As Indian society advances and evolves, it is evident that traditional gender roles and expectations can no longer remain the norm. We look at how the conversation around gender equality in India continues to change with the times. A few weeks ago while chatting with my aunt, I casually mentioned a story I was researching for — on the importance of gender sensitisation in schools across India.
In her workshops she unravels the secrets of the Kamasutra and other ancient texts. Photo Credit: Getty Images. On a cool late-February afternoon, in a roomy hall at an OYO Townhouse in South Delhi, a dozen men and women between 20 and 60 sit comfortably around candle-lit tables, sipping iced tea, as soft music plays in the background.
Multicultural India has developed its discourse on sexuality differently based on its distinct regions with their own unique cultures. However, one common aspect remains: the existence of a subtle conspiracy of silence and taboos that clouds the Indian world of sexual desires and expressions. The origins of this silence towards India's rich contributions to sexuality and shunning of it almost are to be found in the repurcussions of the colonial rule and of the Bible.
India is a vast country depicting wide social, cultural and sexual variations. Indian concept of sexuality has evolved over time and has been immensely influenced by various rulers and religions. Indian sexuality is manifested in our attire, behavior, recreation, literature, sculptures, scriptures, religion and sports. It has influenced the way we perceive our health, disease and device remedies for the same.
THE Indian Supreme Court has legalised homosexualityoverturning a year ban on consensual gay sex. Gay rights advocates worldwide celebrated the legal victory, which came after nearly a decade of contentious court battles against a British colonial law criminalising homosexual acts. And the ruling is more than a human rights win.
Exhausting because, yes, the United States—and, frankly, large parts of the world—was riveted by the hours of testimony about sexual assault from Christine Blasey Ford and the emotional, angry rebuttal from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, not to mention the stories of sexual assault, rape, and violence the hearings have triggered. But also exhausting because, though the United States dominates the headlines, North America is not alone in this very public conversation about sexual violence, assault, and gender. India, too, was roiled in September by yet another brutal story of a young girl raped by a neighbor, the details of which are too horrific to detail here.
A social norm is a shared belief on what others in a group actually do i. These social norms, often unspoken, shape the expectations within a group of people, which act as a reference for all. This norm is what both men and women base themselves on and when this expectation is not met, there is high acceptance of violence from both men and women.
One Indian psychologist told the Washington Post, that Indian traditions have moved back and forth "between eroticism and sexual repressiveness. Dating still considered taboo by some people. Casual sex is very rare, even in the hippest of crowds. Most couple have not even held hands before they are married.
Preventing sexual violence requires dismantling gender constructs that sustain and normalize gender-based violence. Why are women in India so often blamed for being raped or sexually assaulted? Though victim-blaming defies reason, the belief that women provoke—or deserve—sexual assault is widespread.
The history of humans in the India subcontinent is extensive, complex, and overflowing with civilizations, cultures, languages, religions, and globally significant figures the historical Buddha, for instance. The people of India have a history of openly embracing sexuality, much of it intrinsically tied to religion. Any history of sex in India would be remiss not examine the Kama Sutraan ancient text on navigating love, relationships, and sexuality that famous includes a lot of suggested positions.