A History of Hairpins and Hairdo’s of Ancient Women in Eastern Asia

A History of Hairpins and Hairdo’s of Ancient Women in Eastern Asia


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Confucian values in ancient China held that since one's hair is a gift from one's parents it is to be treated with utmost respect. This rule applies to men and women alike. Haircuts were therefore considered to be a serious filial offense against one's family and was only allowed under special circumstances such as giving a lock of one’s hair as a solemn vow to a lover or shaving one's head when joining a religious order. Prisoners were forced to have their hair cut and/or left to grow wild as a form of punishment as unkempt hair was a sign of illness, depression or dishonorable ways. On the other hand, long, shiny black hair was considered ideal as a sign of good health and vitality.

The Dahuting Tomb: A lady with a flowing long hairstyle of the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD)

Of course, long hair leaves a lot of room for one’s imagination to run free. A thousand years ago, Asian ladies’ hairstyles in particular communicated a language all of their own, sending silent messages to the world to behold. Ancient women from Eastern Asia have worn various hairstyles throughout different historical eras, with slight alterations to indicate different stages of their lives. In the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), women used to tie their hair in loose buns and allowed some loose strands to cascade down their backs. Between the seventh and 19th centuries, Japanese elite noblewomen affiliated with ruling families, had intricate and arranged wax, combs, ribbons, hair picks, and flowers hairstyles. The women of Korea wore several hairstyles that dated back to before the Joseon Dynasty depending on their age, social status and location of abode.

Coming of Age Ji-Li ceremony for Chinese girls ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Tying the Knots in China

Young women in ancient China wore their hair down, or in simple styles, to show that they were unmarried. Traditionally, unmarried girls would keep their hair in braids until their 15th birthday when they attended a ji-li or hair pinning ceremony. During the ritual, the girl's hair was washed and combed into a twist before being held together with a pin called a ji.


A History of Hairpins and Hairdo’s of Ancient Women in Eastern Asia - History

The family was the basic unit of society in all the cultures that provide the background for early Christianity. The family was united by common religious observances and economic interdependence. The family consisted of the entire household &mdash husband, wife, children, and sometimes other relatives and slaves.

Jewish marriages show many similarities to Greek and Roman practices. The marriage was a contract between families. There were two stages: the betrothal (or &ldquoacquisition&rdquo of the bride) and the wedding proper (taking the bride into the husband&rsquos home). The betrothal had the legal force of marriage and could only be broken by divorce (cf. Matt. 1:18-19). The bride was prepared by bathing, anointing, and clothing with special adornments. She was escorted from her father&rsquos house by an accompaniment of song, dance, and musical instruments. Weddings most often took place in the evening followed by seven days of festivities.

Divorce was uncommon among the Jews, but divorce was permitted by the Pharisees in the N.T. Some allowed divorce for any reason that displeased the husband &mdash even poor cooking. Others believed there must be a serious moral lapse such as adultery. But there was a different standard for women &mdash a wife could never divorce her husband, though under certain circumstances she could force him to divorce her. Divorce required little formality. A simple oral or written notice was sufficient. In Rome or Greece, by the first century, marriage could be terminated by the woman as well as the man, but under Jewish law only the husband could divorce his wife. A woman&rsquos dowry (the daughter&rsquos share of the parental estate) was returned to her in case of divorce. One reason divorce was not common among the Jews was that divorce placed a stigma on both parties and was considered to be a violation of the biblical ideal.

Women were to be unobserved in public. The veil was one symbol that reflected this status in society. The veil was a requirement for every married woman. In addition to being a symbol of modesty and virtue, the veil also indicated a woman&rsquos married status and subordination to her husband. In keeping with the idea that women were to be unobserved in public, men were not supposed to look at married women, converse with women in public, or even give a woman a greeting when they passed on the street. The oral law stated, &ldquoLet no one talk with a woman in the street, no, not with his own wife.&rdquo It was unusual for a Jewish teacher to converse with a woman in a public place. The rabbis taught that women were not to be saluted or spoken to in the streets, and not to be instructed in the law. Jewish women were not as restricted in public appearance as Greek women, but did not have the freedom of first century Roman women.

Eastern women were discouraged from going out in public at all. As in any social custom, exceptions existed, especially among the royalty and the wealthy. Often, a woman had to help her husband in business. In addition, religious festivals were occasions when men and women mixed in public. Women who lived in the country were not as inclined to observe the strict law regarding the veil. These women were more free to go out in public as they helped their husbands in the fields and sold produce. Particularly at harvest time, women would help in the fields and also help crushing grapes and olives in the presses.

A Housewife&rsquos Day
Mothers then, as now, would have been occupied with household chores and watching the children. A house in the first century in a village was small, probably a square, flat-roofed building made of dried mud bricks with the exterior being white-washed. In villages, houses were clustered around small courtyards where the women did the laundry, cooked over charcoal or wood fires, and the children played. The houses were clustered together for protection and efficient use of land, leaving the open fields for cultivation. In these courtyards were chicken coops, dove cotes, woodsheds, straw sheds, and other small storage buildings. Animals were kept in the courtyards: sheep and goats were raised for meat, milk, and wool chickens for meat and eggs donkeys for carrying heavy burdens.

The houses usually had only one room, but might have had a second floor where married children lived. The doorway opened directly on the street. If there were windows, they were cut in the walls and veiled by curtains. The floor was hard-packed dirt mixed with clay and ash to make it as hard as cement and covered with a few straw or leather mats. Furniture was sparse, probably only a few wooden stools and a low wooden table.

On the outside, a wooden ladder led to the roof which had a parapet about eighteen inches high built around the edge (Deut. 22:8). Rooftop areas provided useful space for doing chores, drying clothes and flax, and in the hot summer months for eating and sleeping.

A Typical Housewife&rsquos Day
The family&rsquos day began at sunrise with a breakfast of curds and bread. Women would go to the village well early, carrying a jug to get fresh water for the day&rsquos needs. The women carried the heavy water pots home on their head or shoulders. The well was the center of village life. One or two days a week the marketplace would be packed with farmers and merchants selling their wares. On these days, the women would buy provisions for the week. There was also a street of shops where craftsmen made and sold their wares &mdash the blacksmith, carpenter, matmaker, potter, and basket-weaver.

The daily tasks of women included baking bread (first she had to grind the barley between millstones), spinning, weaving, mending, washing, and making cheese and curds from goat&rsquos milk in a goatskin churn. Suppers were substantial, but simple: bread and wine, and sometimes dried, salted fish or boiled chicken. People had a variety of vegetables to eat including beans, lentils, cucumbers, leeks, and onions. For dessert they might have nuts, melons, figs, grapes, or pomegranates. They did not have sugar but used wild honey and thick grape or fig syrup for sweetening. In warm weather cooking was done in the courtyard. On cold and rainy days cooking was done indoors on a portable clay stove fueled with charcoal or twigs. At mealtime the family sat on mats around the cooking pots, using bread as scoops to get the food. Probably these same mats were used as beds each night.

Clothing: A woman used the distaff and spindle to make yarn or thread from raw wool or flax. Galilee was known for its fields of sky-blue flax and sturdy linen cloth was made from flax fibers. Dying the thread probably was done at home also, or could have been done by the town dyer. After she made the thread or yarn she had to weave the yarn or thread into cloth. The typical loom in the first century produced cloth about three-feet wide. In Galilee, looms were often wider and a garment could be woven in one piece (see John 19:23). Over a tunic a man would have worn a loose-fitting outer garment, or mantle. The wife made her own clothes also. She wore the same type of tunic as a man, but her mantle was fuller, with enough fringe to cover her feet. Most women wore head coverings. Both men and women wore sandals which they probably purchased from the local sandal maker.

Education: In a traditional Jewish village girls were not given regular schooling, but a girl&rsquos mother taught her what she needed to know so she would be able to fulfill her role as a wife and mother. Among the most important lessons were the rules that pertained to Jewish law and tradition, particularly the dietary laws. A girl also learned how to set the table and to decorate and purify both table and home for the Sabbath and special holidays such as Passover. In learning how to make these preparations, she learned the customs and history that lay behind them. Training for girls in home making was not taken lightly. Girls also learned how to master such skills as spinning and weaving, treating illnesses with herbal remedies, and helping with the delivery of babies. Girls were also taught to play musical instruments since music was permitted if it was connected with religious festivities.

Because of household responsibilities, the Jewish wife and mother was exempt from certain religious observances. She was not required to go to Jerusalem for the various feasts, to observe the daily recitation of the shema, or to be present at the reading of the law. All women did not choose to be exempted as we have the example of Mary attending the Passover feast with Joseph (Luke 2:41). A woman could go no farther into the temple than the Court of Women. In synagogue services, women were bystanders.

Conclusion
The first century Jewish man thanked God that he was not born &ldquoa Gentile, a slave, or a woman.&rdquo This was one element in a prayer of thanksgiving that was in the ancient Jewish prayer book. Teachings in the Talmud emphasized however that every individual possessed equality, dignity, and self-worth. But in practice this equality was defined in terms of strict male-female roles. The home was regarded as the primary sphere of expression and activity for a woman and the public arena was reserved for men. The rabbis taught that these two spheres were separate but equal. Though women did much of the hard work, they had a low position, both in society and in the family.

Jesus dealing with women, for example his readiness to speak to and help the Samaritan woman (John 4), contrasted strongly with prevailing attitudes. In the New Testament Jesus often referred to women in his parables and included them among his disciples. In the early church, women helped spread the gospel and prophesied.

Although the life of the first-century Jewish wife seems oppressive to us, those women found great fulfillment in the role of wife and mother, and she was revered in her role.

Sources:
Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity.
Biblical Illustrator, Winter 1991.
Reader&rsquos Digest, Great People of the Bible and How They Lived.
Reader&rsquos Digest, Jesus and His Times.
5047 Kingsbury Dr., Pittsboro, Indiana 46167


Most Beautiful Asian Women

Following 20 are the famous and most beautiful Asian women.

20. Jeanette Lee

Date of Birth: July 9, 1971
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Height: 5’8”
Profession: Billiards Player

Although Jeanette was born in the US, she is Korean by origin. She is a professional pool player who ranked No. 1 in the female pool player in the world category in the 1990s. She received the Sportsperson of the Year award in 1998 from the Women’s Professional Billiard Association.

19. Mehwish Hayat

mehwishhayatofficial / Instagram

Date of Birth: January 6, 1983
Place of Birth: Karachi, Pakistan
Height: 5’5”
Weight: 53 kg
Profession: Actress, singer, and model

Mehwish Hayat is a popular personality from Pakistan. She is majorly known for her roles in television shows Kabhi Kabhi and Dil Lagi. Apart from being a talented actress, she is also a great singer.

18. Priyanka Chopra

Date of Birth: July 18, 1982
Place of Birth: Jamshedpur, Bihar, India
Height: 5’6”
Weight: 53
Profession Actress, singer, and philanthropist

In 2000, Priyanka was crowned Miss World. She had initially planned on studying psychiatry or engineering, but there arose an opportunity in the film industry as a result of her pageant wins. In 2016, she was awarded the Padma Sri by the Government of India.

17. Michelle Kwan

Date of Birth: July 7, 1980
Place of Birth: Torrance, California, US
Height: 5’2”
Weight: 49 kg
Profession: Figure Skater

Michelle was born in Torrance, California. Her parents are from Hong Kong, which makes her a first generation immigrant. She is a two-time Olympic medalist and a five-time world champion in figure skating.

16. Koharu Sugawara

Date of Birth: February 14th, 1992
Place of Birth: Japan
Profession: Dancer and choreographer

Koharu had always been driven by her passion for dance. Before making it big as a professional dance instructor and choreographer, she won various competitions like Dance Attack and Shonen Chample at a young age. She has worked with artists like Rihanna and 2Ne1, a popular girl group in South Korea.

15. Pan Xiaoting

Date of Birth: February 25, 1982
Place of Birth: Yanzhou District, China
Height 5’2”
Weight 45
Profession Billiards Player

Pan Xiaoting made history when she became the first woman from China to play full-time on the Women’s Professional Billiard Association tour. Her achievements in billiards and her attractive features have made her one of the most popular female athletes in China.

14. Yoon Eun-hye

Date of Birth: October 3, 1984
Place of Birth: Seoul, South Korea
Height: 5’5”
Weight: 50 kg
Profession: Actress, director, singer, and model

Yoon Eun Hye entered the industry by debuting as a member of the girl group Baby V.O.X when she was only 15. She continued activities in the group for the next 6 years, after which she was offered a role in the television series, Princess Hours. The show received high viewer ratings and a lot of success throughout East Asia at the time.

13. Sania Mirza

mirzasaniar / Instagram

Date of Birth: November 15, 1986
Place of Birth: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 57 kg
Profession: Tennis player

Her stint with tennis began back when she was only six years old. She started to train with her father. During her time as a junior player, she won 10 singles and 13 doubles. She is currently ranked World Number 1 in women’s doubles.

12. Maggie Cheung

Date of Birth: September 20, 1964
Place of Birth: Hong Kong
Height: 5’6″
Profession: Actress

Her career began in 1993, and she has over 70 films to her credit. Quite a feat, isn’t it? She became the first Asian actress to receive an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

11. Lee Si-Young

Date of Birth: April 17, 1982
Place of Birth: Cheongwon County, North Chungcheong Province, South Korea
Height: 5’7″
Weight: 48 kg
Profession: Amateur boxer and actress

Lee Si-Young graduated from Dongduk Women’s University in Fashion Design. She made her acting debut in the television series Urban Legends Deja Vu. She grew popular due to her role in Boys Over Flowers. Despite taking up boxing in her late 20s, she has won many amateur competitions.

10. Farung Yuthithum

Date of Birth: April 6, 1987
Place of Birth: Pathum Thani Province, Thailand
Height: 5′ 11″
Profession: Model and actress

Farung won her first pageant when she was studying at the Rajamangala University of Technology, Thanyaburi in 2006. In 2007, she became Miss Thailand Universe and went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, where she ranked in the top 15.

9. Victoria Song

Date of Birth: February 2, 1987
Place of Birth: Qingdao, Shandong, China
Height: 5’5”
Weight: 45kg
Profession: Singer, dancer, actress, model, and presenter

Victoria is a part of an extremely successful four-member girl group, f(x). Born as Song Qian, she majored in Chinese Ethnic Dance from Beijing Dance Academy. Victoria Song was scouted by SM Entertainment and trained to be a performer after being spotted performing at a dance competition.

8. Zhang Ziyi

Date of Birth: February 9, 1979
Place of Birth: Beijing, China
Height: 5’5”
Weight: 48kg
Profession: Actress and model

Zhang Ziyi started to study dance at the age of eight. When she was eleven, she joined the Beijing Dance Academy upon the suggestion of her parents. She despised how the other girls would behave when it came to competition, and got so upset that she even ran away at one point. After winning the national youth dance championship, she was cast in television commercials in Hong Kong. After that, she slowly made her way up to the big screen and Hollywood.

7. Bae Suzy

Date of Birth: October 10, 1994
Place of Birth: Gwangju, South Korea
Height: 5’5″
Weight: 47
Profession: Singer, actress, MC, and model

Before her debut in the entertainment industry, she was an online shopping model. After auditioning for Mnet Superstar K, she got eliminated. However, she caught the attention of a JYP Entertainment scout and was invited to join a K-pop group called Miss A.

6. Fan Bingbing

Date of Birth: September 16, 1981
Place of Birth: Qingdao, China
Height: 5’5”
Weight: 51kg
Profession: Actress, singer, and producer

Bingbing has been ranking in the Top 10 in the Forbes China Celebrity since 2006. She ranked number 1 in 2013, 2014, and 2015.The hit television series My Fair Princess made her quite popular. She is passionate about fashion, and often walks the ramps for Valentino, Christian Dior, and Louis Vuitton. In 2010, Bingbing wore a ‘Dragon robe’ to the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, which drew a lot of attention from fashion enthusiasts worldwide. She had co-designed this dress with designer Laurence Hsu.

5. Im Yoona

Date of Birth: May 30, 1990
Place of Birth: Seoul, South Korea
Height: 5’6″
Weight: 50 kg
Profession: Singer and actress

While she was growing up, she drew inspiration by listening to the girl group S.E.S. and aspired to be a singer. In 2002, she was accepted as a trainee for SM Entertainment. After training for 5 years and almost giving up, she finally debuted as one of the members of Girls Generation, arguably the most popularly reigning girl group.

4. Yukie Nakama

Date of Birth: October 30, 1979
Place of Birth: Urasoe, Okinawa, Japan
Height: 5’3″
Weight: 45 kg
Profession: Actress and singer

She achieved her career breakthrough by playing Sadako in Ring 0: Birthday. Yukie grew quite popular after playing a lead role in the television drama Trick. She was also a spokesperson for Japan Railways and Japanese Tax Agency.

3. Deepika Padukone

Date of Birth: January 5, 1986
Place of Birth: Copenhagen, Denmark
Height: 5’8
Weight: 58
Profession: Actress and model

Deepika Padukone is one of the highest paid film actresses in the world. Her father was a badminton player, and so she picked up the sport as well, but gave it up in order to focus on her film and modeling career. She is the recipient of three Filmfare Awards.

2. Nana

Date of Birth: September 14, 1991
Place of Birth: Cheongju, South Korea
Height: 5’6″
Profession: Singer, actress, and model

Im Jin Ah, popularly known as Nana, is considered to be one of the prettiest faces in the South Korean entertainment industry. She was a participant in the 2009 Asia Pacific Super Model Contest. She is also a licensed makeup artist and is a member of the Makeup Artists Association.

1. Song Hye Kyo

Date of Birth: November 22, 1981
Place of Birth: Daegu, South Korea
Height: 5’2″
Weight: 45 kg
Profession: Actress and model

Song Hye Kyo is one of the most successful actresses in the South Korean film industry. She worked hard from the bottom as a small time model and made her way to the top. Her recent drama, Descendents of the Sun, alongside Song Joong Ki, was one of the biggest hits of all time and received some of the highest viewer ratings, which goes on to prove how much of a successful actress she is.

There you have it, the list of some of the most beautiful women in Asia. Were you blown away by their beauty just as I was? No doubt that these ladies are quite easy on the eyes, but they have all achieved so much more. These women deserve the recognition! Their accomplishments are what make them truly beautiful.


A look at pubic hairstyles around the world

The landscape of the ladygarden (since most of the information we’ve gathered about personal pubic grooming seems to be primarily about ciswomen) has been discussed with some bemused head-shaking over the past decade or so, as the prevalence of pornography has increased. What’s the link between the two? Some people are convinced that the bald Brazilian look comes directly from porn actors, whose nether regions are hairless for better viewing purposes. But now, no less of a publication than the New York Times has pronounced it: Hairy bush is back.

But WHERE is it back? This guide to pubic hairstyles of the world is far from comprehensive, but you’d be surprised how little solid information there is about that most delicate of areas and the hair that decorates it.

United States

With American Apparel adding merkins to their mannequins, it makes us wonder about the history of pubic hairstyles in the United States.

The trimming and removal of pubic hair seems to have begun in the US with the invention of the bikini in the 1960s. In 1971, Playboy had the first pictorial spread with glimpses of pubic hair before that, men’s magazines decorously hid the pubic region entirely. The feminist movement notoriously favored the natural look, and having body hair quickly became associated with the outspoken, pleasure-seeking woman as opposed to the nubile temptress.

A few years later, whether in direct or unconscious backlash, Larry Flynt started publishing the Barely Legal series, and the teen bodies of Brooke Shields and Jodie Foster were eroticized in Pretty Baby and Taxi Driver, respectively. This started a decline in the natural look, and the first Brazilian wax was given in 1987, by a salon in Manhattan.

The bare-down-there preference didn’t really take off until 2000, when Sex and the City featured Brazilians in an episode and suddenly everybody and their favorite porn star wanted one. Pretty soon, ladies all over North America were going completely bald…so much so that it may have caused the extinction of pubic lice.

A study done in 2003 showed that 30% of North American women completely removed their pubic hair, 60% trimmed it, and 10% left it natural. Since then, however, many celebrities are actively speaking about their preference for the ungroomed, and even bikini-line trims are going the way of the dodo.

The United Kingdom (and Europe)

A recent Daily Mail survey found that 51% of British women leave their pubic areas untouched, and 46% of men interviewed said they preferred it that way. Nice to know, lads! Nonetheless, you don’t see a lot of hairy ladies in the public eye in the UK, which may have more to do with their general decorousness and lack of predilection for discussing bodily functions in public than any real pubic preferences.

The same 2003 study mentioned above showed that, Europe-wide, 10% of women completely removed their pubic hair, 15% trimmed, and 75% left it completely natural. Women in Eastern Europe, France, and Spain are notorious for leaving their armpits and legs unshaved, and one can assume this also extends to the pubic region.

In the history of hair, Catherine de Medici of France was a pubic hair zealot and insisted her ladies-in-waiting wear full hairy bushes, even flipping up their skirts to check. The French court also went in for pubic decorations in their flowing locks, including braided ribbons, dying, and even gilding.

Asia is a pretty big continent, and again, we don’t have comprehensive statistics. However, the Pubicstyle blog quotes a letter from a reader in Japan:

When I was a child, my mother always said to me, “You should hide your pubic hair at the baths or in the changing room. It is good manners.” So I cover up with a towel or people might think I was vulgar. Especially the older generation. But as I say, it is changing because we can get a lot of information about everything. Some Japanese women have been influenced by the TV show Sex And The City. One of my friends told me that she was interested in bikini waxing because she saw it on Sex And The City.

The Encyclopedia of Hair says that the majority of Indian women completely remove their pubic hair, and some anecdotal support states that it may be common for Muslim women to remove not just pubic hair but all hair below the neck. The women of the Turkish seraglio, the Sultan’s household during the Ottoman Empire, used early depilatories (including powdered lime) to melt their body hair and scrape it off with special grooming tools.

Other commenters on Asian pubic hairstyles point out that most Asian women do not show their genital region to anyone but their spouse, and they are less likely to have a high number of sexual partners. This means they wouldn’t have any aesthetic pressure to groom, trim, pluck, or shave, as their spouse would presumably have an idea of what their pubic area looked like.

Australia

A 2008 study of Australian university students revealed that 60% removed some or all of their pubic hair, with the biggest predictors of going bare being a habit of watching Sex and the City or Big Brother. Australia’s remotest state acts as a slang term for the triangular pubic fluff: The “map of Tasmania,” as with natural hair on women in the United States, has been associated with “free-spirited” women, feminists, and environmental protesters.

Feral Cheryl, a doll billed as the “anti Barbie,” came with natural body hair, flat feet, and comfortably colorful handknit clothing. Overall, Australians continue to lean more towards hair removal for mainstream situations, however.

A weird historical tidbit

Desmond Morris’ book The Naked Woman mentions an early German anthropologist who visited people living on the Bismarck Archipelago in the South Pacific, where “women wiped their hands on their public hair whenever they were soiled or damp, as we are accustomed to use towels.” Hmm.


The Next James Bond Is Rumored To Be Black

Jean-Batave is a martial artist from the viking stronghold of Normandy, France. He travels the world looking for new fighting techniques and new beautiful women. Eastern Europe taught him everything he knows and is his second home. His column runs every Thursday.

That’s it. One more symbol soon defiled, just a few to go. After attacking numerous European figures in film and series, twisting the history of the Ancient Greeks, Romans and insulting Nordic folklore and Medieval Britain, our favourite tribe of innocent Vietnamese peddlers decided that it was time to tear down one of the last remnants of white masculinity, the charismatic, blue-eyed James Bond.

Idris Elba lately tweeted a picture of himself captioned “My name’s Elba. Idris Elba” as a nod to a rumour that has been gooing on for months.

The name is Bond, Bail Bond.

Although it is not confirmed, I believe Elba has been given the green light by his hand-rubbing masters to taunt us about the programmed death of that inspiring, objectively White character.

The sky is green and the sun is cold

Heimdall VS Heimdall: Enriched

Elba is not just any black actor. He has been a useful stick chosen by the treacherous Finns to poke European culture in the eye, particularly when he portrayed the guardian god Heimdall in Thor, the Hollywood parody of Viking mythology.

A sketch of James Bond, as commissioned by Ian Fleming

James Bond, being the son of a Scotsman and a Swiss woman was not, and never will be, Black. James Bond is, as its creator described:

“…slim built with a three-inch long, thin vertical scar on his right cheek blue-grey eyes a “cruel” mouth short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead”

It is all so tiresome

I can’t wait for the sequel of Schindler’s list, starring Woody Allen as the SS officer and Dolph Lundgren as Itshak Stern but something tells me it will not happen anytime soon.

I find the directors of this future Bond film extremely intolerant. Indeed, they think that a Black man has to fit in the role of an oppressive White devil, instead of having his own version of Bond in Wakanda, for example.


How Are Romanian Girls Different From Other Eastern European Women?

Romanian girls are not exactly the first that pops to mind when you think of Eastern Europe.

Serbia and Bulgaria? Not as much, but still yes.

Romania, however, remains largely ignored by lovers of all things Eastern Europe.

And I am not blaming you, either. Romanian girls are not like other Eastern European women.

Granted, they may be similar (or at least more similar than any Western woman could hope to be), but definitely not the same. So what exactly makes women in Romania so different? I’m glad you asked.

Panslavism (Or A Fancy Way To Say ‘I Love My Tribe’)

I don’t know how familiar you are with ethnic groups in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Judging by the game shows I have seen Stateside (which are way more than anyone should see), no too familiar. Basically, Slavs are the major ‘tribe’.

Slavs are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group, who speak various Slavic languages of the Balto-Slavic language group.

That is from Wikipedia. They first appeared in written history around the 6th century. They probably came from somewhere in Eastern Europe/Western Asia. We only learned about them when the Germanic tribes started migrating. Slavs settled at those abandoned lands fleeing the Huns and their allies. When the Byzantines realized they have a bunch of people at the border, it was a bit too late. The Slavs were there to stay.

Modern-day Slavic people are:

Romanians are not on that list. They speak a Romance language and are ethnically different. When Pan-Slavism came about during the 19th century, it emphasized the common heritage and values of Slavic people. The Balkans were the main focus, as Slavs there were still oppressed.

Sadly, Pan-Slavism failed Slavs in the Balkans big time. Both the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union used it as a political tool. There are many examples of atrocities that happened thanks to that. The creation and existence of Yugoslavia (and it’s consequent separation which claimed thousands of lives) is one of them.

Either way, that is an entirely different article.

Romanians vs Slavs

Slavic people, love it or hate it, have had the tendency of sticking together. Romanians are not included in that. Although cultures have fused together and theirs has a lot of Slavic features, Romanians are still a separate ethnic group with a different language and heritage. Or, to quote Wikipedia once again:

The Romanians are an Romance ethnic group native to Romania that share a common Romanian culture, ancestry, and speak the Romanian language.

The most obvious difference between Romanian girls and other women in Eastern Europe is the language.

If anything, you will have it much “easier” if you try to learn Romanian. It is very similar to Spanish, French, and Portuguese. I hope you are lucky enough to have learned at least one of these.

Where Did Romanians Come From?

So I gave you a pretty extensive origin story for Slavic people but they are not even the subject of this article. How did Romanians end up on the Balkan peninsula? Well, there are two theories.

The Daco-Roman continuity theory says they come from the ancient Dacians, which inhabited these lands before the Romans came to conquer. These indigenous tribes were Romanized and eventually morphed into what is now known as Romanians. This would make Romanians one of the oldest nations on the peninsula.

The south-of-the-Danube origin theory says it wasn’t the Dacians at all. It goes that Romans moved northward across the Danube river into modern-day Romania. These ancestors were a combination of Romans and Romanized peoples of Illyria, Moesia and Thrace. In other words, not locals.

Finally, there is genetics. Surprisingly enough, Romanians are not as genetically different to their Slavic neighbours as it may seem at first. This genetic affinity is not reflected in the language, though.

In other words, Romanian girls may look like Slavic girls, but don’t you dare equate their culture to Slavic culture.

Romanian Vs Eastern European Looks

Girls in Eastern Europe try harder. This is true for both Slavic and Romanian women. Both are naturally gorgeous but they also put a lot of effort in their looks.

Romanian girls tend to be darker than other Eastern Europeans. The gypsy community is much larger in Romania, too. There is still a lot of stigma against them, but gypsies are becoming more integrated into Romanian society. Even if we’re talking ethnic Romanians, though, they usually have light brown to olive skin and shiny black or hazelnut hair.

Romanian women often go blonde. Thankfully, fashion has been shifting toward more natural hues. The days of platinum blonde hair and black eyebrows are over. Which makes Romanian girls all the more attractive.

When it comes to facial structure, Romanians have larger features. Think Penelope Cruz or Kat Dennings, not Taylor Swift.

Almost all Romanian girls have big, almond-shaped eyes and full lips. Romanian women are on the curvier side, too. They are not as frail and girlish as their Slavic counterparts. Although, they do work hard at the gym to keep fit so they are not fatties either.

Beauty Is Power

This is universal throughout Eastern Europe. Women here work harder to look good. They do their hair, put make-up on, wear flattering clothes, get their nails done, tan, never miss their cosmetologist appointments, etc.

Romanian girls favour more revealing, body-hugging styles of clothes than Slavic ones. They are also edgier in their sense of style. Bright red lipstick is not uncommon on the streets of Bucharest, and neither are other bold choices. Take note before you smooch. Lipstick stains are not as sexy as they are claimed to be.

In the gym, Romanian women emphasize strength, rather than slimness. They aren’t big on diets but they do work out a lot. Most are the perfect mixture of curvy and toned.

Independence of Romanian Girls

Romanian girls are raised to be independent. They value education and work hard on building a career. The gold-diggers and aspiring trophy wives are an exception, definitely not the rule.

In a typical Romanian family both partners work full-time. Grandparents are usually around to watch the kids. If not, it is daycare for 8 hours every day.

This is the family model that Romanian girls grew up with. These fierce females will not expect you to provide while they watch soap operas and get their nails done.

Romanian Girls Are Caring, Too

Romanian women have a life of their own. But that does not mean they are not caring and devoted to their partners and families.

Romania has a very couple-friendly culture. Date night is a must, even after kids, and so is looking pretty for your husband. There might be some exceptions but most Romanian women will never let themselves go.

Have I Told You About That Cuisine…

At first, I hated Romanian food with passion.

It was weird, the textures were funky, I did not recognize most of the products used, not to mention it all smelled a little too unusual for my liking. And I wasn’t the only one. Before my first trip to Romania, a buddy warned me that ‘You will love the place, and hate the food. Bring Oreos in bulk if you don’t want to starve’.

I am now a reformed Romanian food hater. Get yourself a Romanian girlfriend and you can be one, too.

You can’t get a real feel of what Romanian cuisine is like in a restaurant. Homemade will always be light years ahead. Lucky for you, Romanian women are also caring girlfriends and wives. You will never be without Mămăligă, Pilaf, or Tochitură wine and pork stew ever again.

Settling Down With A Romanian

Eastern European people get married early. Romanians, too, but not that early. Most girls only consider settling down after they get a degree, and perhaps get started on a career. Unlike Russians, who are happy to get married as teens.

Since Romanian girls get into serious relationships later in life, they are not the party enthusiast wives you might expect. Granted, Romanians love fun but settling down usually means you have your craziest years behind you.

Russian and Ukrainian girls, on the other hand, are notorious for their love of the party scene, even after marriage.

The other thing that makes long-term relationships with Romanian girls different is their willingness to move out. Eastern European girls, in general are often happy to relocate for love. With Romanians, you would be hard-pressed to find a woman that will not consider it.

Two very obvious reasons for that:

  • Long-term equals absolute commitment for Romanian girls.
  • The country is not doing so well economically. Moving abroad means choosing a better life for herself and her future children.

What do you think makes Romanian girls different? Have you dated one, or maybe are you currently with a Romanian? Give us all the details in the comments below.

PS: Meet Romanian girls and browse the Balkan beauty section of International Cupid.


Gender, empire and body politic as mise en scene: Mnouchkine's 'Les Atrides.' (Ariane Mnouchkine)

In 1955, Roland Barthes witnessed Jean-Louis Barrault's production of L'Orestie at the Marigny theatre. In the review quoted above, he ironically comments on what he saw as a misguided attempt to wrest the work loose from the academic rhetorical tradition in France by presenting it as "Artaudian trance theater" in the style of African mask ceremony. Barthes describes it as an impossible combination of participatory theatre that no one really wanted to participate in, with an inappropriate "bourgeois-psychological" acting style full of secretive nuances, and costumes and decor that exuded Greco-Parisian elegance. Yet he most seriously criticizes Barrault not for aiming at the exotic but for lacking historical responsibility. It is important to note that Barthes's remarks were made during a highly charged moment for French theatre, an era of retrenchment and polarization that had begun in 1954 with the guest appearance of the Berliner Ensemble's Mother Courage at the Theatre des Nations. By the following year, Barthes had become an outspoken proponent of Brechtian theatre and he seems to be judging Barrault's production of Oresteia as the antithesis of this model.(4) By contrast, Ariane Mnouchkine's recent Les Atrides at the Theatre du Soleil demonstrates, despite exotic elements borrowed from India and Asia, a historical responsibility of which Barthes would surely approve.

Inspired by Brecht's example as were directors Roger Planchon, Antoine Vitez, Patrice Chereau, and many others who began their careers in the fifties and sixties, Ariane Mnouchkine has based more than thirty years' work on the principle of historical responsibility. Her leftist politics and collaborative rehearsal and management practices have been constant since she co-founded the Theatre du Soleil in 1964, even as her aesthetic and political vision has continued to evolve. Characteristically, Mnouchkine describes Brecht as a master with whom one must be careful, and accordingly disassociates herself from his authoritarian aspects: "I like him when he searches, but I don't like him when he legislates."(5) Yet her commitment to a historically responsible theatre has taken her along a Brechtian route through a Verfremdung achieved by borrowing from Asian theatre. In a seeming paradox, she explains that she can only seize the historical import of a work - i.e., its relevance for our time - by creating a distance. For Les Atrides, a cycle of four plays that adds Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis to Aeschylus's Oresteia, this distancing is achieved through the filter of an imaginative context inspired mainly by Kathakali dance, makeup, and costumes, and the colors and fabrics of India.(6) The Atreus cycle is part of a long series of "Orientalist" projects for which the Theatre du Soleil has either adapted Asian or Indian theatre conventions to stage Western texts or created new works that depict the colonization of the Third World more directly. The productions have alternated between classical plays like Les Atrides and the Shakespeare cycle (Richard II, Twelfth Night, and Henry IV) and new contemporary creations such as L'Indiade and L'Histoire terrible mais inachevee de Norodom Sihanouk, roi du Cambodge (The Terrible but Unfinished History of Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia). As Mnouchkine is well aware, the canonical works are sure to receive a warmer critical reception and more box-office success than the contemporary ones. However, both serve a necessary function in the Theatre du Soleil's ongoing political and cultural critique, a dialogical engagement against and with the Western and specifically the French theatrical tradition.

Like Barrault, Brecht, Peter Brook, or anyone else who appropriates the art of another culture, Mnouchkine risks practicing cultural hegemony.(7) In Orientalism, Edward Said warns of enervating the traditions and colonizing the people from whom one borrows, of positioning oneself as the primary and knowing subject, and the other as the secondary object to be known - a theatre through which the subject seeks self-knowledge. Said defines Orientalism as a manifold discourse enmeshed deeply in politics, art, philosophy, religion, the social sciences, sciences, and every other area, "a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between |the Orient' and . . . |the Occident.' . . . European culture gained in strength and identity by setting itself off against the Orient as a sort of surrogate and even underground self."(8) I hope to show that while Les Atrides may not escape producing hegemonous effects with its own Orientalist project, it nevertheless manages to historically contextualize the cultural production of Orientalism as a semiotic process. It stages as historical the verbal, visual, and aural discourses through which the West embodies the multiple Other as a non-Western, non-masculine, ultimately non-human "oriental" whose language is barbaric, at best strange music and at worst demonic noise. But because this is the Oresteia, the pillar of the Western theatrical canon, the Western spectator perforce hears it as more than music or noise. The historical responsibility taken on by Mnouchkine is an elucidation through theatrical means, above all that of l'ecriture corporelle, or writing by the actors' bodies, of the fateful intersection between the discourses of gender and empire in this founding myth of the West, setting forth power relations that remain in force today.

In recent years Said himself has refuted the growing oversimplification of Orientalism as a one-directional hegemony. In Orientalism he in fact notes its capacity for a productive interrogation of the "idea of the West" and the power relations that this idea has entailed. Precisely because Orientalism is "a grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness," he believes that it is "valuable more . . . as a sign of European-Atlantic power over the Orient than it is as a veridic discourse about the Orient."(9) Since classical antiquity, the idea of the oriental exotic has been used in the embodiment of private and public power relations, or as Foucault might put it, the deployment of power through institutionally staged discourses or "technologies" involving the human body. The colonizer often imagines the colonized as an other by feminizing, demonizing, and depriving the other of language. The outlines of this corporate image of the other are already evident in the first extant Greek play, Aeschylus' The Persians. The feminine in ancient Greece was equated not only with irrational nature but, especially in times of crisis, with the "barbarians" (literally, non-Greeks) to the east, whom Athens feared and had been trying to fend off or colonize for nearly a thousand years, ever since the wars with Persia and later with Troy in Asia Minor, or present-day Turkey. Indeed, an inferiority complex, a fascination-repulsion vis a vis Eastern civilizations was already thematized in Homer's epics, with Troy depicted as a sophisticated, corrupting, "Oriental" city whose men, like Helen's lover Paris, were unmanfully elegant. The Greeks knew that the civilizations of India, Persia and Asia were indeed more advanced in many ways than their own, and the wars with Troy were imagined as part of the epic battle between West and East. In Les Atrides the discourses of Orientalism are deployed through theatrical signifiers, and in the process women, Eastern barbarians, ill winds, and other threats to the rising patriarchal Greek empire are condensed, expanded, or diffused into a bodied other that can be followed in the texts and production.

For Mnouchkine as for Brecht the historically responsible theatre does not aim to reproduce a context outside itself. Neither ancient Greece nor India nor France is imitated realistically. The attempted reproduction would imply that history flows along everywhere else but on stage, unless theatre is forcibly transformed into history's channel. Instead, theatre is both a producer and production of historical consciousness, and Greece, India, Asia, and implicitly France and Europe are shown as floating cultural signs. In short the mise en scene is semiotic, not as a formalistic structure but as a site where historical signs are produced. It is more than a theatre aware of itself, or an epic theatre with direct speeches to the audience, "non-linear" time, montage space, separation of elements, songs and dancing interrupting dialogue, etc. Above all, Les Atrides is not a staging of the tragedy as inevitable, but as a history that didn't have to be.

Materialist feminism and the critical tradition.

The Oresteia has become so encased in canonical production styles and receptions that it appears to be suspended in a world sealed off from time. It is often claimed as the founding text not only of Western drama but of Western culture, and usually interpreted as the defeat of the old barbaric tribal law of revenge and the victory of the new rule of democratic law. However, a historical inscription of gender, race, and empire underlies this idealized mythic reading. Mnouchkine's prefacing of the trilogy with the rarely staged Iphigenia at Aulis strongly foregrounds the ambition, violence, misogyny, and sheer political expediency of the militaristic patriarchy. While Mnouchkine shares with Brecht and Barthes an insistence on historical responsibility and a resolute rejection of psychologizing, naturalism, and universalism, her politics also includes feminism, although she is aware that this is a red-flag "label" to the conservative and liberal establishment, an automatic synonym for dogmatism. As a long-time collaborator and friend of Helene Cixous, who has authored a number of scripts for the Theatre du Soleil and is a major theorist of l'ecriture feminine, Mnouchkine has been part of the feminist movement for two decades, and has often lashed out against the sexism and misogyny she has witnessed as a female director in a field dominated by men.(10) By simply prefacing the Oresteia with Iphigenia at Aulis, Mnouchkine opens the work to a feminist perspective. Indeed, she sees sympathy for Clytemnestra and a critique of the patriarchal Greek empire as already inherent not only in Euripides but even in Aeschylus - with the work of Les Atrides being to strip away the layers of time and convention and let the text speak for itself. Barthes and many others have also found it significant that the old matriarchal gods are defeated by the new patriarchal state, but have fallen back on essentialist poles of gender in place of historical explanations. Barthes writing in 1955 and theatre historian David Grene in 1987 both call for a historical outlook yet uncritically accept polarities of masculine and feminine, patriarchy and matriarchy, not recognizing - though Barthes seems very near - that this gender inscription itself is the myth that naturalizes specific power arrangements:

[A]ntique tragedy . . . makes sense only if we . . . clearly respond to two questions: what exactly was the Oresteia for contemporaries of Aeschylus? And what have we, men of the twentieth century, to do with the antique sense of the work? . . . The politics of Aeschylus was moderate . . . The Oresteia was a progressive work. It testifies to the passage from a matriarchal society, represented by the Furies, to a patriarchal society, represented by Apollo and Athena. . . . It is enough to convince oneself that the Oresteia is a profoundly politicized work [that] . . . unites a precise historical structure and a particular myth. Let others . . . discover an eternal problem of evil and judgment . . . That will never prevent the Oresteia from being above all a work of a precise epoch, of a socially defined state and a contingent moral debate. . . . Men of that era tried to pass from obscurantism to enlightenment. . . . They enthroned the same gods that we conquered in our time . . . They tried to lift away barbarism.

There is . . . Athena, unmothered, all father. Against these [qualities] must be set . . . the terrifying element of Clytemnestra's sexual drive, twisted, perverse, but deeply recognizable - because we understand her as a complex human being . . . . in a . . . similar way we should remember the wolfish Electra, driven by her intense love of her dead father to the enjoyment of the murder of her mother and Aegisthus. . . . A change is made from female to male, seemingly voluntarily. . . . Did Aeschylus feel that . . . there was a moment when Attic human society shifted its emphasis . . . from female to male, and that the true image of that was . . . the trial of Orestes? . . . . The Furies . . . stand . . . for something frightening in femaleness, though they are not exactly women. They are the exaggerated . . . nightmare expression of what is terrifying in Clytemnestra herself.

Staging social constructs:

The mise en scene, whether historically responsible or not, is fundamentally signified through culturally constructed human bodies. These bodies are materially anchored in the actors on stage but touch every other element of the production. The bodies of actors and characters belong to two discrete yet interweaving sign systems the bodies are both real and fictional and operate both on the level of the signifier and the signified as a primary nexus where signs of gender, race, and political power intersect and seem to be generated. The actors' bodies in Les Atrides are most heavily marked by the signs of the exotic and of gender, yet the gendered and "oriented" bodies are not limited to actors or characters but dispersed throughout the mise en scene, marking its boundaries, shapes, and rhythms. Moreover, the body-as-sign is not simply in the theatrical time and space of the production but constitutes it, mapping out the Greek imaginary as a geopsychic territorial body to be defended and contested. The concrete semiotic processes of the historical mise en scene outlined here can also be elucidated in the socio-critical terms of feminist philosopher Judith Butler who borrows heavily from theatrical paradigms to theorize the gendered body as actor and stage in the social and political performance of real life.

For Butler as for Foucault, ideology is inscribed on and by means of human bodies in order to support particular "technologies," or arrangements of social and political power.(13) This ideological inscription is materialized especially clearly in theatre, and in the productions of Mnouchkine it is the conscious purpose. Four terms employed by Butler In Gender Trouble and other works are relevant here: embodiment, impersonation, the performative, and mise en scene.(14) These concepts relate directly to theatre, and can be used to analyze how all elements of the staging - the casting, the actors' gestures, costumes, and makeup, their movement and placement, and the scenography - participate in inscribing power. Butler defines impersonation and embodiment as processes by which discourses of gender, class, and race are signified through and on the human body to privilege some groups and marginalize others. Such semiotic operations regulate cultural signs and meaning, promoting some and suppressing others. Impersonation and embodiment in the staging of Les Atrides, and just as strikingly in its critical reception, are used in the construction of social positions marked by gender and race, but also foreground that construction. Gender identity is an "imitative structure," and impersonation, like embodiment, is a "key fabricating mechanism through which the social construction of gender takes place" (Butler, 136). Whereas impersonation implies a mirroring, a pretended sameness that stays on the surface, embodiment goes beneath the mirrored surface and stakes out difference. Embodiment here is the ideological marking out of real or hypostasized human bodies as positions in a social hierarchy in post-colonial terms, embodiment is used to imagine oneself or one's group as a complex interior territory of the same, set apart from an undifferentiated exterior territory as other. Butler uses two other terms also drawn from theatre: the performative and the mise en scene. The performative is defined as acts by which identities are constructed. We are all actors and spectators who use available scripts, roles, and costumes to perform real social exchanges with real effects. The mise en scene is the site of this performance where identities are constructed. Yet precisely because the mise en scene is a "construction site" of multiple identities it can also be the site of historical agency Only through constructing and being constructed can we act as agents for social communication and historical change.

Embodiment as socio-semiotic construction often involves the hypostasized feminine body, making of it the so-called ground of representation itself, as Teresa de Lauretis has also noted.(15) Historically, the concept of "grounding" itself has a mythical past, an old association with the masculine as sky and the feminine as earth, energetic but chaotic subterranean matter that threatens to rise up and displace the order above it. In The Oresteia this myth is connected to the Furies, matriarchal goddesses who literally go underground at the end of the trilogy to become the Euminides, benign guardians of reproduction within lawful marriage, and to give up their old power which terrified, challenged, and sometimes even checked the patriarchy. David Grene's reading of Clytemnestra and the Furies as demonic forces of female sexuality reproduces this mythic view. But Les Atrides strongly implicates the myth as a self-serving invention of the patriarchy, a way to naturalize the politics of an empire trying to establish itself. Mythic embodiment of this Idea of the West is exposed as politically expedient, and juxtaposed again and again with a social gestus that says: in this moment the sign of gender determines a specific power arrangement, but it need not be so.

Construction sites and performative acts

The concept of the mise en scene as a historical construction site is evidenced in the theatrical space as soon as the spectators enter the building of the Theatre du Soleil (at least in Paris). On the back wall of the spacious salle d'acceuille, or reception hall, and illuminated as the focal point of the whole hall is a large political map of the ancient Mediterranean world, with a red line representing the voyages of Agamemnon. Around the room on the walls, stands, or tables are photos and books on Greek history and culture. At a long counter and from small carts, Greek food is prepared, sold and eaten on site. Mnouchkine herself is often seen clearing tables and chatting with the "guests" and all company members take a turn mingling and working during the breaks between plays (in addition to the two hours daily of cleaning, mending, and other chores). On their way to the performance in the adjoining hangar, spectators must walk along a path above what resembles excavation sites filled with life-size terra cotta statues of people wearing the same costumes as the actors, facing one direction and either standing alone or leading horses, recalling for many the famous army of ancient Chinese warriors. Sculpted by Erhard Stiefel, the statues have been affectionately nicknamed "the crowd" by the company, and seem to be frozen in the act of walking up out of the earth. The spectators, having crossed this "excavated" transition space and taken their seats in the steep bleachers, wait a time, then the lights dim as the sound of a kettle drum rises to a thunderous roar, and suddenly the dancers of the chorus rush on with exuberant shouts in a whirling blaze of red, black, and yellow costumes as if the crowd of statues had returned to life and found their way to the stage.

According to Mnouchkine, the chorus is the key to achieving a historical perspective, of distancing what is too near and recalling the past to life. The stage-filling energy of the dancers with their bounding leaps, cries, richly elaborate Kathakali-like costumes and their faces an expressive circle of white makeup, black-lined eyes and curved red lips, is the most startling departure from conventional stagings of Greek plays. The physical presence of twelve to fifteen men and women of the chorus accompanied by the live percussive music of Jean-Jacques Lemetre electrifies the theatre. Because it was crucial for Mnouchkine that the audience hear the text clearly it was never sung and only chorus leader Catherine Schaub or other single voices spoke the chorus's lines. Moreover, the chorus never danced while dialogue was being spoken. The principal actors often joined them, either as characters or as anonymous chorus members. Convinced of the importance of the choral dance to ancient tragedy, Mnouchkine aimed to restore its vital role, not by reconstructing it from iconic or textual evidence but by imbuing it with the still living energy of the Kathakali and Bharata Natyam dance theatres whose forerunners almost surely had confluence with those of Greek theatre.(16)

The space mobilized by the decor, music, light, and the voices, gestures, and movements of the actors, all set up a historical writing, above all what Mnouchkine calls an ecriture corporelle, a writing with the body, a gestic vocabulary of signs that reappear throughout the plays, not just delineating a style or illustrating the text but haunting the ongoing action so that there can never be the sense of a pure present. The performance space is the discovery site of a buried story The bare simplicity of the set and scenography express this site as a cosmos waiting to be historically specified. The playing space has no curtains, flies or wings but is a wide expanse of terra-cottacolored floor surrounded by a wall of the same material and color, crumbling in spots and broken by several recesses and by a double-doored gate in the upstage center. The space of the Greek cosmos is defined as enclosure within enclosure: the terra cotta wall encloses the stage, and this inner wall in turn is enclosed by a high wooden wall painted the bright blue of sky and sea, in the middle of which is a second lar-ge gate that opens at times to reveal darkness beyond. Suspended above the stage is a white canvas "tent" roof decorated with Greek designs, through which bright sunlight (actually flourescent) seems to shine. Several spectators have compared the playing space to a sunbaked bullfighting arena, connecting it to the matador-like costumes worn by several of the characters: Iphigenia, Clytemnestra and Orestes. For portentous entrances or exits, large box-shaped platforms on hidden wheels carry the main characters and define the locale: in Iphigenia at Aulis, a glide brings Iphigenia, Clytemnestra, and Orestes to Aulis a second becomes the altar of Iphigenia's sacrifice, and a third carries Agamemnon to war in Agamemnon, it brings Agamemnon and Cassandra to Argos and finally in The Libation Bearers, it is the tomb of Agamemnon. Only these platforms, pulled by ropes that have no visible operators, pass through the outer wooden doors beyond the blue wall. Thus they alone seem able to traverse the space between life and death, the known and the unknown worlds. In the course of the productions, the gliding platforms come to signify the movement of a fate whose drivers remain a mystery.

The psychic and social space of the Greek world is also created by other scenographic signs. A sound of vicious dogs is heard at the end of three plays, and for two of them it is accompanied by a tableau of the murder that has just taken place. Each tableau is a mattress with life-sized mannequins of the murdered couple lying together as if caught in sexual embrace, and each time it is dragged with increasing difficulty on and off the stage by actors. Whereas the platforms glide seemingly without effort through the two sets of gates, the mattresses are always dragged through a central vomitorium from under the audience, emphasizing their significance as deathbeds, all too human vehicles of fate connected expressly to sexual relations. The mattresses visibly replace the ekkeklema used in Greek theatre for such violent and fateful tableaux, but their difficult maneuverability contrasts with our image of the rolling ekkeklema, as it does with the gliding platforms.

Throughout the plays the wind is also a less obvious but important sign, closely bound to the plot and the movement of the gliding platforms. Wind functions as a signifier of history-making phallic power, "phallic" because it is the male agents (above all Agamemnon, but also Menelaus, Achilles, Orestes, and Apollo) who are marked for power and whose acts of expediency are justified as a force of nature. Even though the winds are often embodied by the feminine, they coincide with operations of male power. They are nearly always marked by a struggle involving gender and sexuality: Artemis avenging pregnant animals, or the "truth-bearing" winds of Apollo piercing the unwilling body of his priestess Cassandra. Whenever wind appears, it is connected with "fate" but coincides with some "necessary" act, such as waging war or committing murder:

I am slain, I perish, foully slaughtered by a godless father. I wish that Aulis had never received . the fleet that speeds the host to Troy. Why should Zeus raise winds on the Euripus to bar our voyage? He sends pleasant winds to other men, for happy sailing. Many are his winds: winds of sorrow and winds of hardship, winds to set sail in and winds to drop sail in, and winds of waiting. [Iphigenia, Iphigenia at Aulis, 368(17)

I call on Apollo the Healer / to keep [Artemis] from setting against the Greeks / those contrary winds, winds that hold ships / staying winds, winds that stop sailing altogether. [Chorus, Agamemnon, 146-149](18)

The hurricane that came from Strymon, / breeding deadly delays, starvation, lost anchorages, / driving crews to aimless wanderings, / . wore down the flower of the Argives . [Chorus, Agamemnon, 190-194](19)

Helen means death, and death indeed she was, / . as she sailed out of the delicate fabrics of her curtained room, / fanned by the breeze of giant Zephyr. [Chorus, Agamemnon, 690-693]

[Helen] came to the city of Ilium / a spirit of windless calm [Chorus, Agamemnon, 736-737]

Now my prophecy [from Apollo] shall no longer peer from behind veils / like a newly married bride. / No, it will rush on, a wind brightly blowing / into the sun's rising, / to send disaster surging like a wave to meet the sunbeams [Cassandra, Agamemnon, 1178-1182]

May Hermes . help [Orestes] / may he give him a fair wind for what he does! . Then for the deliverance of the house's wealth / we shall raise the shout of female voices we shall strike up the magic cry, "She sails well!" [Chorus, The Libation Bearers, 813-822]

On the stage this "wind of fate" is represented by sound, music, and above all by the fluttering of drapery that covers the gliding platforms. Significantly, wind is created not by any visible machines, but by the movement of these gliding platforms that are maneuvered by visible ropes and invisible hands. In sum, the stage becomes a site on which the actors and a few stage machinae write the sharp, clear lines of the story.

The concept of the mise en scene as a site where identities and scripts can be tried out is concretely applied in a rehearsal practice shared by Brecht and Mnouchkine. All the costumes from the company's past productions are laid out together and the actors browse at will choosing their own costumes, like the bit player in The Threepenny Opera who after two days of searching and weighing every possibility, finally decided on the perfect hat. Mnouchkine goes further, not only encouraging the actors to improvise their own costumes (the chosen articles serve as basis for the final costumes), but allowing them to choose the roles they will rehearse. The final casting is gradually and collectively decided, often with one actor taking more than one role as in Les Atrides.

This practice of actors' trying on roles and costumes to generate the mise en scene is also a way of turning identifications to agency: not essentialist identity as a unity of character with actor or spectator but identification as a performative social act in Butler's sense. This is especially important for the spectator watching Clytemnestra, Iphigenia, Electra, Cassandra, and Athena through the plays, aware that these characters are not autonomous subjects with whom one can simply identify or not, but subject positions constructed through gender, placed strategically to mark out a progressively cohering ideological system combining patriarchy with empirial hegemony. Not despite but because of this the mise en scene is a site where roles and costumes can proliferate, and thus a site of potential agency Historical agency is claimed by the actors in choosing their own costumes and roles, and by the spectators in reading meanings that go "out of bounds" to reflect upon rather than accept as fate the dominant social system being presented on stage. As is shown in the following remarks by Mnouchkine and costume designer Nathalie Thomas, the company tries in many ways to facilitate such agency for the spectators, but never to dictate the exact form that it takes:

In the theatre it isn't the same as in the cinema, where the spectators don't work but [are] bottle fed in the warmth and dark one lets oneself be fed. In theatre one is much less in the dark . and one works. The public peoples the stage. Thus I believe that the stage should be as empty as possible, so that the spectators can people it with the pictures they expect. . My dream would be to photograph the 600 stagings that the public produces in one evening! - Mnouchkine(20)

The spectator sees in the appearance of the actor the evocation of an Assyrian frieze . This isn't deliberately willed, but is an effect of the actor's will to find a heroic stature. For another spectator, a hairstyle carries a reminiscence of Crete . That is the richness of a mise en scene, the capacity to set the imagination of the spectator into play. - Nathalie Thomas(21)

In studying Mnouchkine's work, one becomes aware of a distinction between her depiction of feminine and masculine gender (and even sexuality itself) as something often destructive that is imposed by a power structure, in contrast to Cixous's rather more universalizing feminism that claims female sexuality as a repressed natural power potentially liberating for women. Unlike the proponents of L'ecriture feminine and others, Mnouchkine doesn't propose a "femimesis" to replace Platonic-Aristotelian mimesis, but through stage practice systematically revises its major assumptions. The idea of tragic catharsis remains, but it is not reached through the spectator's "identification" with the individual character as an uncovering of a hidden mirror reflecting back the secrets of the spectator's own interior psyche. Rather, as Mnouchkine explains, the actors plunge into the interior of the work and of their characters and then express every emotional state in the most exterior manner possible. In contrast to psychological naturalism which blends the actor's emotions together in a smooth causal "motivated" development, the Theatre du Soleil aims to represent one fully explored and exteriorized emotional state after another. The etats, as they are called, are as separate from each other as the mudras of classical Indian theatre, and present the spectator with the elements and the freedom to join them into a history.

For Les Atrides as for all other productions, the actors work closely with the musicians in creating a distinctive ecriture corporelle, in this case inspired by the Kathakali, yet unlike it in that a new corporal vocabulary is created for each play with Western audiences in mind - though elements are passed on from one production to the next. Mnouchkine has deeply explored the emotional athletism that Artaud could only invoke. In Odette Aslan's words, the Theatre du Soleil has evolved a mode of "recounting a history with the body, constantly addressing that narrative to the public, a way of speaking the text. that has nothing to do with the actor's . simply playing a situation with a partner. [The theatre has evolved] a mode of narrating founded on the body, a vocal expression wrested from the text to become a pure rhetoric. Body and voice are transposed, elevated in a gigantic effort of generosity."(22) Mnouchkine explains further:

[For] Les Atrides, except for Catherine Schaub who had learned it in India [and Franco-Indian Nirupama Nityanandan who had spent twenty years training as a Madras dancer], Kathakali is a source of inspiration but completely imaginary. It isn't the techniques that are important for us, but the demands of clarity, of form, of minutia of detail. In certain rehearsals, I sensed the bodies shaken, aggressed by the feelings that were unleashed the dances, like chills or frictions, were liberating. We felt them like a vital, necessary element. Nietzsche perceived this very well intuitively. The tragic characters are in anguish to their entrails, the chorus of Les Choephores [The Libation Bearers] is full of hatred and cries of vengeance. One must take the works head on and go to their depths. Push to the depths the interior feeling and the exterior form. Thus the emotion is born and the catharsis produces itself.(23)

Aslan and Mnouchkine explain, for example, that Simon Abkarian's tall stature and straight-backed posture was particularly effective for embodying, after the manner of the gods and heroes of Kathakali, an almost superhuman masculinity. He becomes even more imposing through the voluminous black costume, stylized beard and wig, and white face with red mouth and black eyeliner magnifying the slightest change of expression. With his body and face weighed down and encased in the signs of his powerful status, he seems not simply unwilling but unable to bend. Standing beside Agamemnon, Clyternnestra and especially Iphigenia look tiny and vulnerable, but far more mobile. Their makeup is also white with black and red lines, but more transparent, while their clothing is lighter in weight: Iphigenia as played by Nirupama Nityanandan looks like a fourteen-year-old in black knee pants and a white shirt, while Clytemnestra wears a matron's black dress. As Clytemnestra, Brazilian actor Juliana Carneiro da Cunha has the same white makeup and red lips but without the heavy eyeliner of the rest of the cast. She thus seems more fragile and exposed, inviting greater empathy. Everything about the mother and daughter emphasizes their vulnerability and naivete (qualities that will mark the feminine as powerless) in contrast to the unbending, massive quality of Agamemnon (which defines the masculine power). Clytemnestra will not wear a dress again, but matador-like trousers reminiscent of Iphigenia's. While masculinity is magnified, there are no magnified representations of femininity until the Furies appear at the end of The Euminides, but they are demonic and bestial rather than outsized.

The politics of gender and empire: Iphgenia at Aulis

With Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis, Mnouchkine brings new historical evidence to an old crime case. The recovery and playing out of lphigenia's death, the murder of a virgin daughter by the sword of her father, becomes a historical mise en scene that will never go away. Whereas Aeschylus has the chorus in Agamemnon open the play with a narration that includes lphigenia's sacrifice, Euripides' play gives a different account of this event, opening the Oresteia to new readings. In Aeschylus Iphigenia is depicted as struggling against her sacrifice, while in Euripides she chooses to accept it. To use Butler's sense of the term, this creates a new mise en scene which in turn allows a proliferation of meanings that further undermine the trilogy's unequivocal idealistic interpretation as the victory of democratic law over blood revenge and civilization over barbarism. After Iphigenia at Aulis, where we witness Clytemnestra's trust shattered and her fight for her daughter's life defeated, she can no longer so easily embody the patriarchal fear of women's power. Stranded at Aulis with the whole Greek fleet which can't sail to attack Troy because the winds of Thrace have died, Agamemnon as commander hears from his priest that Artemis is angry: his "winged hounds" have killed a pregnant hare, and since she protects wild mothers and their young, she will restore the winds only if he sacrifices Iphigenia. He vacillates but finally is persuaded by his brother Menelaus their reasons are political fears: looking unmanly and indecisive before the army and giving advantage to their rivals in Athens. Even Achilles is comically vain and not very bright, not his usual heroic self. Agamemnon has written for Iphigenia to come to Aulis to marry Achilles, and a pleased Clytemnestra soon arrives with her daughter and baby son Orestes to arrange the joyful celebration.

The first meeting of this family as played out in the corporal writing of the actors illuminates the interlocking politics of gender and empire. After entering on a gliding platform, Clytemnestra and Iphigenia am helped down by the chorus of excited young women who have traveled here to see the glorious Greek fleet. Simon Abkarian as Agamemnon enters and sits cross-legged on a low stool, spreading his voluminous black robes, facing forward as Iphigenia runs to him impulsively, dances around him and embraces him. Clytemnestra pauses from across the stage to greet him formally, then goes smiling to him to sit on the floor before him, taking one of his arms and putting it across her breast. Both are facing forward in an iconic family pose. In Agamemnon, she will go through We same ceremonious greeting, running to take her wifely position at his feet - but this time with a forced smile and at a faster, almost frantic pace. She places his hand across her breast as before but he soon takes it away. Standing up abruptly, he informs her that he has brought his mistress Cassandra to the palace, and sweeps his hand down past his genitals in a gesture of disdain. This "genital sweep" will be repeated later by other characters, including Clytemnestra and Cassandra, but with different meaning. These gestured states one after the other "write" the sign of gender as it intersects with social power.

In Iphigenia as Agamemnon's plan to sacrifice Iphigenia becomes known, both wife and daughter plead with him against it. Ironically, he argues that Iphigenia would die to save Greek women from barbarians:

There rages a passion in the Hellene host to sail with all speed to the barbarian land and to put an end to the rape of Hellene wives. They will kill my daughters in Argos, they will kill you, and me, if I break the gods' oracles . It is Hellas for whom I must, whether I wish or not offer you as sacrifice . We are Hellenes we must not allow our women to be violated and carried off by barbarians. [345]

Agamemnon's decision unearths Clytemnestra's memory of the past, and she reveals the violent pre-history of their marriage: Agamemnon killed her first husband, raped her, and crushed her baby to death for fear he would grow up to avenge the father's murder. Clytemnestra's father then married her to Agamemnon against her will. (This same man was also father to the famous Helen, making her suitors pledge to defend the honor of her chosen husband, and when Paris abducted Helen, these men mobilized the entire army to defend a Greek husband's honor - in a war for which Helen was blamed.) Thus Clytemnestra connects past to present: men's acts have determined her history. In the production the mother and daughter crawl on their knees like children before the unbending figure of Agamemnon. But Iphigenia, hearing her mother's outrage at her father, unexpectedly decides to accept her death, the war, and all their spurious justifications:

The whole-might of Hellas depends on me . Shall my single life be a hindrance to all this? . It is not right that [Achilles] die for a woman's sake [hers]. One man is worthier to look upon the light than ten thousand women. If Artemis has willed to take my body, shall I, a mortal woman, thwart the goddess? . I give my body to Hellas . That will be my monument. my children, my marriage . It is natural for Hellenes to rule barbarians, and not, mother, for barbarians to rule Hellenes. They are a slave race, Hellenes are free. [348]

To this Achilles admiringly replies, "Noble were your words, and a credit to your fatherland," offering to marry her, now that it is too late. Clytemnestra gives way to grief but Iphigenia suddenly breaks away with a defiant cry to join the chorus in a frenzied, exultant dance, while Cunheiro da Cunha crawls on her knees to stop them, grasps at their flying feet and is nearly trampled. As the dance ends the chorus recedes along the walls, the great outer doors open and a platform-altar rolls in silently, its white drape fluttering gently as an ominous sign that the winds are beginning to stir. As Iphigenia walks towards the platform Clytemnestra rises to stop her, but is held back by Achilles who puts his hand over her mouth. She faints and falls backward, caught by two chorus women, as lphigenia stands on the white-draped platform and calls the single word "Pere!" All exit but the mother and daughter, with Clytemnestra left lying on her side on the floor in the peaceful pose of a sleeping child or an unarmed protester in front of a tank. High on the altar, Iphigenia also lies down as if to sleep, taking the same position as her mother but heading the opposite direction. The platform glides out into darkness as the gates close behind it. Clytemnestra lies in her sleeping position throughout the speech of the Messenger who narrates the scene of Iphigenia's death: how the girl expressed her love of her father and "the Greek fatherland," offered her throat to the sword "with courage, without a cry." All closed their eyes "meduses" (literally medusa-ed, figuratively turned to stone) as they heard the sword descend.(24) When they looked up again in the next moment the blood was spurting up from a wild deer's throat onto the altar of Artemis. Kneeling on the floor in a white robe and headdress spattered with blood, Georges Bigot as the Messenger delivers Agamemnon's news in a cold ringing voice: "I tell you what fortune he receives from the gods, and what imperishable glory he has won in Greece." A few lines later, on the words "This day has seen your child dead and alive," Clytemnestra finally opens her eyes. Agamemnon is rolled in standing proudly on a platform and orders her to return home and be joyful because lphigenia has had "commerce with the gods," then rolls away to war. As the great vehicle exits Clytemnestra is left alone on stage. The drums begin as the lights dim except for the flourescent "sun" above the tented ceiling, she begins to move slowly, the lights go dark, and the sound of vicious attacking dogs rises louder and louder and then blends into the audience's applause.

Thus the stage and actors are mobilized for a historical writing, a vocabulary of stage signs and relationships that will continue through the coming plays, mirrored and recast but with traces of the same, a construction/deconstruction/reconstruction of the forms this history has adapted. The two conflicting versions of lphigenia's sacrifice do not cancel out but proliferate its significance, which from the start cannot be confined to memorializing Agamemnon's glory and the rightness of the Greek war. Indeed these meanings intended to serve the patriarchal empire were already being undermined at the "original scene" of sacrifice, which no one dared to witness but only represented.

The casting of actors: gendered boundary markers.

The characters in the plays and the actors on stage defend, challenge, and progressively delineate the boundaries of the Athenian body politic as mise en scene. The actors' reappearance in more than one role emphasizes the functionality of the roles within the history being written. The materialist feminist distinction of gender as social construct and sex as biological is not quite sufficient here, because sexuality also involves a performance of power. Juliana Carneiro da Cunha first appears in Iphigenia at Aulis as a woman content and proud in her place as a king's wife and loving mother to their children. When this idyll is shattered she discards her subservience and confronts Agamemnon and the army to save her daughter returns in Agamemnon as worldly, embittered ruler of Argos, sarcastic and defiant against patriarchal disapproval, her blood-spattered face at the end grimly and sensually satisfied as she stands over the corpses. She continues on this defiant course through The Libation Bearers, her "unnatural" power signified by her unlawful sexual pleasure with Aegisthus, alienated from Electra and the chorus of harpy-like slave women zealously loyal to the patriarchy and appears twice more in The Eumenides, first as a ghost still in the bloody clothes in which she was murdered, and finally as the goddess Athena. The last role becomes an ironic sequel to all preceding it, and a symmetry becomes apparent with the obedient wife at one end and the divine mouthpiece of the patriarchy at the other: one woman, the exchanged, is passed through the system challenging and defining its positions and borders along the way. Likewise the roles of lphigenia, Cassandra, Electra, and finally a leader of the defeated Furies are played by Nirupama Nityanandan, underscoring their function as daughter roles within the patriarchy. The overall pattern that emerges for women is one of suffering betrayal, rape, sacrifice, infanticide, matricide, and separation from each other, with daughters repeating the experience of mothers. There is no escaping the story. The costumes of Clytemnestra and lphigenia reflect the performance of gender, and their attempts to perform against it: Clytemnestra first appears in a matron's dress in Iphigenia at Aulis while lphigenia wears matadorlike knee breeches. When Clytemnestra next appears in Agamemnon, she wears similar breeches, while Nityanandan as Cassandra wears a heavy Asian robe. This repetition with-variation suggests a flight not to "freedom of sexual identity" but from one constructed position to another, creating a sense of narrative displacement, of a history rolling past to expose a social landscape. Iphigenia's boylike costume ironically "fits" her decision to die like a male hero by the sword for "father and fatherland." After the death of Iphigenia, with similarly "masculine" decisiveness, Clytemnestra discards her feminine subservience and takes over the rule of Argos. Both women shift positions within, and challenge the limits of the gendered political system even as they reaffirm it. Likewise, Simon Abkarian plays the father, son, and military men - Agamemnon, Achilles, the Emissary, Achilles, Orestes, and even the drag role of Orestes' old nurse. As Orestes, Abkarian shows that his inherited role as champion of the patriarchy is difficult for him. This is clear when Abkarian hides behind his father's tomb, the same platform that carried his father to war and lphigenia to death. In a sense the platform too is the same "actor" in different clothes - its human (and sexual) quality is evoked by a tail of long black hair that hangs down over it (Orestes'? Electra's? Agamemnon's? The whole family has such hair) The chorus includes both men and women, but for the plays they all take on one male or female gender. Although their dances retain the same basic moves, signs of gender, age and class are added, emphasizing the "added on" quality of identity itself. To theatricalize this identity, each chorus adds certain gestures, carriages, and costumes. The positionality of their group identity is evident in the chess-like spatial patterns of the dancers, the red-black-gold "exotic" costumes worn by all, and by the false beards of the old men's chorus - who perform the dances dutifully but in somewhat stiff and lumbering fashion, collapsing on the floor in exhaustion after each is completed, especially the one led by Clytemnestra.

Women also deceive, betray, and murder, but unlike the men they never carry these off with success. They are what is trafficked in the exchange of power between men, and their flight or challenge is stopped by the limits of the system: Clytemnestra is passed from father to husband, dares while in power to take Aegisthus as a "woman," only to be murdered by her son still resisting even as a ghost, she is finally stopped by Apollo and, in a more profound way, by Athena. Iphigenia is passed from her father to Hades, her choice being to trade children for the fame of patriotic sacrifice. Electra repudiates her "female half" and marriage but submits her life to her dead father and then to her brother: she thinks his hair is her own, walks in his footprints, and is in effect absorbed by him. Cassandra is forced to be Apollo's prophet and "birth" his visions, then captured and enslaved to Agamemnon. Yet there is a counter-discourse created by the movement of these characters within the power structure, a movement illuminated by the multiple casting.

Nicole Loraux contends in Tragic Ways of Killing a Woman that the scenes of women being sacrificed are sites of unstable social meaning, because this death could be a way for them to speak, to condemn the patriarchy even as they submit to it.(25) In Gayatri Spivak's sense, Iphigenia is a subaltern who speaks through her manner of death, in the very act of being silenced. Although real women in ancient Greece were allowed no social definition outside of the household of their fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons, in myth and tragedy they attain a certain subjecthood. To be sure, this subject is a fictional construct, yet historical agency for the character and the spectator is generated in their mises en scene. The discrepancy between Euripides' and Aeschylus' versions of the sacrifice opens the way for a counter-discourse. Through the old men of Argos Aeschylus tells a much more brutal tale than we have heard in Euripides:

Her prayers, and her cries of "Father," and her maiden life they set at nothing, those military umpires. Her father ordered his servants to lift her / carefully over the altar after the prayer, swooning, her clothes all round her, like a young goat, and with a gag on her beautiful lips to restrain the cry that would curse his house. Constrained to voicelessness by the violence of the bit, . She stood out, like a figure in a picture, struggling to speak . What happened after that I neither saw nor tell. [lines 230-245, Agamemnon. Emphasis mine.]

Because this narrative is told by men loyal to Agamemnon, it casts more doubt on the one in Euripides which the Messenger delivered at Agamemnon's command.(26) In Iphigenia at Aulis the Messenger delivers the following account:

Every man clearly heard the sound of the stroke, but no one saw where in the world the maiden vanished. The priest cried out and the whole army echoed his shout as they saw an amazing prodigy from some god, incredible even if they saw it. A deer was lying on the ground, gasping: she was very large and handsome to see, and the goddess' altar was thoroughly sprinkled with blood . Calchas said with joy . " Do you see this victim which the goddess has laid before her altar, this deer of the mountains? More acceptable than the maid by far she welcomes this offering, that she may not stain her altar with noble blood." [353, Iphigenia at Aulis. Emphasis mine]

Loraux explains that Iphigenia's sacrifice violated the law and would have shocked Athenians. In Aeschylus she is hoisted upside down "like a goat" while in Euripides she is replaced by a deer. It was not only illegal to sacrifice humans, but also an abomination to sacrifice a wild animal or any animal who fought back. Only a "willing" offer was proper (32). In either case, the manner of Iphigenia's death proclaims that a murder has been committed under the guise of sacrifice - the horror of a father's murdering his own daughter is repeated in Euripides by cutting the throat of a wild animal. For the men, the death means that a virgin's blood is exchanged for that of warriors. But another exchange also occurs: when Iphigenia is transformed into a deer "the savagery of the victim takes over from the savagery of the act. When Artemis substitutes a mountain hind to die, untamed nature is now in the sacrifice" (35). The sacrifice is also a kind of reverse marriage and deflowerment by the father:

[S]acrifices in tragedy illuminate the ritual in marriage where the virgin passes from one . guardian to another, from the father who "gives her away" to the bridegroom, who "leads her off." Hence the tragic irony of those funeral processions that ought to have been wedding processions. They are weddings in reverse in that they lead toward a sacrificer, who is often the father, and . toward the home of a bridegroom called Hades. The sacrifice . is ironic in that it resembles, all too closely, a marriage. [Loraux, 36-37]

Iphigenia seizes for herself a heroic death reserved only for men, yet in doing so also proclaims its savagery. In tragedy and real life, the proper death for Greek women was strangulation, poison, or hanging. Electra takes a sword to guard the palace while Clytemnestra is being slain, and stands ready to kill herself with it. Taking the prop of the male gender becomes a performative act. Orestes kills Clytemnestra with a sword in the text, but uses a long theatrical wooden dagger in the production, underlining the murder itself as a gender-sex performance. Cassandra is the subaltern subject par excellence: she manages to speak through her "barbarian" sounds and through her death to condemn her violators: As the visions from Apollo penetrate her, she screams out and, through the downward motion of her hand over her body in the "genital sweep," we witness a rape. Foreseeing her violent death, she throws her prophet's scepter to the ground and spins screaming with her white robe flying outward in a circle. Significantly, her costume is a white embroidered robe of Noh theatre, as befits her position of exotic foreign woman captured from the enemy land to the East.

Even though the chorus leader in Agamemnon describes Iphigenia's murder in brutal detail, the chorus refuses to credit this as Clytemnestra's reason for murdering Agamemnon. They ascribe her act to two paradoxical qualities: her masculine greed for power and her feminine sexual passion. They believe that

her usurpation of male rule will destroy Argos. A long tradition of critics has accepted the chorus's demonic, misogynist view of Clytemnestra, and judged the story of Iphigenia as an irrelevant excuse. For them as for the elders of Argos, her crime is not only murder but proclaiming her female sexuality openly during the act of impersonating the male. Significantly, the chorus scornfully calls Aegisthus a "woman" because he lets Clytemnestra take responsibility for the murders. The Greek audience would also have recognized scandalous dishonor in Agamemnon's murder itself: to be killed with a sword was a proper hero's death, but death at a woman's hands, even one who used a sword, signified social descent (Loraux, 10-11). In contrast to Aeschylus and the staging by Mnouchkine, iconic depictions of the myth show Aegisthus killing Agamemnon with a sword while Clytemnestra kills Cassandra with an ax, indicating an impulsive act and a domestic setting. In playing a role not assigned to women, Clytemnestra violates the patriarchal order of the state. Her murder of Agamemnon is the climax of her crime and brings her sexual enjoyment:

(Clytemnestra to the Chorus:) Now it's against me that you proclaim banishment but in the old days you brought nothing against that man, who . had no care for the death of a lamb. He sacrificed his own daughter, dearest pain of my womb. to charm the contrariness of Thracian winds. By the justice due to my child, and now perfected, by the Spirit of Destruction and the Fury, in whose honor I cut this man's throat. There lies Agamemnon, this girl's [Cassandra's] seducer - he was the darling of all the women of Troy - and there she is, our prophet, prisoner of war, that shared his bed, a faithful whore that spoke her auguries for him . He died as I said, and she has sung her swan song in death, and lies with him, her lover. But to me she has brought an additional side dish to my pleasure in bed. [lines 1413-1417 and 1431-1446, Agamemnon]

Her sexual enjoyment of the revenge is taken as proof of her demonism and far outweighs Iphigenia's death. The politics of gender and empire are ironically complicit in this act: in obtaining justice for Iphigenia's death, she punishes the Trojan Cassandra who is as innocent as her daughter. And whereas Iphigenia died to protect Greek women from being taken by Trojan men, here the Greek man has taken a Trojan woman.

The production of Les Atrides underscores in several ways the sad irony of Clytemnestra's murdering Cassandra: most important, Cassandra, Iphigenia, Electra, and a leader of the Furies are played by the same actress. In Agamemnon the chorus has just described the death of Iphigenia: how she struggled and tried to cling to the ground but was tied, hoisted up and held face down "like a goat," gagged and silenced, then her throat cut with a sword. Listening to this, Clytemnestra is doubled over, a signal gesture for pain that will be repeated by several characters. Just at this moment, Cassandra appears upstage at the outer gateway on a chariot-platform, and Clytemnestra hesitantly takes a few steps towards her as if she recognized her, but the chorus blocks her path and the moment is gone. Later the same platform is taken into what seems to be the palace grounds, and the two women have a moment alone. Clytemnestra tears down the red cloth behind which the girl is sitting with her back turned, unwilling to come out. Clytemnestra tries to speak to her, asks her to use sign language, and even climbs up on the platform with her, but finally gives up. Recognizing the actress, we sense that somehow it is Iphigenia, and that if she only turned around or spoke she and Clytemnestra would see it too.

As characters, all these women are "foreign" in their personal histories, having been taken by force or lured by deception from their native cities. In having the women embody foreignness and then display silence or submission, the threat of the foreign is contained, at least momentarily. The chorus of young women in Iphigenia at Aulis are the first foreigners we see, and after their initial dance they remark excitedly on the "foreign women" Iphigenia and Clytemnestra whom they are eager to meet. The sisters Clytemnestra and Helen are foreign in their new cities, and Cassandra is captured by the Greeks from the "barbarian" Troy to the East and brought back to Argos. Cassandra is marked as the most oriental by her white robe from the Noh theatre, the only "authentic" Asian costume: she is a nexus where signs of empire, gender, class, and race intersect. Most tragic is the foreignness of women to each other this is played out many times in the encounters between Clytemnestra and the daughter figures, first Cassandra and then Electra. Indeed, the women's failure to recognize each other is part of the whole avoidable history that feminism - and this production - tries to show us. In The Eumenides, the problem of foreignness is settled by divine decree: Athena forbids the Greeks to fight each other, but sanctions their communal hatred of others because (as the Furies now agree) this sort of hatred is good for the City. The trial scene officially celebrates the colonization of women, barbarian cultures, and all else that is a useful threat to the patriarchal Athenian city state.

In both Aeschylus and Euripides, we see a radical but productive split in the author's positions vis a vis women: as usual, women serve an anchoring and embodying role in structuring the socio-political ideology into the image of a male-dominated body politic. But both authors seem critical of militarism and war, and set Iphigenia's innocence against it. In Euripides, her selflessness and patriotism contrast sharply with the men's brutality in the name of saving civilization. Their specious argument that the sacrifice will save thousands of Greek women from the barbarians makes it plain that to the men who deal in military, political, and colonial power the world is a game board divided into territories, and women are dispensible objects who can be moved into any position - other or same, familiar or foreign - that suits their immediate quests for power.

Aeschylus has traditionally been thought less sympathetic than Euripides to Clytemnestra, though this picture may have been different if his play Iphigenia had not been lost. In any case, in Agamemnon the arrogant machismo of war leaders comes under bitter attack in the first speech of the chorus, and then in that of the exhausted Emissary who recounts the great losses (the lowly Emissary and the powerful Agamemnon and Achilles are all played by Simon Abkarian). The brutal murder of Iphigenia and the war's devastation of the lives of ordinary people are thus the immediate frame of reference through which Clytemnestra's own bitterness is presented. This context undercuts the chorus's later misogynist depiction of Clytemnestra as a power-hungry sexual demon usurping the role of a worthy husband and ruler.

Mnouchkine's production of The Eumenides strongly historicizes the text's depiction of the feminine Furies/Eumenides and by implication of women themselves as elemental irrational forces that must be tamed and submerged by rational male forces. Through the striking addition of contemporary costume elements, the Furies are exposed as a constructed embodiment of demonic femininity, a monstrous foreign other against which the patriarchal state defines itself. When the Furies finally appear, they are revealed as the "real" source of the sound of raging dogs we heard at the close of each of the preceding plays. The Furies chorus wear fierce dog-ape masks, snarl and move with an ape-like gait, and whereas in the preceding three plays the choruses were free to climb over, sit on, or stand behind the inner wall, to retreat to its recesses and go in and out of its entrances, the openings are now blocked by metal grates behind which the Furies are trapped. The quality of anachronistic pastiche in the costumes is suggested by critics' comparing of the Furies to creatures from 2001 Space Odyssey or Planet of the Apes.(27) The three leaders by contrast wear rags and tennis shoes and resemble Brechtian characters - or in the words of one critic, "Brechtian bag ladies,"(28) with Nirupama Nityanandan dressed like Mother Courage. As Clytemnestra's ghost, Carneiro da Cunha appears in a bloody Karate-like white shirt and pants, reappearing as Athena in the same costume minus the blood. Likewise, Apollo's white robe resembles the Messenger's in Iphigenia - except that the blood is now gone. The repetitions in costumes and multiple casting creates its own historicizing comment. Juliana Carneiro da Cunha soon returns as Athena to address Nirupama Nityananda, now a leader of the Furies. Through this counternarrative created by the discourses of casting and costume, and the anachronisms of the final scene, the unified image of the Greek cosmos is shattered, and along with it the discursive unity of the myth itself.

We recall that two of the preceding plays ended with a violent tableau of two mannequin corpses lying in sexual embrace on a bloody mattress. In this context, the voices of attacking dogs gave a sense of recurrent human brutality in which both sexes

participate. With all this preceding The Eumenides, it is difficult to believe our eyes when all the violence is attributed to the feminine elements gathered here, represented by Clytemnestra and the Furies. Textually, the winged hounds of Agamemnon are never quite forgotten even though the Furies are set up as the source of the violent sound. As increasingly contemporary embodiments of violent feminine forces they expose their semiotic function of grounding the patriarchal Greek state. Athena herself, recognizable as the same actor who played Clytemnestra, ironically stands on another white mattress, a clean one this time, as if it were a throne or pedestal. When the Furies finally accept their new role as guardians of the hearth, Athena gives them the honor of standing on it. The stage narrative of the mattresses culminates in this last play. We recall that Aegisthus and Clytemnestra managed only with difficulty to drag the mattress off by themselves, whereas Electra and Orestes had to be assisted by the chorus. At the end of The Eumenides, Clytemnestra stands alone onstage on her mattress, trembling arms outstretched, facing back towards the again-imprisoned Furies as if to restrain them. The gliding platforms of "inevitable fate" never reappear here at all.

This staging of the women's final defeat does not totally serve the patriarchy however, nor erase the threat it feels. The barring of the performance space by metal grates is only the final concretization of along historical process, the open admission of what the signs have told us all along: Greece is a militaristic patriarchal empire, and Athens a city state and an Idea whose borders must be policed. Athena, standing on her white mattress, notes that the site of the trial which will soon exonerate Orestes and disempower the Furies was also the spot where the Amazons fought against Theseus, legendary founder of Athens. Here where the iron gates stand was a city within the City.

Athena [to the assembled men of Athens, who are about to vote] . For this is Ares' hill, place of the Amazons here their tents stood when they came here campaigning in hatred against Theseus here they built tower against tower, a new city against the City. [lines 684-687, The Eumenides, 159](29)

It is my task to render final judgment: this vote which I possess I will give on Orestes' side. For no mother had a part in my birth I am entirely for the male, with all my heart, except in marriage I am entirely my father's. I will never give precedence in honor to a woman who killed her man, the guardian of her house. [lines 733-740 161-162] are still perceived. In the text the threat literally goes underground, as the Eumenides are escorted to their subterranean home by a crowd of Athenian women and girls, by association joining the Amazons. In the production, Clytemnestra lifts the bars and the Furies are "freed" temporarily to enter the arena, where they first rush towards the audience in their ape-like gait, screaming and gesturing from the edge of the stage, then gradually take a more human posture, as they engage in a dance that resembles those in the preceding plays. Then they are reimprisoned. Thus a kind of terrible peace is reached. The mise en scene is a body politic closing in as it becomes visible. In the production when Athena embraces the leader of the Furies who is about to be led away, it is one more ironic sealing of the women's defeat. However, since we know that these two actresses also played Clytemnestra and Iphigenia, the gestus of their closing embrace is a mise en scene with multiple meaning. The irony of both mother-daughter and goddess-demon trapped definitively in this system becomes even sharper. Yet at the same time the embrace also is very moving, because we have watched these two since they were a mother torn apart from her daughter in the first play, seen them pass by each other, each fighting her battle alone, needing and yet failing to recognize each other. Thus along with the bitter irony, there is a joy that they are reunited because this moment has been long in coming. (The stage image of ragged women embracing each other has recurred at the end of several of Mnouchkine's productions over the years, and has become a kind of signature.) The spectator's identification of the women's tie has become a performative act in itself, a counter-discourse to the master narrative that is inscribing defeat. As a whole, the mise en scene illuminates the violent theatrical scenario through which the City still inscribes itself as the dawn of democracy and the victory of civilization, law, and rationality over barbarism, revenge, and irrationality. Yet the text of Aeschylus in identifying the site of this inscription as the same site where the Amazons also fought, enables another story and space to be constructed, a kind of hidden city in the shadow of the patriarchal one.

Although the critical and public reception for Les Atrides was in general overwhelmingly positive (see the review in the October 1993 TJ), not surprisingly, the response to this as to other Mnouchkine productions frequently mirrors the very mindsets that the work tries to theatrically interrogate: apolitical universalism, obliviousness to colonialism, and a subtle or open bias towards women in power. The addition of Iphigenia at Aulis, the seemingly abrupt shift to modern times in The Eumenides, and the attention given to sexual politics in Les Atrides as a whole has caused divided reactions among the critics: some think that this has "distorted" the plays (from what norm is not stated).(30) Some think a feminist interpretation is long overdue others see it pragmatically as "good theater and good feminism,"(31) and still others believe that the performance succeeds in spite of Mnouchkine's feminist outlook because good theatre overcomes feminist dogma.(32) Mnouchkine is impatient with anyone who infers from the staging an ahistorical, apolitical struggle between "man" on one side and "woman" on the other. In several interviews such as the one below for Theater Heute, she takes the historicizing stance of materialist feminism without naming it as such:

Eberhart Spreng: Agamemnon seemed to lean towards his right side in Iphigenia, as if leaning towards the rational: was this meant to indicate the battle between reason and feeling, and the battle of the sexes?

Ariane Mnouchkine: [reacts with amusement to the notion of the actor leaning to the right] . The battle of the sexes was not a theme for me in rehearsal. Naturally it is an important motif in the plays. Most tragedy again and again reports murders of women. When one produces Iphigenia and the Oresteia, naturally one notices that in the first play a woman [Iphigenia] is murdered, in the second Agamemnon and Cassandra, in The Libation Bearers Clytemnestra, and in the Eumenides it is the absolute defeat of the Furies that is shown. With this one doesn't need to put a special emphasis on it. [Iphigenia] tells of the battle of a woman, Clytemnestra, for the life of her daughter, and against the greed for power, fame, dominance, and the leadership of an army.(33)

Spreng's linking of the "battle of the sexes" to the polarity of "reason versus passion" through the familiar equation of men with reason and women with passion is the kind of essentializing that Mnouchkine critiques. His formula draws from the same pathriarchal gender disclosure that has been used to naturalize historically contingent political and social relations from ancient Greece until today, and which the Les Arides tries - obviously not with total success - to illuminate by theatrical means.

Mnouchkine's adaptations of Asian and Indian theatre forms, her periodic return to Western classics, and her insistence that the mise en scene retain an imaginative distance and a fantastic theatricality have led some to accuse her of abandoning her political ideals in favor of an escapist, decorative, irresponsible, ultimately safe high-art theatre. A comparison of her work and its reception with that of Peter Brook is instructive on such questions. On the surface her work parallels his: he too has been on an "Orientalist" quest for over a decade (with Africa added to India and Asia). However, while critics often fault Mnouchkine with being an ideologue, Brook is perceived as non-ideological. Patrice Pavis, for instance, who offers a useful conceptualization of interculturalism in Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture, views Mnouchkine's L'Indiade and Twelfth Night with obvious hostility as failed inter-culturalism, while he unconditionally praises Brook's adaptation of the Mahabharata as "charming" and universal. Of L'Indiade he writes: "All the formal theatre research has given way to a rather sterile exercise in imitation . of historical figures and ethnic groups"[198] and of The Mahabharata: "For Brook, the actors are involved in . almost a ritual search for authenticity . they do not attempt to imitate the world [of India], but try to preserve the sacred quality of their performance"[202]. Striking also is Pavis's language which subtly colors Mnouchkine as a tyrant and Brook as a liberator: while Mnouchkine "delegates a member of the [Indian] lower classes . to comment on the action," Brook "gave two French actors the roles of narrator and intermediary between myth and audience"(34) [my italics]. In describing this use of mediators between the "source culture" and the "target culture" in the two productions, Pavis overlooks the privileging, even unintentionally colonialist effect of Brook's using two white, French-speaking men as narrators while the other actors were nearly all people of color from non-western countries. This pattern was exactly repeated in the English-language production and in the subsequent film by placing two white British men in these same positions. Les Atrides has more in common with Brook's Marat/Sade than with the Mahabharata, because the first two expose to historical critique ideological constructs and power relations formative of our own society. Thus the difference between Brook and Mnouchkine at present is analogous to that between Barrault and Brecht in 1955: one approach wants to stage a universalizing, dehistoricized, "history of man" while the other disavows universality and tries to historicize "man on stage."

The playing out of historical power relations through embodiment and impersonation even went beyond the limits of the performance itself. The Theatre du Soleil's production toured internationally, appearing in the English mill town of Bradford, in New York, Berlin, and Montreal, each time in widely different physical spaces and environments.(35) Though, as stated, the overall critical response was very positive, whenever negative criticism did appear there was a distinct pattern discernible in many of the (male) critics' reports from the various sites of the tour: they tended to experience the staging, the performance area, the theatre building, and even the outside environment as a projected embodiment of the female person (or persona) of Ariane Mnouchkine herself. The most striking reviews were those that sensed in the whole event the displaced but ominous qualities of a controlling feminine (and foreign) ideologue, a "forbidding French intellectual,"(36) or even a "champion control freak" who forced the audience to endure "punishing bleacher seats" in an "airless" atmosphere on stage and in the auditorium.(37) Their reception of the performance seemed to involve being enveloped in a woman's presence that was diffused throughout the theatre space - at worst a hostile, foreign, militant atmosphere, and at best a cozy maternal one. The director herself is thus conflated with the theatre space - just as the chorus attributed the still air of Aulis and the oppressive atmosphere of Argos with the fact that a woman was in power. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose?!

In summary, through the signs of a fantasized Asian theatre, Les Atrides sets a double Verfremdungeffekt into dialectical motion: in attempting to keep the text "as we know it" from dissolving into its new "Oriental" context, we can hear it with new clarity. At the same time, the interlocking sexual and empirial politics are brought to light through many nonverbal stage discourses, so that we can retrace the familiar Oresteia story as a playing out and legitimation of a set of power relations that we recognize all too well because they still exist today. Although the multi-racial cast and the Kathakali-inspired dances, costumes, make-up, and bodily language of gestus in Les Atrides do make the performance appear exotic, the East becomes a stage sign that is exposed as such, as a repertoire of images used to write a story in the space/time of a theatrical arena. Yet in being written the unity of the myth is not shored up but visibly disintegrates. Signs of the East share this arena with signs from the West, from Greek theatre to contemporary film. In its cumulative effect, the borrowing does not repeat the reduction of India or Asia to a colonized other, but illuminates this Orientalism as a borrowing of living traditions in order to retell and interrogate a founding story of the West. Wherever the colorful figures originated, and whatever their proportion of Eastern and Western ingredients, the abiding memory is that they unearthed themselves to walk up from the past, dance for us, and rewrite the old new story of the House of Atreus.


A History of Hairpins and Hairdo’s of Ancient Women in Eastern Asia - History


Turkish women characteristics - Dating and marriage with Turkish girls

Turkey has a mixed culture with its history and geographical location. That’s why it is a little bit more difficult to make generalization than the other European countries. Turkey is one of the oldest civilized places on earth. Tourists flock there for the amazing and beautiful ancient architecture and beaches. Turkey is a democratic republic, however about 99% of the people are Muslim, and with this comes a certain cultural difference between the equality of men and women.

During the Ottoman Empire, Turkish society was ruled by Shari'ah (Islamic religious law) and a body of medieval social custom for 500 years, and major cultural change does not come overnight. Since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in the 1920s, women have had equal status with men in Turkish society.

Turks are not only in Turkey. Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan (to some percentage), Tatar Turks, are all from Turkic race. Turks are not Greeks. Turkic genetics and Greek genetics are very different. It is true that Turks in Turkey mixed with Greek people a lot, but it has nothing to do with Turks in general.

Turkey is known for its strategic location at the meeting point of the East and West but apart from its geographical position, Turkey is also blessed to embody in its culture the best of both worlds. Little wonder then that its women are some of the most attractive in the world besides being smart and well educated.

Here are some tips and information about Turkish ladies:

- Turkish girls usually interested in dating Muslim men. In the past it was not usual for them to marry outside of their race.

- The status of women in Turkey is different from what it is in your home country. Not worse, not better, but different. In some ways, women may seem subservient to men but Turkey had a female supreme court justice long before the USA and some other countries did, and Turkey has had a female head of government, something for example the USA, for all its success in women's liberation, has not yet had.

- Turkish girls basically have a very classic ancient world look. They tend to have wide hips and thin waist. Their faces are broad rather than long, like northern Europeans.

- Turkish women have various looks due to immigration from all the directions to the Asia Minor. You get blondes to dark looking Arabic type women. Or simply brunette with blue or green eyed ones. However, most Turkish girls are tanned or olive completed, with dark hair and eyes.

- The average Turkish women, is neither beautiful nor terrible. She is short and more often has pear shaped body, the curse of being Mediterranean. A Turkish woman does not have the prominent cheekbones that give the Iranian women that character filled proud face, which keeps a women in good shape when gravity drags the muscles down with age.

- Turkish women are hardworking, they make the most delicious breakfast. But beware. They are also the most jealous. In the fist years of marriage a Turkish wife will call you up every half an hour to check you're not with a woman. If you can handle that please go ahead.

- Turkish women are extremely reserved, modest and unfussy by nature. In modern Turkey, they are highly respected about 60% of the time. This means 4 out of 10 women are domestically abused. These women do live in a patriarchal society nevertheless they do express their independence and are very free thinking.

- Turkish women are very protective of their children. Breast-feeding for a year or more is normal there. Boys are socialized to be courageous, assertive, proud, and respectful of elders.

- Since the family is a very important aspect of Turkish life, you can expect your Turkish girlfriend to be quite close to her parents. Holidays and celebrations in Turkey are vast family affairs where several generations and extended family members get together and have a good time.

- Education for Turkish girls comes with the same opportunities as for men. Unfortunately cultural barriers do prevent a lot of women from obtaining a higher degree. About 15% of Turkish women can’t read or write.

- A modern Turkish woman will balance her career while fulfilling her duties as a good wife.

- Turkish women are usually megalomaniac. Also Turkish women are free spirited. You can’t make her serve or obey you unless she voluntarily wants to serve. Traditional Turkish women can act like they are obedient in public but when you make it to home, they are the only bosses.

- In Turkey girls are encouraged to marry and have children, and marriages are still arranged in rural parts. However, educated Turkish girls date, and chose their own husbands. Yet it is unlikely for her to marry or hang around anyone her parents disapprove of though.

- As mentioned above arranged marriages are still usual in the countryside and among the more religious and traditional families, although in the cities modern ideas of men-women courtship, dating, love and marriage are not uncommon. Female virginity upon marriage is valued (and often expected), though it is not universal anymore.

- Some Turkish girls are really conservative ones. They are getting married after just one or two meetings with the man their family found for them. Some even don’t date.

- In Turkey, good looking men outnumbered the good looking women. Eastern European is filled with attractive women, especially in Russia and Ukraine. But in Turkey good looking men are abundant and women are, well, absent. It’s not that Turkish women are ugly. It’s just that they are not on streets. We are not sure where they’re hiding, but over 80% of the pedestrians are men.

- Turkish girls are very stylish and dress in the same clothing that western Europeans girls do, however about 25% will still wear a hair covering. As for veils and burqas, they are illegal in Turkey but the law is rarely enforced.

- Many young Turkish women today are high-maintenance types and are not shy about spending on their looks and appearance.

- If you are dating a Turkish woman, observe Turkish cultural norms (ie, behave as a Turkish woman would behave), you will be treated with politeness and respect.

- The basic reason why foreign men have a challenge to get mobile phone numbers of Turkish girls and date them is they come from a radically different culture than you. They are a Mediterranean culture which makes them usually friendly and warm, however, they are Muslim and this is a different religion than most Canadian, Americans, Spanish and German men. Remember, culture plays a role in how people see the world.

- Turkish women are extremely jealous and protective.

- If you are looking to score with women, Istanbul, Izmir or Ankara is definitely not the right place. While Turkish women are extremely beautiful and sophisticated, they are not particularly interested with Westerners, particularly the ones who are in Istanbul for a few days only.

- In clubs, you will be in competition with Turkish men who are real playboys, rather aggressive in their charming and games. Don’t flirt too ostentatiously with a woman who came with male friends if you don’t want to get yourself in a big trouble.

- When you are looking for a Turkish bride or simply a Turkish woman for dating and marriage, you will want to remember that this is like any other search for romance. You will want to have a clear idea of the kind of woman you would like to meet before you begin your search.

- Remember Turkish women expect financial support from their men if they need it. Do not expect to share the bill etc. You will pay for everything. If she is intelligent and learned about your culture, then she will probably not ask you to do that tough.

- Sexual subjects are taboo. Do not think that Turkish girls are pretenders. They really don’t like talking about sex. Therefore, if you start your talk with sexual suggestions or just dirty jokes, you will definitely lose all your chances to make a Turkish girl fall for you. Maybe she will eventually amaze you with her love and passion in bed, but it will take some time of course.

- Certainly there are women in Turkey who think marriage are not necessary, sex is not taboo. But remember even in this case you still have to follow the rules of society.

Quotes from the web:

- There are mostly 3 types of Turkish women, There are the ones that are shallow and are only looking for money/foreign man only types, second ones are the types that think they are hot and have the ego of movie starts while dressing like a slut, third ones are the shy and insecure types of Turkish women.

- They're busty and always a good time in bed. The thing about Turkish girls is that there are so many opportunities available to them at home.

- I have so many Turkish girlfriends and I have lived in Istanbul for about a year. Anyways Turkish women are like hidden sluts. I've met lots of them and I was very surprised. Some of them are Muslim and believe they should wait till marriage. If she isn't really religious then it's her decision to make if she wants to take the next step with you.

- Turkish girls are very easy, with foreign men. Don't worry, just be careful because all they want is to get a Canadian, US or European passport and they'd do anything to get one.

- I think Turkish women are perhaps some of the most loyal and best wives in Europe. However, there is a problem with ladies from Turkey, if you are an American or British man.

- Respect her family, don’t judge her relationship with her family (some parents have no boundaries between their children’s intimate life and trying to learn every detail and have a rule list), do not expect spending nights together if she lives with parents, pay the bills when you met in a restaurant or cafe, be ready to be with jealous girlfriend, do not stare other women.


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35 thoughts on &ldquoGirl At Islamic School Accuses Headmaster of Assault . . . Mob Then Burns Girl To Death&rdquo

They should punish all of those involved, after they are convicted, the same way they killed this young girl. If we punished criminals they same way they committed their crime, maybe this crap would give pause to future criminals.

Bangla is one of the most backwards countries in the Islamic world. IMH and well traveled O.

I imagine we’ll be getting to this point soon enough.

Cultural equivalence is a lie.

THIS is why globalism is wrong.

THIS Is why the UN is a joke for putting human- and women’s rights abusers onto human rights councils.

THIS is why the United States is a better place to live than anywhere else for women. Not only do we have Western values, but we women enjoy the most robust free speech rights anywhere on the planet, including in the Western world. There are individuals who commit terrible crimes here, but there is no widespread cultural support for such crimes.

THIS is why the United States is a better place to live than anywhere else for women.

It’s good to appreciate your home. It’s good to appreciate your family. But you’d sound like a fool if you said you had the best mother in the world. You don’t. You have your mother.

As we speak, about 20% of all pregnancies end in surgical or chemical abortion. The majority of 1st born children are [email protected] (though many are legitimated post-partum). About 40% of all marriages contracted are eventually dissolved by the courts. Our major meme generating institutions keep propagating the notion that men qua men are pathological and we suffer a kultursmog which leaves women with only a fuzzy sense of personal agency. We really have not got this human relations thing down pat. My parents’ contemporaries, ca. 1948, did a better job of this sort of thing.

And did I mention the relentless promotion of sexual transgression by those meme-generating institutions, not to mention lunacies like sex re-assignment programs?

this is a sad tragedy HOWEVER

western men are scared of western women
eastern men know the ancient wisdom better than the men of the west

men are so afraid of women in america it’s a joke that we still worry about these trifling incidents from the third world.

talk to some cops maybe. women here are totally wild and irresponsible and its getting worse fast

“women here are totally wild and irresponsible and its getting worse fast”

watch your local paper for stories of women high school teachers molesting adolescent boys– you won’t have to wait for long

talk to some cops about women assaulting men and then men not reporting– let me know if i made that up

check out instagram maybe and see if girls havent gone wild., seriously,. you must be blind

We’ve had priests molesting boys, coaches molesting girls, coaches molesting boys, boy scout leaders molesting boys, cops stalking and harassing women…and the list goes on.

But sure, let’s “talk to some cops.” In the meantime, how about a little mob “justice.”

“oh boy” to the entire comment

Pete Buttigieg, “2020 Presidential candidate” should steer clear of these countries also if elected: Add Bangladesh & Bhutan

Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg’s brother-in-law is accusing the gay Democratic presidential hopeful of hijacking his family’s history for political advantage by crafting a bogus backstory of poverty, homelessness, and homophobia.

Buttigieg is an only child and doesn’t have any truk with women, so not sure how he’s supposed to have a ‘brother-in-law’.

If you mean his butt-buddy Glezman’s brothers, well, there’s this:

Every family has to decide how to cope with a problem child, and the Glezmans are no exception.

as Buttigieg’s father a professor was all about crafting history according to political gain

“Buttigieg’s main areas of interest were modern literature, critical theory and the relationship between culture and politics. In addition to numerous articles, he was the author of a book on James Joyce’s aesthetics, “A Portrait of the Artist in Different Perspective.” He is also the editor and translator of the multi-volume complete critical edition of “Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks,” a project that has been supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Several of his articles on Gramsci, the Italian philosopher, writer and politician, have been translated into Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese. He was a founding member of the International Gramsci Society, of which he was president, and the Italian minister of culture appointed him to a commission of experts to oversee the preparation of the “edizione nazionale” (national edition/complete works) of Gramsci’s writings. Buttigieg also served on the editorial and advisory boards of various journals, and he was a member of “boundary 2,” an editorial collective that publishes a journal of literature and culture.”

what does wiki say about the communist gramsci?

Gramsci is best known for his theory of cultural hegemony, which describes how the state and ruling capitalist class – the bourgeoisie – use cultural institutions to maintain power in capitalist societies. The bourgeoisie, in Gramsci’s view, develops a hegemonic culture using ideology rather than violence, economic force, or coercion. Hegemonic culture propagates its own values and norms so that they become the “common sense” values of all and thus maintain the status quo. Hegemonic power is therefore used to maintain consent to the capitalist order, rather than coercive power using force to maintain order. This cultural hegemony is produced and reproduced by the dominant class through the institutions that form the superstructure.

that must have been a central aspect of Mayor Pete’s dad’s academic work.
which according to Mayor Pete, he brought home from work and pounded the table with it.

So Pete got the message.
With the transvaluation of homosexuality from abnormal sexual taste, to elevated minority status, with the full support of capitalist powers who have strongly supported the gay rights agenda, Pete may have opportunistically saw a rising tide on which he could surf to fame

don’t pick on Chasten, the poor guy sounds like the junior partner way out of his depth.

Glezman is a drama teacher. Read profiles of him. He sounds like an inveterately silly person.

As for papa Buttigieg, he wasted his career trying to make use of the study of literature as an exercise in social and political theory. He and his wife married late enough that they only had time for one kid, who turned out to be addled by sexual dysfunction. All too sad.

“This is absurd” is a known homophobe…

“sexual dysfunction”? You mean being gay? You want to talk about sexual dysfunction and the presidency of the United States? How about a fat, bald narcissist who brags about his perceived “right” to grab the genitals of young females he finds attractive because he is “famous”? Is that how you define normal, functional sexuality? This fat, bald man, who covers his baldness and scalp reduction scar with a rug that is glued down, who has anointed himself as a “vigorous young man”, yet he has saggy, badly wrinkled skin with a fake tan, a huge paunch that he tries to conceal with oversized ties, a broad rear end and cheap-looking dyed hair of varying tones depending on the day. He is a joke. He also consorts with porn stars and nude models and pays them off to keep quiet. That, in your opinion is normal sexual functionality?

On the other hand, you have Mayor Pete who is a Rhodes scholar, Harvard law graduate and military veteran who is married to the man he loves. He is not tainted by scandal, and unlike Trump, is not a serial bankruptcy filer, racist, misogynist, xenophobe or someone who flaunts his malignant narcissism for the world’s entertainment. He is an articulate, fit young man with high ideals.

What I find “all too sad” is that people like you are so deeply entrenched in Trump worship that you can’t see reality, so you engage in homophobic slurs and even attack Mayor Pete’s father, who is a much more honorable and educated man than Fred Trump ever hoped to be. But, wait. I forgot. Fred Trump was born in Germany, so he was handicapped by being an immigrant–right?

Meanwhile, did you hear Mueller say, yesterday, that Trump was not only not exonerated, but that he understood from the beginning of the assignment he was given that he would not be allowed to indict Trump due to DOJ policy?

Buttigieg suffers from sexual dysfunction and you suffer from emotional dysfunction.

Radical postmodernist theory is aiming to be at the helm of the U.S. government. Egad.

The fact that so many people could be convinced to commit such an act of total depravity is chilling.

Virginia Governor Ralph “paint me black face” Northam and NY Governor Andrew “I’m Catholic” Cuomo embraced the decapitating of infant babies and selling their body parts, while Democrats and Pro-Aborts greased their cash registers as they looked forward to making money on these dead babies

where is your article on that, eh, JD, Esquire, insert pathetic adjective for attorneys here?

“The fact that so many people could be convinced to commit such an act of total depravity is chilling. ”

Perhaps you need to observe events in that part of the world a little more carefully.

“women fighting for equal rights in these countries. ”

Yet leftist women in this country line up to march behind people like Linda Sarsour. What do they think she stands for?

He observes them carefully enough to fuss over advertisements for above-ground pools posted in Saudi Arabia.

The SJW go after people like Dean Sullivan for upholding our judicial system (and the Constitution), but don’t have anything to say about this atrocity.

The Pinkos do nothing to earn our respect.

Some relative in her family should kill the headmaster. And mob members.

She should not have “dolled up” and sought the attraction of men.

Yeah it’s her fault. Your an idiot

He’s the guy who used to post under the handle ‘Jack Ruby’. He’s remarkably consistent. All of his posts are failed efforts to be funny.

“This is absurd” won “hall monitor” awards when she or he was young.

And leftists in general and feminists in particular will walk over hot coals before criticizing the “Religion of Peace tm”

Another reason not to take them seriously.

Prove me wrong, I’m waiting for a leftist to criticize Muslim treatment of women in these comments.

“Muslim treatment of women” don’t be ridiculous. to what degree was the religion responsible for the actions of these scumbags. What are the points of identification which show that the motive was religious as opposed to any other motive. Be more nuanced in your reading of this you ignoramus.

Seriously? Muslims are required to believe that Mohammed lived the perfect, exemplary human life. Mohammed beat his wives, took trophy sex-slaves, raped a 9-year-old girl, and taught that women were basically to be treated like children because their minds were inferior. But I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that women are treated poorly in Muslim countries. Nothing to do with the religion which defines their entire view of the world. Right.

Don’t give me blanket statements like these without substantiating them. Mohamed did live the perfect, exemplary human life and he was the best to his wives and he told his followers that “the best of you is he who is best to his wife”, this was in response to the complaints of the womenfolk that their husbands were beating them and the prophet chastised the men as a result.

With regards to the slaves what you fail to realise is that captives of war were a common practice in that time period, such that to not partake in that, was an almost handicap against a rival power (think about what would happen when there is a war and the muslims have to keep ransoming the Muslim captives which occurred also and you fail to mention the christian powers who partook in that) it would spell economic suicide especially in the greater asia region in particular. The freeing of slaves was encouraged by the Prophet. Slaves were also given an ability to free themselves. Female slaves that then married with children were automatically freed. Now with regards to the welfare of slaves, this was much difference than the welfare of slaves in any other place for example if the master beat the slave, the master would have to free him, they had to be fed and clothed and given wages and so on. The westernised notion of slavery is one of inhuman treatment and forced labour with no pay and not rights (think transatlantic slavery). Serfdom in islam was was a completely different thing.

Yes in islam one can theoretically marry at a young age both male and female. Islam brings a principle into play and that is the principle of maturity (in mind and body). Even if the lady is 20 and she is not matured in mind and body then she can not marry and the same for the guy. The western notion does not take into consideration the harm of the individual when it comes to relationships (think stds). “Woman to be treated like children” lol evidence pls. “But I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that women are treated poorly in Muslim countries”. Power, corruption, ignorance are some of the biggest culprits behind injustices and in this case it was a perfect amalgamation of these aspects of our humanity. Chivalry to all, honor and justice are very much encouranged, so once again what of islam orders men to burn and beat a woman who sought justice for a wrong that was done to her? And dont give me a shotgun argument.

And dont get get me started on the injustices of the western world in particular countries like the UK and the US who bombed, raped the very women they claim to support, destabilised armed and supports even till today. How many people (including the women you attempt to defend) are killed in the west by losers and incels? What about the sickness of parents who promote gender dysphoria in children! Or the many men/cucks who have half their assets taken from them unjustly, look the the declining child birth (a sign of the weakness of the west), the daily stories of rape, pedaphilia (white males doing “sex tourism”, Catholic priests raping young boys, the rates of white pedophilia, the promotion of degeneracy such as incest), look at the many disenfranchised young men who resort to inceldom and the young girls who think its ok that they be sexualised.



Comments:

  1. Mazutaur

    News. Tell me, please - where can I find more information on this topic?

  2. Halsey

    and you can periphrase it?

  3. Samuzragore

    Now everything is clear, thank you very much for the explanation.

  4. Bryceton

    What a phrase ... great

  5. Riobard

    You are not right. We will discuss.



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