Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Taboo Inc.




Lot of people seem to have this doubt in mind- Why on earth Indians don’t talk about sex? Why are discussions on masturbation, condoms, homosexuality considered taboo in India? Why does a country with a billion plus population shies away from mainstream nudity in cinema[its all right to rape and kill, but nude scene- Strict No], or from educating children on how the reproductive system works? I think its high time people stopped pretending that children just drop down from the sky.

Sure, with the technology boom and net savvy generation coming in, some progress has been made in this regard. Especially amongst the upper class, and the growing middle class segment. Nevertheless, if you consider the country as a whole, a vast majority of people are ignorant about basic sex education, and this actually results in harmful consequences, from teenage pregnancies, to sexually transmitted diseases, and even crimes such as sexual assaults.

A common joke goes that in our country, its okay to piss in public but you cannot kiss in public. According to a lot of moral guardians, kissing or any form of pda [including holding of hands], is a heinous crime, and its actually an offense in India under the IPC. Apparently the reason for the same is that some people feel disgusted if they see a couple kiss or hold hands. Arguably, the ‘some’ part is subjective, and it’s very difficult to categorize or classify people according to their acceptance of PDA. Hence the ban[Am personally against the ban, I know its debatable but I personally don’t see how a couple kissing in public view can harm anyone in any way, and those who say it’s a distraction can just choose to look away].

India is a repressed society. We try to pretend in our every day existence that sex does not exist, hence its naturally evil or morally corrupt to talk about it. If someone tries to impart sex education, he or she is a perverted individual who is trying to corrupt the younger generation. Some states have even banned sex education in schools. And then of course there are millions of illiterates having no access to any form of formal education.

So we come to a situation where both parents and teachers hesitate to talk about sex, when it comes to educating children [Of course, that has been changing in recent times, nevertheless that has largely been the trend]. To give my own example, our biology teacher didn’t even utter the words ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ aloud even once, not even while teaching the reproductive system. As if just reading or hearing those words will make you a bad person.

So what happens as a consequence? People start getting half correct or incorrect information from other sources. Most guys learn about sex through pornography. Which is an extreme case of adult entertainment, and definitely not a tool on sex education. It brings about wrong ideas in the mind of youngsters. So instead of having healthy discussions on sex, it becomes a taboo topic. Sex is considered as the forbidden fruit, and not just as another human activity like eating, drinking or sleeping.

That is the first step towards depravity. Guys start making all sort of perverted jokes related to sex, and its usually at this time [onset of puberty], that slang usage becomes common. Most of these slangs are directed at insulting women. Something which makes them lose their ‘purity’. For many guys, losing their virginity becomes some sort of an achievement, something to be proud of. Staring at whichever girl passes by becomes common[No matter how hard they deny, most heterosexual guys do stare at women and at their body parts]. Passing of lewd comments begins from that point. And its almost always directed at a girl’s body parts. Girls are also compared, according to the sizes of their bust, etc. Yes, all this may sound disgusting, but it is the truth. And mind you, am not talking about those illiterate punks or rogues out on the streets, but educated folk, even sons of rich people. I have met very few people in my life[am not generalizing, but giving a personal view] who have actually respected women, even when no girl is around. It’s very clear by the way they talk and their reaction whenever they see or meet a female. Ironically if you directly ask a guy if he or she respects women, the answer will be almost always a resounding yes. And the next moment they will say-‘Wow man, just look at that Maal on the street.’

Of course we live in a patriarchal and male chauvinist society. So its pointless to repeat such points. But the bottomline is that we need to change. If you take the Delhi metro, many guys even argue that girls should not enter a general compartment, because a separate one is reserved for them. They fail to understand the need for reservation in the first place. It’s because the plight of a girl in a crowded general compartment is miserable to say the least. Moreover, a lot of guys even claim that it’s the girls fault for actually ‘brushing’ or falling on a guy and then complaining that the guy was trying to molest her. To such people I would say-‘Get a life. Just try to imagine yourself in a girls shoes trying to hold her bag and protecting her modesty at the same time, amidst a pack of hungry wolves and its only then you will understand what it feels like.’

Its because these guys have never had an healthy discussions on sex and reproductive life, that they feel so repressed. Actions such as groping, molesting, staring, eve-teasing, commenting and even serious sexual assaults arise as a consequence. It may build up slowly and gradually, but not talking and not knowing about sex is one of the reasons for the same. Its also due to our social upbringing, that even today many people believe that boys and girls should not mix up or play together. Especially for girls, who should limit interactions with guys, and curb her sexuality. So naturally, its again the forbidden fruit thing coming out to play.

Many people will also be disgusted if they hear a guy and a girl, who are not a couple discuss things related to sex, or precautions, etc. They will label them as people with loose morals, and the girl will almost definitely be called a whore or a slut. In an ideal society, even if a girl chooses to have a partner before marriage, it does not mean she has no morals. Every individual should be ready to bear the consequence of his or her action.

Rather, once we start opening up more, once we start educating our children, I believe objectifying of women will reduce, and that in turn will also lead to a reduction of crimes. But whether that will actually happen will remain to be seen. However, stop feeling ashamed of speaking about sex in public. Deal with it positively and not negatively. Sex is definitely not a sin, and nothing to be pushed under the carpet. Also try being less judgmental if you can[For eg- A girl who is not a virgin is not a whore, and a virgin guy is not a loser]. Its something am trying to follow myself.
But I will try to be an optimist. More on this later.


1 comments:

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