A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame

Author: Elsa Marie D'Silva

A still from the film 'A Kid Like Jake'. In a city-background with houses to the right and a car to the left, three figures: a blonde woman wearing a black and white striped t-shirt, blue jeans, and a beige coat, carrying a brown bag on her shoulder is holding a child's hand from the left. The child is wearing a purple, glittery tutu and a blue shirt. Their arms are outstretched and on the right side, held by a man wearing a peach shirt, blue hoodie and blue jeans. He has black hair. Both the man and the woman are looking at the child.

Review: I see you

My friend’s son, too, likes wearing tutus and frilly skirts. Every time they go shopping for clothes, he heads to the girl’s section and picks out the frilliest outfit. At check out, invariably the cashier asks if the pretty outfit is for his sister and he confidently says it is for him. Often he wears these outfits to school. His confidence comes from his mother’s acceptance of him and her understanding of his gender expansiveness. It helps that she is a sociologist, but there is a constant pushback from society including from his peers at school who bully the little boy. But it is the constant support from his mother and family that allows him to remain confident and thrive whilst being different.
A poster of the film 'North Country'. On the poster: in the middle, Charlize Theron's face and shoulders. She is wearing a yellow bandana and a grey-beige t-shirt. She is looking at the camera, wide-eyed. Behind her is a crowd of men, a bit transparent. The lettering under her is in white, saying NORTH COUNTRY. Above her, the lettering says, 'ALL SHE WANTED WAS TO MAKE A LIVING, INSTEAD SHE MADE HISTORY' and underneath the title of the film are details about its cast and production.

Invisible Women

I recently watched North Country on Netflix, a movie based on a true story of a woman’s fight for equality at the workplace. It is based on the case, Jenson vs Eveleth Mines, in the United States in which Lois Jenson, fought for the right to work as a miner, and the right to work free of sexual harassment. She won the landmark 1984 lawsuit, which was the first class-action lawsuit on sexual harassment at the workplace in the United States and resulted in companies/organisations having to introduce sexual harassment policies at the workplace.
एक महिला के मुँह को ढक रहे एक लाल रंग के हाथ का भित्ति चित्र। चित्र के साथ पीले रंग में सन्देश है: 'चुप्पी तोड़ों', उसके नीचे बड़े अक्षरों में लिखा है: 'यौन उत्पीड़न एक अपराध है' और उसके ऊपर: 'कानून के ख़िलाफ़'।

लोगों से मिली जानकारी के आंकड़ों के आधार पर अपने शहरों को कैसे सुरक्षित बनाया जा सकता है

उत्पीड़न करने की आदतों को बदलने की कोशिश में नीतियों का बदला जाना ज़रूरी होता है, लेकिन इसके लिए यह भी ज़रूरी है कि लोग उत्पीड़न के विरोध में अपनी आवाज़ उठाएँ।
Poster of the Netflix series ‘The Bold Type’ Three girls can be seen standing confidently. On top of the poster, the tile ‘Bold Type is written in purple colour

Circle of Trust

None of these characters is perfect but in their imperfections we can learn more about body positivity, gender sensitivity, privilege, consent, unconscious and implicit bias, sexuality, masculinity, their intersections with class, religion, race, age, and more.

Making the most of our lives

I realised that we are constantly thinking about the future and our life as we age, and are afraid of facing the world alone. The uncertainty of future events, of which there are many combinations, makes us feel insecure and vulnerable.
एक लड़की की तस्वीर, जिसमे वह अपने हाथ को पीछे करके और अपना सर ऊपर करके खड़ी है। पीछे समुद्र और ढलता हुआ सूरज दिखाई पड़ रहा है।

यौनिकता और एकल महिला 

मेरी सफलता के बारे में और उस पर मेरे अविवाहित होने की बात सुनकर अधिकांश पुरुष मेरे प्रति कुछ अधिक जिज्ञासु हो जाते है जबकि महिलाएं मेरे अविवाहित होने के बारे में सुनकर कुछ और ज़्यादा सवाल करने लगते हैं।
A black and white photograph of an infant’s hand resting on an older individual’s outstretched palm.

The importance of family

Family, immediate and extended, is usually who you turn to. They are the ones who provide stress relief and reduce anxiety by boosting self-confidence and self-esteem and providing a protective shield. There is a sense of belongingness in good times and in bad.
Film poster of ‘Someone Great’

Nothing Lasts Forever

These two films were refreshing because they didn’t have the fairytale endings of girl-meets-boy, they fall in love, overcome difficult challenges and live happily ever after. Instead, they were set in everyday reality where life takes over and choices have to be made.

Hot Girls Wanted – Keeping up with the times

Because the Internet is an integral part of our daily lives, it is important that young people are given the right information so that they can explore the world around them, access information without violating legislations, know their rights in the virtual and physical world and have enjoyable and consensual relationships with whoever they choose.
A still from the Netflix series Jeffery Epstein – Filthy Rich

Dismantling a sex-trafficking pyramid

Every Friday my organisation Red Dot Foundation hosts a SafeCircle, an online space for listening and for sharing experiences of sexual violence. Last Friday, as we were sharing stories, it suddenly dawned on me that many of us were still traumatised by some of the relationships and experiences we had when we were between 16…

Review: Private Life

What makes a family? In the month of May, we celebrated Mother’s Day on the 10th and the International Day of Families on the 15th. I find both these days interesting because as a single woman, one of the initial questions I often get asked when meeting people for the first time is, “Do you…

Review: The Last Summer

Last weekend, after a very hectic week, I was looking for a light and easy movie to watch and came across “The Last Summer”. The movie was nominated for the Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movies 2019 and is set in Chicago. It tracks the lives of several young people over their final summer…

Gerald’s Game – A Story Of Resilience In The Face Of Metaphorical And Emotional Bondage

This movie had instantly called out to me because the book had made a huge impression many years ago when I was going through a Stephen King phase and consuming as many of his novels as I could. It is a story of resilience where a woman had to rescue herself from a dangerous situation of metaphorical and emotional bondage as well as the physical and sexual kind.
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