The Complicated and Sometimes Racist History of Referring to South Asians as “East Indian”

The Complicated and Sometimes Racist History of Referring to South Asians as “East Indian”

“Ultimately, the term ‘East Indian’ is a remnant of archaic geopolitical Eurocentric positioning and shouldn’t be used at all in a modern context, unless you are talking about people from the eastern part of India. To use it in any other context is playing to Orientalist — and yes, racist — othering of not only people from India, but also Native American populations throughout North America who shouldn’t still be called ‘Indian’ at all.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, Jan 2017. Read full post.

Serial Abuser/Sexual Predator Bikram Choudhury Loses “Hot Yoga” Empire to One of His Victims

Serial Abuser/Sexual Predator Bikram Choudhury Loses “Hot Yoga” Empire to One of His Victims

“As if taking an ancient Indian spiritual and meditative practice and turning it into a capitalist and exhibitionist project pre-packaged for western consumption isn’t bad enough, the founder of so-called “hot yoga,” Bikram Choudhury, is a serial sexual predator to boot and has finally lost his entire yoga empire — and his fleet of luxury cars — to one of his victims, former legal counsel Minakshi Jafa-Bodden. While Jafa-Bodden’s $6.7 million lawsuit win was announced in January of 2016, the case has continued to be tied up in the courts, where Choudhury’s appeals have been rejected. At last report, Choudhury fled the United States — some say to his native India but these reports are unconfirmed — and his luxury cars are missing.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, Jan 2017. Read full post.

“Rogue One” is the Perfect Brutal Movie for a Collectively Bleak Future

“Rogue One” is the Perfect Brutal Movie for a Collectively Bleak Future

“On the day I went to see Rogue One, Donald Trump tweeted, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” In spite of my best efforts, I couldn’t stop those words from clanging about my head as I watched a movie about the creation of a so-called planet-killer weapon. The metaphor of the Death Star representing nuclear proliferation was just too poignant and terrifying.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, Jan 2017. Read full post.

Netflix’s “Sense8” Gives Us the Diverse Television We’ve Been Waiting For

Netflix’s “Sense8” Gives Us the Diverse Television We’ve Been Waiting For

“Sense8 is a veritable diversity and inclusivity bonanza, and will be a useful antidote as the current Nazi and white nationalistic rhetoric grows in response to a changing world that threatens white hetero male privilege. The Wachowskis make it look so easy to have a diverse, three-dimensional cast of different races, cultures, sexualities and genders. It makes me wonder why other showrunners make such a big deal about not doing it. As someone who has lived all over the planet, I’ve never experienced a show before that mirrors my own life and my own empathic connections to others.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, December 2016. Read full post.

Nepali Woman Dies in Menstrual Hut, Galvanizing Calls to End this Horrible Practice

Nepali Woman Dies in Menstrual Hut, Galvanizing Calls to End this Horrible Practice

“On November 18, 2016, a 21-year-old Nepali woman, Dambara Upadhyay, died in a menstrual hut away from her home in the small village of Timalsena. While this outlawed practice of chhaupadi is indeed suspect, Upadhyay’s death was ruled natural. As if there is anything natural about banishing menstruating women to the outdoors because it will anger the gods or contaminate the home.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, December 2016. Read full post.

Panorama: How to Plant Roots in the Sand

Panorama: How to Plant Roots in the Sand

“The thunder and lightning crash so hard around my home it knocks paintings from the wall and tchotchkes to the floor. A wall of rain smashes down so thick I can’t see the road just metres from my front door, nor the community pool out back. I wait for the inevitable sound of sirens that follow these epic peals of skyscape fury — the majority of my town’s residents are elderly retirees; someone once had a heart attack from the noise. As the wind wails, altering the direction of the wall of water this way and that, I imagine this is what it feels like to be in a meteor storm in outer space, frightened and alone. I wait for the power to cut out as it would in Asia, but it never does. This is America, after all. And while I might have experienced ferocious typhoons in Thailand and savage monsoons in Sri Lanka, all those storms combined pale when compared to Florida’s minor tropical furies. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to these terrifying and magnificent displays of nature.” For Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, December 2016. Read full post.

These Violent Delights Have Misogynistic Ends in HBO’s Westworld

These Violent Delights Have Misogynistic Ends in HBO’s Westworld

“A clear demonstration of its ongoing misogyny problem, HBO still caters to that “perv side of the audience,” who the channel believes enjoys the constant and graphic sexual objectification of women. It’s such a shame, because if they really needed this level of full frontal nudity, the network had the perfect opportunity with Westworld to feature both males and females equally, since both males and females equally fell within that android slave narrative. Instead, they chose to toe their misogynistic party line, and focus on objectifying women to the point where it became a disgusting display of pure unadulterated sexism.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, December 2016. Read full post.