I heard this story today on Morning Edition. It’s about a class designed to teach Indian boys that girls should not be viewed as inferiors or forced to do all the mundane chores.
But while searching for that story to share with y’all, I found two others from just within the last day. Here’s one about overcoming stigma around menstruation in India:
“It started at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, which is dedicated to the Hindu deity Sri Ayyappan. For at least the last hundred years, women of reproductive age have been barred from entering the temple because Ayyappan, an ascetic, had shunned bodily desire. Only men are allowed to visit, after undergoing 41 days of ritual fasting and abstinence not just from sex, but also alcohol and tobacco.”
I’m no expert but IMO this quote reflects the commonly held idea (not in India specifically, but everywhere) that sexuality is embodied by young women. So a man might become “pure” by remaining abstinent, but a woman cannot, her body is inherently sexual. Or maybe it reflects the idea that women’s bodies are dangerous because men cannot control their urges. I don’t know. More baffling by far, however, is this:
Lots of Hindu temples ask menstruating women to stay away. Even the Kamakhya temple in Assam, which celebrates fertility and menstruation, bars women who are on their periods.
I don’t mean to pick on India, but I found the second story from the same Google search that led to the first story.
Lastly this story is about Muslim women’s reactions to a character who wears hijab on the ABC show Quantico.
For what it’s worth Season 1 of the ABC drama American Crime also featured an African-American Muslim woman who wore hijab, the character Aliyah Shadeed (née Doreen Nix). I’m not sure if that was considered a positive portrayal or not.