Virginity : A View From India

The myth surrounding virginity has always astounded me. To degrade a human being into petty categories of “pure” and “impure” on the basis of the sexual experiences they might or might not have implies an objectification that is terribly regressive. I remember a cousin saying, “Would you buy a car that has been used before?” We have not only reduced women into objects, they are consumerist goods, to be sold at an auction on the basis of their purity. It is strange when seen in the context of a changing world which increasingly sees sexual liberation as one of the hallmarks of progressiveness that this regressive notion is rife in apparent progressive groups too, especially in India.

When I was having this discourse in India, a lot of them did not have opinions on the first night in terms of choice, rather, their view was that sex itself is impure. Granted, I study in a place which is not as modernised as my home, and the class factor does come to play. While, sexuality and appreciation is prevalent here (you do find men making uncomfortable comments everywhere, and women do admit to their sexual attractions, however, privately that might be), to speak of it in the open, to open a discussion is seen as naivete. I come from a position of privilege, I have seen people use their sexualities as a weapon as an adolescent and I stand by that. However, in the poor society, the sexualised woman is the outcast, unless, of course, she appears nightly on the TV screen. We would not forgive the ghar ki ladki to indulge in such behaviour, but, the profitable exploitation of a woman by mass media is something we would indulge in. This also is secret, people find it hard admitting, they watch porn, or like masterbation, in that manner at least sexuality is equal.

Inequality peeks through the fringes when the woman who has had sex before is treated merely as a number. The number of people she has fucked, the number of shameful nights she has had. What is so shameful about sex? I have been told that as a person who comes from a modern city, I do not understand. Yet, the quality of the flesh, and the needs are same. We are after all biological beings united by this base same-ness. Whether the maal on TV or the ghar ki ladki, the breasts would not differ so much in composition, and the nerves would still instill erotic imaginations. Not that I want to oppose traditionalist values as a whole, liberation should not mean that you should have to have sex to fit into the world. It merely means having the choice to do what you want. In this society, the choice is subtracted easily, the currency of shame mediating all nteractions between the male and female sex.

The men wish to fuck, they would go extraordinary lengths to court a girl they term “loose” and not shy away from anything on that account. On the other hand, they would choose women who are easily available and dispensable with that knowledge alone. Women are consumerist goods then, and we men are the consumers.

“She is such a slut yaar.”

Easy to say isolatedly, and, easy to categorise females till we are left with categories. “Would you like a Nissan or a Toyota sir?” “Of course you would prefer a virgin, who am I to ask?”

There are myths that obviously need to be tackled here, but, even those myths are so entrenched in objectification of women that it becomes very difficult to give answers without feeling drenched out of everything.

To answer some questions.

No, the woman is not a car.
No the sexual pleasure of yours that you will derive from a tight vagina would not be taken away.

No, a woman is not the number of men she has fucked.

Why the fuck is your ego so fragile?

Shame goes around, and love becomes a currency that is so related to shame that you can seldom tell them apart. I wish I had a solution, but, it’s hard to. Sex education in this country after all should have no mention of sex, and a virgin woman is just easier for them to sell.

The Ones we Love

It is easy to cheer for the side which appeals to your basest of senses. It has always been the easier route. The side that eggs you onto this fictional battle of Good vs Evil, projecting themselves as the messiahs that shall be our redemption, the side that tells you that all they will be doing are for the greater good of the community. It is easy to believe those sides, because that is what the stories tell us about.

We have all awaited our Supermen, and perhaps somewhere, only recently we have given up on the All-Good, All-Seeing messiah, only to settle for anyone who promises to take away all our problems. It is simple. We like our icons unblemished, and only when they are parts of of histories do we start circulating pictures, news, all about the blemishes they carried back then. However, as they rise, we close our eyes and let them come into the foray with an undefeated love in our heart. I think it stems from our need to believe in something greater than ourselves, something far more purer, that we try and ignore transgression after transgression, well, until it finally stings.

Heck, we put in apologies from our own side as we go along.

I know he is stupid some times.”, “I know he is not always perfect.”…

Yet, somewhere in all those excuses there is a “But”. As if the good things somehow make the bad things disappear. We rejoice when the other party showcases transgressions too. We build them as arguments after arguments if our icon fails to achieve great feats. Our excuse simply becomes, that because they had failed to, our icon simply does not need to achieve that; as if the failure of someone we hate is a proper justification for the failure of a person we love.

The problem is, personally I understand. It is hard. If someone walks up to me and says my best friend molested someone, I would not believe them either. However, it is never going to stop at that is it? We need to question ourselves. We are allowed to remain sceptical, but, can we, without seeing any evidence simply, decline the claim? Should our love an praise for somebody be so strong that we nullify the existence of another is order to avoid getting paint on the image of our loved ones in our mind? Is it a proper way?

Yet, we keep mum. For the human mind seeks consistency from the people we have erected as our idols, as our icons. We keep mum because we trust that these are only “small” faults. And yet, as the faults become monumental, we make our memories more and more volatile to suit our heart’s needs, until we have sacrificed our logic at the heart of an icon. We conveniently shut our ears, our eyes, to the arguments, we make heartfelt declarations of our love, we abuse anyone who decides to fight with our opinions. We smile and let it grow like it is the only way to do it.

So, when a leader proclaims, “Can those girls be molested? You have to be worthy to be molested”, we turn a blind eye to that too. For us, they are simply some “problematic” elements, “idiots” who would not matter, “Angry little boys” reacting to false charges. And that’s how it begins…

I shudder to think about how it will end.

niemoller_pppa

Dearest country, we probably won’t ever fit like gloves

I woke up to a drunk nation and I felt like going to sleep again; today is a holiday after all. Most of my friends are celebrating that. They would drink and get high and say goodbye to the nation’s birthday. That is their party. Mine? My story pans out differently.

I won’t be drinking today. I will probably write some stuff and wallow in them. I will watch a few movies that are inconsequential in the larger valley of life. However, it is independence and I need to write before I get too lethargic to even continue.

So? Amidst all the chimes of patriotic songs that will blast through the city? Will I truly be free?

God, that is such a tough question to answer…

I am not free in some cases and incredibly free in others. I have the freedom to go ahead and enjoy things without segregation. No one would throw me out of a restaurant because of my clothes. I do not think that any one would dare to say that they would not offer me services because of my clothes or my caste. But, then again I am a brahmin and perhaps this is a privilege and not something that is there for everyone in this place.
I can watch the stars freely though, and I can walk the streets of this place without care. No one at my college punishes me for being a certain way. There is an aroma at this place which i love.
I can scream out my disapproval and hopefully, i would not be jailed for the same. The fist is tight but, it isn’t yet, iron.

Then again, I cannot be happy all the time.
I am not free to come out. I am not free to kiss a lover in the streets under the starlights. In some cities if I walk into a hotel, I will be brought out and punished for “public obscenity”. They are going to take away the food, the little things we have survived on slowly.

In some ways we are way more independent than we have ever been.

And I hope the tricolour flies higher and higher every night.

But, some days I hope it looks down to find the child who is so unsure and hoists them up too.

For, I believe truly that India can be greater than anyone else…

Happy Independence Day lovelies…

Daily Prompt : IMHO

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “IMHO.”

As I write this, some of my brethren in Indiana are getting persecuted due to their new religious law. Something that I thought could happen, and yet, somewhere refused to believe the implications that it would have.
The revisions allow for them not to be persecuted on an individual basic, a victory maybe.ut, they can still refuse to service a gay wedding. They feel that they are being pressured into somehow following an ideology they do not believe in when they are asked to service a wedding that goes against their believes. For, somewhere along the line discrimination has become fairer when you attach the lord’s name to it.
But, I can forgive all that. I can forgive it all, like we have forgiven all the atrocities committed against the gay community for years and years. Maybe, because that is what we do. Because to accept those problems is something that is natural to us, something that must be accepted. We are the good kids that accept persecution because apparently by being ourselves we infringe the religious freedoms of everyone around.

And believe me, religious people had always had a reason for discriminating. Even after years of dominance, they have held that chair of “the persecuted child”, so even when they have the rod of the oppressor in their hands they need laws and laws to protect their bigotry. And this is me being rational, do not even ask me, what my anger is asking me to do right now.

Then, again I do accept it, like I accept everything.

Some person would be turned down by a vendor he has known for 30 years today just because he is not holy according to the shopkeeper. And that would have to be accepted without contest. And he would accept it because he is a gentleman, and because a legal battle would just be oppressing the religions further.

Preaching peace

Last few days the world has seen much darkness, it has seen blood and pain and it has anguished and writhed in it’s cage with vengeance, screaming for blood. Even my peace loving friends, people close to my heart; screamed out for the death of the people who had murdered thus. And heck, who am I to point fingers? I screamed for the same.

But, then the opinions change as you see the world more.  Two days ago I was screaming for blood and today I hope that somehow this is resolved without that. You see, I do not like Gandhian philosophy much, but, this rings true “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
Do the people who murder children deserve punishment? Sure they do, they deserve more though. They deserve to feel guilty, they deserve to look at their faces in the mirror and feel worthless and hopeless and irredeemable every moment of their waking life. Perhaps that is more cruel, but, perhaps not.

There was this scene in “Doctor Who” in the first season of the revived series, there this genocidal maniac alien realizes the fears and pains and he just stops. There are moments when this machine of hatred sees the things he has caused and then he destroys himself. That affected me.
You see, terrorism thrives on violence.

Today if we burn the homes of all the Taliban forces in the world, and kill 90% of the soldiers, the other 10% would use that to fill little people with the ideas of revenge. They would burn through the youth with their ideologies that promise redemption and salvation, that promise a better life and fulfillment of every dream that the child has, and they’d answer.
They’d answer because that is what propaganda does.

When Kasab was being hanged I raised my voice too, I said that hanging a boy doesn’t solve the problem. An angry response is not going to solve the larger crisis that is going on. Sure  we need to be angry, we need to be burning up inside, but, we need to be angry enough to realise that we need to get rid of the whole deal and not individual soldiers.

We need to make them feel guilt.

And I get the feelings of revenge. Those were children, juniors of mine who were killed mercilessly.
Blood stained floors and seats that were vacated for the whole terms, that makes me want to kill. That makes me want to take up a gun, to take up a sword and go on a rampage. But, then when I have killed these brainwashed children, what difference have I from them?

Maybe, the difference would be that I was more moral, but, they’d twist the facts. They’d create another such army. Their would be another Peshawar in response and it won’t stop. If instead we took these poor kids they target and educated them, gave them books and pens instead of guns. If we just did that.

Maybe we’d be better.
Who knows.

Current Song – Þú Ert Sólin