The Battle With Sex – 2008!

Staring eyes…travelling the entire length…rolling over each curve, shamelessly revealing each movement of the body…
…lewdly awaiting the fall of a duppatta or the wind-play of a knee-length skirt …at the local bus stop, in the waiting line of a government office, in an elevator. Even in a temple, there are minds traversing reality and traveling into the most perverted of fantasies at the very sight of even the plainest looking specimens of the female species.

For some perverts, it is the verbal diarrhea that releases those dreams as the most obscene of comments in the holiest of places while for the vocally talented (at least according to his belief), there is the emission of the filthiest of noises, which is a dead giveaway of his thoughts. Further, take the case of the restless-hands-on pervert, who believes in instant gratification from cheap thrills – there is always the expectation of an occasional butt-pinch or hand-grope in a crowded location.

What is it about the idea of the female body in our country that tends to attract such unwanted attention from the most sacred of men, in the most public of places? The argument of physical desires is very well understood, but kindly explain the need for such public gratification and humiliation to the fairer sex!
Probably, the answer lies in our pent-up emotions and ideas, as a collective entity. In a country like India, where public displays of affection are looked at with shock and disgust along with the additional ‘tch!’ ‘tch!’ and where the self proclaimed moral police manhandles even brothers and sisters out for a casual stroll on Valentine’s Day, it is not very surprising to see such a frustrated bunch of men (and women, in exceptional cases though) everywhere.

It is also worth mentioning here that although women are hardly known to play the role of eve-teasers (again, there are exceptions), the sight of young twenty-something’s doing their number all out in the open, in secluded places, in public parks, behind massive rocks on beaches and in the precincts of old monuments is very common. The question here isn’t about how deeply they are driven by lust, but, how exactly are they expressing this feeling? Is it merely the longing of youth, or, is it a deeper, more complex reason of our society raising emotionally and physically frustrated individuals in this cross-cultural potpourri of ethics, morals and values?. It is true that teenagers today are more aware about issues related to sex but it is also true that teenage pregnancies are on the rise, and so is the risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The entertainment industry is full of sexual imagery, and the scenes played out are often sexually charged, or titillating. Hence, awareness is misguided, and bases itself more on satisfying curiosity, and therefore, leads to unproductive (mostly reproductive!) activities, rather than imparting any kind of knowledge or advice on sexual behaviour among teenage couples, pre-marital sex amongst other issues.

With explicit information reaching the masses through cinema, advertisements and music videos, sex has been removed from under-the-carpet but it has been given a place in a teenager’s bedroom rather than the needed place in his/her mind and judgment necessary for sexual safety and health.

Going by the general response any women receives in public, irrespective of her attire, and the longings of behind-the-rocks teenage lust, we truly need to delve deeper into the kind of society we are being brought up in.. One overtly creative advertisement on television that is understood by merely a handful is not going to work, and neither are ‘visions’ of a mature India by various NGOs.

It is time our battle ended. It is time we embraced the concept and evolved as a society.
It is time sex got out of closed doors and idiot boxes and made its way to each individual’s analytical, thinking mind.

Neha Bhat


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