Some weeks ago, I was invited by the British High Commission to give a talk about sexual harassment at the workplace. I always preface my talks on this subject by talking about gender sensitivity, unconscious bias, harmful gender norms, and being aware of our own power and privilege. One of the pieces of positive…
The lip colour then enters into a rather queer state of existence as it refuses to stand by the label it is expected to conform to. It moves and escapes categorisation. In its queerness, it renders itself as a paradox. At the heart of paradoxes is the understanding that something is what it is also not. Similarly, the colour of this lipstick is nude, but it is also not. It is possible that it is because of this slippery nature of the paradox that my sexuality as my identity too remains slippery, in motion and fluid.
Dalit women are primarily viewed as victims and survivors of various kinds of violence. Reification of the Dalit identity has led to the boxing of our existence whose dimensions are solely defined by the savarna (dominant caste) gaze. Our self-assertions of identity are commodified to create a warped limiting of our lives, creating an image that is voiceless in the minds of our potential suitors. We are not seen as being capable of desire, love or happiness; we don’t exist as individuals outside of violence.
“It’s fascinating Yasmina, but also scary how sex or sexualising something can be ignited from our need for beauty that probably stirs positive emotions that we consider beautiful, such as feeling pleasure. But you know as well, desiring what we think is beautiful can generate fluidity: I can never know what I am exactly. All I know is that I was with men, and I was with women, and all of them tickled something within me. "