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Manipur’s Transgender model Bishesh Huirem all set to represent India at 2016 Miss International Queen

Bishesh Huirem from Imphal will be representing the country at Miss International Queen, 2016 at Pattaya in Thailand in November

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Bishesh Huirem, Twitter

Sept 26, 2016: It is amazing how the society is changing for good. Transgenders in India have been the subject of mockery for centuries, but things are changing gradually. A few months back, India wholeheartedly accepted the teenage transgender Naina, a 16-year-old student who came out as gay and transgender.

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Now, Bishesh Huirem from Imphal will be representing the country at Miss International Queen, 2016 at Pattaya in Thailand in November. Miss International Queen is one of the most prestigious contests for transgender women from across the world. In this year’s contest 30 finalists have been selected who all would take the mantle from the former winner of the contest, Trixie Maristela, from the Philippines, reported HT.

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According to the leading news portal, Miss International Queen is one of the most prestigious contests for transgender women from across the world. In this year’s contest 30 finalists have been selected who all would take the mantle from the former winner of the contest, Trixie Maristela, from the Philippines.

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“I am not representing my state or region, but my country. Therefore, I will give my best and hopefully win the crown,” she told the media.

The 26-year-old is busy preparing for the contest, to be the best. Bishesh is a trained apparel designer who runs her own beauty salon in Imphal. Beauty contests aren’t anything new for her. Bishesh has been taking part in the contests since her school days, reported HT.

“I knew I was different when I was just 7-8 years old as I would feel uncomfortable going to a boys toilet. But it was difficult to convince my parents that I am a transgender,” she said.

“I promised to fulfill my parents dream by completing my studies. Once I did that, I chose to pursue my own goals.”

– prepared by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

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Women’s sports coverage encounters subtle sexism: Study

It has been found that 95 percent of anchors, co-anchors and analysts, analysing the sports coverage were male

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Women's sports and the surrounding sexism
Women's sports. Pixabay
  • A subtler sexism frames the TV broadcasts of women in sports, according to a recent study
  • L.A.-based network affiliates devote only 3.2 percent of airtime to women’s sports on news broadcasts
  • The researchers have been constant in updating their findings roughly every five years

Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 19, 2017: A recent study stated that a subtler sexism has now made it to the Newsrooms framing the TV broadcast of women in sports.

The ongoing, decades-long study by the University of Southern California researchers suggests, that even if the mainstream broadcast coverage now treats the sports played by women a little more seriously, a major part of it, mostly respectful coverage still has to face the relegation to the sideline.

Only 3.2 percent of airtime, according to the research team, was devoted to women’s sports on news broadcasts, by the L.A.-based network affiliates, witnessing a degradation of 5 percent from 1989, which was the first year of the study. ESPN’s SportsCenter, on the other hand, only stands worse, devoting 2 percent of the airtime to women’s sports, same as it was in 1999 when the study began tracking the show.

“When compared to the start of the study, women used to be framed in ways that were overtly sexist. Now the sexism is subtler,” said lead author Michela Musto. “It seems at first that it’s respectful, but if you compare the framing with men’s sports, women are talked about in a much more boring way. There is no joking or complimenting. Those kinds of descriptors are missing from women’s sports.”

The researchers have been constant in updating their findings roughly every five years, in 1993, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014, to be exact. It has been planned to start the research later this year, for it to be updated in 2018.

The researchers, in a manner similar to the previous cycles of the study, analyzed three two-week segments of TV sports news coverage on three Los Angeles network affiliates, and on ESPN’s SportsCenter. The coverage was then coded across 20 distinct categories, which included gender, segment length, type of sport, competitive level of sport, and production value.

Much of the disparity may owe to the little airtime devoted to each individual woman’s story on SportsCenter. Sports stories revolving around women averaged 77 seconds, approximately 50 percent shorter than men’s stories, however, better than the 44 seconds allotted to them on local affiliates.

The overall respectful coverage may be the advancement from the time when Morganna the Kissing Bandit was one of the few women featured on the local sports report. But the refined tone of this coverage carried a brand of chauvinism, of it own. The researchers gave it the name “gender bland”, a programming that confronts the treatment of a mandatory “set aside.”

In “gender-bland” programming, the athletic achievements of women are depicted as “lackluster” and “uninspired.” That is, unless they approve to the image of caring teammates or partners and spouses, for instance, the 2016 Olympic trap-shooter medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein’s portrayal in mainstream media as “the wife of a Chicago Bears linebacker.”

Also readWhere Girls and Women are missing out in Sports? Or is it simple Gender Discrimination

A surge of female athletes since the 1970s, when Title IX, which prohibited discrimination based on gender in education for athletics became a law, makes the sparse coverage of women’s sports out of step, the researchers noted.

Around 3.1 million girls participate in high school sports today, compared to 4.4 million boys; in a stark contrast to the situation 45 years ago, when only 294,000 girls played sports in high school, and less than 39,000 played in college.

There are but few women in sports media industry that may play a role in influencing the coverage decisions, noted the researchers. It has been found that 95 percent of anchors, co-anchors and analysts analysing the sports coverage were male. The data shows resemblance to the other findings stating that 90.1 percent of sports print editors happen to be male.

If a woman in the sports broadcast industry happens to scale heights, as the case of Samantha Ponder, a sideline reporter who replaced Chris Berman as host of ESPN’s featured NFL program, Sunday NFL Countdown, this August, it still makes big news.

“I do believe that part of the move toward greater respect and equity for women’s sports in the media will involve getting more women into newspaper sports desks, radio and TV commentary,” said senior author Michael Messner.

“However, I also think that employers, when they hire new people, should seek to hire reporters and commentators — women or men — who really care about women’s sports, who can and will express genuine enthusiasm, rather than gender-bland sexism, when they report on women’s sports,” he added.

The study has been published in the journal Gender & Society.

prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Muslim Women are not Doormats: The Shocking Truth about the ‘Nikah Halala’

Though many Islamic countries have long banned it, in India, this practice still continues

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Muslim Women and Shocking truth about the Nikah Halala
Muslim Women and Shocking truth about the Nikah Halala

– by Salil Gewali

  • Many Islamic countries have long banned Nikah Halala but in India, the practice is still done
  • This is a criminal offense committed in the name of religion
  • More vocal Malalas should take birth to raise the relentless voice against Nikah Halala

Shillong (India), August 21, 2017: The most shocking fact about the ‘Nikah Halala’ has recently been brought to light by the India Today media. This media certainly deserves a pat on its back for broadcasting to the world the “darkness of lust” that invariably frightens away the very spirit of womanhood. How on earth such practices which openly dehumanize the woman are sanctioned by law is difficult to fathom. She is sexually exploited by an unknown person for over a night. Is it not outrageous?

Though many Islamic countries have long banned Nikah Halala, in India, this practice often forces the desperate women, who want to regain the warmth of the past husband, to depend on the cleric scholars around. Such lecherous people put up themselves for the job. Is it not humiliating fact that apart from spending one night with a complete stranger, the divorced Muslim women are required to cough up anywhere between Rs. 20000/- to Rs. 150000/-.

This shocking Nikah Halala or one-night-marriage makes only a divorced Muslim women eligible to further seek the formal reconciliation (marry) with the first husband. Is not the sex without “love” itself spiritually a big sin? Alas, this retrogressive and godless practice is still prevalent in the 21st century while the roar of the triple talaq is still getting shriller!

 

More vocal Malalas should take birth
More vocal Malalas should take birth

Though no strong scream of protest against this bizarre practice is heard, a few conscious Muslim men and Muslim women are up in arms, also some Muslim Maulvi’s. Maulana Maqsood-ul-Hasan Qasmi, the head of the Imam Council of India, retorts – ‘This is lust. It’s not permissible in “Islam”. This is a “criminal offense” committed in the name of religion’.  One friend of mine Mr. Shafiq Alam bursts out in deep anguish “As a father of three daughters I know how such anti-female practices have brought “grief” to millions of households. Much of the texts of the Holy Quran have been either misread or deliberately distorted and misinterpreted by the vested interests which they use to justify any inhuman activities”. Indeed, most of the “explosive activities” that have often been rocking and shocking the world have their roots in the “wrong interpretation” of the holy texts.

Muslim women suffering
Muslim women suffering

There is nothing secret how disgustingly countless females across the globe suffer under the veil of chastity which only contributes to stifling their “vigor” of individuality, feminine potentiality, and creativity. I guess, more vocal Malalas should take birth to raise the relentless voice against ‘Nikah Halala’, gender discrimination and irreligious prejudices strangling the holy Islam. Oh Allah the Almighty, save us all from the evil mongers!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali


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The Exceptional Lives of The Third Gender “Hijras”

The need to emphasize whether they have a life or not lies simply on our stance towards them

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Hijras
A group of Hijra in Bangladesh. Wikimedia

July 25, 2017: In the midst of a classic world, there exist the third gender dilemma. Eunuch, Hijra or Kinnar – as we would call them have a life of their own. The need to emphasize whether they have a life or not lies simply on our stance towards them. In the earlier times, this category of gender had a special place in the royal manor of the king. They were used to guard women of royal families but with the passage of time, the need to hijras has arisen. The value of the third gender has degraded to such a level that it has become difficult to bring back their esteem in the present times.

Hijras
Portrait of a reputed hermaphrodite (Hijra) and companions – Eastern Bengal. Wikimedia

Here is what you need to know about the third gender:

-Hijras are formed by the process of emasculation which makes a man less potent. Hijras remove their genitals to complete the further transformation. They also dress like females, which adds to the look more austerity.

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It is believed that every hijra has its guru who is also a hijra. The guru predicts the date of demise which is again believed by many to be 100% accurate. Once the death date is revealed, the hijra starts worshipping their god to forgive him for the sins committed in the past as a clear indication of giving them the birth of a clear gender.

ALSO READ: India becoming more Transgender- Friendly: Read this report 

Hijras are not only cursed when alive, even their corpse is beaten to scare the soul for not coming to earth as a third gender. The rituals involve ripping off their clothes and hanging the body upside down for the scavengers to feed on them. Nevertheless, some observation in the present also conveys the peaceful and respectful departure of the soul of Hijras. The corpse is wrapped in a white cloth and all the ornaments are taken off from their bodies so that nothing stops the soul from departing the body of a third gender. Hindus cremate the body while the Muslim burry it. Prayers are held to offer them a good afterlife and forgive them for their sins.

Hijras
Hijras of Panscheel Park-New Delhi.Wikimedia

Hijras are special people whose blessings and curses are the most powerful. Hence it is always advised to never deny giving them money when they preside on occasions like child birth, marriage, or buying a new property.

The Hijras seen on traffic lights have been castrated to become members of the third gender by some of the people involved in human trafficking in order to earn money because by-birth Hijras never beg to anyone.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter @Nainamishr94


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.