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

freedom

On a peach coloured background, a woman of colour jumping. She is wearing purple ballet shoes and a purple one-piece swimsuit with white-grey patterns scattered on it. Her eyes are wide open and her hands are stretched open on both sides. Her hair is brown and open. She is throwing multi-coloured confetti. Beneath her is a blue circle. In a semicircle to her right is the typography, in purple: Throw kindness around like confetti!

Interview: Kripa Joshi

There have been several recent examples of actors, movies and events being called out because of their lack of representation, like for the Oscars. With social media it is easier to create and distribute diverse art and also to voice the need for diversity. So it needs engagements and awareness in society. Change will happen once enough people demand that change.
A screenshot of the Feminism in India illustration for the article. An illustration. On a green background which denotes a building, two women talking. One is wearing a yellow dress and has black hair tied in a bun. She is saying, depicted in a black bubble with white lettering, '10 MINUTES LATE BOOKING CANCEL' and on the other side is a woman in an olive top and a brown backpack. Her hair is in a ponytail and she is looking at the other woman with a white phone in her hand. Underneath, in white typography, 'The Struggle of Beauty Workers In On-Demand Digital Platforms'. On the top-left corner is Feminism in India's logo.

The Struggle Of Beauty Workers In On-Demand Digital Platform

If you live in an urban metropolitan city, you must have seen women dressed up in company uniform, carrying a heavy bag on their shoulders, their attire shouting a brand name with logos all over her. Their bodies become an advertising ground for a company’s marketing. Sometimes, the bag is a portable salon that they carry to their client’s (home), who book the beauty service using a mobile application. These ‘workers’ enroll themselves on the platform company that operates as an intermediary, to get bookings on-demand.

There I sat down and wept

“Be yourself, Sarah. Awkward smiles, empty silences, weird laughter, and all. It’s just a part of being human. Loving someone physically is never not awkward. Even if it’s a monogamous relationship. It’s only the comfort of familiarity that makes you think otherwise.”
A photograph of differently coloured cloths hanging from poles in front of a train station in Mumbai, at night

The Last Local To Vashi

I gave myself the freedom to choose. And I chose to re-examine my assumptions. Maybe it was possible to ask strange men for directions without being afraid of seeming vulnerable. Maybe I could plan my outfit without bothering about the fact that I would be travelling on public transport.
By: Amateur Pic, Courtesy: PublicDomainPictures.net

बेटे का पत्र, पिता के नाम

आज वैश्विक और स्थानीय रूप से हम जहाँ भी हैं, मैं दिल से आपको धन्यवाद देना चाहता हूँ कि आपने मुझे हमेशा ही मजबूत और निर्भीक रहना सिखाया है।
A ball made of delicate white threads is lightened up.
(CC BY 2.0)

Editorial: Freedom and Sexuality

Freedom and sexuality – it sounds so liberating to some. But to some others, freedom is the spark that can light the powder keg of sexuality. And that is why the sexual freedoms we have are so precious. In Freedom and an F word, Radhika Chandiramani brings us face to face with a thought that…
Back profile of two women walking on the street

Interview: Shilpa Phadke

‘Why would you want to loiter?’ is an excellent question to ask feminist researcher, parent, educator and activist Dr. Shilpa Phadke. Shilpa believes loitering, just being, just hanging out in public places, is about ‘claiming the city with your body’. One of the co-authors of the book, ‘Why Loiter: Women and Risk on Mumbai’s Streets’…

A Café of Our Own?: The Politics of Queer Spatiality in Urban India

This essay is a brief rumination about queer café’s in urban India. Written as part reflection, part recollection, this essay began as a conversation between two scholars/activists who make their life between New Delhi, Kolkata, and two different university campuses in the United States. Both of us are interested in the materiality of queer spaces…
A broken piece of copper-shaded lipstick on the right, with lipstick marks of copper and yellow lisptick smudged on the left.
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Blindness to my Desire

I won’t shy away from a kiss, In my head I have already devoured you. I don’t want you to write paeans On how my hair dreamily cascades down my waist Or how the wind plays with my earrings Or how my beauty stopped you in your tracks And rendered you unable to function. I…
A hazy black-and-white picture of a branched tree swaying in a storm.
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

Freedom and an F Word

What do you think of when you put the words freedom and sexuality together? Orgies? Polyamory? Sex with no unwanted consequences? Acceptance of all sorts of sexual desires? The freedom to be free of sex (as in the act, as well as sex as determined by genitals, chromosomes and hormones)? Perhaps you think of all…
By: Amateur Pic, Courtesy: PublicDomainPictures.net
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

‘From Son to Father’

Dear Dad, There are times when I find writing a largely unproductive and tiresome exercise. For much of what is intended is often lost in translation from memory to text. And then there is always the nagging fear of words being misconstrued, blocked by prejudices, lack of knowledge, and often, the language barrier itself. Unfortunately,…
Scene from a Hindi movie 'Angry Indian Goddesses'. The six protagonists are standing together laughing, in a disco with bright lighting.
Angry Indian Goddesses

Men hijack women’s happiness and sexuality even in their freest moments: Review of five films released in 2015-17

The women in Parched (2015) are sitting and chatting, seemingly free from their daily oppression for once, when a cell phone rings. Rani laughs as she realises that she is sitting on the vibrating phone. Bijli says, “Who needs a man when a mobile can get us off!” A joke about finding sexual freedom has…
A human and a robot shaking hands. Only see the hands and arms of both is seen.
The International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots

Freedom and sexuality: walking hand in hand with robots

Where we are now: In August this year the Supreme Court of India declared that privacy at its core includes the “preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation”. However just a few weeks ago, the government defended its inability to recognize marital rape saying  it would…
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