While I was still in school, I remember telling my mother “I don’t understand why women cry so much about inequality. We can vote now and they reserve seats for us in the parliament. We are equal.” Sure, back then, it seemed that way to me, because it seemed perfectly normal that every boy in the boys’ football team in school was a hero while the girls’ team had spent years and years fighting just to be allowed to take part in inter-school competitions. There was nothing strange about how one of my friends who had had lots of boyfriends was systematically alienated from our group and was slut-shamed by everyone, including the boys who had been involved with her. I barely thought twice before starving myself for days on end to bring my waist size down to 23 inches, because to me, more than being a good student, being beautiful was what gave me value.
When I was in school, I was second to nobody when it came to cracking dirty jokes. I could find an innuendo in anything – but in very real terms, I didn’t know much about sex or about my own body. The funniest part about this was that I didn’t know how little I knew – at least, not until I started dating people.
WHEN WE MET FOR THE FIRST TIME: “I have no problem with ‘them’ but I would not like to associate myself with them” – First statement he made when we went for a chai date, “I mean you understand right!”- He sought some support.
As Delhi Queer Pride completes a decade this year, we take a walk down the memory lane with Shubham Bose Roy, as they share their experiences of designing the logos and posters for Delhi Queer Pride (DQP), their longest project till date.
Public toilets are private spaces, that provide the anonymity and audience that is unlikely to be found anywhere else in today’s world. Researchers have been studying restroom graffiti for decades now to analyze and assess the thoughts expressed by men and women in these single-gender spaces.
As a child, I don’t recall ever having spoken to my parents about sexuality. Only recently did I find out that they expected and assumed that my school would fulfil the duty of giving me sexuality education. Needless to say, my school did no such thing.
Metro train journeys are always interesting and harassing in new ways. From cold gazes and warm sweaty hands wanting to grab my skin, to inquisitive minds and fingers that pull on my hair, my entire body, for most of the eyes in the compartment is a fascinating biological and social question
While returning from class one day, my friend told me about a session she attended in our city where young people came together to talk about feminism, gender, sexuality, and sexuality education in a way that we had never done before – the conversation was open, welcoming, and invited everyone to articulate their own opinions.
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”.
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!