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A scene in the Karan Johar directed Lust Story on Netflix reminded me of what my son had said at the age of eight, when I explained to him what menstruation is and how babies are made.
“So you had sex before you gave birth to didi?”
“Yes, that’s right!”
“So after five years before I was born, you again had sex?”
“Yes, you are right!”
“My God! You had sex twice?”
So when the mother-in-law in the short film says “Bache paida karne se badi hasrat ek aurat ki kya ho sakti hai?” (What greater desire can a woman have beyond that for a child?), I realized that this 50-something year-old woman was talking at the same level as my eight-year-old son!
She (like many women) have lived believing that women are baby producing machines. That we have sex to procreate and not for pleasure.
A few years back at a premier Delhi school, before we conducted sexuality training with the students we made the teachers go through it. When I saw the heads hanging down at a certain point of the workshop (that means 21 female heads), I couldn’t help saying,
“Come to think of it, if our parents had not had sex we wouldn’t be sitting here.”
The heads raised, there were giggles as if they had suddenly got approval and validation from their parents. Now it was ‘legal’ to talk about it. It is beyond my comprehension that with evidence roaming all around us in the form of more than a billion population, we are still pretending that ‘sex’ doesn’t exist or happen.
Hypocrisy is at its brilliance in all the other three Lust Stories, but I am taking you again to the Karan Johar story and into the workshop at this Delhi school. Leave aside the ignorance of men that women need sex or enjoy orgasm, most of the teachers ranging in the age of 25-55 fumbled at the question of how many holes a woman’s body has. There was stammering, murmuring, and swallowing of saliva to say the word vagina. The worst was to see that those who were okay to talk about it, and wanted to understand more, were sitting with a stoic expression and mouths shut. To be curious about your body is a stigma, leave alone having sex.
Imagine the silence when we brought up masturbation. For some, it was a long unknown word just like the experience of orgasm; some didn’t understand the jargon but having ‘practical’ understanding knew what we were talking about. But did anyone admit to knowing or doing it? NO. Why? Because a sex deprived, victimised woman is put on the pedestal and a bold, unapologetic woman is looked down upon by society. So what do you do? You wrap a shawl of innocence and ignorance and hide who you are and what you want.
We are beginning to talk about sexuality, and gladly about female sexuality, but conversations are still in the domain of opinions and views. It is still not looked at as a fact. Before anyone else does, we women have to have to accept our needs as a fact. Like all areas, we have to stop seeking permission to claim our ‘biological’ rights. We don’t have to live the image of the woman the society has created for their convenience.
Like the actress Vidya Balan, we must not have any shame in declaring that “We like it, we want it and we need it”.
Manmeet is a writer by passion and a facilitator by choice. She works primarily in the area of life skills, sexuality, and creative writing.
She founded Sailing Leaf in January 2016. Today myriad of experiential read more...
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Does Ranbir Kapoor expressing his preferences about Alia using lipstick really make him a toxic husband?
Sometime back, a video of Alia Bhatt with Vogue went viral where she shares her go-to make-up routine and her unique way to apply lipstick. It went viral not for the quirkiness but because she said that after applying the lipstick, she “rubs it off” because her then boyfriend and now husband – Ranbir Kapoor likes her natural lip colour and asks her to “wipe it off”, whenever they are out on a date night.
Netizens had gone crazy over this video, calling RK toxic and not respecting AB’s choice to wear makeup. I saw the video a couple of times to understand the reason behind the uproar but I failed to understand it. I read many comments and saw people saying that asking your partner or dictating terms on how they should wear makeup is a major sign to leave the person.
Modesty or humility is viewed as the hallmark of a well-brought-up girl, which makes it hard for us to be open to any real compliments without feeling like an imposter.
Why is accepting that compliment so hard?
Colleagues: Have you lost weight? You look good!
She (who has spent months doing Keto and weights): It’s the dress that’s making me look thinner!
Guests: Your house is so beautiful and neat!
She (who spent the last five hours mopping and polishing): It could be tidier; there is just so much dust.
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