While sex workers face repeated harassment by the police, many young couples face threats in a one-off incident if the police finds them with their partner/lover. They may face police surveillance of expressions of intimacy and affection in public.
Apart from systematic exclusions faced by individuals, evidently the mandatory use of a biometric-based digital ID has also reshaped the understanding of an individual’s agency and right to bodily autonomy. Gender and sexuality seem to no longer be matters of an individual’s right to privacy. With digitisation, disclosure of one’s gender and sexuality has become a hindrance to accessing one’s rights.
Around the world, LGBTQ+ activists, queer ‘sex-positive’ feminists, sex-workers, artists and educators are leading the charge against the increasingly complex webs of regulation and censorship of sexuality online, where corporate policies intersect with restrictive state law.
Cyberspace has given the queer woman a chance to problematize the existing gender and sexual identities which, like any identity, is not static. It allows her to create and occupy spaces which will give her freedom and power in a way that the misogynistic physical world cannot provide.
Facebook. Google. Apple. Microsoft. Amazon. As the white male-dominated Big Five in Silicon Valley monopolise most platforms that guide online interactions almost everywhere outside China, any aspiration towards a feminist revolution has become capitalised.
This article is based on our research work in the two resettlement colonies of Dakshinpuri and Sanjay Camp, located in…