May 27, 2006

Abuse plagues Muslim women in Germany

Immigrant women, especially those from Muslim countries, find themselves isolated and mistreated by husbands clinging to sexual and marital attitudes alien in the adopted country.'s Rachel Elbaum tells the stories of two these women and what is being done to help them.

When society gets in the way of sexuality

Culture clashes with human nature in the strangest of ways

Koro, the anxious feeling that your penis is retracting back into your body, is often described as a “culture-bound” psychiatric disorder. Sometimes, episodes of koro come in waves, almost epidemics. Some victims believe that if the penis shrinks far enough into their bodies, they’ll die.

Dhat syndrome is another so-called culture-bound disorder. Victims of dhat syndrome come to believe that semen lost during sleep, through masturbation, or by having sex, is literally draining them of life force. They can feel lethargic or weak. Some have great sexual performance anxiety.

For example, Caucasian women were much more likely to masturbate than were African-American, Hispanic, Chinese or Japanese women. Almost half of Hispanic women engaged in oral sex once per week or more, but only 10.5 percent of Chinese women did. Just over 70 percent of African-American women had intercourse once per week or more; 41.5 percent of Japanese women did.

May 22, 2006

Iran pushes Islamic dress code for women

Fears rise that Tehran will restore mandatory head coverings, overcoats

'Now on Tehran’s busy streets, only some women adhere to the strict code of the chador. Others are seen in scarves that leave almost their entire heads bare, showing blonde-highlighted hair, and brightly colored formfitting jackets, called “manteaus,” that stop just under the waist, revealing jeans and sandaled feet with painted nails.'

Oh no, painted nails!! That reminds me, I need to get a pedicure.

1470 miles in 4 days - Durham to Dallas to San Antonio

I finally made it. Burak and I drove 1200 miles from Durham to Dallas then we unloaded our cars to set up our apartment in downtown Dallas. Then I drove to Austin, had dinner with a great friend, Ann, and then drove on down to SA. I start my law internship at Legal Aid in downtown SA tomorrow AM. 8AM!

This is going to be a great learning experience. What is like to live in SA after leaving it 7 years ago? Where do I want to end up, in Austin, Dallas, Round Rock, etc? What do I like about Texas? Can I live with this crazy heat? What is like to work in a law office? What will I actually be doing?

Anyway, I have a lot of questions but I hope to find a lot of answers these next 3 months.

Stay tuned...ok, now for a nap.