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     Volume 4 Issue 55 | July 22 , 2005 |

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On Women vs. Men
Thanks to Chadni Islam for her article "WOMEN VS. MEN-the real race" in SWM on July 8. First of all, as a man the article didn't offend me but I would really like to point out some serious misconceptions she shared in her article. Is it really important whether the man is literate or not in order for him to be capable of thinking like you (I am considering you are literate)?
I don't think that words such as "burden" can be used in when referring to pregnancy. I feel that it is a heavenly gift for women because they have this amazing power to bring a life into this world. I am really proud of my mother and I really do not think that I was burden of my mother. I agree with Islam, in the sense that girls are still treated very badly, especially in the circumstances of arranged marriages. However, things are changing now. They should change. In many cases, girls are choosing their own partners. Again I am coming to the title. It shouldn't be a race because one cannot win without the other. It may be a race to mankind where both are working side by side.
Zia Dhaka

On "Ads"
At first I would like to thank the Magazine Editor for giving us such a wonderful issue on July 8, 2005. I am sure that many others, like me, look forward to receiving the SWM on Fridays, which gives us some sort of mental refreshment after a dull week. But it's a matter of great regret that the ads in the magazine are increasing day by day. For instance, there are three ads in the issue of 8th July which occupied three full pages. Moreover, the condition of the issue of June 24 was same also. We, the SWM fans want more writings than ads. So, it's my sincere hope that our esteemed editor will ponder over the matter and make us happy by lessening ads.
Munir Uddin Kotoby Patenga,CTG

My Silence is Your Comfort
"Still in Seclusion -- My Silence is Your Comfort" by Rubaiyat Hoassain in the last issue of SWM was quite thought-provoking. Actually, it should be -- for men. What is it with hiding, or, even worse, being forced to hide, women's bodies as if they are a thing of shame? The logic behind purdah or even dressing modestly, more than making women feel comfortable themselves, is about hiding themselves from the male gaze. But I have forever asked myself and others; why can't men just NOT stare at women? The usual situation is: a man stares at a woman and often becomes aroused and stares even more or does worse. In such a situation, why is the acceptable solution simply for women to dress "modestly" and not for men to look away? It's the men looking that causes all the trouble. No matter what the situation, why is it women who always have to give in, emotionally or physically? Patriarchal society is simply a vicious circle for women and, as long as it exists and with such rigidity, they will have no space or freedom to breathe; they will find no way out.
Rina Banani

Toxic Fishing
If you stand on Banani Bridge on Kemal Ataturk Avenue in the morning hours, you will be amazed by a crowd there. These people usually stare down at the water, fascinated by some extraordinary event that is being unfold before their eyes. I was once curious enough to venture a little closer to the action and joined the gaze of the mass. There to my utter horror, I saw a group of people fishing. As far as I knew, most of the fish had died in Banani Lake. Most of them would simply float on the water surface, drunk in its toxicity. But that day, I saw some live fish swimming in the lake, only a mossy net barricading them from the rest of the lake. I am sure that these fish will be sold in Gulshan 2 fish market. But the point is that anyone who consumes these fish will certainly get sick. Who is responsible for controlling these activities? Will no one take the blame?
Motahar Ali Jinnah Baridhara-DOHS

An Opinion
Farah Ghuznavi and Lally Snow (SWM July 15th) forget what Auden said:
They to whom evil is done
Do evil in return
Let me see if I understood the writers. A few Muslims kill several thousand Americans, some Australians, Spaniards and Britons - and Islam gets a bad name and Muslims are greatly inconvenienced (and not only in London). When Britain and America kill 1,700,000 Iraqi children alone and raise the number of abnormal births 400 times (The Economist, September 14th 2002), they come out smelling like roses (the mother of parliaments even debating the humanity of fox-hunting at the time).
The obvious inference is that one must be able to kill on a sufficiently large scale to merit admiration.
At least this is the way the Japanese see it. "We used to be a nation of artists," a Japanese diplomat once remarked, "but now...we have learned to kill, you [the West] say that we are civilized."
In 1905, an American scholar wrote in the American Journal of Sociology that the Japanese were the 'peers of western people'.
Iftekhar Sayeed On Email

On the Cover Story
SWM's cover story of July 1 was impressive. Thank you very much for presenting us with such a gripping story about disabled people. I thought it was very nicely written. The problems which these people are facing are pointed out, but, unfortunately no steps have been taken to better their situations. We really need to think of solution for people with disabilities in order to make life easier for them, so that they can contribute to the society if we help them a little. I really hope to see more such cover stories such, which succeed in alerting us to the social problems that our society faces.

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
It is recommended that those submitting work for the first time to the SWM take a look at the sample copy beforehand. Our website is: http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine

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