Female Sexuality: A Taboo in India

Historically, in India, ladies were treated with elegance and respect. However, in the post-Vedic age, there was a moderate yet consistent decay of their significance in the home and society. India also played a significant role in the history of sex, from writing the first literature that regarded sexual relationships as a science to constructing structures and art to educate people about sex. Today, masturbation is, for the most part, considered forbidden among females. For young men, on the other hand, it is viewed as a readiness for developing sexual coexistence. The persistence of this dichotomous treatment meted out by the Indian society is rather unfortunate.

India is a multi-ethnic and multilingual society with wide varieties in demographic circumstances and socioeconomic and political conditions. In a country as religiously and ethnically assorted as India, the general population takes after a wide variety of traditions and has varied beliefs that ultimately mold their lifestyles and sexuality. For a few people, sexuality could mean the demonstration of sex and sexual practices, for others, it could mean sexual orientation or identity and additionally, it could also refer to desire and eroticism. When it comes to sexual explorations and experimentations today, it is a privilege given only to men and if any woman tries to do the same, she is branded a slut or a whore.

Throughout colonization, Victorian qualities condemned Indian sexual radicalism. The pluralism of Hinduism and its liberal dispositions were denounced as “savage” and evidence of inferiority of the East and inevitably, things changed. The corrupted depiction of a woman, seen as the person who committed the first sin, considered as the evil seductresses, who under the pretense of being reserved, nurtured a powerful sexual ardor was espoused by the West.

Women today live with a hidden pathological desperation inside of them. Their hearts are a furious fountain of sexual disappointment which she can’t vent out in light of the fact that the magazines offer nothing to extinguish her thirst, neither does the patriarchal porn. Movies like ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ which talk about women sexuality are met with protests and are called ‘morally corrupt’ while in a movie like ‘Sanju’ when Sanjay Dutt’s characters says that he slept with 350 women other than his wife (who has no objections whatsoever), he is met with applause and whistles in the theatre. Women generally come across as the object in these representations, and not the subject. Even in schools, when they teach about sex and reproduction, illustrations of female systems do not include the clitoris and reinforces the idea that women are merely an object of pleasure for men and reproduction for the society.

Each time a woman has sex because she enjoys it implies that she prioritizes herself over what the society is pushing her towards. That is a woman who demands to be dealt with as an equal. It won’t be wrong to call it revolutionary. It is a rebellion against misogyny and oppression that has existed in our society for way too long. Sexuality in India has been considered as a something to be discussed in hushed voices and discovered behind closed doors. Most people still don’t feel good to have “the talk” with their young ones and with that, they overlook that there is no lack of sources for kids to know their body. Experiencing childhood in such a threatening domain, kids figure out how to conceal their curiosity and sexual interests.

It can be agreed that it is high time that we talk more openly about women’s sexuality so that we can normalize differences and enjoy our sexual desires, perhaps even reduce body shaming, degrading self-concept and improve sexual health. It’s time that Sigmund Freud learns the truth and that we show that penis envy is a myth and it is fun to be a woman and that we enjoy every part of it. We should encourage self- exploration and not shush our children when they ask us questions about sex. Knowledge can be empowering and we need to take this step so that another little girl doesn’t grow up to be scared of sex and orgasm and that she knows what she likes and how she can fulfill her needs when she grows up.

Picture Credits: Alchetron

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