Even with the revocation of Article 377, being of the LGBTQI community in India is rife with social and political issues. In this piece I discuss how in my experience being a bisexual woman has you reduced both within and outside the community.
Women are held hostage by reputation. We aren’t supposed to dress provocatively, speak openly about sexuality or take any actions without wondering about what people will say. Everything we do can destroy our reputation and we all know reputation is the most important ornament a woman has, but what if we destroyed our own reputations? Here’s why I did it.
The Indian ideal of sanctity holds the traditional family unit above all else in society, but the truth is that there are thousands of step-parents around the country who take the same roles and responsibilities in the lives of their step-children as traditional parents. As one of these parents I find the social and legal aspects of stepparenting are much harder to navigate than the emotional.
From a very young age most of us are given to understand that we will have to marry someday, whether it is for love or because of the social norms that surround marriage. When the threat of forced cultural integration sent me running from marriage, I realised the rights afforded to non-marital love were not at par with the rights of the married. A central government guideline governing my partner’s job mandated our marriage, but should that be allowed to happen?
Dating apps are the dark, disgusting hole of the internet. We’re all there and we all hate being there. We’ve all met some characters. Allow me to share the stories of the ten most ridiculous ones I have met over the years.
It is well-known that victims of abuse rarely speak up, and while we generally understand that this is due to social factors, this understanding of abusive relationships is incredibly shallow and ultimately perpetuates the culture that supports abuse. When a victim of abuse does speak up, what makes them do it?
Whether it is in matrimonials, drawing rooms or classrooms, fat girls are taught to hate themselves for the bodies they have. Pop culture reduces the representation of fat women to a comedic trope or a pitiful sexuality. If it is indeed about concern and health, then why do millions of women suffer from eating disorders and self-loathing because of it?
As women become more aware of our rights, it becomes harder for society to control our behaviour through the law and so it is done socially. It’s okay if you have boyfriends, it’s okay if you drink, it’s okay if you are divorced, it’s okay if you are ambitious but just don’t talk about it. The reason we can write about the “secret lives of women” is that we are actively discouraged from having open lives.
Have you read a dozen women’s magazines articles about how to have better sex and learnt nothing except what a perineum is? Maybe our hilarious, overly-explicit and unpopular sex-tips can help.
Although the ideology of feminism does not prescribe any rules for how a feminist should behave, often when you exist in an environment of constant-focus on the politics of womanhood, you start to question whether you are allowed to be feminine. However feminism and femininity aren’t two sides of the same coin, they are allies.