Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   | Volume 7, Issue 09, Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Special Feature

History's “bad” girls

There's a famous saying that “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” This is true. What's not true is how this tagline has been associated with women who have pretty faces, are famous for their promiscuity, marry money, and boast criminal histories longer than the Cold War.

This week, in honour of International Women's Day, we take a loot at some amazing women who do this quote justice: fearless ladies of past and present generations who weren't afraid to defy society by pursuing their own dreams and what they thought was right. Hello, role models!

Joan of Arc: Even in this day and age, one cannot imagine a woman leading soldiers into a war. That's exactly what this French national heroine did when she was just 16 years old. This peasant girl fought for her country and led soldiers to many important victories during the Hundred Years' War. Although she was accused of witchcraft and burnt at the stake later, to this day she is celebrated for her bravery.

Deborah Sampson: This American lady impersonated a man during the Revolutionary War and served the Continental Army. She was badly injured in battle and treated herself so that she was undiscovered. After being honourably discharged from the army, The General Court of Massachusetts verified her service and wrote that she "exhibited an extraordinary instance of female heroism by discharging the duties of a faithful gallant soldier, and at the same time preserving the virtue and chastity of her sex, unsuspected and unblemished".

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra: A third century Queen in ancient Syria, she led a famous revolt against the Roman Empire. It was said that she was extremely beautiful, and this may have captured the attention of her husband, the ruler of Palmyra. But her strong and forceful personality, as well as intelligence, was the reason she was able to reign over Palmyra even after the death of her husband.

Margaret Thatcher: In addition to being the first female to hold the post, she was also the longest serving prime minister in British history. She was nicknamed the “Iron Lady” by the former Soviet Union and implemented significant policies during her time. Politics is never easy, and this was 40 years ago, when there were hardly any women involved. She had many losses and had to keep fighting to win.

Bethany Hamilton: Surfing the waves of Hawaii since the age of 5, 13 year old Bethany's life changed forever one day in 2003 when a shark completely bit off her left arm. Miraculously, she returned to surf in the water just a month after her attack. She has won national titles, and fulfilled her dream of turning professional in 2007. Today, she is famous as both a surfer and an amazing role model. Bethany credits her success to her strong faith in God and an immensely positive attitude.

Nobel Peace Prize winners of 2011: Three women from Africa and the Arab world were awarded this prestigious prize last year to acknowledge their non-violent role in promoting peace, democracy and gender equality. The winners were: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be elected president in modern Africa; peace activist Leyma Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, a pro-democracy campaigner. We all know how hard it is for women to break out of the mould and take a stand in a male-dominant society and the fact that they were able to do so with dignity is praiseworthy.

So next time you're looking for some inspiration, think outside the box (i.e. the TV) and take a look around. Amidst all the glamorous celebrities, we tend to forget about real women who have struggled and overcome more than most of us can even imagine.

To get you thinking, here's a parting quote from psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: “People are like stained-glass windows -- they sparkle and shine when the sun is out. But when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

By Mehereen Aziz

News Flash

International Women's Day offers at Persona


In celebration of International Women's Day 2012, renowned makeover salon Persona brings to its customers several exciting offers and packages. Recognising the different roles that the women of today have to play at home, at work and in society at large, Persona presents two different packages and two promotional offers to encourage women to dedicate some time to themselves and their well-being. Package 1 includes a protein hair treatment, aloe vera facial, a manicure and a pedicure at the price of Tk 2000. Package 2 includes a hot oil massage, facial, a manicure and a pedicure for Tk 1000. To help their customers create beautiful memories, Persona Studio is offering a Tk 1200 package that includes make up and five photos for their valued customers.

In addition to these packages, Persona members can avail a 15 percent discount on all services over Tk 2000 (excluding make up and spa services). Offers available on March 8, 9 and 10.


Yellow alert

It is one of those times of the year again when we become vulnerable to jaundice. Make sure you know the facts and take precautionary measures against the disease.

It's not a “disease” though, literally speaking. It is rather a symptom: yellowing of the skin and the eyes occurs when a substance called serum bilirubin reaches an abnormally high level in the blood.

Bilirubin, a yellow pigment, is converted into other useful substances in the liver. Problems in the liver may result in the failure of this conversion. The concentration of bilirubin thus rises in blood. Some of the yellow substance can transfer into tissues, and that's when you have jaundice.

It can happen for many reasons but Acute Viral Hepatitis (AVH) is the primary reason for jaundice we are mostly concerned about. AVH is an infectious disease.

In summer, fruits become a chief medium for the transmission of the virus. Fruits are cut open and served in the streets with little hygiene maintained. These fruits can get the virus from flies.Therefore, make sure you stay away from unclean and unwashed fruits

Food produced under unhygienic conditions can also spread the disease. Also, make sure you are drinking safe water. These things are agents of viruses affecting the liver.

Another kind of viral infection of hepatitis can occur through wounds, sexual relations, transfusion of blood and sharing of needles. Take proper precautions. For example, double-check on the razor used when you go to the barbershop.

A dangerous thing about Acute Viral Hepatitis is that it doesn't show itself -- that is, its symptoms -- at the early stages; the primary symptoms appear later.

The final word of caution you must take heed of is that, in this season, don't ignore viral fevers and signs of physical weakness, as they might have more to do than just you “feeling a bit sick.”

By M H Haider

News Flash

Bibi in Colombo

Famed Bangladeshi fashion designer Bibi Russell brought Bangladeshi fashion into the international spotlight once again by showcasing her collection at the Colombo Fashion Week 2012. Putting Bangladesh on the global fashion map, Bibi's new line drew inspiration from and paid tribute to local gamcha weavers and rickshaw art at the prestigious event.

Thank God It's Friday


Exclusive Lace Saris by Rowshan Begum
Venue: The Bench, Gulshan 1
Date: 10-16 March, 2012.
Time: 12-8 pm

An exhibition of exclusive, lace saris will be held over a course one week at The Bench in Gulshan. This collection is elegant and chic and the saris are appropriate for all seasons! Vibrant colours, motifs and patterns with plain matte to gold and silver.

Contact: rowshan.a.begum @gmail.com ; #0172 711 0982

8 Artist's Contemporary Paintings Exhibition
Venue: Drik Gallery
Date: 2-10 March, 2012
Time: 3-8 pm.

This is a treat for art lovers. A group exhibition of up coming artists -- Rafique Siddiqui , Shah Mainul Islam Silpu, Tarit Barua, Sunil Kumar, Prabal Kumar Saha, Sudipta Mallick Sweden, Uttam Kumar Talukdar and Prodyot Kumar Roy.

Be sure to visit Drik Gallery to see the works of these prolific artists.

Cuppa Rock Fiesta Chapter-3
Venue: Cuppa Coffee Club, House #11, Road #46, Gulshan. Circle 2
Date: 10 March, 2012
Time:3-8 pm

This is the next episode of CUPPA ROCK FIESTA! The line up includes The Joint Family, Old School, Alternation, The Manager and Arava; the top four of which will play for an hour.

Tickets: Tk. 250

By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan

Reading Bites

This week's "Jaime's China" column in CNN features basketball player Jeremy Lin's implausible success in the NBA. The little-known Asian American has been leading the New York Knicks to successive wins, with or without the superstar players. It's rare enough to find a tall Chinese basketball player, trained to compete with the world. Lin has been all over the sports and cultural news in America and worldwide, serving as a model for other Asian Americans.

Broken hearts
Doctors say that yes, you can actually die of a broken heart (Health section, Chicago Tribune). The broken heart syndrome, known in the medical profession as stress cardiomyopathy, can cause a temporary weakening of the heart muscle brought on by intensely stressful situations, such as a loved one's death or a break up. It only affects 1 percent of the population, affecting women more than men. So, those heartbreak songs we listen to might be more real than we think.

Before the Poison
In the crime novel Before the Poison, author Peter Robinson challenges the assumption that romance and suspense is only for women. The narrator, Chris Lowndes, is so distraught by the death of his wife that he moves into an old mansion in Yorkshire where he falls in love with its resident ghost. There he begins the journey of uncovering the ghost's mysterious death (she was hanged for poisoning her husband) which brings him to travel abroad and fear for his sanity.

Female leaders
Fortune Magazine has released its much awaited list -- the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. With Cynthia Carroll (Britain) of the company Anglo American taking the top spot, the list also includes Chanda Kochhar (India) of ICIC Bank at #5, and Maureen Chiquet (France) of Chanel at #27. The list comes out at a time when there has been an increase in the number women leaders in the corporate world around the world.

The Lucky One
Known for writing romantic, often sappy books like The Notebook, Nicholas Spark's latest is The Lucky One, written only like a true master of love stories. The book follows Logan, a marine who tries to track down the woman in a picture he found in Iraq. The photo has brought him much luck, only increasing his desire and curiosity to find her, wherever she may be.

London time
A lot has been happening in London lately, and there is more to come: there's Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee this year, the unstable economy for some time, and of course, the highly anticipated Olympics over the summer.

Janan Ganesh for the Economist (“All Eyes on London”) argues that despite the issues and crisis, London got away with it, describing it as the “ultimate global city, a cosmopolis whose culture and economy were defined by their openness to the world.” In discussing its weaknesses, Ganesh brings readers up to date with the city to watch this year.

Haiti's Babies
“A Tragic Baby Boom”, written by journalist Jocelyn C. Zuckerman discusses the devastation of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti -- urban births skyrocketed, mainly due to rape and sexual assault (Marie Claire). New data shows the sexual assault continues to plague the country's women who live in camps in the capital, and since the earthquake, some 1,000 rape cases were reported, with many more unreported. Efforts by international NGOs and the UN are slowly underway for women's safety.

Iran's Oscar
Everyone has been talking about Asghar Farhadi's win in Hollywood this week, receiving an Oscar for The Separation as best foreign language film, the first award of its kind for Iran. As reported by Babak Dehghanpisheh in Time magazine, the cyber world went crazy in discussing Farhadi's powerful speech on the stage when he urged the public to recognise Iran's rich culture, separate from its recent history of war and brutalities. Time magazine offers new insights in connecting art with politics.

By Olinda Hasan






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