Choices are also influenced by our milieu, by socio-cultural norms, by the laws and strictures that operate to regulate what we may and may not do. Lest this makes it seem that we are mere puppets triggered by internal whimsy and simultaneously constrained by external forces, our contributors show that this is not so.
While we moved one step forward towards sexual rights by striking down Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and decriminalising homosexuality, we still have a long way to go in changing and challenging the popular psyche and the political and legal narratives around homosexuality and queer families.
For this March issue, we decided to interview many people, not just one, and over 350 people responded! Here are the results of a ‘public interview’ that took the form of a survey, and two polls with two questions each, on Facebook and Instagram.
My mother and I have both made certain choices, sometimes inconvenient for me, sometimes difficult for her, but those choices have revealed to me the strength of our relationship and alternative possibilities that she and I can imagine together.
Choices in the sexual area should remain personal while maintaining the dignity and the rights of all people who must be able to make fully informed choices in this area. It is the duty of the state to provide the education and information to its people in this area but not intrude into their personal choices.
Consent, however, is not so straightforward in the digital world. With instances where data can be hacked into, and with deep fake technologies making it more difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is fake, we have a situation where it is difficult to completely anticipate the kinds of risks involved, and the ways in which sexually explicit material is used.
मनुष्यों के बीच के किसी भी तरह के आपसी सम्बन्धों में सहमति का होना, इन सम्बन्धों की मज़बूत नींव की तरह होना चाहिए। हमारे समाज में हम इस ‘सहमति’ देने या ‘ना’ कह पाने के अधिकार पर प्रतिक्रिया के रूप में नयी तरह की हिंसा को देख पा रहे हैं। अधिकारों को प्रयोग करने की इस प्रक्रिया को केवल किसी व्यक्ति द्वारा अपने अधिकारों के प्रयोग के रूप में न देखकर इसे सभी के लिए सामूहिक रूप से किए जा रहे अधिकारों के प्रयोग के रूप में देखा और समझा जाना चाहिए।
Choices about life, relationships and desires are all defined based on socio-economic background, caste, class, gender and sexuality. When these young girls found a comfortable and safe space, they openly talked about their desires and experiences and how they negotiated their existing environments in order to pursue their desires.