Virginity Is A Social Construct


A post that I (gladly) came across. Explicates what has been on my mind for a while, quite well.

For a while now, there has been an uproar over the increasing number of rapes in India, particularly Delhi, and the people’s attitude to them. Still, for most rape, and sex in general is a matter of shame. It is taboo: not to be talked of, something to be looked down upon and shunned. Even for the married couple, it is a matter that needs to be kept under wraps. The woman is left to deal with her own sexuality, and the man is left to himself….although usually this results in the man forcing himself upon his wife, the wife submitting to his demands. Marital rape, is a reality, but considered legitimate in the minds of only so many.

The issue today is to bring this matter out in the open. The need of the hour is to step out from these medieval shackles and definitions of femininity, virtue, chivalry and right, and realize the reality and the consequences of our actions.

The problem is not sex. The problem lies in how we deal with sex- the repression of one’s sexuality, the refusal to recognize one’s sexuality at all, the demonization of sexual activity, and the woman herself.

What we need to do is not avoid sex, but avoid forced sex, avoid unprotected, unhealthy sex. What we need to do is not discuss virginity, but how to lose one’s virginity in a safe, healthy way and where and how to go about from there.

The importance lies in discussing. Talking about it.

The importance lies in discussing not only the woman’s role in it. The importance lies in discussing the man’s role in it, in tandem with his relationship to the woman/man he may be involved with. Sex involves not one, but two people. Its consequences must be dealt with likewise.

The Belle Jar

Jezebel published a piece today with the title “Nearly 1% Of Women Claim They Were Virgins When They Gave Birth,” and, because this is Jezebel we’re talking about here, they used this as an opportunity to shame and belittle the women who say that they became pregnant while still virgins. And just so we all understand what author Erin Gloria Ryan means by virgins, she writes that they are women who,

“… were unpenetrated by the peen of a man when they became pregnant.”

She further explains,

“This doesn’t include women who became pregnant via in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination; these are women who gave birth the old fashioned way and were like *shrug! SERIOUSLY GUYS I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW THIS HAPPENED!”

Then (incorrectly) asserts,

“Getting pregnant without sex is virtually scientifically impossible, yet dozens of women in the study (who were teens when the…

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A Ray of Hope


I took this picture in the Kamla Nagar Market near the North Campus of Delhi University.

This little girl, was so engrossed in her school books that she didnt even notice us clicking a picture of her. While she studied, her mother and brother continued to sell  trinkets in the street market. Now this is what gives me a little hope and indication, that the future of women’s education is a little brighter than a decade ago.

On my vacation to Lakshadweep, I saw more girls going to school than boys. What’s more? They were happy to go to school and learn about the world outside their little island.

At the servant quarters near the  apartment complex where I live, one can find that most families send their children, even their little girls to school right from the beginning till they complete  10th class.  Some hard working girls have even gone on to study further. Now they have respectable jobs in banks, or housing firms, etc. where they enjoy a good salary, and most importantly, a sense of self-pride and self-respect.

For the rest of the families which won’t send their girls to schools….I have to show to them this picture. I hope they take some inspiration from it.

case studies – Reserve coaches for executives: ‘Class’ified!


case studies – Reserve coaches for executives

Amit Mehta, a resident of Shatread more…

The introduction of the ladies’ coach in the Delhi Metro has triggered an array of reactions. To the women, the coach is a blessing in disguise. While most men have chosen to crib about the fact that they have one less coach to travel in, others have taken to ridiculing this new development. Obviously, the insenstive, chauvinists do not realize, or perhaps are unwilling to admit that this ladies’ coach has been introduced in reaction to their wonderful acts of eve-teasing, groping and sense-less commenting on women.

But recently, and very surprisingly, I read another kind of reaction from a not-so young and not-so-humble gentlemann in the newspaper. The poor fellow, who is sick of travelling in the over-crowded metro coaches, has brought up the idea of a seperate coach for the Business Class!

What I would like to ask this gentleman is, did he think before saying such a thing? The Delhi metro is a mode of PUBLIC, not private transport. It is meant for the commonfolk of the city, not for hot-shot business executives if-you-please! If you want such luxury, and if you are willing to pay extra for another class in the train, why not just travel in the comfort of your car, Mr. Business man?

Why bother us?

The ladies coach has been introduced not for the comfort of women travellers,but for their safety.  I would like to add before you reach that point. So, before making such remarks, please Mr. Businessman, and all you snobbish rich-jerks in the crowd…do think twice….or travel in your own 1st class-AC cars. Thank you very much.

 

Kaliyug: Dark age or a Liberated one?


Kaliyuga: ‘the age of vice’ is often described as an age where dharma ceases to exist, where the human race is subject to pain, misery, and immoral thinking,where lust and sex becomes the central requirement of life,  where no respect is given to elders and equals, basically where all goodness comes to an end and human civilization degenerates and distances itself from God.

This age, the age of Kaliyuga, in which we are currently living, is often described as the ‘Dark Age’ in the history of mankind. God is as far removed as possible, and all negativity envelopes the Earth. Now, the ultimate  wait is for  ‘Satya yuga’ make its way through God’s blessing himself.

I wonder though, how one is supposed to react to the end of Kaliyug? Should one be happy that all evils will be gone and happiness and truth will be back in our lives?

I, for one, will be disappointed if the supposed cycle of  Yugas turns to bring us back to where we might have been centuries ago. And so, I think will be the women of my time.

We will be back to an age where women are perpetually subjugated and humiliated. Forced to live a life of hardship, they will back to that state of slavery at the hands of men. Be it in the sphere of the household,  political or even personal, they will be captured and stuck amongst  ancient behavior and outlook.

Restrictions on clothing, on food habits, on social behavior and other ropes of moral binding will hover around them. No longer will they be able to raise a voice against the evils against them, something that they have fought for, for decades. No longer will they step out of the house without giving a thought to if they are fully covered.

The stigma which is finally leaving the widowed or differently abled will once gain breed in the society. They will no longer be able to hold their heads up high and continue living without a husband, raising their children to be confident and self-assured, independent adults.

A menstruating woman will once again be confined to a dingy room in the corner of the house where she sleeps on the hard floor, living amongst bacteria and humiliation.

On the whole, this whole idea of the age of  ‘kali’ ending and the start of satya yuga is quite dreadful in my opinion. At the same time, I also think about why we need to make, and call this age of Kaliyug the ‘dark one’?

Isn’t it quite possible for a woman, who has always balanced multiple things in her life, to balance her self-confidence, self-realization with her ‘Dharma’? Every woman may just follow her own dharma: to take care of her husband and family, raise her children, be a success at the workplace and be happy in her own life? Will she not automatically spread happiness around her once she is in the same state?

I believe, once the little things start falling into place, the bigger ones will fall into place themselves. The freedom and happiness of women will ultimately lead to the freedom and happiness of all. Will lead to much more positivity in life…on Earth.

So, to me, Kaliyug is not a ‘Dark age’ in history, but a ‘Liberated one’.