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

Marriage

Poster of Bollywood movie ‘Ek Ladki ko Dekha toh aisa laga..’ Two women in traditional Indian attire are hugging a man in a white suit. The women are facing the front, while only the back of the man can be seen. The title of the movie “Ek Ladki ko Dekha toh aisa laga” is written in the bottom center, followed by text that reads “Directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar.”

The Queerness of Fandom in Bollywood

People looking for queer plots in Bollywood are sometimes disappointed, as the focus on marriage in many films seems to suggest that Bollywood is a conservative genre invested in sanctifying reproductive heteronormativity.
A photograph of a brown coloured snail lying on green grass

Editorial: Vulnerability and Sexuality

Vulnerability – is it a condition we find ourselves in? A state of being we choose? Let’s keep it very simple: it depends on the approach we take to defining it. In the former approach, we are ‘done to’, while in the latter we are consciously ‘doing’.
Image of mannequins with orange and pink ductapes. On one of the mannequins ‘Your body belongs to you’ is written

STAY SINGLE. STAY SAFE.

The largest contingent of voiceless, lonely women with limited agency in the subcontinent must be its married women. If they’re fortunate enough to be born and reach adulthood, a woman’s parents and society make sure she becomes an adult brainwashed into self-alienation and self-loathing.
A photograph of a pen-and-paper illustration of two women, depicted as stereotypical ‘Auntys’ in the Indian context, talking to each other.

The ‘Aunty’ Body And All That Follows

The issue with the ‘Aunty’ body arises from a deeply misogynistic and dehumanising understanding of women. In this imagination the woman, whom the world now addresses as ‘Aunty’, has basically served her purpose of marriage and child bearing, and is hence rendered useless.

Making the most of our lives

I realised that we are constantly thinking about the future and our life as we age, and are afraid of facing the world alone. The uncertainty of future events, of which there are many combinations, makes us feel insecure and vulnerable.
A small bird fluttering around a branch with orange berries, picking at one

Editorial: Singlehood and Sexuality

In this issue of In Plainspeak our contributors reflect on and reveal the myriad facets of being single – is it a choice? A condition? A state of being? Lonely? Joyful? Not one or the other, but a glorious mix?
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