Write something, win a round-trip ticket to anywhere. Really. The 2009 Writer’s Travel Scholarship is now accepting submissions at Equivocality.net. This short-form writing contest, now in its fifth year, is open to all writers and aspiring writers. Entries must be 10,000 words or less and can be fiction or non-fiction on any topic — we’re not looking specifically for travel writing.
Submissions accepted through April 30th. Full details here.
I think everyone needs to get out and see the world, especially those who are inclined, for whatever reason, to tell someone else about it later. Write, and go forth!
It’s very hard to understand the world in the abstract, without walking its cracked pavement or trying to have a conversation with someone impossibly different from you. Wikipedia defines a “developing country” as a nation “that has not reached Western-style standards of democratic government, free market economy, industrialization, social programs, and human rights guarantees for their citizens.” But this glossy language never prepared me for the things I saw almost immediately that first time I landed somewhere poor. This list is a primer for those who have not yet had the mind-blowing experience of stepping outside the castle walls.
Continue reading A Dozen Things You Notice About The Developing World
In my travels through the developing world, one thing that consistently struck me was the way that men stereotype women sexually. Countries such as Morocco, Ethiopia, Oman and India are still very socially conservative by Western standards. Typically, there is a double standard, where men are allowed or expected to be sexual and women are not.
I had a long conversation with a young man on the train from Chennai to Calcutta. He’s a college student, studying for his BCom like so many others, so that he can start a business. We, two young men with 40 hours to kill, got to talking about women. He told me with a lopsided grin that he’d had a number of girlfriends. But he wouldn’t marry any of them. They weren’t the marrying type. His wife would be a virgin.
To this man, and many others I spoke to, women basically fell into two categories: sexual and reputable. It’s the old dichotomy: Madonna/whore, wife/slut, good girl, bad girl. Of course, the bad girls are more sexually desirable. And I’ve just discovered some careful research that confirms my perception of their perceptions.
Continue reading The Sexual Revolution was not Global