like the third part of a trilogy, with the first being Oh Na Na (What’s My Name), followed by Take Care.

Work has a practical, every day sensibility. It’s a conversation. Side note: all this nonsense about the patois Ri deploys being unintelligible– fuck that instinct towards standardization. When RiRi sings patois, it’s a disruption. Because it’s her own, and always has been, so she just hangs with it, and it’s such a great vibe. She’s Kalki, she’s on that pale white horse she sings about riding in on in Consideration.


 ANTI is about claiming a space, not running towards finding a new one. Well-meaning folk might talk about the danger behind celebrating ANYTHING AT ALL about broken or abusive relationships, and they’d be right. But the incontrovertible, discomfiting fact is that human desire is aggressive. I’d like to posit that, thematically, that hunger drives the entire movement of this album, and can be most easily traced in five tracks, mid-album—Woo, Needed Me, Yeah, I Said It, and the Tame Impala cover, Same Ol’ Mistakes.

Woo is a three-chord goth melody that has Ri delivering her need in a tone that is all tender menace. The way she lets her voice get ragged on the delivery of “I don’t really mean to care about you no more” in the last chorus–she’s basically letting this guy know he’s barely relevant to her, but she’ll have him if he’s into it. This is not PG desire. This is unhealthy, selfish, void filling, and indisputably real. The persona Rihanna conjures is remorseless, unknowable, and aims to shatter all social constructs of what acceptable attitudes about romance look and sound like. In this way, these five tracks deconstruct the Bad Bitch.

You Was Just Another Nigga On The Hit List

Tryna Fix Your Inner Issues With A Bad Bitch

Didn’t They Tell You That I Was A Savage?

Fuck Ya White Horse And Ya Carriage

Caveat: There’s a little savior complex, a little Santa Maria in the final track on the version of ANTI that Rihanna first dropped on Tidal (i.e. what this review is based on). Close to You is not my favorite, though it is a lovely melody. The ballad is devoid of saccharine lyrics, but has a very earnest tone on the subject of still loving the absent or fallible lover. Take it or leave it.

FYI, Internet: I’m waiting for the fan cut of the track Desperado to clips of Selma Hayek and Antonio Banderas (from the movie Desperado) hurling themselves roof to roof, and unleashing lead, and having plenty of well-lit, tasteful sex.

I know you don’t think it’s right
I know that you think it’s fake
Maybe fake’s what I like
Point is I have the right

So yes, Rihanna drops some Lady Lazarus real talk on ANTI. And then, all of a sudden, she gets gentle. There’s the Dido-heavy Never Ending, and the incredibly beautiful Love on the Brain and Higher. The latter blew my mind, because the raw in her voice took me back to Janice Joplin. I’ve heard plenty of practiced honesty in pop lately—Adele, what’s up girl?!—but I wasn’t prepared for the places Higher goes to. In a piece by Julian Mitchell for Forbes, Bibi Bourelly, the writer of Higher, is quoted saying, “I understand the value of pain – pain made me everything I am – and if you approach art outside of anything but yourself, it loses authenticity.”

There’s something I’ve been trying to put my finger on since Adele’s single dropped– the way the lyrics of Hello feel so– conformist. WHICH ISN’T A BAD THING AT ALL. The song is basically a first person account of being upset that your ex-lover won’t let you apologize, explain, and then depart with dignity. Hello, unrealistic expectations! If 20-year-old me listened to Hello, all 20-year-old me would have gotten from it was reinforcement of outdated, dangerously romanticized notions of pining over exes, and maintaining unrequited love for a (hetero-as-fuck and smelling-of-dad-cologne) man despite him having long since moved on. I mean I had those notions, and since I kept quiet about them, no one challenged me. And since my Type A moronic self sounded like I thought I knew what I was doing, everyone, from parents to mentors, let me be.

This set me up for a laughable amount of what my people call love failure. The problem is that back then, only South Indians understood how other South Indians secretly managed their hormones. When I arrived in the US, I still found it impossible to explain why I couldn’t be honest about my needs, and in my silence I made myself vulnerable. Don’t make yourself vulnerable in a foreign country. It’s easy to lose five years in a relationship if you’ve gotten used to staying silent, in order to comply with some vague yet awful social conditioning.

It took me leaving my ex—in the teeth of friends and my parents, who suggested compromise—to finally understand that desire is not predicated on love, that desire comes and goes, and does not, should not be validated in any way, least of all by a relationship, unless the urge is spontaneous and the power equally distributed between all parties involved in that relationship. I will wholly admit to this next bit—I have had to fight to resist the urge to paint a picture that gains your sympathy or interest. I was an immature fool before, and a mature fool after. My greatest regret is not being as confident on the inside as I wanted to be on the outside. I did not have any closure rituals. People and your time with them will mark you, man, and there’s no candle or spell that can erase that. And you may hate them for it, but you cannot deny your world is forever changed because of them.

Speaking of closure rituals, the persona Adele adopts in Hello is grieving the fact that hers were thwarted. So when I patronize Adele, I only do it after comparing it with the raspy heart of Higher on ANTI:

You’re like my fire

Let’s stay up late and smoke a J

I wanna go back to the old way

But I’m drunk instead, with a full ash tray

With a little bit too much to say

Now, Negative Nellys (and Structuralists) will argue that the whole point of a pop song is to achieve the distraction, manipulation, and submission of the consumer. While this might be true of pop tracks manufactured by record companies, I’d like to think albums like ANTI do something special for us who know we are being manipulated, who know our place as consumers– we who navigate daily the thin line between being fully immersed in the horror of now, and buying into some manufactured distraction. Or to put it another way, per Jacques Attali (1977), the art of music is to sublimate or repress the universal fear of personal and collective disintegration. Rihanna, by vocalizing these (her?) desires and frustrations, makes her catharsis accessible to me, by not apologizing for her feelings or sweeping her dirt under the proverbial carpet.

I’m not saying listening to better American R&B and pop would have changed my life. But it would have been nice to be surrounded by narratives where impressionable, randy young idiots like myself could hear that it was okay to want. That desire was fantastic and amazing, not something that immediately made you a potential victim or worse, a slut. If you grew up like me, then this album will make you think with such tenderness about your 20-year-old self, and you will want to go back and embrace younger you, and kiss your own face, and smile, and say, Hold on. You are more than enough for yourself. It’ll be fine. Just hold on.

Priyanka graduated from the MFA Creative Writing program at American University in 2015, where she was managing editor of FOLIO. Her nonfiction has appeared online in Bluestem and Tehelka magazine.

The post Sure, Rihanna Was Not Around in Chennai When I Needed Her. But I Can Wish, Can’t I? appeared first on The Ladies Finger.

Suffragettes / Suffragettes by Nationaal Archief

Spaarnestad Photo, SFA002006268
Suffragettes op een kar. (Pleitbezorgsters van het vrouwenkiesrecht in Engeland rond 1900).

Two suffragettes (women’s rights movement) standing on a cart, bringing their message. England, location unknown, about 1900.

via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/65CC5U