Manhood might be hard to define but South African media make it even harder, according to editors of a new book, who argue that negative coverage of men is doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to HIV. Now they are looking to rewrite masculinity in a country that ranks among the most gender inequitable in the world.
The nightclub is heaving, sweaty and loud, pulsating with blinding blue and white lights, and packed with drunken dancers. At the bar, the young sons of Burma's elite are buying bottles of Jack Daniel's and Johnnie Walker with thick wads of dirty kyat notes. But inside the double doors and through the dark fog of the smoke machine, a cultural transformation is taking place on the dance floor. Clubbers are grinding up against each other – girls on girls, boys on boys – singing along to American hip-hop blaring out of the giant speakers in the corner.
In a country that still criminalises homosexual activity – a legacy from when the British once ruled this country of 50 million – such sights have long been kept out of view. But as Burma slowly opens up, many of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population are hoping they will no longer have to stay in the shadows.
Umbassil* is unlike other engaged women. Instead of planning her wedding she is wondering where she will have her baby. She is not pregnant but she knows that Bahrain's maternity hospitals will not admit her because she is HIV positive.The 26 year old who refuses to allow HIV to stop her from living her life to the fullest, is bothered by the prospect of being forced to deliver her baby in a country other than her own. "I have come to terms with artificial insemination and caesarean section (C-section) to protect my future husband and baby from contracting the virus, but I cannot accept (that I have) to deliver far away from my country and family members," she told IPS.