DUB Speak

If Sexuality Were Celebrated

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If sexuality were celebrated, and people were free to choose their partners from whichever sex – gender roles would diminish. The concern over who will make the sandwiches and who will earn the bread would be nobody’s business. If sexuality was celebrated, comprehensive sexuality education would be the norm – children would be given the space to discover who they really are and teachers would be comfortable using words like ‘masturbation’ in biology classes.

If sexuality were celebrated, same sex couples would be choosing to marry (or not marry) on their own terms and families and friends would love them for it. If sexuality were celebrated, government forms wouldn’t ask us to choose between ‘male’ and ‘female’. If sexuality is celebrated, more and more famous people would speak about their own. If sexuality is celebrated, section 377 wouldn’t exist.

If sexuality were celebrated, marital rape would be punishable and recognized in a court of law. A woman wouldn’t be the property of her husband. Heck, she may never have a husband! If sexuality were celebrated, self proclaimed God men who see homosexuality as a disease would be hiding their faces and publicly apologizing to all of us. If sexuality were celebrated, honour killings wouldn’t happen – marriage would be a personal choice which we would all be free to take as and when we wish. If sexuality were celebrated, the Supreme Court of India would first look into the several pending cases of sexual assault and discrimination (many of which are against Judges, lawyers, police and government officials) before even thinking of attending to an appeal as regressive as de-legalizing ‘gay sex’.

If sexuality were celebrated, one’s homosexuality wouldn’t be one’s primary identity – a ‘gay’ doctor, a ‘gay’ lawyer, a ‘gay’ artist would simply be a doctor, a lawyer, an artist. If sexuality were celebrated, many of us wouldn’t be criminals in our own country today. If sexuality were celebrated, desire and passion would be good things, and people wouldn’t be made alien to their own bodies. If sexuality were celebrated, the word ‘gay’ wouldn’t be used as an insult, or to refer to effeminate behaviour by men (as if being feminine is an insult in itself!)

But then again, sexuality is more tabooed than celebrated and we still live entrenched in a patriarchy that separates us from ourselves and where every desire is colonized and repressed. Not only does the Indian state today control our food, water and electricity, but who we’re having sex with and what ‘legal sex’ is. Sex today isn’t simply seen in terms of pleasure – an activity between two consenting adults, but an activity strictly limited to a man and a woman (preferably married), belong to the same religion, caste and class. Anything – absolutely anything – disrupting this is against the law. When I see it this way, the Supreme Court ruling that read own the Delhi High Court judgement that decriminalized homosexuality doesn’t come as much of a shocker.

But the fight for free love and free sexuality continues. Even in dire disappointment, this is an opportunity to press for progressive laws and subsequently, progressive mindsets. This is our opportunity. Don’t lose hope. Keep your faith, continue your fight.

Image credits: Pallab Deb

Bani’s love for books, people, travel and writing defines who she is and everything she does. An idealist at heart and a student of political science, she wishes to accomplish some fantastic journalistic work in her lifetime.

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