Kavita Ramdas on women’s rights and social entrepreneurship

Kavita Ramdas spoke beautifully and eloquently on the topic of women’s rights and social entrepreneurship. I meant to take comprehensive notes, but didn’t. Instead of comprehensive notes, here are some highlights of her talk:

— Kavita likes to broaden the definition of “social entrepreneur.” Typically, a “social entrepreneur” is someone who works in the social sector; that is, a risk-taking innovative social entrepreneur is more concerned with changing and improving culture and society than with making a profit. But she would like to broaden the definition to include social activists. To make her point, she pointed out that an activist like Gandhi was a risk-taking innovator who worked to change broader culture and society.

— She said that in the United States, we have made great progress in women’s rights. Even though we never managed to put the Equal Rights Amendment into the U.S. Constitution, women’s rights are enshrined in law. Compared to her home country, India, the U.S. has made great progress in women’s rights. However, there is another aspect to feminism, and that is allowing persons to have both feminine and masculine characteristics, and in this respect she feels India has done better than the U.S. Continue reading “Kavita Ramdas on women’s rights and social entrepreneurship”

The ceiling gods

Waking up in the middle of the night and talking to the ceiling gods:— This refers to those moments when you come out of sleep filled with thoughts of all the problems you have to face, at least some of which are probably unsolvable. You lie there in bed, your mind turning those problems around, and you can’t get back to sleep for a long time. This is talking to the ceiling gods. (I think I first heard Wynne using this phrase.)

I suspect the ceiling gods are descendants of the old Roman household gods, the Lares. We have tried to replace the old household gods with the altars of personal computers, and portable shrines of tablets and smartphones. But for every problem my laptop solves, it dumps three more problems in my lap via email; I’m not sure our replacements for the Lares are really doing us any favors. The ceiling gods seem more effective. Perhaps I will start pouring them libations, and leaving them small offerings.