We Don't Talk About Boys in Our Home - Shirin Choudhary

For the launch of the KYBKYR 2.0 campaign, Shirin Choudhary, a 2016 TYPF Fellow, performed spoken word poetry on her experiences in the Know Your Body, Know Your Rights programme. The poem speaks for itself, so without further ado:

My mother and I speak a language that is shy.

We watch movies together

And wriggle uncomfortably in our seats

When there is a kissing scene.

Avoiding eye contact like we might contract a bug

If we acknowledged the feeling in our tummies.

My mother and I

Don’t talk about boys.

We have learnt how to talk around boys:

We talk about the troubles they cause when they are around

But not the flowers that bloom when we like one.

The first time I told my mother I was doing sex education with kids

She looked at me like I was one of the boys on TV:

Part disbelief, part discomfort,

And mostly as if she would contract a bug

If we acknowledged that I knew what sex was.

That may have been the first time we even said the word in our house.

My mother and I don’t talk about boys.

Sometimes I want to tell her that

The workshops are the only place

I stretch out like a morning yawn

And allow myself the space to talk about sex.

When a young girl asks me if I have ever done it,

We both giggle. There is no silence here,

No awkward wriggling in our seats,

Only proud acknowledgement of our bodies and our desires.

I want to tell mother that

Sometimes I wish we could stretch out like that:

Like ocean on a beach, claiming ownership,

Like a dream of endless kisses and pleasure.

I want to talk to my mother about sex,

I want to tell her that my friends and I

Write poems about it and read to each other

On quiet monsoon nights.

I want to tell her that desire wells up in my body

And breaks out like a lazy morning yawn.

I want to tell her that in my workshops we speak

A language that is shy. A language that is full of questions

And ideas and desire. A language that acknowledges

That it feels good to feel good.

My mother and I don’t talk about boys. We don’t talk about girls either.

If I want to come out as “bi”, first I have to come out as “sexual”.

If I want to talk about desire, first I have to talk about having a body.

If I want to talk about love, first I have to talk about


Someday I want my mother to see me what I do best:

sprawl out like a bold valley in full bloom

valley of pleasure and love

space for a desire that is usually wrapped in silence:

a space for you, me

and maybe my mother to

talk about sex.

Ladki ki galti, sexual harassment in public spaces and parental control: deconstructing the narratives

The YP Foundation as part of its Know Your Body, Know Your Rights programme transacts in community based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) sessions with girls and young women in partnership with field based organizations. At the end of this year’s phase of work, girls from one of the centres (Samarpan organization in Kishangarh, Delhi) ran a facilitated campaign on sexual harassment in public spaces to engage with their mothers and other community members on the issue. During the CSE sessions, many of them at different junctures brought in their experiences of sexual harassment and the difficulty in talking about it with their mothers. Many of them also shared their experiences of fighting with their parents to come to the centre as their parents weren’t allowing them to attend the sessions for reasons like, it is unsafe to go out for them, why would they want to know about “these things” at such a young age and school education is more important than “these things”.

Putting the 'C' in CSE: A Glossary of Important Terms

Comprehensive Sexuality Education has evolved from sex education, to sexuality education, and finally into its present form. CSE, like we have said before, covers a vast array of issues and topics within sexual and reproductive health. Across the world, however, there is considerable push to limit the scope of CSE and omit certain ‘controversial’ issues. Problem is, different countries find different topics controversial; some consider abortion contentious, while others have a problem with the word ‘sex’ itself! This selective acceptance of sexuality education must be resisted, since it is these uncomfortable, debatable, and differentially interpreted topics that most adversely affect our sexual and reproductive lives and health. 

With this in mind, The YP Foundation has put together a helpful glossary of terms that must be a part of any sexuality education curriculum for it to be comprehensive!

किशोरों के लिये यौन शिक्षा क्यों आवश्यक है ?

This article was first published on 21 January 2011.

किशोरावस्था (10-19 वर्ष) वाल्यावस्था और वयस्कता के बीच की नाजुक अवस्था है । इस अवस्था में उत्तेजना, साहस, भावुकता और काम के प्रति उत्सुकता स्वाभाविक रूप से उत्पन्न होती है। यदि इस अवस्था में होने वाले परिवर्तनों को सही तरीके से नहीं समझा जाये तो किशोर किशोरियाँ गलत रास्ते या भटकाव भरे जीवन में जा सकते है। अत: यौन शिक्षा के माध्यम से किशोरों को किशोरावस्था में होने वाले शारीरिक, मानसिक व भावनात्मक तथा सामाजिक परिवर्तनों, यौन एवं यौन संक्रमित रोगों की वैज्ञानिक जानकारी दी जाना आवश्यक है। जिससे उनका शरीर स्वस्थ्य रहे और वे अज्ञानता और भ्रमों से बच सकें।

यौनिकता शिक्षा: युवा पीढी की जरुरत

यौनिकता इन्सान होने का बहुत महत्वपुर्ण अंश है। यौनिकता केवल हमारे शरीर ही नहीं, उसके साथ हमारी समझ, विचार, स्वभाव, संस्कार, आस्था, विश्वास, शारीरिक आनन्द, इतिहास, धर्म, समाज एवं  आर्थिक स्थिति का समावेश है।

सबको अपनी यौनिकता चुनने का अधिकार है क्योंकि हम सब अलग है, विभिन्न है जिसके वजह से हमारी समाज मे एक पहचान हैं। समाज को किसी की उम्र, लिंग, जाति, गोत्र, यौनिकता, धर्म के आधार पर भेद-भाव नहीं करनी चाहिए। चाहे कोई परलैंगिक, द्विलैंगिक या समलैंगिक हो इस मे शर्माने या हिचकिचाने की जरूरत नहीं होती, सभी को अपनी जिंदगी अपने तरीके से जीने का जन्मसिद्ध अधिकार है।

यौनिकता शिक्षा एक व्यक्ति के युवा जीवन का एक ऐसा अंग है जिसके बिना वह अधूरा है। युवा मन मे ऐसे अनेक सवाल उठते है जिसका कोई जवाब नहीं देता और माता, पिता और शिक्षिक केवल इतना कहते है कि अभी वह बहुत छोटे है और उन्हें ऐसी बातों के बारे मे सोचना नहीं चाहिए, इस से ना तो वह कुछ समझ पाते है और बड़े होते हुए उनमे यौनिकता एवं यौन क्रिया के प्रति भय एवं जिज्ञासा उत्पन्न होती है।

युवा पीढी को जरूरत है कि उन्हें कोई यौन रोग और यौन अत्याचार के बारे मे जानकारी दे। युवक/युविकाओं को समझना होगा कि उनका शरीर केवल उनका है और किसी को भी उनसे बिना पूछे उन्हें छुने का हक नहीं है। इसके साथ ही उन्हें अपने इच्छाओं को समझना होगा और उसके परिणामों के बारें मे सोचना होगा। इसी कारण उन्हें इन विषयों पर शिक्षा मिलनी चाहेए।

यौनिकता और युवा शिक्षा साथ साथ चलते है। युवा पीढी को अपनी जिंदगी कैसे जीनी है ये उन पर निर्भर है लेकिन उन्हें अपने निश्चय का नतीजा जानना आवश्यक है।

The Importance of CSE

Anu was formerly associated with Sahayog in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. This article was written on 5 December 2010.

उत्तर प्रदेश में युवाओं को प्रजनन एवं यौनिक स्वास्थ्य एवं अधिकार की जानकारी इस लिए आवश्यक है क्योंकि:

The Language of Sexuality

Ishita Sharma is a former peer educator at The YP Foundation. This article was written on 5 December 2010.

The language of sexuality that we use at The YP Foundation has evolved over the last few years as our understanding of what the multiple facets of and interconnections within sexuality, gender, rights and health are. It’s been a challenging process and our knowledge of the same has been challenged, redefined, questioned and re-invented. The most important learning principle is that there is little that is static. Our key principles remain the same, but how those are defined and applied is a continuous learning process.

Investing in Youth Leadership

Ishita Chaudhry is the Founder and Managing Trustee of The YP Foundation. This article was written on 6 December 2010.

When you grow up in urban India like I have, it’s almost like growing up with two identities at the same time. The first is where in your own world, you are trying to establish yourself in a society that traditionally doesn’t really listen to young people.

And then you meet this second world, and realize that you’re part of a population of 315 million people in India, who are between 10 and 24 years of age. And the statistics that define and describe this demographic that you are a part of, are worrying.