But here is the thing. In heterosexual relationships, how are women and men going to learn to see women’s desires if the world does not see them? If the world is shaped to conform to a certain type of man’s desires only? Where is consent without a diversity of desires and a galaxy of desirability?
This was the time we were growing up, learning new things, reading new books and discovering something new almost every day, and this all-women space provided an opportunity to do that without requiring any pretence or catering to the male gaze.
This malignancy of toxic masculinity is a mutant inheritance that is hard to eradicate. However, initiating discussions about it and spreading awareness is essential to minimise the cost to its victims.
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.
So, even though “home” is supposed to be a place of comfort – a personal space which should allow us to express our gender, sexuality and bodies freely – this notion of home stands defeated in reality, where there are certain unsaid rules which govern the distribution and use of space.
At sixteen, the senior boy I loved, touched me down there and said, this is what boyfriends do, this is what love feels like – uncomfortable.
I am single and successful in the city. My general health is under control. I can still pull off an all-nighter maybe once a quarter. My sexuality and desire have evolved and matured with my age. Heck, in my eyes, I am Mrs. Robinson. But the eye candy at the bar sees me as Miss Havisham.
Fouzia Azeem, more popularly known as Qandeel Baloch,was called Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian. Madiha Tahir, a journalist and filmmaker who is interviewed in the documentary,questions this comparison. To quote her: “She (Qandeel) is not Kim Kardashian at all. She is not famous for being rich. An upper-class woman would have her class protection and it’s unlikely that an upper-class woman would be supporting her family from these social media videos.”
Desire is a man’s turf, right up there with moustaches and Adam’s apples / I’m the apple, I am the snake, I am Eve / I am the vibrator nestled between flimsy, cheap lace underwear / I am the shame, of saying I came
My hair smells like jasmine / From the wedding I went to last night / When I tethered my untameable hair with flowers,
The discursive power vested in audio-visual media can prove to be emancipatory if it seeks to re-write the scripts of love, to expand it to include various subjectivities, disturb the patriarchal gendered dynamics that it is based on by introducing a story that allows the audience to imagine it in various different ways.
I recently watched North Country on Netflix, a movie based on a true story of a woman’s fight for equality at the workplace. It is based on the case, Jenson vs Eveleth Mines, in the United States in which Lois Jenson, fought for the right to work as a miner, and the right to work free of sexual harassment. She won the landmark 1984 lawsuit, which was the first class-action lawsuit on sexual harassment at the workplace in the United States and resulted in companies/organisations having to introduce sexual harassment policies at the workplace.
Two weeks before India’s Daughter made it to the headlines, I came across this new pledge for Delhi school kids,…
For I was a woman / Taught to chain herself gracefully / In an invisible cage.
And so, in the mid-month issue we have Shweta Krishnan examining the place of political incorrectness in stand-up comedy, Rohini Banerjee talking about how fanfiction allowed her to delve into alternative worlds, and…