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The Editorial: Work and Sexuality

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Sexuality can be said to influence and be influenced by every aspect of our lives. Talking about sexuality, however, is widely tabooed, especially at the workplace. Anything that evinces sexuality is at once mired in controversy – from clothing choices (of women, especially) to sexual harassment cases, from gender role-challenging career choices to sex work. Why is anything to do with sexuality seen as taking away the gravitas of work? (So much so that sex work isn’t even recognised as work!) This month’s articles on Work and Sexuality tackle the need to redefine general mores of professionalism, and, from the prism of sexuality, reframe what constitutes work.

The Issue in Focus for the month has Shikha Aleya venturing to understand how gender roles function in work in contemporary times. In her Review, Niyati Dave introduces us to Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ defiant art on maintenance work, work that is mostly gendered and disregarded.

Brushtrokes features glimpses into the lives of diverse women at diverse workplaces from across the world. As for the Video Page of the month, we’re surprised this brilliant video about a typical middle-class urban woman hasn’t got the recognition it deserves.

In her I-Column piece, Smriti Dhingra narrates a sweet love story.

The Hindi section has Reena Khatoon’s take on workplace romances, and an excerpt from Partners for Law in Development’s book on sexual harassment at the workplace, Karyasthal Par Mahilaon Ka Yaun Utpeedan (2015).

The Corner for the month is The Life of Science, a blog on Indian women who work in science.

The mid-month issue is led by Bishakha Datta’s Voices article on the strange case of Alisha Major, the 18-year-old bar dancer in Mumbai. Shaifali Agrawal interviews Rath Wang – founding member of Nijiro Diversity, Japan’s first non-profit organisation promoting LGBT equality in the workplace – on LGBT inclusiveness at workplaces in Japan.

The Blog Roll has an interesting medley of articles. Linguistics academic Deborah Tannen writes about how everything women do tells a story about them while men can have the privilege of choosing to be invisible. Diksha Madhok probes into what happened to the promising young women who graduated from the IITs in the ’90s. “The maternal wall is as unyielding as the glass ceiling,” she finds. Alejandra Sardá observes how cis feminists who have never engaged in sex work have a lot to learn from travestis and trans women.

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More from us in July. Next month’s theme is Science and Sexuality. Do send in your contributions.

Till then, happy reading!