The gendered assumption that girls are generally disinterested in sports, could be easily refuted by the fact that the principal’s office shelf was adorned with multiple trophies awarded to the girls’ hockey team for winning championships.”
I discovered that tennis is not only about having the privilege to buy a racquet and specialised tennis shoes and access a tennis court. It is also about how one performs and expresses oneself, requiring players to follow a particular aesthetic that enforces gender binaries.
This awareness of the status ascribed to women – the status of being the objects of men’s desires – affects every aspect of a woman’s life. Desire then, in particular, becomes an aspect of a woman’s life where navigation becomes tricky.
Funnily enough, porn played a massive role in helping me articulate my queerness (I am pansexual) and my even queerer desires.
This issue of In Plainspeak while inviting us to embrace the joys and pleasure in movement, also questions the ways in which movements are facilitated or obstructed, visibilised or invisibilised, and the spaces that we must envision to find freedom in/to movement.
This article explores how women are constructed as a ‘space’ manufactured by men to seek comfort, but void of having any active agency or participation in that space itself. I seek to bring this out in this article by drawing a parallel between the nineteenth century ‘Bharat Mata’ (Mother India) and the depiction of the twenty-first century ‘heroine’ in Bollywood movies.
As a girl, I was made to believe that pleasure was something that existed outside my body, something that I had to seek out, something that was necessarily a product of a partnered experience. I don’t think I was even allowed to want pleasure, especially in its sexual forms.
The responsibilities attached to BDSM are frankly the same as that for any other sex act. But since the submissive partner(s) are placing themselves at a position of vulnerability, these responsibilities mark the difference between sex and abuse. Have fun, but responsibly.
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. While virtual sex offers a window to revisit the sensual, it is also not immune to limitations and insecurities.
Of course, one needs to acknowledge that this word did not magically turn up in the vocabularies of the ‘good girls from good families’ that came to a convent school to learn ‘good things’ everyday. The extensively gendered environment which promised to manufacture highly-marriageable ‘young ladies’, aided by the insistence of middle-aged spiteful teachers to absolutely destroy any kind of existence that does not constantly bow it’s pretty, two-plaited head to the heteronormative male gaze, created a suffocatingly toxic atmosphere.
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.
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.
There’s always another way of presenting a look, attire, accessories and bodies; of presenting the way we feel about ourselves and our sexuality, of presenting an acceptance of diversity.