Monday, December 06, 2004

ERIN: And I really want to send you a report on the Women's Market -- because for me it wasn't as much about shopping as about a visit to a place where women are powerful in the real sense of the word, a place that is a political center, a place where women really cooperate rather than compete with each other, a place where Bonnie and I (on our first visit with Ranjana) were joyously welcomed (both in phanek so that had something to do with it) and the women were so pleased -- it was like a social visit. None of that pull to buyt this, look at that.

When we went later in the week with Teja, he took us all around and then took us to meet his aunt. So we made a personal visit at the Women's Market -- which seemed perfect -- the idea that you go to the market to visit a friend, to gossip, to talk about pollitics, to do whatever. In other words, it is a social center. Who are the govt officials trying to move them inside to a structure? I'm sure they ahve good impulses (in the rainy season it can't be easy to sit out there all day) but it will ocmpletely change the tone of the place.

So, in other words, when you write about the Women's Market I would love to see you write about it as a social and political center, a meeting place, and a place where women have control, where women call the shots, where women treat themselves and each other with respect, and how Bonnie and I felt drawn into that. It's much more than a place to shop. Oh, did I mention I think it's probably also a cultural center in many ways? But that's just a guess -- the first observations areclear to me just from experiencing the place.

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