Pink Panties and The Indian Women’s Sexual Liberation

Below is an excerpt from my article “The Pink Panties Campaign and The Indian Women’s Sexual Liberation” first published in Intersections: Journal of Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, Issue 23, January 2010

The article  talks about the sexual and reproductive repression of women in India, and about the squashing of perhaps one of the first countrywide attempt to challenge this repression.

To read the whole article CLICK HERE

The cultural boundaries imposed on the sexual freedom and sexual expressions of women, have been an effective means of the subjugation of women in societies all over the world. However, in non-western countries like India however, even as a minute section of the liberal elite tries to experiment with the idea of sexual freedom, the sexual boundary walls for women remain dauntingly tall and unchallenged, and are periodically reinforced through the public castigation of violators.

In 2005 when the south Indian film actress, Khushboo, made a statement about the ludicrousness of expecting women in today’s world to remain virgins till they are married, she was pelted with slippers and eggs, slapped with a dozen court cases and forced to tender a public apology.

When Hollywood actor Richard Gere placed a friendly peck on Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s cheek, the masses went berserk, and (more…)

Can Women Not Rape Other Women?

Recently India has been seriously pondering over the most ridiculous question.  Is Pinki Pramanik a rapist? Well, that’s not the stupid question.  The stupid question is:

Is Pinki Pramanik male or female, because she apparently can be charged with the rape she’s accused of, by her female partner, only if it’s proved she is male!!

Pinki Pramanik is an Indian track athlete who has won numerous medals for India for the women’s track races at various international events.   Earlier this year, her live-in partner, another woman, brought charges of rape against her.  Apparently this partner shared pictures of Pinki that showed she had ‘male’ genitalia.

An earlier test from a private clinic appears to establish Pinki as ‘male.’   However, the first test was held as inconclusive, Pinki was incarcerated and put through a gruesome public and media spectacle as she was paraded in and out of jail, and through various hospitals and labs – in a bid to establish her gender! 

She was put through every kind of humiliation conceivable.  A clip of her naked and exposed as medical authorities examined her, somehow made its way into the internet circuit.  (more…)

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