Sunday, October 10, 2010

Interesting reads

I'm going to keep a list of interesting things I come across here.

The Cross-Dressing Girls of Afghanistan

"...Afghan families don’t have only daughters and sons. They also might have bacha poshes–literally daughters “dressed up as boys.” A bacha posh enjoys all the freedoms afforded to a boy in Afghan culture, including the right to have a job, to play sports and to travel freely."

Live Freed or Die

"Dolly Freed is my hero. In 1978, at the age of 18, she wrote this smart, funny, and frank manifesto called Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money. In it, she explains how she and her dad (whom she refers to throughout the book as “the Old Fool”) lived on about $700 a year and had a jolly old time not having to answer to the Man."

Prostitutes of God

Or, how an ancient Goddess gets bastardized over time in order to develop an economy of prostitution in India.

From the website:

In Prostitutes of God, VBS travels deep into the remote villages and towns of Southern India to uncover an ancient system of religious sex slavery dating back to the 6th century. Although the practice was made illegal more than 20 years ago, we discover there are still more than 23,000 women in the state of Karnataka selling their bodies in the name of the mysterious Hindu Goddess Yellamma. They are known as Devadasis, or ‘servants of God’. From city red light districts to rural mud huts, we meet proud brothel madams, HIV positive teenage prostitutes, and gay men in saris. Our intimate exploration into the life of the Devadasi reveals a pseudo-religious system that exploits poverty-stricken families to fuel modern India’s booming sex trade.