In theory, the concept of the app is a great one – it provides women, queer people, and people belonging to oppressed castes the tea-stall, cigarette-shop type of public spaces for conversation that are available to upper-caste cis het men. The relative anonymity acts like a safe cover, and the app affords a certain autonomy and agency to marginalised people to regulate the kind of conversation that goes on in rooms moderated by them.
As a generation X-er I grew up in a world that was challenging sexuality but only encountered the instability of gender as an adult in radical new academic texts which were not then yet part of our everyday narratives. My daughter born between Gen Z and Gen Alpha is growing up in a world of gender fluidity and multiple pronouns.
People we refer to as “digisexuals” are turning to advanced technologies, such as robots, virtual reality (VR) environments and feedback devices known as teledildonics, to take the place of human partners.
Cyberspace has given the queer woman a chance to problematize the existing gender and sexual identities which, like any identity, is not static. It allows her to create and occupy spaces which will give her freedom and power in a way that the misogynistic physical world cannot provide.
There may already be another organisation in the community to share resources with but for community-led initiatives, a shared perspective on Safe, Inclusive, Sexuality-Affirming (SISA) spaces is also important. Sometimes when the shared perspective is not there, that becomes a challenge.
For a long time, female bodies were considered similar to male bodies, just shorter, and most research and medical trials focused primarily on the male body with the assumption that the same would work on the female body.
Most of us, during childhood, internalised the lesson that sex or pleasure is ‘dirty’ and ‘bad’. Artists around the world are increasingly using ‘tactile art’ to challenge the shame and embarrassment that people feel when they look at their bodies.
The virtual world allows me to challenge the hold of patriarchy on my ‘effeminate’ body; in a sense, it allows me to evade the policing of desire that my body shares with another, its flows and slippages, the messy and the unkempt.
Facebook. Google. Apple. Microsoft. Amazon. As the white male-dominated Big Five in Silicon Valley monopolise most platforms that guide online interactions almost everywhere outside China, any aspiration towards a feminist revolution has become capitalised.