CHANGING IDEAS ABOUT SEXUALITY
ARE WE READY?
Sexuality is a means of both control and liberation for an individual. In the case of women, it is mostly a means of control. Historically, we have been a heteronormative society, where a particular double standard has perpetuated where men and young boys are socially rewarded for expression of their sexuality, while women have been shamed and punished. This control is exercised by restricting the very expression of sexuality; through clothes, movement in the public sphere, denying access to information, power and authority. I have come to wonder why there aren’t any words for female sexual gratification like there are for men (jerk off, shag and the likes).
With the global expansion of markets and urgent need of labor force, the gates between women and the public sphere got lifted. Women starting coming out and participating in direct generation of the national income, with often a little less than little changing in their roles in the domestic sphere. They still tend to their responsibilities in the domestic sphere, but with increasing support from their male counterparts. This support, although, is restricted to particular classes only.
The change is all pervading. With rise in theoretical ideas about existentialism (it lays focus on an individual more than societal meta-regulations) and the grand success of queer struggle in the west, we in India have been able to at least break a few patterns of socially guided heteronormativity. Although homophobia exists, mostly also in subtle forms, we are now open to discussions of imagining the possibility of having a homosexual army chief in the years to come.
It’s only time before that becomes a reality. In my personal experience, my homosexual mates are far more sensitive and aware than my straight friends. Probably because they were able to articulate their sexuality, accept it and eventually be accepted. After that, it was a part of their identity like their name or AUID number. It doesn’t matter, there are other, more meaningful things to focus attention on.
What still remains unchanged is our capability to accept that this change has given the new, better informed and socially active women the authority and ability as individuals to articulate their sexual needs and put them in action if need be. The society is unable to accept to see the change it talks about.
To begin with, we need to have a word for our sexual gratification through self- arousal (masturbation), for instance. Here is a list of a few interesting ones that I picked off the internet:
Klittra (This one is Swedish and currently a buzz favorite (coined by the Swedish Academy for Sexuality Education)
Taking a low-five;
Taking a pulse-check;
I’m gonna keep low key;
Take Vitamin D+3 (personal invention and own favorite).
If you could think of a word, post it in the comments below.
Add the #letstalkaboutsex.
We will be sharing more thoughts on changing ideas of sexuality. If you have something in mind, comment or post ideas on twitter @sakshisirari.
Break the shackles of control! It’s okay to be sexually active. People shaming you for it might need some introspection, though.