“Women, lesbians and gay men are likely to be the worst drivers”

Posted on by Prerna in LGBTQ | 2 Comments

I have been itching to write something but seriously, nowadays whatever I want to say just sounds repetitive in my head or my mind is so cluttered that I want to write about a million different things that are loosely connected to one another (I hope).

Anyway, I found this article in the Times of India. I suppose I am scrounging around for articles on the treatment of homosexuality in Indian “culture” because I am trying to come to terms with the amount of otherness bestowed upon me. I used to take each part of me and put it in some box in my head and delineate where I would behave as gay, where I would behave like a typical Indian, and where I would be an intellectual. I have had enough of pigeon-holing, boxing, labeling and limiting myself for the comfort of others, especially at home. Now its not about identity; now it is about identifying.

The following article is ludicrous. Why? 1. Because it confuses correlation for causality. Women and gay men are not inherently the worst drivers because they are “women or gay men.” It is because MEN are more likely to be pushed towards activities and studies that involve using and getting better at their spatial skills.

2. Just look at the small data set. You don’t deserve to be a psychologist at any university if you cannot carry out credible research and don’t know the existing literature in your discipline.

‘Women and gay men are likely to be worst drivers’

London: Women and gay men are likely to be the worst motorists, a new study reveals.
The study, led by Dr Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at Queen Mary, University of London, revealed that both women and gay men perform poorly in tasks involving navigation and spatial awareness when compared to heterosexual men.
The findings imply that driving in a strange environment would be more difficult for gay men and women than for straight male motorists, the researchers contemplated.
That is, because both tend to rely on local landmarks to get around, and are also slower to take in spatial information.
In the study, computerbased tests were carried out on 140 volunteers.

The team used virtual reality simulations of two common tests of spatial learning and memory, which was developed at Yale University.
In one, volunteers had to swim through an underwater maze to find a hidden platform, while the second involved exploring radial arms projecting from a central junction to receive ‘rewards’.

The research demonstrated that gay men, straight women and lesbians navigated in a similar way, sharing the same weaknesses.Though women were more successful in tests requiring them to remember the position of objects, men consistently performed better in tasks requiring navigation and uncovering hidden objects.“Men are good at using distal, or geometrical cues, to decide if they’re going north or south, for instance. They have a better basic sense of direction, but they can use local landmarks as well
,” The Telegraph quoted Rahman, as saying. “Driving in a novel environment which is poor in cues is where these differences are likely to show up most,” he said. “

“Banned Books” – Your Leftist and ‘Conspiracy’ Theory Index

Posted on by Prerna in Ebooks, Politics | 12 Comments

On torrent sites, I mean.

These are part of the “banned books” collection that I have come to index. They are either classics, controversial, very leftist or called “conspiracy theories.”


Brave New Foundation – Help support the Dream Act

Posted on by Prerna in Immigration, Videos | 1 Comment

Biographies of Dream Act student video. Share your stories?
It must take a lot of courage mixed with maybe hopelessness to put yourself out there like that. Anyway, whoever steps forward gets loads of kudos from me.

She was 17 when she was born

Posted on by Prerna in Vignettes | Leave a comment

She sat there almost tranquilized fearing the consequences of her forthcoming actions, the path she had chosen to embark on. No doubt it was the road less traveled, it was harsh, an embattled life full of challenges, a thorny ride with no sure prospects of bearing any economical fruit.

Blink. Deep breath.

She opened her eyes and looked into the mirror. Unshed tears but also unswerving conviction stared back at her, beckoning her, challenging her to go through with her life-altering act.

She narrowed her eyes and bit her lower lip as she stared at herself, not out of indecision, but resolve. Jaws tightened and clenched together, moving to one side.


“So what should I give you?” The unfamiliar voice interrupted her stream of thoughts, if only for a second.

She sought the questioning eyes of the other woman in the mirror and spoke with sheer determination and will.

“Chop it off, all of it.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes,” her voice unwavering, her confidence growing.

With that the woman began to slice through the long locks of oppression. They were without nerves and yet the pain of their coming separation visible in those unshed tears. The pain of the life left behind. But with that pain, a relief, waves of liberation rose as the chains fell all around the chair. In less than 20 minutes, the deed was done.

She looked at herself in the mirror. And smiled.

She was 17 when she was born.

The L Word is back on January 6, 10 PM E/PT

Posted on by Prerna in LGBTQ | 1 Comment

Alright, this is officially my first L Word post and many more may come but I will make them socially and politically relevant for the most part.

What do I think about the L Word? I actually had a distaste for it for the first 3 seasons; I did not even watch the first two until the third! Reason: The amount of sex they had on the show between the majority of characters that were white and femme made me feel it was for a straight white male audience. Obviously, I could not identify with any of the initial characters so I did not care for it much.

Now Season 4 was a bit different. It did not have much sex and almost everyone complained about it! I think I am the only fan of Season 4 of the L Word over all other seasons. The show added some transgender/transsexual characters, some non-whites, some off and on butches, which made me happier. Also, beyond provocations in the art world, gay marriage, adoption, dealing with breast cancer and inter-racial couples, they started dealing with transgenderism and discrimination in the workplace, coming out in middle-age and risking ridicule in your profession and losing the safety and comfort of white heterosexual privilege, brought in a deaf character to deal with a significantly different relationship dynamic (Not that I want Bette with anyone else but Tina), and even went as far as to suggest that liberals should support the troops!

This coming season promises some don’t ask, don’t tell, self-defense and exploring more relationship dynamics and character growth. And lots of sex is back, including the ridiculous proposition of lesbian Turkish Oil wrestling. I am personally watching for a Tina-Bette reunion as are most fans of the show.
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The L Word still needs to improve to become more socially relevant but it may be in its last or second-last season. Still it does a better job than crap like Bones, House, Desperate Housewives on social and even relationship issues and strikes a good balance between being a show for lesbians while also catering to wider audiences.

Tune in! Even if you are straight, heck you would learn a lot!
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Oh this is hilarious…

Please no gifts for my birthday

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Seriously, I DO NOT need anything. I was made to construct a wishlist so it is here, but there is NOTHING that I cannot get on my own in due time. Yesterday I got myself Season 1 of the L Word out of my travel stipend for the day and it made me very happy (anything gay makes me happy, get the pun). I have 2 computers, 2 satellite systems, a working MP3 player, 3 divx dvd players, a good bed, a closet full of clothes that I do not need and do not wear, 2 full bookcases of books that are gathering dust, a digital camera, a webcam, a camcorder, and my food and rent paid for and a good inheritance. Now that’s just called economic PRIVILEGE.

I may need a travel stipend for the Boston conference but I can make up most of the money by working. And I can keep myself entertained in my spare time.

Gay and Able

Posted on by Prerna in Desi, LGBTQ | Leave a comment

Great news ?

Gay and able!

After Irrfan Khan, how many Bollywood he-men would accept the role of a homosexual?

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network

Irrfan Khan is helping Indian gays to step out of the closet. In Mira Nair’s short film Migration that was screened at the Goa film festival recently and also on television for World AIDS Day, Irrfan plays an unhappily-married man in a secret, anguished affair with another man. Earlier, Sanjay Suri was the first mainstream hero to go happily gay in My Brother Nikhil. But there’s more, the affable and audacious Irrfan has now decided to play another gay character in a forthcoming play. Have Bollywood’s he-men finally decided to get over their inhibitions about tackling homosexuality? A quick survey by BT revealed…

Irrfan Khan

Ranbir Kapoor

• Play gay? Why not! I’d love to play any character that takes me into unexplored parts of my psyche. But let me

serenade all these lovely ladies in our movies first!

Akshaye Khanna
• It would
depend entirely on the script.

Muzamil Ibrahim

• The fun part of acting is you can become anyone you want. I don’t mind playing a gay character at all.

Manoj Bajpai

• I’d love to play a gay character if it’s written well and it’s part of a very good script.

Ravi Kissan

• It’s a big challenge for a straight guy to play gay. I’d love to play a gay character. I used to
play Sita in the stage shows of Ramleela back home in Jaunpur.

Rohit Roy

• Playing gay? I don’t mind at all. If homosexuality is intrinsic to the narrative and the director possesses the sensibilities of
Mira Nair or Aparna Sen, I’d surely play gay. But I’d never play gay to titillate, invoke senseless mirth or to ridicule the gay community. My character’s sexuality would have to drive the choices he makes in life which in turn takes the picture forward.

• I’d play gay
only if the director has the class and sensitivity to handle such a portrayal without making it caricaturish or offensive.

Aseem Merchant

• I’ve always been intrigued by the gay community. I’d love to portray a gay character.

Arshad Warsi

• I’d willingly play a gay character. It will be a new challenge to me as an actor.

Anupam Kher

• Playing gay is nothing new to me. I did it years ago in Rahul Rawail’s Mast Kalandar and
David Dhawan’s Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge.

Iqbal Khan

• If the role is interesting I can even play a lamp post.

Aryan Vaid

• Gay? Sure! For a good film, I would. But I’d hate to play the farcical, effeminate gay stereo
type. That’s just a plain mockery of a sensitive and vital community. But something like Brokeback Mountain? Any day.

So how do we merge social contract theory with subaltern studies?

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This is revolutionary; I can’t wait to see Dr. Scott’s face on Monday afternoon when I submit that proposal. He is either going to think that I am a genius or that I have lost it or both. And I cannot use the word “subaltern” – Lets start with a critique of “Imagined Community.” And I can do some pre-lim research, put it together and prep before I meet them on Monday.

I refuse to succumb to self-deprecating, self-loathing mentality

Posted on by Prerna in Discourse Studies | Leave a comment

Seriously, what have we done that is so shameful or grounds to feel guilty about? NOTHING.

Don’t tell me I am not human. Don’t tell me I am not as good as you. And certainly don’t tell me that my opinions are not as good as that of a straight, white male, American citizen.

I am a bit too educated to succumb to any categories, labels or tags anyone wants to give me. That’s the problem with this country; we have a labeling mentality. When people do not fit into our neatly constructed boxes of white/black, male/female, gay/straight, legal/illegal, we don’t know how to deal with it. The self-constructed anomaly becomes an Other, an object of our curiosity and obsession that we ‘treat’ as an alien foreign invasion, medicate, legislate, condition or control.

Just quit, I am too tired.

Oh, I got the internship. I have a couple days to decide whether I want to give my services to a good organization or whether I want to sit at home and DREAM more. Alright, time to pull up my socks and impress for the PhD programs.

My Brother Nikhil is on TV! – World Aids Day

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It was World Aids Day yesterday, I almost forgot had Sony not played My Brother Nikhil. I made sure to record it for my mother and MADE her sit through it. I should own the movie, but haven’t had time to get it.

Sanjay Suri (my favorite) plays a champion athlete swimmer who just happens to be gay and very “normal” and contracts HIV. The movie shows the sheer ignorance of people around him, including family, to deal with his identity and “disease.” He is even put in solitary confinement for a while! It has that beautiful song “Le Chale” … Anyway, to date, it is the best Indian movie that deals with homosexuality, in addition to AIDS. The most beautiful thing about My Brother Nikhil is that they make clear that IT DOES NOT matter how someone contracts HIV, the point is to discuss WHAT HAPPENS with that person after he/she contracts HIV.