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

Review

Trivializing women’s (mental) health

Naomi Osaka has been in the news recently for pulling out of the Tokyo Olympics, refusing to do media interviews at the French Open and making a tearful third-round exit at the US Open. She has been struggling with her mental health and is thinking about taking time off from competitive sport indefinitely. At the…

Sara’S

Released on Amazon Prime, Sara’S is a Malayalam movie scripted by Dr Akshay Haresh, directed by Jude Anthony Joseph, produced by PK Murali Dharan and Santha Murali, and starring Anna Ben and Sunny Wayne. The film has a ‘feel good’ sense  and has been criticised for this. It also brings to focus a textbook-style understanding…
A poster of the Netflix film 'Rising Phoenix'.

Despite all odds

In the spirit of the Games, I watched the Netflix film Rising Phoenix which documents the history of the Paralympics and its impact on the world in making visible the topic of disability. It also tracks the personal and professional journey of some of the top Paralympic athletes who share their challenges, frustrations and motivations.
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.
An illustrated poster depicting a black woman with exaggerated body parts, wearing a yellow bandana, carrying a stick in her left hand, and facing sideways. She is wearing a patterned half-robe and smoking. On her hip rests Cupid, toying with their bow, and a speech bubble saying 'Take care of your Hearte' in cursive. They are on a green path of grass.

Freak Shows: Looking at Human Bodies on Exhibit

No two human bodies are alike, and our different bodies arouse curiosity. But our fascination for the aesthetics of the perfect human body has historically created a space within art, science and religion for the examination of the ‘abnormal’ and the ‘imperfect’.  As a result, some bodies are normalised while others become oddities. Freak Shows, and to a large extent, circuses and even exhibits in medical or anthropological museums particularly stand out for dehumanising and objectifying these different anatomies, and oftentimes subjecting these bodies to violence and discrimination.
A screenshot of an advertisement. It depicts a woman in a red saree with a dark blue blouse. She is wearing necklaces. She is squatting and seemingly washing clothes. Beside her, to the left, is a steel bucket.

Review: What Does Clothing Have to do with Sexuality in the Media?

Attire and sexuality in the common imagination and approach as represented (and also as received) by the mainstream media tell us a lot about prevailing attitudes to both. Advertisements bombard us with all kinds of representations, negative and positive, of human sexuality, sexual expression and desire. In the creation and marketing of attire and fashion, there is a great awareness of sexual buy-in or rejection by the market – that’s us.
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