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					ANUAL ON

SEX

UA L

RI GH TS &

T EN RM SEXUAL EMPOWE

Abha Bhaiya & Saskia Wieringa
Prepared for the KARTINI Network of Women’s Studies and Feminist Activism in Asia

MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS AND SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT
Jointly produced by JAGORI, APIK & KARTINI Authors: Abha Bhaiya & Saskia Wieringa Editor: Amrita Nandy-Joshi Design & Cover: Nitisha Mehta Project support and Typing: Nancy Gupta Publication: 007 Copies available in India Jagori B 4 Shivalik Malviya Nagar New Delhi 0 07 Phone: +9--6699/6690 Website: <www.jagori.org> In Indonesia Kartini/APIK (Asosiasi Peremepuam Indonesia untuk Keadilan) Jl. Raya Tengah nomor 6 Kramat Jati Pasar Rebo Jakarta Timur-Indonesia Phone: +6 8 779789 For limited circulation only



MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

Content

Preface

04 06

Introductory Session

Session 1 Setting the mood 15 Session 2 Sex and Sexuality 21 Session 3 Sexuality, Gender and the construction of Masculinity and Femininity 29 Session 4 Sexualities: Notions of the Normal 37 Session 5 Multiple identities and multiple sexualities 47 Session 6 Body Politics and Pornography 59 Session 7 Sex Work and the Sex Industry 69 Session 8 Eroticism, Fantasy and the Right to Pleasure 79 Session 9 Sexualities, Law and Sexual Rights 85 Session 10 Sexual Empowerment: Strategising the Personal and the Public 95 List of Films 107 Glossary 108 Reference 112



Preface
W
e began writing this Manual as part of our ongoing work as (activist/academic) into, but also to expose the workings of heteronormativity. Heteronormativity, as it is lived in India and Indonesia, as indeed elsewhere, not only excludes the marginal – those who live non-normative lives – but also restricts those inside the borders of normativity. The research was originally designed by Abha Bhaiya, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana and Saskia Wieringa. It was carried out by four member associations of the Kartini network — Jagori, the women’s documentation center in New Delhi, APIK (Association for Women’s Justice), KPI (Indonesian Women’s Coalition) and the University of Indonesia in Jakarta. The research process was guided by both the authors of this Manual, Abha Bhaiya and Saskia Wieringa, as well as by Irwan Hidayana from the University of Indonesia. Valuable inputs were also provided by Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, the Kartini The present phase of the research and network’s co-chair, who kept insisting on ever new ways to involve the activists more closely in the research process. After an initial training in Goa, India, the researchers set out to work. With patience and great academic acumen, they prepared five beautiful case studies for each category for each country. We thank Sinta Bernadet, Enday Sulistyowati and Widja Wijayanti, in Jakarta and Bharti M. Borah, Ambarien Al Qadar, Shabnam Berar and Pooja Rao in Delhi for their perseverance, good humour and the advocacy project on women’s non-normative sexualities saw collaboration between activists and researchers from the two participating countries (India and Indonesia). The research phase focused on three categories of ‘abject’ women—divorced/widowed women, young urban lesbians and sex workers. Together, these categories helped us investigate the commonalities of non-normative sexualities. In the advocacy phase, the attention was geared not only towards developing tools in relation to the three categories of women researched

on issues surrounding sexualities, sexual rights and women’s empowerment. The Manual is the outcome of a research and advocacy project on women’s non-normative sexualities by the Kartini Network on Women’s Studies in Asia. The sexuality programme is one among the five themes worked upon by the Kartini Network; the others are women’s studies, livelihood, fundamentalisms and violence. The aim of the Kartini network is to foster a closer collaboration between activists and researchers in Asia who are working on gender issues and for women’s empowerment. We maintain that such work ensures the critical relevance of research for women’s studies programmes, while activists strengthen strategies related to advocacy and legal reforms in a more informed way.

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academic dedication with which they carried out the original research that forms the basis of this manual. A special mention must be made of Ratna Batara Munti, who besides being the director of APIK Jakarta, managed to produce the profile of a young urban lesbian in Jakarta. Besides the collection of life stories, the researchers carried out a media analysis that was later summarised by Renu Addalkhar. Another product of the project was a reader on Sexuality and Sexual Rights in Asia, compiled by Abha Bhaiya and Saskia Wieringa. This Manual was tested out in two Training of Trainers workshops, in Khajuraho, India and Jakarta, Indonesia respectively. In India, the TOT proved very valuable. The Indian participants were mostly from women’s and sexual rights groups from all over India. We thank Sanjukta Chaudhuri and Sahba Syed (AALI) , Priya Raju (CWS), Shramana Majumder(CFAR) , Shivangi Rai( Lawyers Collective), Rohini Ghadiok (Jagori), Archana More and Malvika Kadam (MASUM), Ravi Jeena (MASVAW), Rahul Singh (Naz Foundation), Jaya Sharma (Nirantar and PRISM), S. Jayasree and Seema (SAKHI), Akanksha and Shumita (SAPPHO), Gargi Banerjee and Shalini Gupta (Sanhita) and Maya Sharma (Vikalp). The TOT in Indonesia was equally rich. Participants came from various universities and NGOs all over Indonesia. We thank Lusy Palulungan, Farida Nurland, Farizal, Darwanis, Esthi Susanti, Siti Syamsiyatun, Budi Wahyuni, R.R. Agustine, Yuniarti Hanifah, Ida Ruwaida Noor, Anna Sulikah, Yang Suwan, Asnifriyanti Damanik, Estu Fanani, Masruchah, Cut Bietty, Harmona Daulay, Tri Sulistyawati, Beauty Erawati, and Ruth Styella Thei. The participants from both countries were experienced activists and academics, who made many insightful contributions to this Manual.

This Manual would not have been possible without the tacit support and hard work of Nancy Gupta, whose attentiveness, commitment and patience has been invaluable as she laboured through multiple drafts of this manual. Amrita Nandy-Joshi, who also compiled, wrote and edited the TOT report, has done more than editing this time. She provided many conceptual insights and helped with significant details and, thus, added a great deal to the text of this Manual. Similarly Nitisha Mehta, as an artist and designer has given her best to the project. She has designed the TOT workshop report as well as this Manual. It has been very assuring to have this team of young, committed women as part of this project. Our thanks. In the course of the project, we have come to be very appreciative of the continued support of our funders: The Ford Foundation, New York and Hivos, The Netherlands. The officers-incharge believed in our work and supported us in various ways. A special mention must go to Barbara Klugman and Roshmi Goswami, Ford Foundation, New York and Delhi respectively, and Frans Mon, Marc ter Brugge and Els Rijke from Hivos. We also take this opportunity to thank Jagori for the administrative and financial management support. Last of all, we, as authors of this Manual, must thank ourselves, for our continued friendship and trust in each other and the project, even when writing this Manual proved to be a much more complex and time- consuming task than we ever could have imagined. This Manual will be tested out in other fora. We hope that it will be a useful tool for training and advocacy for other NGOs working on women’s sexuality and sexual rights in Asia and elsewhere. Abha Bhaiya and Saskia Wieringa Co-coordinators, Sexuality theme Kartini Network



Introduction
W
e generally think of persons as “rightsbearers.” They not only carry rights with them, but also produce them, give birth to them, usually through contestation and struggle. Yet rights are never completely produced. They remain in production, continually reasserted and reinterpreted. As they are “in production,” they reattach to persons, bringing with them new understandings of the meaning of personality and identity in different contexts. Thus, rights are also “person-bearers.” (Dean, 1996:73) This Manual aims to increase women’s awareness about sexual rights* and empowerment. It is an attempt to focus on sexuality and thereby add to our theories and practices of feminisms*. We see it as a tool to make sexuality a more inclusive engagement of our work within women’s movements. Sexuality, as a subject, keeps changing its meanings and nuances as it confronts ever enlarging sexual diversities and sexual identities. The Manual seeks to provide a space for dialogue and conversations on multiple issues related to sexual expression and its simultaneous denial. One of the critical issues within the discourse of sexuality is the construction of heteronormativity* within societies which controls not just those who are within its boundaries, but even those who fall outside.
* Words/phrases with an asterix have been explained in the glossary.

Why Study Sexuality?
Asking this question is akin to asking ‘Why study life?’ Sexuality is quintessential to our experiences—physical, sexual, emotional and even spiritual. While sexuality is often perceived as a personal and private subject, it has wide-ranging political implications. ‘…evolving expressions of sexuality by individuals and groups influence culture, politics and religion. Sexuality is both central to some of the greatest problems of our time and is at the core of human well-being for people of all ages…….the area of sexuality is nothing if not hotly contested, a lightning rod in contemporary life. Attitudes towards sexuality can cripple or free. Battles rage world wide between repression and freedom; science and religion; feminism and patriarchy. This struggle over sexuality is a profoundly important one—a struggle that determines not only how well societies treat their own people, but how well societies are able to coexist.’ (Ford Foundation 2005:9)

Why Focus on the Deconstruction of Normativities*?
The assumption of this research is that the process of laying bare the so-called ‘abnormal’ categories of sexuality will also uncover the creation, space, boundaries and underlying mechanisms of ‘normal’ sexualities. It will



MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

also reveal the many inherent injustices and oppressive power relations that lie beneath the cover of normality.

Conceptual Background
Sex, sexuality* and gender relations are distinct but interrelated concepts in a vast subject that covers the material (the body) and the conceptual (gender). The essence of this subject is the strict binary model of heteronormativity—the ‘male’ and the ‘female’. The strong mechanisms that constantly guard and regulate these rigid categories point both to their instability and resilience. These mechanisms (cultural, political or economic) ensure that living outside these categories comes only with social ostracism and deep psychic conflicts. Even the body – the heart of the heteronormative model – is never as stable or ‘natural’ as those who uphold/enforce the model’s norms would like to see it as. There is constant and consistent reinforcement of what constitutes the ‘normal’ by traditions, culture, the media, the market and the economy, both individually and together. ‘Normalcy’ is not just created and imposed, but also performed in order to become or remain ‘normal.’ Normalcy has its own cultural or historical variations, thus proving that it is essentially unstable in character. In every socio-historical context, a different ‘normal’ is created, upheld and enforced with ever changing but alwayseffective mechanisms. In most present day cultures, the core of heteronormativity is formed by sexual difference—that humanity is neatly and ‘naturally’ divided into biological females and biological males. Any variation from the two categories is not acceptable and therefore, in most cases, medically operated. Those who are different from the biological norm or those who fall outside the normal or normative

become the abject, for example, homosexuals, the physically/mentally challenged, single mothers etc. Heteronormativity is enforced by the creation of the abject, just as opposites define each other (‘a woman is not a man’). The abject* is not normal. Those who live in the border zones, uninhabitable to ‘normal’ humans, paradoxically patrol the borders of the normal and define its boundaries. Thrown out of the ‘normal’ and dejected, they fulfill the role of living as specimens of what is unacceptable in society and live their punishment not belonging to the ascribed category. This process is the creation of gender, of being not just male and female but simultaneously man and woman. Gender is a social system that acts upon a supposedly passive body. Bodies are understood within their social and historical context. Cultures have different markers to distinguish the female from the male (and anything in between wherever that is recognized). These are not only dress codes, but also bodily shapes, traits and movements. Today, societies hardly tolerate gender ambiguities, let alone sexual ambiguities. Yet in various Asian cultures and in earlier historical periods gender and sexual ambiguity was treated differently, at times even invested with great spiritual power (AnnexureI.1), such as the Ardhanarishvar figure (see Chapter 4). The regulatory mechanisms most visibly at work are the various cultural and religious interpretations that influence gender relations. Gender – as a power relation – is but a handy tool of patriarchy that creates women’s socio-economic, cultural and political oppression.

Research
The research project, of which this Manual is a part, investigated three categories of the ‘abject’ or the ‘abnormal’: (1) women who had

SESSION ONE : SETTING THE MOOD

7

lost their husbands, either through divorce or death, (2) sex workers, and (3) young, urban lesbians. We compared their life trajectories in Jakarta and Delhi, two major cities in widely different parts of Asia. Delhi is the capital of a country with a large Hindu majority and a sizeable Muslim minority, amongst other religious and cultural pluralities. The Indian state is constitutionally committed to secularism and equal respect to all regions. However, right-wing Hindu fundamentalists have repeatedly tried to impose the notion of a Hindu nation. Jakarta is the capital of a sprawling archipelago with a large variety of ethnic cultures; it has the largest Muslim population of the world, as also smaller minorities such as Christian, Hindu and so on. The Indonesian state is constitutionally secular, but religion plays a large role in public life and is embedded in several regulations that strongly impact people’s private lives. Recently, there have been strong political currents to impose stricter Islamic codes on the lives of Indonesians. The research was carried out with a number of objectives in mind. In the first place, we wanted to chart the lives of women who live outside the heteronormative because information on such women and their families is scarce. Secondly, we wanted to explore the boundaries and regulatory mechanisms of heteronormativity in two countries. Thirdly, we wanted this research to contribute to the struggle for sexual rights not only for the marginalized groups, but also for women living within the norm. Fourthly, we wanted to explore the possibilities of social and sexual agency so as to contribute to a cultural climate that will enable the deployment of sexual rights. Thus, the big question is: how can agency* and transformation of oppressive sexual relations be stimulated? However stable

heteronormativity may seem at any given moment in time and in any cultural context, its inherent instability, and therefore its potential for transformation can be perceived. In the first place, any cultural norm is necessarily a sequence of repeated performances. The constant acting out of its codes and norms reminds the performers and their audiences of the comfort of the familiar. A sturdy, butch woman performing masculinity at once reminds her audience/onlookers of what it ‘is’ that a man is assumed to be; at the same time, her appearance questions the stability of that knowledge as she disrupts the sex-gender link on which it is modeled. Similarly, a tomboyish girl made to wear a skirt in school lays bare the enforced nature of such dress codes. Collective agency, in relation to sexual rights, typically involves a number of moments that can be either simultaneous or sequential. An important step is the (re)discovery of the ‘roots’ of certain behavior patterns or assumed identities in earlier historical periods or diverse cultural/religious traditions. This Manual provides various examples that may help in this process. Another step is the assertion of a particular identity. Initially, this may be very liberatory (‘out and proud’) since it allows its adherents to affirm their own personalities. However, it may also stifle individual expressions and practices. Group norms can become oppressive, just as the norm of heteronormativity is oppressive to many. A major dilemma in identity-based groups is how to deal with diversity within the group. On the one hand, there is a desire to integrate within the social milieu, for all members to ascribe to its norms; on the other hand, there is the expression of plural desires, practices and a sense of partial belonging. A third moment is when group members start questioning the wider cultural, religious, legal, national or even

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

global dimensions of their identities. That is the moment when a discourse and practice of sexual rights becomes particularly important. These are the concepts, in a nutshell, upon which this research project is built. In this training Manual, these concepts will be illustrated through discussions, exercises, films and other methods so that participants and trainers can discuss, critique and internalize them. This Manual can best be used side-by sidewith the Reader prepared for the same project, entitled ‘A Reader on Sexuality and Sexual Rights’, compiled by the authors of this Manual. Wherever relevant, references will be made to specific chapters in the Reader. Parts of the Manual were tested out in two TOT (Training of Trainers) workshops during September 2006 in Khajuraho, India and in Jakarta, Indonesia. Relevant fragments of these sessions are included in the Manual.

Coalition). The focus of the present Manual is on specific topics related to women’s non-normative sexuality and on historical, cultural, social and religious norms that determine women’s sexual practices and sexual empowerment. It is important to mention here that the Manual is part of an emerging sexual rights mobilization and the greater visibility of sexually marginal groups in both countries. In addition, there is a growing literature (academic and activist) on sexuality that has enriched its discourse.

Users of the Manual
The users of this Manual will be trainers who work with various women’s organizations particularly in Asia. The networks of Jagori in India and of APIK and KPI in Indonesia will be used as an initial base to reach women’s groups in these countries. The TOTs and the follow-up workshops in both countries have used parts of the Manual to test it out. Many examples are based on women’s experiences. With further training and research in other Asian countries through the Kartini network, experiences of women in other Asian countries will be incorporated and the theoretical and conceptual framework will be refined. Therefore, the Manual needs to be seen as work in progress and a growing document. The Manual will be used for purposes of advocacy, to enlarge the public debate on issues of sexuality and heteronormativity, and women’s sexual empowerment and sexual rights in general. Due to strong societal restrictions on debates of this nature, innovative ways will have to be sought to address these issues in a culturally sensitive way.

Framework of the Manual
The present Manual seeks to build up a pool of trainers to address the issues of sexual rights via capacity building on issues related to sex, sexuality and gender . The training also aims to increase the knowledge of women’s sexual (dis)empowerment and to suggest culturally sensitive ways to address these issues. Many of the illustrations are based on the results of the research into issues of women’s rights, sexual empowerment and normative sexualities in India and Indonesia. In Indonesia, a prior step was a workshop on sexual rights and sexual health held in Ciloto in 2002, organized by the KPI (Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia, Indonesian Women’s

SESSION ONE : SETTING THE MOOD

9

Collaborating Organizations
This Manual is a collaborative project. Brief descriptions of collaborating organizations follows: Jagori, a women’s training, documentation, resource and communication centre, was established in 1984. The main objectives and achievements of Jagori have been consciousness raising on issues such as violence against women, women’s health and sexual rights, right to education and information, action research, campaigns and feminist training for building leadership at multiple levels. Jagori has a well established library and a production and distribution centre with multimedia material including films, feminist music, posters, booklets etc. It works directly with rural and urban communities to strengthen the capacities of marginalized people to intervene in development processes. Jagori is part of women’s movements as they derive strength from each other. APIK, Asosiasi Perempuan Indonesia untuk Keadilan, or Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice, was established in 1995 by seven feminist lawyers. It aims to contribute towards creating a society characterized by gender justice. It therefore not only deals with individual law cases but advocates for legal reform and gender policies. At present, the Association has branches in 14 Indonesian cities. The Jakarta office has a well-established documentation center and library. It regularly publishes research on legal issues related to gender concerns KPI Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia, or Indonesian Women’s Coalition, was established after the fall of the military dictatorship of President Suharto in 1998. It is a women’s mass organization which focuses

on women’s rights and fostering democracy and women’s political awareness. It works on 15 different sectors, such as widows, sex workers and sexual minorities. Kartini is an Asian European Network that was formally established in Manila in 2003. Kartini aims to create synergy between women’s/gender studies and feminist activism in the region. The main objectives of the Network is to strengthen feminist analysis and perspective; work towards social transformation, justice and equality; forge collaboration between academics and activists from the region, promote Asian women’s studies and conduct action research and gender training. Kartini has selected five themes as focus areas of the network: Women’s/Gender Studies, Fundamentalism and Globalization, Resistance Against War, Conflict and Violence, Sexual Rights and Women’s Empowerment, and Livelihoods and Securities. The Kartini secretariat is located at APIK, Jakarta, Indonesia.

How to use the Manual?
This Manual is meant to be a guide. There are innumerable ways of conducting a session. The trainer is free to set her/his own sequential order. Most Asian countries are well experienced in conducting gender and sexuality workshop and training. Therefore, the objective is to create a deeper and nuanced understanding of issues surrounding sex and sexuality, heteronormativity and the institutionalization of sexual control, from a feminist perspective. The Manual is a spring board to conduct sessions on various aspects of sex and sexuality. Users must feel free to evolve their own sessions, using their own examples according to context. The Manual follows a pattern which is outlined below. At present, it has ten sessions. While

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

the Manual is still being developed, sessions can be added as per the need of the group and the moment in time. As the Manual will be used in various Asian contexts, we hope that users will provide us with suggestions and inputs which can be incorporated to include aspects of Asian women’s experiences around sexuality.

a collective process of reflection-actionreflection. The Feminist Training Methodology (FTM) is based on certain principles of training and learning, as elaborated below. Feminist trainers have further built on the participatory methodology developed by the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire by making gendered realities visible. Our methodological paradigm is based on our understanding of patriarchy and compulsory heteronormativity as systems of oppression. Feminism forms our framework for struggle. It is important to keep the following principles in mind during trainings: The body is the starting point of our understanding of our ‘self’ and others. Experiences of oppression (of women and other marginalized groups of people) form the basis of understanding larger structures of domination and subordination. Our realities are formed by our individual, subjective experiences. Truths are not neutral or all pervasive, but based on subjectivities. Conceptualization takes place based on individual experiences. All realities must be interrogated—nothing can be taken for granted. We must build our confidence to speak out and ask questions--the ‘why’ of everything that happens to us. Gender does not operate in isolation of other systems of domination, such as class, caste, ethnicity, disability, religion, heteronormativity, marital status and so on. Women, gay, lesbian, trans and pan gender/sexual are not homogeneous groups/categories. Each one of us has multiple identities. We are continuously divided by these differences. There should be respect for diversity and multiplicity-—creating space to stand and speak against homogenization of our experiences.

Each session comprises the following:
• • • • Its main objective; A brief conceptual note; A few exercises to aid understanding of the session; A film screening relevant to the subject.

Interspersed in the text are boxes with stories, fragments of conversations or other material that will be useful for discussion. The Annexures provide more material that can be used as handouts and reading material. The facilitator should feel free to use it in the manner s/he deems appropriate. The glossary explains various terms that have been used in the Manual; terms with the asterix* imply that they are part of the glossary. A list of films is also added as Annexure. It is desirable that many exercises, handouts as well as visual imagery are added. The references listed at the back can be used for further reading. In addition, a Reader titled ‘Sexuality and Sexual Rights in Asia’ has been compiled. It offers useful background material. Together, the Manual and the Reader are geared towards training and academic use.

Principles of Feminist Training
(Bhaiya and Menon-Sen; 1989) Training is a conscious intervention in a defined process of learning/unlearning—



A non-judgmental environment is an essential prerequisite for honest sharing, especially of our pleasure-giving experiences of sexuality and sexual-social energies. Women have been systematically denied a claim to sexual needs and desires. We have been taught not to speak about our positive experiences. We should not see marginalized and oppressed groups of people as victims, but as active agents of change capable of subversive action. Sexual oppression and denial are cultural ways to exclude and expel. This is a violation of our human rights. Feminist training methodology challenges the divide between the private and the public—‘personal is political and the political is personal’. Maintaining confidentiality is another important feminist principle. Participants must feel secure in sharing their experiences; there should be no breach of trust. Training must be seen as part of our political action. It is a continuum that helps us reflect on our individual reality in a collective manner. The training is a space to agree and disagree; to seek new horizons, new alliances and possibilities of collective resistance to our marginalisation. It is an intense and concentrated experience. Often, it leads to a feeling of euphoria. However, realities outside the training room have not changed; a person may find it difficult to deal with the outside world. As far as possible, the training should lead to building mutual support, with participants themselves playing an important role. It is equally important that participants and the trainer maintain confidentiality.

Aims and Objectives of the Training
Primarily, this Manual aims to strengthen and broaden the sexual rights movements and build new constituencies. The following are some of the objectives of this training process. Create a group of trainers on issues related to sexual rights; Develop a deeper understanding of issues related to sex and sexuality; Break the silence around issues of sex and sexuality; Understand how the ‘normal’ and the ‘abnormal’ are created; Provide tools to deconstruct heteronormativity; Increase awareness around various social and cultural practices that deny women their sexual rights; Empower participants to lead safe, pleasurable and responsible sex lives and increase their skills to negotiate safe, pleasurable and responsible sexual practices; Strengthen advocacy efforts towards decriminalization of multiple sexual practices based on the above principles; Equip participants with knowledge of major international and national instruments on human and women’s rights, especially sexual and reproductive rights; and Strengthen campaigns around sexual empowerment.

Suggestions for Trainers and Facilitators
Have for ready reference: Hard copies of a few case studies; Profiles of people living a life of nonnormativity; A media campaign on issues related to legal struggle; Campaign materials such as leaflets,



MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

press notes etc.; Legal documents related to the session on legal framework in the country; Films, music, posters, poetry, folk and other stories, stickers, buttons etc; and/or other creative material; and Visual images such as pictures, photos, advertisements that either reinforce or challenge heteronormativity.

visual material on the walls; all this helps set the tone of the workshop. A wall can be dedicated for a few empty charts where all new and old concepts can be mounted as the training proceeds. Participants can use this space to write words and concepts that are not clear. The facilitator should create time within the training period for clarifications within the group where participants share their knowledge about issues and help each other get clarity. The overall objective is to create an environment of creative learning and sharing of our most intimate experiences and thoughts around the most hidden areas of our lives.

Preparing the Venue
It is important to make the venue of the training conducive for a group. Ensure that it provides space to put up some posters, post cards, banners and any other

Trainer’s notes



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Setting the mood
Objectives
	 Create	a	conducive	environment; 	 Familiarize	the	participants	with	 each	other; 	 Create	a	bond	and	personal	 intimacy	among	participants;	and 	 Share	issues	of 	commonalities	 and	differences.

SESSION ONE


Guiding Notes
The first day of the training should start with the trainer/s clearly stating the objectives of the training, using either a power point presentation or a chart paper (refer to the Introduction of the Manual), with a brief background note on the context of the training. The facilitator/s welcome the participants and try to know whether they all are comfortable with the logistic and living arrangements. Since it is a residential training, it is important that participants feel comfortable and relaxed.

c) Differently coloured pieces of paper are placed in the centre of the room. (The color code is equally divided among participants). Participants are asked to choose any colour they wish and to draw a symbol which represents how they see themselves. Colour pens are distributed. A round of introduction follows with each participant introducing her or himself with the help of their symbol. This helps in understanding each one’s aspiration and self perception. The colored cards chosen in the exercise can become a way to divide participants into groups during the rest of the training. Following this, each group is given a task for the rest of the workshop. Tasks can be shared by all if the group is divided into smaller subgroups that take turns to do the following: Review the previous day; Manage the ambience of the room— flowers, candles, sitting arrangement; Plan ice breakers; Help others heal; Organize physical movements and exercises, including dance and music, yoga and aerobics and so on. In the next exercise, participants are given two cards of different colors--one to write down their fear or apprehension, and the other to write down their expectations from the training. These are then put up on two different walls. On the last day, just before the evaluation, participants can revisit these charts.

Name Game
To make participants know each other better – and most definitely each other’s names –the Name Game can be played in many different ways. For example, you can do any of the following. a) Divided into pairs, participants are asked to share their names and some unique qualities with each other and then introduce their partner to the group. This sets an immediate bond between two people and creates a sense of fun. b) Participants stand in a circle and take a huge ball of string. The first person holds one end of the string and throws the ball at another participant while shouting her/his own name. The second person then also holds a part of the string and throws it to another person shouting one’s own name. This continues till all participants are holding a part of the string creating a complex web of strings. The reverse process continues when each shouts the name of the other with the string being rolled back each time into a ball. This helps people remember names of all participants in a short time.

Sociogram*
(See Annexure 1.1) The Sociogram is primarily a set of questions. Participants form a group for each exercise, according to their affiliation to an identity (sexual or gender and so on). The facilitator

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probes the issue around each identity by analysing its formation, the differences that emerge and areas that need further discussion. This exercise helps in visiblising differences and also addresses some difficult issues in a group situation. While some questions are mentioned in the Appendix, many more can be added or some could be deleted, depending on the formation

of the group, the availability of time and the mood of the group. The facilitator needs to take into consideration the time required to discuss some of these issues, as they can lead to heated debates and differences in the group. S/he has to be a patient listener to different views; no voice should be stifled. The objective is not to build consensus, but to create a non-judgmental and welcoming space for conversation.

Trainer’s notes

7

Exercise

GROUP EXERCISE ON MULTIPLE IDENTITIES EXERCISE 1
For the first part, the participants are given 45 minutes and made to sit in pairs. The entire group of participants is divided into pairs, preferably of different backgrounds. Right in the beginning, the facilitator should clarify that any information that is shared in pairs, should not be discussed with others, without the consent of the person concerned. The confidentiality of the process and the person must be honoured. Each pair is given a set of questions to share and discuss among themselves: When did you for the first time realize that you are a heterosexual / homosexual / bisexual / transgender / transsexual / pan gender / any other? How was the experience? Share the discrimination/privilege you experience in that particular gender/sexual identity. When did you first experience your sexual stirrings? How was the experience? Were you able to share it with someone? If yes, with whom? If not, what was the reason and fear around it? Have you ever challenged discrimination or atrocities inside or outside the family, based on issues of sexualities and sexual identities? Each group presents the outcome of the discussion in the plenary. These questions can be changed and new ones added.

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In the plenary, the main highlights of the discussion are shared. Some of this shared information may be painful or very personal. Please note that the person may not want to share it with the entire group on the first day itself. The facilitator should consolidate the shared thoughts, and common and different experiences of the participants. Certain issues that need a longer discussion can be noted on a chart paper and reserved for discussion at some later point. It can be marked on the wall.

EXERCISE 2
Participants form three groups to discuss the nature/ forms of obstacles and opposition they have confronted within and outside their family and organizations, peers and friends or the larger community. The outcome of the discussion is consolidated on a chart paper for the session on future strategies.(See Session 10)

FILM SCREENING
Film: Antonia’s Line Directed by Marleen Gorris Synopsis: A beautiful and non-judgmental representation of sexualities and multiple identity issues and how they are handled in communities. Moving through five generations of strong women, the film explores women and men’s different sexualities, issues of disability, hypocrisy of religion, patriarchal oppression of women and women’s response to discrimination and sexual violence. The film has a very strong impact on viewers. In case there are other similar films, the facilitator could acquire a good print and screen it. S/he should be familiar with the film and develop a frame work to discuss its relevance to the theme of the day.

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Trainer’s notes

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

Sex and Sexuality
Objectives
	 Break	the	silence	and	hesitation	 around	issues	related	to	sexuality; 	 Understand	the	difference	 between	sex	and	sexuality;	and 	 Evolve	a	common	understanding	 and definition of sexuality.

SESSION TWO


Guiding Notes
There is a significant difference between sex and sexuality. Sex is usually thought of as biological and therefore stable. It generally refers to the genitals and the sexual act. Although sex and sexuality are analytically distinct terms, the term sex is often used to conflate both. It is used to refer to sexual practice or behaviour. The term ‘Sex’ often . simply relates to an ‘act’, a performance, while sexuality is seen to be an abstract concept. Sexuality encompasses innumerable aspects of human existence—physical, sexual, emotional, behavioural. Sexuality as it is socially constructed is about the intricate ways in which our feelings and desires are expressed or denied expression. Thus, sexuality has both positive and negative connotations as it is rooted in a particular context. Sexuality is shaped at the juncture of two major axes of concern: with our subjectivitywho and what we are; and with society- with the future growth, well being, health and prosperity of the population as a whole. The two are intimately connected because at the heart of both is the body and its potentialities. (Weeks, 1986:34) The widening claim of sexuality has helped us to look at diversity of sexual experiences and desires thus creating a space for inclusive approach to sexual diversity & identities. As we began integrating multiple sexual identities, expression and fluidities, sexuality became an enriched conceptual milestone. The concept of sexuality includes not only sexual identities, sexual norms, sexual practices and behaviour, but also feelings, desires, fantasies and experiences related to sexual awareness, arousal and sexual acts within heterosexual as well as homosexual relations. This includes subjective(gendered)


experiences as well as the meanings attached to them. Thus, the concept of sexuality encompasses not only the biological and psychological, but also the social and cultural dimensions of sexual identity and sexual behaviour.(Abraham, 2000:1) Thus sexuality includes personal and social meaning...A comprehensive view of sexuality includes social roles, personality, gender and sexual identity, biology, sexual behaviour, relationships, thoughts and feelings. Sexuality, being culturally defined and socio-historically evolved, has different connotations within different communities, societies and groups. Even within the same society the understanding of sexuality may differ with age, social class and gender (Vance, 1984:17). Sexuality is also a powerful conceptual tool to explore power and gender relations, which operate in a society. As stated by Weeks, in contrast again to essentialist notions, social construction theory understands sexuality as being produced through social, economic, cultural and gender power relations. Sexuality is constructed by society in complex ways. ‘It is a result of diverse social practices, of social definitions and self-definitions, of struggles between those who have the power to define and regulate, and those who resist. Sexuality is not a given, it is a product of negotiation, struggle and human agency’(Weeks, 1986) Both sex and sexuality have many dimensions—relational, recreational, emotional, physical, sensual, and spiritual. These are interlinked and cannot be separated. Procreation is just one aspect of sexual activities. Sexuality is a broader term, linking the body with phenomena such as fantasy and desire. It is the most intimate form of communication with oneself and between people, irrespective

MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

of their sex or gender. It is a playful, joyous, erotic, passionate, romantic and creative interaction. It denotes a whole complex of organic and neurological phenomena, which acquire meaning in a specific social context. Therefore, sexual desire and sexual behaviour are both intensely physical and at the same time social processes. They cannot be seen apart from the context in which they take place. Sex and sexuality are played out in a context of unequal power relations between the sexes, usually called patriarchal. Within patriarchal conditions women and men–whether heterosexual, homosexual or others–experience sex and sexuality differently. While experiences of sex are innumerable, for women, more often than for men, the first experience of sex may be painful, especially in the context of heterosexual sex. ‘Sexuality then is a form of power. Gender as socially constructed embodies it, not the reverse. Women and men are divided by gender, made into the sexes as we know them, by the social requirements of heterosexuality, which institutionalizes male sexual dominance and female sexual submission. If this is true, sexuality is the lynchpin of gender inequality.’ The notion of ‘virginity’, as an ideology, controls the expression of women’s sexuality. Women are praised and rewarded for remaining ignorant about sex before marriage. It is just the opposite for men. The pressure to perform is high on men. They are supposed to be knowledgeable about sex and are stimulated to experience sexuality before marriage. The ideology of virginity, sexual ignorance and privileging penile penetration are all forms of patriarchal control of women. Vaginal orgasm is part of this myth designed to reinforce male sexual power. There is

a strong link between these patriarchal prescriptions—they are directed to make women feel inferior and always under surveillance. Women are only relevant for the fulfillment of male desire. One of the ways in which men control women through heterosexual relations is by defining what is ‘normal female sexuality’. According to this societal construction, women’s desires are undesirable. Below this patriarchal surface is the fear of female sexuality and therefore the need to control it. Almost all socities have been obsessively engaged with the project of sexual control of women’s sexuality. One of the mechanisms of this control is to push the issue of women’s desire and sexual fulfillment in the silent zone. Sex is done to women but not discussed. This makes women strangers to their own bodies. Even within women’s movements, sexuality is mostly been addressed in the context of sexual violence against women. It is only in the recent past, with the emergence of feminist lesbian groups that the discourse around women’s sexual desires and the right to sexual pleasure has gained visibility. This is a long drawn struggle and needs a stronger alliance building of various solidarity groups. Often within the progressive groups the issue of sexual rights is relegated to secondary position as economic and political struggles are seen as separate and more crucial from the issue of sexuality. This is a short sighted view as sexuality encompasses many aspects. The major social structures that impacts people’s sexual practices or ‘sex’ are the family, where a child learns its first lessons on intimacy and love, of the prohibited, the illicit, and the licit; religion, with its norms and regulations ,the community, based as it is in ethnicity and class; the regional and national political context of the state; and global developments. The struggle for the assertion


and the visibility of sex and sexuality has to challenge all these state and non-state institutions and structures.

Myths Around Women’s Sexuality
B. “It seems as if every movement women make can be interpreted as seductive to men. Only as dead bodies we won’t be seen as sources of immorality any more. A woman cannot speak out loud, or her voice is too sweet. Even when women wear veils, their bottoms arouse men’s lust. So just bundle a woman up as you would a corpse, then men cannot complain any more that they are seduced by us.” N. “I think it has to do with the common belief that penile penetration is the only source of sexual pleasure. Yet we women know that that isn’t true, that there are so many other ways we can have sexual pleasure. But because everyone believes that men have to penetrate and that needs great masculine strength, men become very insecure. They need the confirmation and protection of women to be allowed to enter the vagina. When that is threatened, they try to impose all kinds or regulations. Men feel threatened when women demonstrate their power, with their bodies, their mouths, their brains. That’s why men always try to dominate women, even until they want to genitally mutilate them. Cannot we explore this line of thinking further?” A: Yes, this myth that penile penetration is the only true sexual activity is widespread. When my lesbian friends were interviewed on TV, the reporter asked the feminine one: ‘What do you prefer, men or women?” The feminine lesbian replied: “Well, a woman of course!” The reporter got confused. “But how is that possible?” The lesbian replied: “Well my lover has fingers, a tongue..” But the reporter remained unconvinced that that could be a sexual activity. S: The new regional regulations criminalize the meeting of women and men at night, without the relatives of the woman being present. On what assumption are these based, actually? They don’t see us as human beings any more, but as animals, as dogs, who just have sex whenever they meet each other, without control. From Jakarta TOT (6-10 September 2006, organised by the Kartini network)

Refer to Annexure . & .

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Exercise

GROUP EXERCISES EXERCISE 1
Time: 90 minutes Divide the group into two. Give each group a big chart paper with coloured ink pens. If necessary, stick two chart papers together so that they have enough space to write. Write the word ‘sex’ in the centre of the chart paper provided to one group. Similarly, write the word ‘sexuality’ for the second group. Ask each group to write all associated words that come to their mind on paper. It should be a very spontaneous exercise where each participant supplies words that come to her/his mind. The final result is a multi-colour collage of words. Once they have finished writing the words, each group is also asked to write a definition of the word written at the centre. Both groups, as they present their charts in the plenary, talk about the words and the associations they noted. The facilitator asks participants to identify words that have positive/negative connotations. Participants are asked to explain their word associations and how they feel about them. In the next part of the exercise, each group shares the definition of the word given to them. The definition mentioned earlier in this Session can be shared as a way of defining sexuality. However, it has to be emphasized that there is no one way to define sexuality.



EXERCISE 2
Time: 60 minutes (15 minutes to discuss; 15 minutes for the presentation and 30 minutes for the consolidation). Divide the participants in groups, according to the following institutions: a) Family; b) Religion; c) Community/class/caste/ethnic group; d) National political context; and e) Global discourse. Participants should write examples of practices in their assigned group that socialize children towards certain sexualities in these institutions. Share and discuss.

EXERCISE 3
Time: 60 minutes (15 minutes to discuss; 15 minutes to do the presentation; and 30 minutes to consolidate). Divide the participants into three groups and give each one of the following sentences to discuss: A) A woman should be a virgin before marriage; B) A woman must play sexually secondary/ subordinated roles; C) Penile penetration is the most satisfying sexual act for women.

EXERCISE 4
Time: 60 minutes (40 minutes for the exercise and 20 for de-briefing). Divide participants into pairs. One in each pair becomes the sculptor and the other the sculpture. The sculptors are asked to create a ‘good woman’ out of their partner. After all sculptors are done with their work, they go around looking at others’ sculptures. Ask them to list the qualities of a ‘good woman’. These words are then put up on the board. The partners then change their roles. They are asked to create a ‘bad woman’ . A similar process is followed. They have to list the characteristics of a bad woman. The facilitator can lead a discussion about how many of them think of themselves as good or bad women and why. Here, it is important to discuss the construction and the ideology of a good woman and how it controls all women. This divide between the bad and good is a very potent tool of patriarchy meant to control women’s sexuality.

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A similar exercise is done to create a good and a bad man. It will be interesting to see how little characterizes a bad man. The characteristics of a good man are valorized. The comparison between the two reveals the privileged position of men. “Interestingly, producing a good or a bad man proved to be not as easy a task as making models of a good and a bad woman. Most participants reported that they were unclear about such stereotypical images of women. For example, a man engaging in sexual activities before marriage did not make him bad. While women can never escape the prescriptive values, men are seldom subjected to such extreme divides based on their sexual activities.” (TOT Workshop,2006; Jagori and Kartini).

FILM SCREENING
Film: Who Can Speak of Men? Directed by Ambarein Al qadar Synopsis: This documentary presents three case studies comprising a girl child and two adult women. All three dress up as boys or men. The little girl, Chini, addresses herself in the masculine gender and dresses up as a boy. For this behavior, she is neither accepted by the girls nor the boys in school. Arshin is a young woman and describes the expectations that the family has from her, that is, as a young man capable of handling the demands of the outside world. Kafeela, a cross-dresser too, treats her female friend as ‘her property’. This documentary offers insights into the expected gender roles of men and women in society.

Trainer’s notes

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S

exuality, Gender and the construction of Masculinity and Femininity
	 Explore	the	differences	between	 sex	and	gender; 	 Understand	the	gendered	nature	of 	 sexual	experiences; 	 Discuss	the	process	of 	socialization	 and	identity	formation; 	 Discuss	the	construction	of 	the	 stereotypes	of 	masculinity	and	 femininity.

Objectives

SESSION THREE
9

Guiding Notes
In the previous session, we recognized how sex refers to our understanding of the body and gender is a social relation of power. Gender refers to how femininity and masculinity are defined in a given sociohistorical context. It relates to the roles women and men are assigned and the social and cultural attributes associated with being male or female. It must be remembered that gender is not static—acquiring one’s gender is a process which evolves throughout one’s life. It is also a practice and a performance, as analyzed by Butler (1993). Gender, she said, is not what you ‘are’ – something innate – but something that you ‘do’. (See Annexure 3.1). The process of acquiring one’s gender is usually experienced as so absolute that one’s gender is usually conceived to be a central element of one’s subjectivity and identity. In all societies, men and women differ in activities they undertake as well as in the access to and control over resources. The construction of gender is enacted through a socialization process that is never complete. The process is neither historically static nor linear. In fact, it is a dynamic process as it is influenced by multiple forces and structures. It in turn influences other structures, such as politics and religious practices, to name just two. Through the process of gendering, the minimal biological differences discussed in Session 1 are turned into enormous social differences leading to gender segregations and fundamental gender inequalities. At the same time, this socially differentiated gender construction is perceived to be normal. For example, men are supposed to be good with tools and technologies, while women are soft and gentle. Gender is based on the binary division between male and female that is constructed
0

in a hierarchical relation to each other. Consequently, fluidity and plurality are not accepted. Gender is also seen as static, and therefore an individual is not supposed to shift genders. In a binary division, the two poles are in opposition to each other. Thus, all women are seen to be more alike each other than similar to men, and the other way round. In binary structures, one pole is always the more powerful: men are seen to be more powerful than women, married women are seen to be better than female sex workers, white people are invested with more power than Asians or Africans; Asians are seen to be superior to Africans and so on. However, gender does not operate in isolation of other systems of domination and subordination. These other systems of hierarchy include class, caste, ethnicity, sexual orientation, the urban-rural divide, age, bodily dis-ability, religion, and ethnicity. All these aspects of identity interact with gender. Together, they constitute human beings— social individuals with multiple identities. Depending on one’s personal history and historical conditions, one or more identities may take precedence over others at any given moment in time. These differences are products of social processes that are supported by the structure of patriarchy in which men generally tend to have greater options—more opportunities and better resources. This socialization process has not been smooth. In fact, it is full of conflict and violence as it involves manipulation and distribution of inequalities. In this scheme of things, women are seen as the problematic category while unequal power relationships are not acknowledged. Thus, gender relations comprise domination and subordination. It is not only that men and women are assigned different roles and responsibility, they are also given differential

MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

values (material and ideological) and visibility. An important element is the sexual division of labour. All men profit from the so-called ‘patriarchal dividend’, even though rich, white and powerful men are obviously more privileged than their poor black counterparts. Gender does not only determine the men-women relationship but also relationships between men and men, women and women, and between, for instance, the wife and the vamp. Gendered dynamics also occur within samesex relations. Gender privilege can be discerned among homosexual people; men having sex with men often have more economic opportunities than women who have sexual relations with other woman. In most societies, those who are most discriminated against are masculine lesbians and effeminate gay men. Thus, sexuality is a gendered experience and practice par excellence. Women are supposed to be the passive partners, and men need to be dominant, strong and have multiple partners. Cultural, religious and political factors are important intermediary aspects of gendered relationships. Islam, for instance, constructs women as active sexual agents, much more so than Christianity. Hinduism is multifaceted and includes many contradictory texts, visual representations, worshiping symbols and metaphors that are simultaneously sexually liberating and oppressive for women. The construction of masculinity and femininity is culture specific. Neither femininity nor masculinity is homogenous. Both constructs have their respective ideals. The ideal of femininity is chaste motherhood under male control. Macho males, on the other hand, not only control ‘their’ women and are socially, politically and financially superior, they also control subordinate males. Cultures

have particular constructs of hegemonic masculinity. Contrasting patterns can be called ‘protest masculinities’ (sissy boys or, conversely, blue collar workers). Yet, although certain masculinities are more dominant than others, all men profit from the ‘patriarchal dividend’: their actions are more valued, their behaviour better accepted, and their range of activities broader than women’s choices. (Connell 1995) In terms of social relations, gender is linked to elements such as symbols, normative concepts, political processes and identity. Interestingly, the dictionary provides the following words for masculine: male, manful, manlike, manly, mannish, virile, bold, brave, butch, gallant, hardy, macho, muscular, powerful, Ramboesque, red blooded, resolute, robust, stout-hearted, strapping, strong, vigorous, well built. This list tells us what our societies (Western and non-Western) think of real men. In patriarchal ideology, men and masculinity are superior to women and femininity. Masculinity validates male superiority and male domination; it naturalizes masculinity, thus making it inevitable and non-negotiable. Masculinity does not exist in isolation from femininity. In a way, femininity is negative masculinity, in that a woman is what a man is not. In most societies, masculinity and femininity are mirror images of each other. However, the image and power of one determines the image and power of the other. Women can be considered ’inferior’ only if men are considered ‘superior’. At a symbolic level, masculinity and femininity are present in signs that are used to denote all sorts of norms, qualities, virtues and vices. Notions such as motherland/fatherland are part of the symbolic representation of malefemale identity. Even attributes and qualities such as reason are seen as masculine and emotions as feminine; power as masculine and powerlessness as feminine.


Masculinities and femininities are multilayered phenomena. Different kinds of masculinities are manifest across class hierarchies—working-class, bourgeois or intellectual masculinity may be quite different to cowboy-masculinity. Japanese masculinity may be different to European or Indian masculinity; hegemonic masculinity may be different to marginalized masculinity. Hegemonic (all encompassing leadership or dominance) masculinity demands the submission of not only women, but also of men who belong to subjugated or ‘protest’ masculinities. This is why it is better to speak of masculinities rather than one kind of masculinity. The feminine and masculine are abstract concepts, but are translated into qualities, traits or behaviour patterns of biological men and women. In every society, only certain groups of men are privileged and only certain forms of masculinity are dominant. In Western societies, white heterosexual men and their form of masculinity is dominant. Forms of masculinity associated with a Muslim migrant or a homosexual man are marginalized or explicitly banned. The concepts of masculinity and femininity force both men and women to enhance certain capacities/behavioural attributes at the expense of others. The presence of only yin or yang creates incomplete and imbalanced personalities or actions. This is why Hinduism has the concept of ardhnarishwar, (the half male-half female body; see chapter 5). The Western concept of androgyny, or male and female merged in one, also defies gender binaries. The sexuality of the female is supposed to lie in her receptiveness: this is beyond her open vagina. It extends to the whole feminine persona as dependent, passive, non aggressive and submissive.


Since men see the sexual act as a power game, women who refuse to respond or submit to sexual advances sometimes face horrible consequences. In India, there are cases of men throwing acid on women who reject them, or even killing with the thought, “If I can’t have her, nobody else will”. Rape of women too articulates the thought, “No one says no to me.” Rape has been widely used as a weapon in wars, holocausts and communal riots. Warring groups use rape in order to humiliate the other and establish their strength and superiority over their enemy, while declaring that men from the enemy’s camps are effeminate and incapable of defending their women. (See Annexure 3.2) Maleness is equated with sexual performance which in turn is equated with power. Such power gives control over women and other men. A man who cannot perform sexually is called ‘impotent’, and therefore considered weak, powerless and a non-male. According to this yardstick, a man’s power/potency is located in his sexual organ. Impotence in a man is not just seen as a deficiency; it’s a disgrace. Men who have problems with the very notion of hegemonic masculinity and cannot live up to accepted notions of hegemonic masculinity suffer emotionally and socially. Boys and men also suffer from stereotypes that exist in a patriarchal culture. Boys are discouraged from being emotional, gentle and caring, or from admitting to being weak or fearful. Gentle boys are pushed around and sexually exploited by stronger and macho men. Excessive emphasis on virility, male sexual prowess and performance leads to tremendous insecurities and anxiety in men. Men need to understand how masculinity is related to their risk-taking behaviours, especially in the context of STDs, drug abuse, alcoholism, and other high-risk activities.

MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

Such activities endanger not only the men who engage in them but a large number of women too. Just as it is important to see

what patriarchy does to women, it is equally important to see its effect on the mind, psyches and behaviour of men.

The female soldier who became the king
Somewhere in Indonesia, there lived a very poor widow with her only daughter. Although the woman worked hard, they had barely enough to eat. One day, the daughter asked her mother to put all their money together and buy a piece of cloth. Reluctantly, the mother obeyed. The daughter then instructed her mother to sew exactly such a uniform as the king’s soldiers had. The daughter put on her uniform, asked her mother to cut off her hair and went to the palace. She was enlisted and served the king dutifully. Her courage was so outstanding that the king’s daughter saw the handsome soldier and asked her father to marry him. The king consented and the marriage was concluded. Some time later, the king asked whether his daughter was happy with her husband. The princess nodded but added that she was surprised her husband had not yet consummated the marriage. The king became enraged and sent his son–in-law on a mission where he was sure to be killed. He had to go to a village of cannibals to get from them the elixir of life they were said to possess. When he returned, he got lost and became very hungry. He ate the rice that belonged to an old woman who cursed him: ‘Whoever has been a man so far will be a woman and whoever has been a woman will turn into a man.’ The king was very surprised when he saw his son-in-law return and rewarded him richly. Thereafter, the princess too became very happy. When the king died, his son-inlaw became the new king. (From De mooiste Indonesische Mythen en Sagen, uitg Verba, , 2002, pp 125-130

Trainer’s notes



Exercise

EXERCISE 1
Divide the group into pairs and give them questions on personal introduction (Annexure 3.3).

EXERCISE 2
Give each participant a copy of the gender quiz and ask them to tick the appropriate answer. At the end, in a plenary session, share their answers and see which one is correct and why. (Annexure 3.4).

EXERCISE 3
Discuss the patriarchal dividend or the lack of it in the context of each participant.

EXERCISE 4
Organize a forum in which the following positions are argued. a) One group maintains that the global women’s movement cannot advance without challenging masculinity (and militarism). b) The other group argues that peace and equality are general goals that should be fought for by all social movements and that it is not necessary to highlight masculinity.

EXERCISE 5
This exercise involves staging a role play on masculine and feminine qualities. Divide the group into three or four subgroups, depending on the number of participants. Ask them to depict some feminine and masculine qualities in the play. In the plenary, participants present their plays while identifying masculine and feminine qualities as society describes them.

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The facilitator, while consolidating the exercise, also initiates a discussion on how these qualities have been forced and stereotyped. Also talk about how performativity of these roles further reinforces the man-women divide.

EXERCISE 6
Divide the group into pairs. Each pair does a freeze of various power relationships that exist in society. In the plenary, the group explores the sources of power of those in powerful positions as well as the vulnerabilities of the powerless. If time permits, another exercise can be done to explore ways of bringing about change in these power binaries.
Trainer’s notes



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S

exualities: Notions of the Normal
Objectives
	 Explore	the	construction	of 	 normative	and	non-normative	 sexualities; 	 Understand	the	structures	of 	 violence	around	non-normative	 sexualities; 	 Comprehend	the	homophobia	of 	 the	state,	society	and	the	family,	 and	their	impact.

SESSION FOUR
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Guiding Notes
Heteronormativity is the dominant and generally accepted mode of expression of sexuality. However, in various Asian cultures and in earlier historical periods, sexual ambiguity and multiplicity of gender identities and practices was treated with respect. At times, these identities were seen as signs of spiritual power, such as the Ardhanarishvar* figure. Traces of such respect can found today in the figures of transgender priests such as the Bissu in Sulawesi or in the performative arts, as discussed in the next chapter. Yet again, present day societies hardly tolerate gender ambiguities, let alone sexual ambiguities. In most societies, there are sharp differences between the way biological females and biological males are treated. It is amply clear that the core of heteronormativity is formed by sexual difference: that humanity can be neatly and ‘naturally’ divided into biological females and biological males. Normalisation of heterosexuality forms the heart of patriarchy. The male-female divide is considered to be a binary structure rather than a continuum. The binary structure differentiates the socalled ‘normal’ from the so-called ‘abnormal’ categories of sexual behaviour, particularly among women. Most societies have lived with the model of compulsory heterosexuality, in a manner that is historically and culturally contingent. Normative sexuality is generally considered to be situated within heterosexual relations such as marriage. Heterosexuality as the norm is guarded by cultures, societal norms, traditions, religion and even the economy. The presence of systems and institutions reveals the inherent weakness of heterosexuality, while they also constantly add strength to it. Heterosexuality even has its own hierarchy, each with its own degree of normativity. The heterosexual, married couple

occupies the highest position at the top, and various forms of ‘abject’ categories lie at the bottom. Depending on the cultural, political or historical context, sex workers or masculine lesbians may be at the bottom of this gliding scale. Class and religion are also critical factors that influence an individual or group’s place in this hierarchy that is formed outside the world of normative heterosexuality. Only at the peril of social ostracism and deep psychic conflicts can the unlivable territories be occupied. Socially and ideologically, heteronormativity is enforced by the creation of categories of abjection, of those who dwell outside of the domain of the normative. Those who consider themselves ‘normal’ feel they have to reaffirm their sense of safety within society’s constricts by continuously stressing that they are not sexually lose ( such as prostitutes), are able to attract and keep a man (not a divorcee), and are feminine (not butch lesbians). Thus, the institution of heterosexuality is upheld as normal and natural. The ‘normal’ is constantly defined through processes of reiteration and enforcement. This is done to make people perform the ‘normal’ in order to become or remain culturally intelligible. The heterosexual marriage is an institutions that polices social-sexual boundaries. People for whom the prescribed ‘normal’ is not ‘natural’, violent coercive methods may be used to make them heterosexual (for instance, the use of electric shocks or legal measures).Variations on the theme of ‘normalcy’ are discursively explained and medically operated away. Within this binary model of heteronormativity, fluidity and multiplicity are not accepted. Not belonging to the heteronormative category leads one to the categories of silence and shame. This is the world of the abject. Acceptance of divergence or plurality

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is made impossible, while the normative is glorified. Yet, the core issues of any intimate relationship – love, trust, respect, mutuality, sharing, consent, and protection – may or may not exist in either of these two categories. The codes of compulsory heterosexuality and its hegemonic* status stifle the debate on what intimate relationships between humans should be like. The notion of ‘normal’ or the ‘natural’ needs to be redefined to exclude violence, domination, marginalisation, oppression, exclusion and other means of coercion.

The assumption is that ‘normal’ sexual behavior springs from nature and that has nothing to do with culture. However, if heterosexuality was so natural, why does it require such strict control? The ideological disciplining of heterosexuality is done via societal institutions such as schools, families, the media, education, religion, and the law. Non-normative sexuality is considered as amoral, sinful, insane or criminal. Such a viewpoint has also created a hierarchical division between natural/unnatural, public/ private, heterosexuality/homosexuality sex (arbitrary).

Raised in Heterosexuality
After a long debate within the community of psychiatrists, the category of homosexuality was taken out of the DSM IV ((Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). This manual is regularly updated by the American Psychiatric Association. Its definitions are very influential. However, a new category – Gender Identity Disorder (GID) – was introduced on the sly, This applies to children who demonstrate cross gender behaviour (sissy boys or tomboyish girls). The argument is that these children are probably prehomosexual. Under this new category, boys and girls who demonstrate GID behaviour which is considered dysfunctional (by parents, doctors, priests and so on) may be treated in clinics, at the request of parents. Gay activists have argued that this may be considered to be a form of ‘homosexual genocide’. Yet, proponents argue that parents have the right to oversee the development of children and, therefore, nobody should dictate terms if parents raise their children in a manner that maximizes the possibility of a heterosexual outcome. (Zucker and Bradley, 1995)

The effort to normalise heterosexuality can also be traced back to the processes of colonial modernity and postcolonial development. Imperialisms led to the imposition of a hegemonic bourgeois* culture that created homophobia* in societies where same sex practices were institutionalized. It also led to a bourgeois culture of female subjugation as housewives. (Morgan and Wieringa 2005; Wieringa 2007).

What is Homophobia?
One of the most well-known examples of rejection of the non-normative category is homophobia or lesbophopbia—the fear and dislike of homosexual men or women, bisexual individuals, sex workers who provide homosexual services. Homophobia is the general term used for reactions of extreme rage and fear for homosexuals. Homophobia is based on strong stereotypes, such as ‘lesbian women are aggressive and man-

9

haters’ or ‘homosexual men are feminine and not masculine enough’. Homophobic people interpret the hated individual as the ‘other’, as ‘inferior’ and as ‘sexually threatening.’ Homophobic people believe that homosexuals disrupt the sexual and gender order, supposedly established by what is called natural law. Homophobia takes different forms and has arisen from many sources. It has been fostered and supported by different societal institutions, such as religion, law and the family. It tends to break out with venom when it poses a threat to the security of gender roles, of religious doctrine, the State and society or to the sexual safety or the health of the individual seen as normal. Another source of homophobia is the fear that the social conduct of people engaged in same-sex relations disrupts the social, legal, political, ethical and moral order of society. Homophobia expresses itself in multiple forms at multiple sites. In fact, homophobia has parallels with other forms of discrimination, such as sexism, anti-Semitism*, phobia

against Islam, or the prejudice against people of color and of lower classes. In Indonesia, it is considered vital to belong to a religion. Everybody has to mention their religion on their identity cards; one has to choose from the six accepted religions, excluding traditional beliefs such as nature or ancestor worship. As both Islam and Christianity consider homosexuality to be a sin, women engaging in same-sex relations find themselves in a difficult corner. To be considered a sinner and to be excluded from the religion one deeply believes in is a heavy burden. Some women just pray at home (privately), in the hope that their God will forgive them, while placing their trust on the compassion that the holy books emphasize. However, outside their private space, religious teachers and the society at large denounces their lives as sinful and accuses them of having no religion. An alternative interpretation of the story of the prophet Lut is provided (See Annexure 4.1). This story (it appears in the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an) is generally cited as the reason why monotheistic religions reject same-sex sexuality.

The following are extracts from discussions that took place in the TOT workshop in Jakarta during September 2006.

Working of Homophobia in Indonesia
A: I learnt from when I was very small, in my own family and at school, that the only natural relationship, the one that didn’t carry sin, the true and right relationship, was that between a man and a woman. So, from very early on I knew that if I were to make a choice beyond this, I would commit a sin. I experienced this at school, and also after I had left school, when I was working. And the same goes for the wider environment. So where I live now for instance, I cannot be open about my relationship. They notice of course that my looks and my behaviour are manly. Once the head of the neighbourhood asked me: “What is your religion?” “You know that yourself,” I said, “It is on my identity card. I am a Christian.”

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“How come you never pray and never go to a church?” “Do I have to inform you, sir, whenever I pray?” He continued, “How come you are not married at your age? And how come you behaviour is so manly, and is it true that the woman you stay with is your elder sister? And how come both of you are tomboys?” Y: “Let me think….how come that only homosexuality is seen as the standard? Earlier, we had positive laws and we only had the holy books. Those texts were interpreted by men. Since God cannot be fully comprehended by mankind, we must interpret the holy words. Men dominated the effort of interpreting God’s words, and the only women’s voices we heard were of those that please men. This goes both for Christianity and for Islam. In this way, the interests of men got prioritized and male authority became fully established. So the only relationship between women and men that was accepted was when women serve men. Whatever a man asks, a woman must be ready to give it to him. So same-sex relations among women are seen as a grave threat to male authority. B. “Yes, thanks, but I still cannot grasp how far this injustice goes. At the moment religious teachers go on and on and on about homosexuality. They keep shouting that this is a very grave sin and that these people will go straight to hell. My daughter is in the fifth form of primary school. She had a best friend and the two were inseparable. But her mother and the teachers managed to separate them. They were considered to be too close. So now that woman comes to me crying and says, ‘Be careful with that child of yours or else you will have a daughter who is different…” And now, the new regulations that stress that women must wear the jilbab (head scarf) have put a lot of pressure on my friends who are tomboys. They cannot wear their tomboyish clothes any more and are forced to wear a jilbab as well. Or they have to leave the city“. S: “When we studied Fiqih, Islamic law, we never learnt about homosexuality. When we were studying the issues of zina and adultery, one in our group asked, “But how about a woman committing adultery with another women, or a man with another man?” Our teacher just shook his head and muttered that this was not a good thing. The only story we learnt was the one about the prophet Lut. But when we went to study the hadith (the sayings and ways of the prophet), we found the Prophet had a very close friend, Abu Hurairah, who never married, while all men were always proud of their wives. There are other indications that he might have engaged in same-sex relations. Yet, the Prophet is not known to have even warned him. So while the mainstream interpretation of Islam is that they condemn homosexuality, there are also other traditions that seem to be more tolerant, even the Prophet himself. The Sufi tradition too knows many prominent poets who engaged in same sex relations.”

4

The Stigma of Being a Widow
It is not just homosexual women who are stigmatized for not following the maledesigned heterosexual norm. All women who defy heterosexuality or are living without a man are stigmatized, albeit in different ways. It is important to realize that the underlying reason has a common function: upholding the normality of the heterosexual marriage. On the surface, the stigma a widow experiences is different from that of a sex worker or a lesbian woman. In fact, ‘good’ widows or divorced women try to take great care that they are not seen as sexually loose or as being too close with their women friends. In this way, the various stigmas operate to divide women who are situated differently. (Sex workers too are stigmatized; more on that in Session 6) In Indonesia, widows and divorced women (janda) are pressured to re-marry and as soon as possible. It is better for them to become the second wife of a man (even if he hardly visits her), than to live on their own. It is not only the pressure to re-marry that burdens the Indonesian janda. Married women too look at them with suspicion—will this janda steal my husband? Single men on the other hand (whether never married, divorced or widowed) are pressured not to take a janda as their wife. They are told to make a ‘better’ choice or a young, unmarried woman. Janda thus find themselves isolated—married women view them as husband snatchers. Married (Muslim) men eye them in the hope of finding a second wife, while unmarried see them as sexual partners. Troubled with double morality (that labels women who have sex outside marriage as sluts while praises unfaithful men for their sexual prowess), many janda prefer to concentrate on their own families and work, and avoid social contacts. (See Annexure 4.2)

Economic conditions make the situation of jandas even worse, particularly when they have to look after children. Generally, single women are economically worse off than single men or male-headed families of the social groups they belong to; they are among the poorest families in the country. Even when men are supposed to pay alimony, divorced women hardly have the means to do so. (See Annexure 4.3) Divorce and migration have significant gender connotations. On the island of Lombok, there are approximately 250,000 so-called janda whose husbands work as migrant labourers in Malaysia. Often, these men sever their contact with their Indonesian wives. These women are left to suffer the same stigma as the other janda. However when and if, after many years and without news from their husbands, they engage in a relationship with a man, they are sentenced and divorced officially. If they want to remarry, they are looked down upon. Young men prey upon them, for they are considered ‘easy’. They are also available cheaper. For a virgin, the bride price may be 10 million rupiah whereas a janda can only be had for 500,000 rupiah. On the other hand, when women migrate to Saudia Arabia (as happens for instance in Karawang on the island of Java), their husbands often sign a temporary marriage contract with another woman back home. This contract is for the period that their first wives are away. The wives send back their money every month, which is spent on the new temporary wife and building a house. When the first wives come home, they are economically independent. However, they do not dare to confront their husbands when they learn about his temporary wife who may still be around. The stigma of being a janda in Indonesia is so strong that women rather remain unhappy and married than walk out

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of a marriage. Even though women feel betrayed, they justify the behaviour of their husbands with the thought that their lonely

husband had to fulfill his biological needs. (TOT Jakarta, September, 2006).

Trainer’s notes

4

Exercise

EXERCISE 1
In small groups, list a number of abject categories and act out the abuse with which they are confronted. Always select actors from a different category. Thus, a heterosexual woman may act as a gay man, or a gay man may enact the suffering of a widow.

EXERCISE 2
Ask each participant to think of three identities that define them in the context of the society they belong to. Each writes down her identities and then share with the larger group. This exercise brings out our multiple identities and their significant interplay. Different identities give us different kinds of power and powerlessness. The discussion can focus on vulnerabilities of our identities and the play of power within each of us. There are no relationships where power is not inscribed within the identity.

EXERCISE 3
Each participant is asked to complete the following sentence to relate her/his identity, I AM NOT ……… Please ensure that participants do not mention any quality. For example, ‘ I am not a singer’ is a quality/an attribute, but saying ‘I am not a disabled singer is an identity’. This exercise can be used to see how the process of ‘othering’ takes place. ‘I am not a prostitute’; ‘I am not a homosexual’; ‘I am not white’; ‘I am not married’ and so on. These sentences will reveal the distance felt by the abject identity as well as the feeling of being outside the norm. The facilitator can then lead a discussion on what makes us different and how each difference in our identity creates distance,

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prejudices and privileges. Society plays out set norms and the definition of a normal human being definitely includes a normal sexual being. There is a strong link between our prejudices and phobias.

EXERCISE 4
Discuss the hand out on the gliding scale of heteronormativity of Indonesia provided in Annexure 4.4. This is just one example of how a gliding scale of normativity might look like. Construct your own model, and discuss why a particular identity is ‘better’ than another.

EXERCISE 5
In smaller groups of five to six, discuss the handout on the European resolution against homophobia provided in Annexure 4.5 and then draft a similar resolution for your own national context.

EXERCISE 6
Discuss the Montreal Declaration provided in Annexure 4.6. Design a campaign in your own context to stimulate discussion on the Declaration.

FILM SCREENING
Title: Boy’s don’t cry Director: Pierce Kimberly Synopsis: The film is a true story about a girl called Teena Brandon who impersonates as a boy. She calls herself Brandon Teena. Brandon is liked by his male friends who think he is sporty and fun to ‘hang out’ with. His female friends find him sensitive, caring and easy to relate to. Brandon falls in love with a girl and keeps the truth about his gender a secret from her. All is well until he gets exposed .His identity is revealed and the fact that he is actually a girl comes as a cruel shock to everyone. To punish him, his male friends rape and torture him brutally. The police receive the story of Teena’s rape with incredulity. They can hardly sympathize with a girl who dresses and looks like a boy. She, in turn, gets raped a second time by the indignity imposed on her by the jeering policeman. The end is even more tragic.

4

Trainer’s notes

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M

ultiple identities and multiple sexualities
	 Grasp	the	concept	of 	identity,	its	 formation and significance; 	 Understand	the	links	between	 sexual	identity	and	multiple	gender	 identities; 	 Recognise	and	comprehend	 systems	of 	domination	that	 suppress	multiple	gender	identities; 	 Explore	various	ways	of 	living	 multiple	gender	identities

Objectives

SESSION FIVE
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Guiding Notes
Identities are the names given to the different ways in which people position themselves and get positioned against established norms and ways of being in a society. They are shaped by historical, contemporary and/or imminent socio-cultural and economic narratives. Identities are constructed through various means. In many cases, they are laid upon us by (or, ‘ascribed’) through the processes of socialization practiced by families, religious communities or the nation. Identities can also be ‘achieved’ through a conscious affiliation with ‘other’, dissimilar groups—nondominant religious or sexual minorities, or any group that resists the dominant political constellation. Voluntary identity formation through, for example, political mobilization or self-realisation, is seen as an act of assertion against difference. However, two key processes make an individual conscious of her/his identity. First, it could come about through realization triggered by consciousness-building/raising. Such an exercise makes individuals identify with groups they have an affinity with. This can typically occur in feminist or gay/lesbian groups. Secondly, identities can also be formed through political mobilization, often seen among trade unions, during anticolonial movements, or anti-apartheid and anti-globalisation struggles. It is increasingly being acknowledged that identities can be fluid, multiple and unstable. Gender particularly is a flexible identity and often free-floating. For example, the gender identity of an individual may change over a period of time. There is really a proliferation of genders and therefore many identities available to associate with. The other reality is that the hegemonic hold of gender norms

does not allow people to step out of their prescribed identity. Besides, at various stages in one’s life, certain aspects of one’s identity – such as religion, class, race – may take precedence over others. Many countries in Asia are pluralistic where one has to grapple with multiple and shifting identities. In India, for instance, the cultural, linguistic or geographical identity of individuals may be stronger than their religious identity. Identity relates to the membership of a group or collectivity where rights, resources, responsibilities and recognition are shared. A major notion of identity is based on citizenship. Identity, in terms of citizenship, is seen as a process of asserting one’s rights among an ever-widening circle of people. The notion of individual citizenship emerged with the Enlightenment, a historical movement in Europe that advocated Reason to be the primary basis of authority. (Enlightenment is known to have strongly influenced the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen). The first groups of citizens to claim their rights were wealthy, white men. Citizenship could only be afforded by those who were placed in privileged positions visà-vis their class and sex. For the unprivileged masses, rights to citizenships were won after a prolonged struggle. Through imperialism, this Western notion of individual citizenship (the individual is the bearer of rights) was transported all over the globe and projected as ‘the norm’. On the one hand, this Western notion of citizenship was exported through colonialism. On the other hand, in an effort to divide and rule, the subjugated people were pinned down on community-based identities through classification based on sex, race, religion or other census categories. For example, the

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Dutch rule in Indonesia created a kind of apartheid state, dividing people into whites, foreign orientals (Chinese) and natives, and extending different rights to Christians and Muslims. In many non-Western societies, different notions of citizenship and collective identity (based on the membership of a group/ collectivity, household or community) were ignored. The debate on non-Western values that former prime minister of Malaysia, Mahthir, promoted, often involves the argument about the imposition of Western notions of citizenship on Asian cultures. They often draw out the traditional importance of collective values as the basis of Asian citizenship. In both cases, various forms of patriarchal structures prevented women from acquiring the same rights as men. Thus, the history of acquiring citizenship is a story of inclusion of those atop various social and economic hierarchies. It is often about exclusion of people such as women, slaves, certain racial or religious groups. The colonized people have in turn fought for (and partly acquired) citizenship in their societies. This holds true for the struggles for workers’ rights, voting rights of women fought for by the suffragettes and for anti-apartheid groups. Exclusion and inclusion are critical criteria for identity formation. The ‘we’ of a certain group can only be identified versus ‘they’ of the other group. The defining and controlling of these imagined boundaries and the ‘othering’ by a dominant group are thus vital instruments to assert group identity. On a global scale, ‘othering’ was created through the notion that West stands for rationality, while all that is non-Western is far from reason and rationality. In relation to Asian societies, Edward Said (1978) termed this process as Orientalism.

Said thought of Orientalism as ‘a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient.’ Orientalism is still prevalent, albeit in a different form—it is not a more visible and aggressive ‘clash of civilizations’ (Huntington, 1997). The legitimation of the invasion of Iraq by the US and other Western powers is another instance of the ‘othering’ of ‘evil’ and the imposition of Western dominance. The earlier identity movements – labour rights, the vote for women, and the beginning of the second wave feminist movements – were often based on the question of which identity was primary. Solidarity to a group was of primary concern. However, the emphasis of postmodernist thinking on the provisionality of truth has provided a new angle to the issue. The many new identitybased movements have drawn together a diverse pool of patrons and supporters. These individuals might not share common primary identity characteristics, but rather are a collective because of a certain political issue. One could thus shift identity-based battlefields, depending on which struggle takes priority in the larger scheme of things at a particular moment. For example, lesbians could be seen rallying together against the process of globalisation. Identities are always imagined. They are based on perceptions of sameness or otherness. Just as communities are always imagined (Anderson, 1983). Identities may be imagined and socially constructed, but this does not make them ephemeral. They are real because they (a) define boundaries, (b) become the basis for certain forms of power and (c) offer privileges and/or discrimination. They are both the sources of mobilisation as well as the ground for violence, especially when boundaries are transgressed.

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Identity Politics
Identity politics refers to organising people around the ‘sameness of identity’ to get recognition and entitlements. It may thus form the basis for mobilization. Globally, identity politics play a crucial role at the global, national and local level. Over the past few decades, a shift has been seen in identity politics across the political North and South. The progressive movements of the 1960s and 1970s were designed to end various forms of discrimination (against women and other minorities). Whereas currently, one can also notice various conservative groups laying stress upon ethnic, communal or religious boundaries and identities. The control over women’s bodies is a critical element in these mobilizations. In India, religion has become the basis of various violent clashes. There are clear shifts in the nationalist ideologies of the State. While earlier the national movements were based on secular ideologies, today there is greater emphasis on majoritarian, ethnic, religious (fundamentalist), nationalist ideologies which are ruthless in suppression of sub-national movements. In Indonesia, the process of regionalization has brought with it an emphasis on ethnic and religious identity where women’s behaviour is seen as a critical element of patrolling boundaries. Across the globe, racism, xenophobia, polarization, and discrimination of ethnic and religious minority groups are being practiced. In Europe, there are heated debates about minority groups having to assimilate themselves into the majority, as notably exemplified by the head scarf issue in Holland and France. The emergence of rightwing movements has impacted the situation of women in all these societies. Within this changing context, women figure centrally and get more affected

than men. Women figure as the major signifiers of ‘national’ or ‘group’ identities. Symbolically, as women’s bodies also become the site of growing violence and conflict.

Women as Signifiers
1.	Women as signifiers of collectivity and difference.
Women are considered to be the public face of group identity. This is, for instance, signified through dress codes. While men can wear Western dresses, women have to dress traditionally.

2.	 Women as ‘reproducers’ of members of the group/ community/nation.
Women are denied control over their bodies. Rather, they are projected as repositories of honour of the community, to be jealously guarded by men. In conflicts of this order, violence against women takes gruesome forms. Women’s breasts may be cut off or the fetuses are culled out of wombs, as was witnessed during the anti-Muslim carnage in Gujarat, India, and in other conflicts. The mass rape of ‘enemy women’ in wars surrounding the partition of Yugoslavia is yet another example.

3.	 Women as reproducers of collective boundaries.	
The case of Mukhtaran Mai from Multan, Pakistan, demonstrates how a woman’s body becomes a playground for ‘contending’ parties. She was gang raped by four men on the order of community leaders because her brother had a prohibited affair. Even though the brother was transgressing the boundaries, his sister was punished. Mukhtaran Mai fought back and accused the leaders of her village. In India, when a cross-caste couple

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decides to marry, it is mostly the woman who is killed (damned by the panchayat or village council) or expelled from the village.

4.	Women as the ideological reproducers of collectivity and culture.	
Women’s agency in relation to identitybased politics can take a variety of forms. At some moments, women might rebel and transgress the ‘stated boundaries’ and put a curb on the occurrence of ‘public violence’ that is unleashed against them to reinforce the patriarchal supremacy. However, women are not only victims; they may also be agents of violence, for instance, mothersin-law versus their daughters-in-law. In many fundamentalist groups, women play a crucial role in supporting the ideology of the particular religious formation.

– obviously socialized as a male – desire to be a woman? What may be the factors that lead some people to go against the grain of biology and even deep-seated socio-cultural conditioning? The answer is that our bodies speak. Sometimes, they speak differently from the language of the mind, the one informed by society and its ideologies. Many a times, the body and the mind could say two different things. This is what happens in the case of some sexual minorities. One of the techniques used to either ‘normalize’ intersex persons or help people change their sex is Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). This is a delicate issue as power rests in the hands of the medical establishment that often acts as the agent of hetero-patriarchal forces in the society. Lobbying with the medical community is, therefore, a vital and crucial step to carry forward the debate on SRS both for transsexual and for the intersex community. The issue is a rather complex imbroglio involving legal, ethical, economic and cultural issues.

Transgressing the Boundaries of Gender and Sexual Identities
Beyond the boundaries of heteronormative sexualities and bodies, a host of other sexualities and gender identities can be found. These include intersex, transgender or transsexual persons, lesbian and gay people, queer or bisexual identities and various forms of WSW (women having sex with women) or MSM (men having sex with men). Some individuals resist their given sex and, therefore, their gender, because of a clash between what is taught to the mind and what the body experiences. The body and its behaviour are powerfully controlled by society through its institutions. In fact, as mentioned earlier, the societal mechanisms that control sexuality are some of the fiercest among those exerted by society on individuals. During dialogues held on the topic, a question figures often: how does a biological male

The Politics of Naming
As the discourse against the normative has gained currency, many sexual minorities have gradually come out. L, G, B, T, H, Q, etc. are some of the many linear categories in any polymorphous society. There are many other sub-categories under these identities. The debates about the names of various sexual identities, the communities and political alliances these names claim, and the space that these names occupy in various human rights and/or feminist fora, have continued for a long time. The inclusiveness or exclusiveness that some of these communities have displayed has varied from one country to another and from one historical period to another. These journeys of naming, defining and claiming have not only



matured but have redefined the terms of the debate.

Naming and Customs of Subcultures
There are many terms and labels that define various communities within the ‘sexual minority’. In India, the Hijra/Kinnar community (see Nanda 1990) occupies a unique position. Joining the Hijra community in India requires

the performance of a ritual called the chela rasam. (‘Chela’ means ‘follower’ and ‘rasam’ refers to ‘ritual’). This is a sort of initiation ceremony into the social and cultural set-up of the Hijra community, where all younger hijras become the followers of an older and experienced hijra who is seen as the mother and guru. In north India, Hjiras convert to Islam and speak a corrupted version of Farsi.

Nirvana
A participant informed the group that the Hijra lingo comprises gentle and elevating words. For example, castration is called nirvana (salvation in Hindi) and effeminate hijras are referred to as ‘rooh zenana’ or a person whose spirit is feminine. (National TOT Report, Khajuraho 2006, India)

The Hindu aspect of the hijra culture is closely tied to the worship of Bahuchara Mata. However, though Hijra customs are Islamic in nature (for example, they do not work on Fridays), conversion is not mandatory though it is desired. Hijras also cross-dress publicly. The various hierarchical categories in the Hijra community are as follows: . Inter-sex: Those born as intersex occupy the most powerful position in the Hijra community. They are the decision-makers, get the lion’s share of the money and earn a lot of respect. However, intersex hijras are to be found rather occasionally, since more often than not, doctors perform sex reassignment surgeries soon after the birth of intersex children. (See Annexure 5.1) . Castrated or emasculated males: Biological males who identify themselves as women and wish to be part of the Hijra community undergo castration or emasculation. Referred to as the nirvans (or, those who have achieved ‘salvation’), these males belong to the second rung in the hierarchy of the Hijra community.

This sacred castration ceremony allows them entry into the community of the neither-malenor-female. . Non-castrated males: Such hijras have male organs but could be transgender in their sexual orientation. They choose to not live as heterosexuals within the prescribed norms of sexuality and gender binaries. They escape their natural families and join the Hijra community. Kothis are men who are sexually attracted to other men, and who see themselves as ‘women’ and adopt ‘feminine’ gender roles. Most Kothis are poor, working class ‘men who have sex with men’ or MSM. (MSM is a diverse group in India of which Kothis are a part.) However, the term MSM defies its neat definition and carries within it a host of sexual identities and behaviours. MSM may not identify as gay, may not even see themselves as bisexual, and yet are not straight heterosexuals. Kothis are generally doubly stigmatised because, despite being biological males, they are sexually penetrated



MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

and therefore not perceived as males. Kothis could even be married to women and be part of a heterosexual household. Other sexual roles within the MSM community in India include the giriyas/panthis who are generally masculine, big-bodied males who perform penetrative sex as sexual partners of Hijras and Kothis. Gandus is another term for MSM individuals who get penetrated. Monetary transactions could govern such relations. Indonesia has a similar transgender community of effeminate, cross-dressing men who have sex with other men. They are usually called banci or waria. Banci is a Javanese word that was originally used both for crossdressing women as well as for men. Waria is a newer term coined from the Indonesian words wanita (woman) and ‘pria’ or man. (See Koeswinarno 2004 and Oetomo 2001). In some regions of Indonesia, such as East Java, there has always been a moderate level of tolerance towards the banci. In Surabaya, it is even possible to get an identity card with the gender mentioned as ‘waria’. However, the present wave of Islamization that is sweeping over Indonesia is further marginalizing such individuals and their culture. Queer is a political term with its origins in North America. It is based on post-structuralist ideas of identity as de-centered and unstable. Largely coined to resist the normativity of heterosexuality, the term has come to include a range of sexual identities from lesbian women, gay men, transgender person and to intersex people who want to fight heterosexuality’s claustrophobic agendas. However, the range of its inclusiveness varies from one queer community to another and country to country as well. The term, in some cultures, has helped people become proud of their identity. A queer group in Delhi for

instance uses the term ‘queer’ while being conscious of multiple sexualities and their respective intricacies. On the other hand, many women activists and feminists have expressed their unease and discomfort with the word (Wieringa and Blackwood 1999). The linearity inherent in a name, especially one that is meant to represent myriad identities, can be dangerous. It is argued that the term ‘queer’ completely invisibilises the multiple and complex gender identities and their specificities. Therefore, it ignores the nuances of women’s subordination and their struggles. In certain ways a parallel can be drawn with the term ‘gender’ as it may depoliticise the specificities of women’s experiences, particularly women’s sexualities (Wieringa 1998). It has also come to be seen as an upper-class issue and movement, and one that carries a rather North-imposed terminology. Transvestites are usually male crossdressers—heterosexual men who cross-dress for sexual pleasure. They don’t necessarily identify as gay. Female transvestites will dress as a man and likewise may have sex with a man or a woman. Most of them though identify as ‘butch’ lesbians (Halberstam 1998). Transsexuals are people who experience inconsonance between their anatomical and psychological sex and therefore get their sex changed. However, both pre-operation and post-operation people are referred to as transsexuals. So, essentially, transgender individuals who take the step of becoming the gender they identify with, through a surgery, also identify as transsexuals. Bugis gender diversity. Most discussions on gender and sexuality take place in a context where only two sexes (male and



female) and two gendered stereotypes are recognized (femininity and masculinity). The Bugis society of South Sulawesi provides an example of gender multiplicity. There exist both female women and masculine men, but also three other gender categories—calalai, calabai and bissu. Calalai are female-bodied individuals who do not conform to feminine gender expectations, and who may take female women as their partners. Calabai are male-bodied individuals who do not conform to masculine gender expectation and whose partners may be masculine men. The female partners of calalai and the male partners of

the calabai do not in themselves form distinct gender categories. Bissu are intersexed priests, or priests who are supposed to be intersexed. This gives empowers them to mediate between humans and the spirit world (Graham 2004). Though these sexual behaviour models are drawn from heterosexual relations, they are suitably modified in an effort to bypass the emotional/sexual dynamics that they originally carry. It is important to note that many of these identities can be/are fluid.

Ardhanarishvara (or Ardhanary in Indonesia)
A Hindu deity, whose name literally means ‘The Lord who is half woman’, represents a transgendered being created by the union of Shiva (male) and Shakti (female). Ardhanarishvara speaks to the totality that lies beyond duality. A quick glance over the history of various Asian cultures is rather revealing. Ambiguities of sexual and gender identities and their multiplicities were treated with respect, and, at times, even invested with great spiritual power. The Ardhanarswar showcases the convergence of the inseparable Shiva and Shakti, the male and the female. Shiva represents the static primeval state, one without beginning and end. Shakti is the energy that creates life movement. Fused into one, they symbolise the creative union of all active and passive principles. Unfortunately though, these concepts are locked into high culture as utopian ideas. Contemporary culture has mere traces of academic regard for such ideas such as the transgender priests Bissu in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Present day societies hardly tolerate gender ambiguities, let alone sexual ambiguities. In Chinese Taoism this concept is symbolized by the coming together of Yin and Yang. Like the Greek God Hermes, Ardhnarishvara is associated with communication. The intermediate being often serves to mediate between women and men, mortals and deities, and between other entities. For this reason Ardhnarishvara is said to dwell in the chakra of the throat. In Tantra this chakra is also sometimes associated with oral intercourse, linking the deity not only to androgyny but also to homoeroticism. In the past, Ardhanarishvara was served by gender variant cross (or mixed) dressing priest. In artistic depictions, Ardhnarishvara is typically shown with a female body as its left side and the right half, male (Cassell 1997:67, see also Pande 2004).

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

Lesbian Women: At the Outer Fringe!
However, even within the sexual minority community, many of the above mentioned identities refer to biological males. This, it is alleged, has helped them gain ground for their collective action while lesbian women had to struggle against their exclusion in the debate for sexual minorities in countries such as India. In Indonesia, lesbian groups are becoming active particularly in association with the women’s mass organization, KPI. Yet, the male organizations have been more vocal. This emphasis on male-bodied persons is also reflected by the lack of terminology for lesbian women and WSW within their own community and in the larger sexual minority community. In India, the one term that was being used in Gujarat and Rajasthan was ‘babu’. Though it is a generic term for lesbian women, a ‘babu’ usually is a ‘butch’ lesbian. However, in India too, with the growing visibility of women centered women, new terminology is gradually emerging—hamjinsi, hamsheera, sangini and so on. In Indonesia, the word ‘lesbi’ usually refers to activists fighting for sexual rights, such as in the KPI and Ardhanary (lesbian group in Indonesia). The older b/f community rather uses sentul/ kantil or cowok/cewek, for male-and-female identifying WSW respectively. (See Annexure 5.2) Within the lesbian subculture, the terms butch and femme or their local variations are often used to describe a person’s approximate adherence to traditional masculine and feminine gender roles. It has to be stressed that this division refers more to the aesthetics of the relationship. Since the butch partner is always recognizable as a female-bodied person, the couple is, by definition, subversive of the dominant order.

However in Indonesia, through an intensive process of self-reflection, some butch lesbians are becoming feminists without giving up their butch identities. The play with power dynamics is not limited to b/f relationships. They are also evident within lesbian, nonbutch/ femme lesbian relationships. Political, feminist lesbians denounce and try to escape heterosexuality’s oppressive modes and seek equality in emotional and sexual expression. Power struggles in the LGBT relationships, as in any other emotional and sexual relationship, must continuously be questioned, challenged and addressed. The butch seeks most pleasure in giving sexual satisfaction to her femme partner though she may switch roles as well. Yet another butch category is that of the ‘stone butches’, who do not want to be touched sexually. They give pleasure, but do not seek it in return. Some of them identify themselves as men trapped in a woman’s body; in that sense they may also identify as transgender or even transsexuals. Until recently butch-femme lesbian women in Indonesia were relatively visible. They may live together openly as a husband-wife couple. They could hide their sexuality behind the apparent ‘normalcy’ of heterosexuality. However, the paradox is that with the growing visibility for the out-and-proud lesbian woman, the space for the more invisible b/f women has rapidly been shrinking in Indonesia. The emergence of a discourse of sexual rights has a negative side effect in that it produces a homophobic backlash which may expose the cover the traditional b/f couples had found. (Wieringa 2004) Speaking of contemporary India, lesbian women find it very difficult to come out. The first trauma is usually borne at the hands of one’s immediate family. Setting up house in most Indian cities with a lesbian partner is an uphill task. Law enforcement agencies, by the



definition of Section 377, do not acknowledge lesbian sex. However, legal issues such as buying property or taking up a loan in their joint name are made next to impossible by a system that only recognizes the heterosexual relations as natural and right. Traditionally though, things have been different. There are stories about Sakhis or ‘friends’ in many parts of north India and Nepal. Such friend-couples were known to exchange vows, in the presence of a Hindu priest in an elaborate ceremony. This could be a friendship ritual that made them promise love and allegiance to each other. It is not clear whether sexualities were inscribed within

these friendships. Similarly, the mit tradition in Nepal includes a temple ceremony where two women promise to never share their secrets with anyone else, as also commit to take care of each other. Archives in West Bengal too have a record of Shai patano (Bangla for ‘making friends’). Two women friends were said to give each other new names, or words of endearment, and vow to also take care of each others’ families. In yet another ritual practiced in Northern India, two women friends stand in flowing water and exchange their sarees. An extinct ancient custom, it is said to have celebrated female friendship.’ (National TOT report, Khajuraho, India; September 2006)

Intersex
Biologically, the differences between females and males are insignificant. And they are even smaller in those babies who are diagnosed to have an intersex condition. Intersexuality is a term for a broad range of phenomena. The diagnosis is done at birth when it cannot be immediately reckoned whether the baby is a boy or a girl. Until recently in the West, decisions were taken by the doctors based on a certain protocol and the operation was performed. Either the tiny penis was cut to the size of a clitoris and if thought necessary, a vagina was opened. Or, an operation was performed to produce a boy but that was more difficult (‘it is easier to poke a hole than to construct a pole’). In some case an operation may be advisable, as the person born with an intersex condition may be at a heightened risk of cancer. Recently the most common term used is Disorder of Sexual Development. Recent protocols stress the importance of the rights of people born with DSD and advocate until puberty, when gender identity can be more confidently established, before sex reassignment may be undertaken.

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

Exercise

EXERCISE 1
Divide the group into smaller sub-groups and give them a handout. (Annexure 5.3) The group should hold a discussion to understand the process of identity formation in their respective context.

EXERCISE 2
(Annexure 5.4) Divide the participants into sub-groups. Each group discusses the following issues. Mention examples of identity-based collectivities in your own context. (trade unions, women’s groups, anti-colonial movements, anti-apartheid, environmental groups, reproductive rights groups and so on). In which identity-based collectivity did you participate, if any? Issues to be discussed include the context and content of these identity-based movements and whether sexual identities are included. As a sexual minority, elaborate on examples and experiences of inclusion and exclusion. Discuss examples of gender diversity in your own context and build a hierarchy of abject/ abnormal categories.

EXERCISE 3
Divide the participants into smaller groups. Each group becomes a ‘hated’ or marginalized community. The other group members then heap all the stereotypes they can think of on this group. Later, the stereotypes are discussed in relation to the message of superiority/inferiority and inclusion/exclusion.

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FILM SCREENING
Film: Gulabi Aina Directed by Sridhar Rangayan Synopsis: It pits two Indian drag queens against a westernized gay teenager in a battle to woo a handsome hunk. It’s a clash of the East and West. Who will win? The drag queens, who are expert in the art of seduction with their wit, innuendo and cunning or the young teenager who is saucy, slutty and sly? Underneath the campy humorous exterior, the film is an exploration of the Indian gay landscape and understanding of the deep, humanly tender bondings that exist between drag queens in India who form unique, non-patriarchal families. Using the Bollywood soap idiom of song, dance and drama and for the first time in the Indian drag queens’ very own language, Hindi, the film also explores other veiled issues related to the Indian gay community: the lurking threat of HIV/AIDS.

Trainer’s notes

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

B

ody Politics and Pornography
	 Understand	the	politics	of 	women’s	 bodies	as	an	ideal	construction; 	 Understand	the	workings	of 	the	 Madonna/whore	split* 	 Establish	the	inter	relatedness	of 	 the	global-local,	and	of 	the	market	 and the body as a source of profit and	consumption	(the	beauty	 industry); 	 Understand	the	extent	of 	state	 control	over	women’s	bodies:	dress	 codes,	sexual	norms,	denial	of 	rape	 within	marriage	and	so	on 	 Discuss	the	debates	on	 pornography.

Objectives

SESSION SIX
9

Guiding Notes
The female body is simultaneously a site of power and vulnerability; a site of great attention and tremendous fear, and a site of worship and defilement. However, there is no unmediated natural body outside the realm of the social and the political. Simone de Beauvoir’s* belief that women are made and not born effectively delegitimized biological determinism*. As per biological determinism, women are by nature nurturing, passive and weaker than men. Foucault’s* work on the body, linking power and sexuality has helped pave the way for a constructivist* understanding of the body (1978). As constructivists maintain, we cannot know the ‘truth’ of our bodies, as knowing is always mediated by science or society. Our understanding of the body is shaped by various practices of stratification and manipulation of our bodies. The power relations that underlay the construction of knowledge basically work to ‘normalize’ bodies and sexual behaviors. According to Foucault, power relies on the eye, on an all-seeing gaze that is shaped by various institutions. (Ibid) The male, on the one hand, gazes at bodies, tames women and makes them docile and submissive. On the other, the male gaze reduces women into simple objects for male consumption. Yet, in spite of the attraction of constructivism, popular thought is still thoroughly biologically deterministic. In media, religion and other institutions, women are reduced to being just a body, biologically inferior and at the same time decried for its defiling potential. Women internalize this notion and aspire for that standard set by multiple forces around them. Feminism has from the start been deeply concerned with the body, either in the pursuit of intellectual equality, or as the site of the essence of the female. (Shildrick and Price 1999:3)
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‘The very fact that women are able in general to menstruate, to develop another body unseen within their own, to give birth, and to lactate is enough to suggest a potentially dangerous volatility that marks the female body as out of control, beyond and set against therefore of reason. In contrast to the apparent ordered self containment of the male body, which may then be safely taken for granted and put out of mind, the female body demands attention and invites regulation. The age old relation between hysteria and the womb (called hystera in Greek) is just one example of how femininity itself becomes marked by the notion of an inevitable irrationality.’ (Ibid) They further elaborate how various systems of domination mediate the construction of the universal body, ‘ …that there are only multiple bodies, marked not simply by sex, but by an infinite array of differences--race, class, sexuality, age, mobility status are those commonly invoked, none of which is solely determinate. In such a model, the universal category of the body disappears, not as the result of the disembodiment characteristic of masculinist discourse, but in favour of a fluid and open embodiment. At any given moment, we are always marked corporeally in specific ways, not as unchanging or unchangeable fixture.’ (Ibid 1999: 6) Patriarchal* institutions (such as marriage) attempt to control women’s bodies and particularly their sexuality. For women, sexuality is still often associated with procreation, while for men it is associated with recreation. While women are associated with bodily processes, nature and emotions, men are supposed to be rational beings and are associated with culture and the mind. Chastity, attached men are women’s virginity, shame and honour are to women’s respect-ability, while positioned as the guardians of honour. Thus, it can be said that

MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

in traditional patriarchal societies, a man’s honour lies between the legs of the women in his family. Women’s bodies are also sites for a nation’s or a region’s identity, its culture and purity. Raping the enemy’s women has been seen as the ultimate winning stroke. Women raped in war crimes are often not received by their families or communities, as happened in Bangladesh after its liberation war with Pakistan.

prejudice and discrimination in favour of the beautiful and attractive (however defined) and against the ugly and less attractive are virtually institutionalized in our society and are the last major bastion of inequity……’ (Synnott, 1993:100) According to Dworkin, “Male sexual domination is a material system with an ideology and a metaphysic. The sexual colonization of women’s bodies is a material reality; men control the sexual and reproductive uses of women’s bodies. The institution of control included law, marriage, prostitution, pornography, health care, the economy, the organized religion and systematized physical aggression against women, for instance, in rape and battery.” ( Dworkin, 1981:41) Each body is unique, different, complete and normal. The notion of normalcy, a standardised body, is a construct of the dominant ideology. Just as patriarchy creates the good and the bad women, it has also created the notion of an ideal desirable versus sub-normal, asexual body. In addition, women’s bodies are divided into parts—the public and the private. While reproductive health is a public issue, women’s sexual health is pushed into the private realm. One is the secretive body while the other can demand public attention. Women’s gynecological and sexual health*, therefore, has not been a priority for the health care system. Shrouded in secrecy, women seldom find a space to claim the legitimacy to their gynecological needs. The state controls women’s bodies in innumerable ways such as by prescribing dress codes, not recognizing marital rape, and denying abortion laws. Thus, the family, educational institutions as well as institutionalized religions all reinforce body codes whenever their institutional control is

The Beauty Myth
(See Annexure 6.1) While all of us have bodies, not all bodies are considered equal. The myth of beauty follows our bodies everywhere to the extent that people with disabilities are considered asexual. The notion of an ideal, beautiful body controls every woman. This has a direct impact on the way women attach (or reduce) value to their own being. The concept of women’s beauty and the oppression that it causes to them is best explored by Naomi Wolf in her first book, ‘The Beauty Myth’. In this international bestseller, she attacks the exploitation of women by the fashion and beauty industries. ‘The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon them.’ (Wolf, 1991: 1) Wolf also states that the beauty myth is ‘… not about women at all. It is about men and power. The qualities that a given period calls beautiful in women are merely symbols of the female behaviour that period considers desirable: the beauty myth is always actually prescribing behaviour and not appearance. Competition between women is part of the myth so that women will be divided from one another’. (Wolf, 1991:4) Synnott states that women often chase ‘beautyism, and its attendant fascism, the

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challenged. Alarming messages are sent out to assert the control. For example, in New Delhi, India, when pornographic SMSs were sent around by school boys, the school authorities imposed a strict dress code for girls, thus disallowing the use of skirts in schools. It is at such junctures that the debate on decent and dignified women versus sexually provocative women is crystallized. The media representation of women is a major site where women’s bodies get constructed and deconstructed. The visuals of women’s naked bodies are circulated to titillate and covered to make them submit and surrender. The good and the bad woman is recast in her various forms. In fact, the present media representation of women is schizophrenic (the coexistence of opposing elements)—it demands contradictory performance from the body of the woman. There are discourses (formal, lengthy discussions on a subject that are either written or spoken) as well as institutionalized practices in which bodies are being homogenized. Judith Butler provided the notion of performativity to explain how the use of body through acts, gestures, and process of repetition produces an identity that is standardized and stereotyped. This is done by the media and the global beauty industry. (Butler, 1993) ….. The beauty industry is a billion dollar business and has a global dimension. The industry has further solidified the sex-gender divide. There are different creams, perfumes, shampoos for women and men. In the name of choice and glorification of the body and the postponement of ageing process, the industry creates new notions of an ideal body and an ideal face. It sells body products to make women ‘fair and lovely’, thus promoting racism, ageism and notions of a normal undamaged body. It is

interesting to note here that women also use makeup to hide their bruises and evidence of sexual violence inside or outside the home. A recent survey done in India indicated that a large number of middle class women in the beauty and film industry have been through surgical procedures to stand up to the notion of an ideal, attractive body.

Pornography*
The word pornography in ancient Greek combined two words porne (whore) and Graphos (writing, etching or drawing). In short, it means ‘writing about whores’. The whore was not regarded respectfully as she was considered a sexual slave. In its historical connotation, the word pornography meant graphic depiction of women as vile horse. (Dworkin, 1981) One of the issues linked to body politics and the representation of women is about obscenity and censorship. Similar to the issue of sex work, there is no one position on the issue. Who can decide what is obscene and what is pornographic? These are subjective opinions and in a society that is morally hypocritical, it is not possible to imagine that it will not police the representation of women’s bodies and sexualities. Pornography, is a vital area of discourse and differences, and is a contentious issue for feminists globally as they have held divided opinions about pornography. Some believe that pornography, especially images depicting violence against women or non-consensual sex, are harmful as they lead to an increase in violence against women. Some feminists are totally against pornography. According to them, it violates the very notion of a woman’s right over her body.

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

The sexual act is primarily in the service of male desire. Any time a person becomes an object, it becomes the first step towards justifying violence against them. For instance, a music album shows a woman saying ‘I am black and blue from the Rolling Stones and I love it’. The message imparted is that women love to be beaten. Those who argue against pornography cite the following three reasons: First, it encourages sexual violence and rape against women. Secondly, in its humiliation of women, pornography in itself is a form of sexual violence. Thirdly, women are hurt and economically and sexually exploited in the production of pornography. However, no study has proven a direct and substantial link between pornography and sexual violence against women. Feminists arguing against pornography reiterate that pornography restricts women’s freedom rather than becoming a liberating force. According to Morgan (1980:139), “pornography is a theory and rape is the practice.” Many researchers have indicated that pornography decreases male sensitivity to women’s legal rights, including the right to withhold consent to sex. The opposition to pornography by Western feminists such as Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin is well-known. They, along with other supporters, proposed an anti-pornography legislation. It should be noted that not all feminists who objected to pornography supported a ban on it. It was/is believed by some that regulation or censorship is not the most effective way to tackle pornography’s adverse effects; a ban

may cause more harm to women. Other feminists uphold the right to freedom of expression. They maintain that women have sexual fantasies too and that there is nothing wrong with pornography, if performed in a consensual, non-exploitative way. They claim that it is the ‘sex negativity’ of society that inhibits women’s free expression of their sexuality, and that pornography should simply be considered as a possible source of pleasure for some people, and a source of income for others. According to some feminists, any curb on pornography would amount to ‘censorship’. This obviously goes against the fundamental principle of women’s right to freedom of expression (including sexual expression) and speech. Many feminist believe that pornographic representation can be, in fact, liberating. It is important to understand that any anti-pornography position translates itself into a pro-censorship stand and, thus, gets caught in the debate on what constitutes offensive, decent and morally appropriate. Such a position also helps strengthen the State’s control over ‘moral’ behaviour of its subjects. The pro-pornography group labeled the antipornography feminists as moral and religious conservatives who found pornography to be obscene and corrupting for traditional family and religious values. Some supporters of pornography identified themselves as liberals and defended the right of consenting adults to publish and consume pornography in private. They saw pornography as a liberating space to challenge sexual conservatism visà-vis femininity, female sexuality and sexual rights for women. However, even some of the feminists who are committed to the freedom of women’s sexual

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expression and right to their bodies are reluctant to accept the sexual depiction and use of women’s body. Thus, pornography poses a real dilemma for feminists and is difficult to resolve as pornography is directly linked to issues such as obscenity, immorality, nudity, sexually explicit imagery. It should be noted that all these terms are culture specific.(Annexure 6.2) In the United States, the pornography industry is larger than the record and film industries combined. In a time of widespread economic impoverishment, it is growing. More and more male consumers are eager to spend greater amount of money on pornography, that is depictions of women as vile whores. Pornography is now carried by cable television; it is marketed for home use in video machines. The technology itself demands the creation of more porneia to meet the market that has been opened up by technology. Real women are tied up, stretched, hanged, fucked, gang-banged, whipped, beaten, while begging for more. The discussions in Indonesia on the AntiPornography Draft Law present an interesting case. The draft law was presented a few years ago, and debates are still raging. The initial issue was how ‘pornography’ could be defined. After all, there was also a category called ‘porno action’ that included masturbation. Rights protesters followed, claiming that this draft law violated the articles of freedom of expression and several sections of CEDAW. The law also violates one

of the basic principles of the Indonesian state, that is, its guarantee of cultural and religious diversity. The law can be seen as an attempt of hardliner Muslim groups to impose their views on a pluralistic and, in some respects, rather permissive society. Analysing the draft law, it is clear that women’s bodies are seen as the source of ‘evil’ and immorality, from which presumably ‘innocent’ (Muslim) men have to be shielded. Dress codes are imposed only on women. Public expressions of affection (holding hands and kissing) would be banned, and ‘sensitive’ body parts, such as bellies, thighs, breasts and (women’s) hair should be banned from view. Artists, particularly those who perform traditional dance and music from Central and East Java and Bali, spearheaded the protests. In India, in spite of fierce debates and demonstrations around the issue of sexual representation/expression by progressive groups including sexual rights and women’s groups, the age old law the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act,1986 (See Annexure 6.3), continues to be in force. While the texture of sexual morality is undergoing a fast track change, the fundamentalist forces have become strident in controlling the visual, verbal and artistic content of representation. The country, in the past decade, and increasingly in the recent past, is witnessing militant attacks on freedom of expression and sexual representation by the self proclaiming custodian of ‘Indian morality and decency’.

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Trainer’s notes

6

Exercise

EXERCISE 1
Ask the participants to draw their naked bodies, and mark out the parts of their bodies that they like and dislike. Each person then holds the drawing and shares the reasons behind their like/dislike. The facilitator guides the discussion and helps to see how our dislike of our bodies is influenced by the discourse of an ideal body and therefore influences our sense of well being and confidence.

EXERCISE 2
Discuss how each one of us looks at our bodies? Consider the following questions for a discussion in small groups. 1. How have you experienced the notion of a desirable, ideal body/face/complexion and whether it created any pressures on you? 2. When have you felt the power of your body and in what ways did you experience disempowerment and shame? 3. How have the notions of morality and the polluted body impacted you? 4. Have you or someone else around you has been called disabled? How does it impact our psyche? The group members write the salient features of their discussion on the chart paper for the plenary session to be shared with the rest of the participants.

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

EXERCISE 3
Divide the participants into small groups of 4 to 5 each. Provide each group with sexually explicit images. Each group makes two collage: one that they think is aesthetically beautiful and the other that causes discomfort. Discussions follow about why certain images are problematic. They discuss the issues surrounding obscenity, pornography and sexually explicit images within their cultural context.

EXERCISE 4
Divide the group into two sub-groups that sit in a circle. Put a life size chart paper in the centre of both groups. Ask one of the participants to come and lie down on the paper to make the outline of the body. One of the group members draws body parts including our sexual parts and genitalia inside the outline of the body. Two colour pens are chosen; each colour denoting pain and pleasure. Every group member marks the parts of the body that give pleasure (with one colour) and those that cause pain (with another colour). Participants can decide the colour code. Facilitators need to note that this exercise is best done late in the evening with a flexible schedule as it may take some time for people to open up. Sometimes, talking about painful body parts can be very intense for the group. The session has to be conducted with a lot of sensitivity and care.

FILM SCREENING
Film: Killing us softly Directed by Sut Jhally Synopsis: Jean Kilbourne has been analyzing the images of women in advertisements from 1960s. According to her, women are still being killed softly by the way they are portrayed in the media. Women learn how they should look and to know exactly what it takes to look beautiful. This has led to anorexia and bulimia among women. In one of the many National Surveys done in the US, 80% of 4th grade girls said that they were on a diet! Advertising has turned women into sex objects/ consumers. Feminists arguing against pornography reiterate that pornography restricts women’s freedom rather than becoming a liberating force. There is another kind of violence inflicted by advertising on women. All the qualities labeled as feminine, such as compassion, cooperation, caring and so on, make women internalize these qualities at the cost of their own self.

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Trainer’s notes

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

S

ex Work and the Sex Industry
Objectives
	 To	improve	the	social	and	judicial	 position	of 	female	sex	workers 	 To	recognize	the	‘whore	fear’	 in	women,	as	part	of 	their	 internalized	oppression. 	 To	eliminate	stigmatization	which	 ostracizes	women	in	the	sex	 industry;	and 	 To	understand	the	major	positions	 around	female	sex	work.	

SESSION SEVEN
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Guiding Note
“Ah, when whores start telling the truth and lifting the burden of these lies, we will become so powerful”. (DelaCoste, Leigh and Alexander 1987: 107) In the recent past, sex workers have been the subject of research for activists, academics and others alike. The last two decades have especially witnessed greater research on sex workers and other marginalized sexual identities, especially in the wake of the HIV/ AIDS pandemic with sex workers seen as its vectors. This has been a double-edged field of research as the stigmatized have become recipients of reluctant charity while being marginalized. In the process of ‘empowering’ sex workers, their many ‘other’ personal and social identities have been submerged. They have become objects of study rather than the subjects of their multiple struggles. Meanwhile, in the countries of the South, sex workers have begun to organize themselves to demand their rights as citizens and workers. Sex workers embody the total abuse and abandonment of women. However, it is not only the sex industry that objectifies women but the entire patriarchal fabric that sees women as the objects of consumption. Sex industry is just one of its conspicuous manifestations. Sex work/prostitution is a patriarchal institution and is the flip side of heterosexual marriage. While patriarchy produces the institution of prostitution, it also divides women into good, bad and perverse. “For a long period in history women had only three options for economic survival—getting

married, becoming a nun or becoming a prostitute”.(Delacoste, Leigh and Alexander 1987). Current debates on sex work range from the issue of labeling (prostitution versus sex work), rehabilitation to the rights of sex workers. Some of the questions that are asked during such debates are: Can providing sex be seen as a legitimate form of sexual labour? Is sex work about the objectification of the body and sexual exploitation, or do sex workers also employ a form of agency? Does sex work always mean a violation of women’s body and women in general? Does sex work only mean that women’s bodies are trivialized or objectified?

The Sex Industry: Complex, Complicated
The true and original meaning of the word ‘whore’ was ’lover’. However, today it has turned into a stigmatized identity and any woman who digresses from the accepted behavioural norm is labeled a whore. From pre-colonial through colonial times, from imperialist rule to the present neo-liberal and post colonial period, there have been always various forms of sex work. The ancient Greeks knew them as hetaerae, women who played music, sang and recited poetry and were the companions of upper class males. They can be compared to the traditional Japanese geisha, who also underwent rigorous training in various art forms. In India, there have been various forms of temple prostitution, where temple maidens provide sexual services to devout men. Men in uniformed services (police and army, for

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MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

The Courtesan in Mughal India
During the Mughal rule in India, the role of the courtesan was considered a dignified choice for women of certain sub-cultures. British Victorian morality has erased many indigenous sub-cultures which need to be highlighted at the current juncture. India had the rich tradition of the tawaif (courtesan), a woman who was known for her singing and dancing skills as well as poetry. The tawaifs were common in India during the Mughal rule. They even taught the nobility etiquettes and social graces. In fact, the word ‘whore’, a Western slang for a sex worker, traces its true root meaning to ‘lover or one who desires’. (Khajuraho National TOT, September 2006 )

example) have always used women to provide sexual services to soldiers. The regulation of sex work in colonial times has often been linked to the provision of safe sexual services to men in the army. Throughout history, women (and some men) have catered to the sexual needs of men (and very few women) in various forms. This should be seen in a wider context. Women across civilizations have traditionally been entertaining men in a variety of roles, both sexual and asexual. Today too, there are a range of sex workers—from streetwalkers to high-class entertainers. Prostitution has been seen as the upshot of a rigidly hetero-patriarchal set up that privileges monogamy and heterosexual marriage. While patriarchy creates the need for sex workers and the sex industry, it concomitantly labels women into wife and the vamp. It is important to note that while poverty is one of the many other significant reasons why women become a part of the sex trade, structural violence such as rape and other forms of abuse within their homes also push women into sex work. Some women also exercise their agency and choose to be sex workers. However, the position of women in the sex industry is

fraught with danger and violence. A majority of women who work as prostitutes risk legal, social, physical, emotional and economic abuse. Sex work lies at the intersection of various global power relations, in addition to various forms of patriarchy and economic imperialism. These forces – individually and together – shape sexual agency and/or the lack of it. These two binary positions - women forced into prostitution versus women choosing sex work - are not simplistic, and therefore need to be looked at as complicated and nuanced. Moreover, the contemporary form of globalization has feminized poverty. The assertion of patriarchy, especially in the wake of various fundamentalist movements, has increased violence against women and reinforced women’s entry into prostitution. The stigma of sex work is linked to other marginalized sexualities who engage in sex work. During the Jakarta TOT in September 2006, an Indonesian transgendered sex worker said: “Forced prostitution doesn’t have to mean that there is somebody ordering you to become a sex worker. The options may be so

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limited that you have no other recourse. For instance, I am a waria and applied for a job in a call center. The boss told me that I would only be accepted if I changed my behaviour and looks. That meant I had to cut my hair and wear men’s clothing. I said, “I don’t have to pick up the phone with my hair, do I? I don’t work with my genitals either!” This happens all the time. I have friends with a university degree who can find no other job than to sell themselves on the street.” The need is to empower sex workers within their location, without making judgments about the work they do. They need to become a collective force to run their own organizations that could in turn challenge institutionalized oppression. Human rights activists and feminists need to form sustainable alliances with sex workers to work together at the intersections of their larger concerns. The objective of the session is to restore the dignity of sex work. The stigma suffered by sex workers is the result of the same selfinternalised norm that not only monitors women’s identity but of other marginalised groups too, such as homosexuals. The ideology and practice of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ woman needs to be fought. A parallel could be drawn with Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. In India, homosexuals are not considered normal or respectable. Yet, mobilization of the homosexual community has helped the cause. In the recent past, sex workers have also organized themselves to push for their demands. An alliance of sexual minorities and feminist groups is therefore of utmost importance.

alised and stigmatized, abused and oppressed, sex workers are some of the worst ‘offenders’ of the Norm. As far as global women’s movements are concerned, three major positions can be distinguished around sex work.

Ban on Sex Work and Rehabilitation of Sex Workers
According to this position, sex work is detrimental to human society and morality, and should be banned. This position is fraught with moralistic undertones and projects sex work as immoral and harmful for the fabric of societal norms and values. It is reformist in nature and is supported by the largest section of opinion makers, particularly the State and some sections of the women’s movement. The argument for a ban on sex work, along with the demand for the rehabilitation of sex workers, has two contrary sides to it. According to this position, on the one hand, sex work should be considered illegal. However, it is proposed to reform and rehabilitate sex workers. Sex work is often equated with trafficking of minor girls and young women and is seen as against the fundamental human rights of any individual. It is also demeaning to the bodily integrity of an individual. Some feminists too see sex work as a form of violence against women. To believe that a ban on sex work will counter the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a fallacy supported by the moralistic lobby. In fact the issue of HIV/AIDS concerns the entire society and should not be targeted at sex workers alone. Rehabilitation exercises – brought about by the same moralistic reformist tendencies – have often not succeeded. It is extremely important to challenge the notion of

Sex Work: Different Perspectives
Women who are part of the sex industry integrally comprise the non-normative. Margin-

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rehabilitation. Sex workers themselves have challenged this effort. Why do they need to be reformed and rehabilitated? They argue that they should be seen as part of a large pool of self-employed women and therefore part of the labour force. Will the State rehabilitate domestic workers, women who carry night soil or other exploited and denigrated women? Those who are in dire need of rehabilitation and State support are ignored, while bureaucrats focus their attention on communities they consider immoral. However, there are no viable and sustainable rehabilitation packages available with the government. Besides, rehabilitation has been practiced in a very patronising manner. If at all, rehabilitation must be offered as a choice and not be enforced upon certain communities by moralist actors.

be able to contribute to the national coffers or the GDP (Gross Domestic Produce) in the form of taxes. It is believed that as part of a legally sanctioned labour force, sex workers would feel confident about their status and that this will boost their self esteem. They could then also gain greater access to health care, education of their children and old age pension. Other feminists have critiqued this position on the ground that this will, in fact, strengthen the State and its various repressive institutions such as the police, the legal authorities and so on, instead of empowering women. As a majority of sex workers come from very poor, exploitative and abusive familial backgrounds, they may lack literacy skills and knowledge about the actual functioning of the industry. Legalisation may make matters worse for them. If legalization of marriage has not ensured millions of women freedom from coercion, violence and sexual slavery, how can it be assumed that legalization of sex work can liberate sex workers and improve their condition? In fact, many women run away from violent marriages and end up as sex workers. It is also clear that legalization does not erase the stigma that has culturally been associated with sex work. Legal changes do not bring about change in the mind set. Since sex work is so deeply associated with “fallen women”, legalization may further reinforce discrimination and ‘othering’. Legalization in fact will lead to legal policing. The flip side could be more regularization and thereby, more corruption.

Legalization of Sex Work
The demand for legalization of sex work stems from the understanding that sex work should be seen as work and, therefore, legalized to protect sex workers from further harassment and stigma. The proponents argue that legalization of sex work will offer visibility to sex workers and their issues. It will be possible then for sex workers to voice their concerns. Since they are rightful citizens of any nation, sex workers have the right to social security, especially since their nature of self-employed work is insecure. This position assumes that after legalization, sex workers will face less violence from various State and non-State actors—the law enforcing agencies, their immediate employers and even clients. Economically too, they would

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Prostitution in Holland
In Holland, prostitution is fully legal. This means that sex workers pay taxes, get social security and State protection. However, this applies only to women who are legal residents and not to illegal migrants, who are pushed even further into the hands of unscrupulous pimps. There is a division between relatively protected legal sex workers and heavily exploited illegal immigrant women from Asia, Africa and Latin America who are completely at the mercy of their owners. Thus, legalization has created many other kinds of illegalities and exploitation. Drug-addicted women are abused more as against the drug-free sex workers. Instead of pimps, police controls the legal brothels; the pimps have become ever more dangerous and particularly exploit the illegal prostitutes. Thus, only white and articulate sex workers are better protected, while others have been pushed even further into misery. Another contentious issue is that the ideology behind legalization reeks of moralistic undertones. The State uses the legalization strategy to contain sex work, far from accepting it. Legalization also privileges the State when it gets to be the decision-makers regarding who has the right to practice sex work.

Decriminalization of Sex Work
The demand for the decriminalization of sex work and related activities has emerged from within the group of sex workers and feminist activists working with sex workers, especially in India (DMSC (Durbar Mahila Samanyay Committee), Calcutta, India). Under this position, sex workers argue that since they are part of the larger pool of the labour force, their work does not need special legal sanction. They demand to eliminate all exploitative elements of the sex industry, thus decriminalizing their work. In India, for instance, sex workers proposed to set up Self Regulatory Boards (SRB) with fair representation of the State and the non-State actors, including themselves. This strategy

hopes to strengthen the bargaining power of sex workers and accrue them all labour rights as due to them. The SRB also plan to work towards the de-stigmatisation of sex work. Within this position, the sex workers establish a clear difference between trafficking and consensual adult sex. It is the latter that needs to be decriminalised. Decriminalisation should ideally be followed by the removal of moral stigma. However, stigma is a product of patriarchal ideology and its erasure is a very slow process. Sex work, per se, might not be as horrifying for some, as much as the stigma that comes attached to it. The need of the hour is the creation of affirmative spaces where sex workers can articulate their needs.

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From the Diary of a Feminist…
Even as we advocate and design strategies for better conditions for women in prostitution (an urgent need), are we essentially reinforcing their exploitation (sexual especially) or challenging it? Secondly, to what extent does the normalization of prostitution maintain the patriarchal status quo or really further women’s liberation? Thirdly, to what extent does the re-formulation of prostitution as sex work help to make prostitution a socially transformative institution for women or does it reinforce the commodification of women ( is it a case of calling a rose by any other name) in a more explicit capitalist mode? I remember that when we left Dad and went to my grandparents’ place, we had no money. The man next door offered Mum $500 if she would sleep with him. She didn’t and he didn’t help us. Is it that any time a woman lays down and has to spread her legs for money that all women are hurt?

Future Strategies
Empowering sex workers with education and vocational skills so as to help them make decisions about their lives (without moral judgments). Affirmation of sex workers’ rights to unqualified legitimacy and autonomy to ensure women’s integrity as social and sexual actors. It is important to unconditionally accept women who have made it their occupation to exchange sexual services for monetary compensation. Sex workers’ organizations be facilitated to challenge the institutionalized and industrialized injustices against them. It is of mutual interest to build alliances between the broader feminist and human rights movements. This will help enhance the collective bargaining and union power to get protection under labour laws. These alliances can unravel the intersectionality of multiple oppressions of both sex workers and of other marginalized groups.

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Exercise

EXERCISE 1
List all terms associated with sex work and discuss their underlying associations.

EXERCISE 2
In two groups, discuss the fear of being called a ‘whore’ and how it affects our entire way of thinking and behaving in a very subtle way. Why do women feel offended when they are called a whore or a slut?

EXERCISE 3
Divide participants in smaller groups and ask each of them to discuss the three positions regarding sex work outlined above. It is important to analyse the positive and the negative outcome of each position and then decide which position is most acceptable. The objective is not to reach a consensus but to become aware of the global and national discourse around the issue and our own sense of comfort/ discomfort with each position.

EXERCISE 4
Divide participants into three or four groups and give them each a story of a sex worker (See Annexure 7.1 & 7.2) After reading the story, they come together and share their responses.

EXERCISE 5
Divide the participants into three groups and give each group the following tasks: a). Formulate a sex workers’ charter of rights. b). Read the text of the Dance Bar Girl’s petition and comment. (See Annexure 7.3) c). Analyse a relevant legal regulation on sex work and suggest a strategy to address the sex workers’ rights.

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FILM SCREENING
Film: Tales of the Night Fairies Directed by Shohini Ghosh Synopsis: Five sex workers–four women and one man–along with the filmmaker embark on a journey of story telling. The film explores the power of collective organising and resistance while reflecting upon contemporary debates around sex work. The simultaneously expansive and labyrinthine city of Calcutta forms the backdrop for the personal and musical journeys of story telling. The film attempts to represent the struggles and aspirations of thousands of sex workers who constitute the DMSC an initiative that emerged from the Shonagachi HIV/AIDS Intervention project. A collective of men, women and transgendered sex workers, DMSC demands decriminalisation of adult sex work and the right to form a trade union.

Trainer’s notes

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Trainer’s notes

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E

roticism, Fantasy and the Right to Pleasure
Objectives
	 Establish	the	right	to	bodily	 pleasure	as	legitimate;	 	 Explore	the	body	as	a	site	 of 	creative	possibilities	and	 expressions; 	 Understand	the	gendered	nature	of 	 sexual	pleasure;	and 	 Elaborate	conditions	in	which	 women can affirm positive sexual pleasures	and	sexual	creativity.

SESSION EIGHT
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Guiding Notes
“The tension between sexual danger and sexual pleasure is a powerful one in women’s lives. Sexuality is simultaneously a domain of restriction, repression, and danger as well as one of exploration, pleasure, and agency. To focus only on pleasure and gratification ignores the patriarchal structure in which women live. Yet, to speak only of sexual violence and oppression ignores women’s experience with sexual agency and choice and increases the terror and despair in which women live. The juxtaposition of pleasure and danger has engaged the attention of feminist theorists and activists in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It has definitely been an ongoing part of the lives of individual women who must weigh the pleasures of sexuality against its cost in their daily calculations, choices and acts. For some, the dangers of sexual violence, brutality and coercion, in the form of rape, forcible incest, and exploitation, as well as everyday cruelty and humiliation make the pleasure pale by comparison. For others, the positive possibilities of sexual explorations of the body, curiosity, intimacy, sensuality, adventure, excitement, human connection, basking in the infantile and nonrational are not only worthwhile but help them sustain. Such positions towards sexual pleasure and danger are not fixed—a woman could choose one different perspective on a certain occasion in response to external and internal events”. (Vance, 1984) Patriarchy is built on the model of heteronormativity (as discussed in earlier chapters). The experience of sexual pleasure is deeply gendered. Men are trained to receive pleasure, whereas women’s sexual pleasure is often denied. For men to actively seek sexual pleasure is looked at in a positive

way (‘What a stud!’), while sexual prowess of women is regarded as negative (‘She is a slut, a tart’). Women’s pleasure is associated with immorality since women are regarded as the keepers of morality. Women’s sexual morality is controlled to secure social stability. Indeed, national pride is seen to depend on women’s sexual modesty. The control over women’s sexuality then becomes the major tool of patriarchy and the patriarchal State. Major religions of the world support the control of women’s sexuality. In Christianity, women’s chastity is revered through the ‘immaculate conception’ of Virgin Mary. Hinduism too has its notions of chastity in the figure of Sita whose chastity had to be proven upon the pyre, while her husband Ram’s chastity during the long years of their separation was never an issue. Islam recognizes women’s powerful sexuality and the Quran has several references to the sexual bliss of couples (See Annexure 8.1). At the same time, women are held responsible for men’s lack of sexual control. While sex can be empowering and beautiful, many women live with sexual fear like an extra skin. Each of us wears it differently, depending on our class, sexual preference, caste, bodily disability, rural/urban location etc. Women experience sexuality as dangerous, frightening, unexplored and threatening, while seldom as exhilarating. Women who claim the right to sexual pleasure defy the norms of sexual morality. Discussing women’s pleasure and arousal patterns is important. Often women’s and men’s arousal patterns differ. To affirm women’s sexual power, it is important to discuss these different patterns. There are probably also differences among cultures, but not much research has been done on it so far.

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The Sexual Kaleidoscope
“During the entire campaign, the world of the bar dancer, beyond these confines, lay hidden from the feminist activists campaigning the cause and was carefully guarded. Only now and then would it spill over more as a defiant statement. So while we were exposed to one aspect of their lives with all its problems –of parenting, poverty, pain and police harassment, we must admit that it was a partial projection, an incomplete picture. We could not enter the other world in which they are constantly negotiating their sexuality, the dizzy heights they scale while they dance draped in gorgeous chiffons studded with sequences, oozing out female erotica and enticing their patrons to part with a generous tip.” (Agnes 2006: 27) Many of us become feminists because of our feelings about sex. Most of us have focused on that part of our sexuality which is victimized. There are no spaces for women to express their rage about their sexual victimization. Since women have internalized that sex is filthy, explicit sexual imagery shocks many woman. Therefore, words like desire, passion, craving, sexual needs and fantasies need to be contextualized against our socialization as women and men. The journey from erotica* as danger to erotica as pleasure and comfort is a long journey. Experiencing sex in varied ways can be the key to analyzing sexuality and desire, in a way that unties the stubborn knots of heterosexist culture. People experience sex differently, feel differently when they do it (or not) and want sex differently. Everybody also has her or his own sexual script. Each individual has a certain sexual pattern regarding fantasy, spouse selection, arousal and orgasm. It is important for women to get to know their own sexual scripts. Often women’s sexual scripts are mediated by their childhood experiences or other (traumatic) encounters. Sometimes these scripts are detrimental to those who embody them and may want to change them, or at least redirect them in non-detrimental ways. This is a difficult process. Awareness of one’s own sexual script can help one increase one’s sexual satisfaction, or reduce the pain of unsatisfactory encounters. It needs to be emphasized that in the process of healing, women can make an effort to clean the sexual slate and begin afresh to claim the desire for what has been forbidden.

Claiming Fantasies
Sexual scripts are often lived in fantasies. Everybody has erotic fantasies. It is often difficult to express them, particularly for women, as they are not supposed to be sexually active. Such fantasies can be triggered by childhood experiences or by certain adult encounters. They may change over time, as one’s sexual history develops. Erotic literature may help in stimulating those fantasies. The process of reclaiming pleasure and sexual fulfillment is an extremely important aspect of women’s lives. Women must learn to create a positive relationship with their bodies in order to be free of passivity and victim hood and for claiming sexual fantasy. The guiding principles are: Mutual consent; Mutual pleasure; Safety (from various STDs); and Joint responsibility (in relation to children).

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Exercise

EXERCISE 1
Participants are asked to write words and images that arouse them. To ensure anonymity, they can fold the piece of paper and throw it into a basket. Then they pick up one or two of these papers and read them out to others, but if possible segregate them by the sex of the participants. It is great fun to guess in a group who has written which images, not for accuracy but for sheer enjoyment.

EXERCISE 2
Map the erotic zones of the body. If the group consists of both women and men, make single sex groups and compare the drawings.

EXERCISE 3
Describe sexual fantasies. Each participant writes her/his fantasy on a piece of paper and then puts it into a common box. Participants then pick up any of the papers and read out the fantasy for the entire group. The facilitator follows it with a debate and discussion, emphasizing that sharing fantasies can be a liberating experience. Sexual fantasies are not permanent as they change with every partner and over time. They do not have to be politically correct. It is vital is to discuss arousal patterns and sexual fantasies with oneself and one’s partner.

EXERCISE 4
List activities/practices/behaviours considered amoral or moral, according to the participants as well as the society. Then, compare this list with the existing legal context of your country.

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Trainer’s notes

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S

exualities, Law and Sexual Rights
Objectives
	 Familiarize	participants	with	major	 international	and	national	human/ sexual	rights	treaties/conventions/ agreements; 	 Acquaint	participants	with	current	 legal	positions	on	the	issue	of 	 sexualities; 	 Develop	an	understanding	of 	the	 links	between	sexuality	and	the	State,	 including	the	education	system,	 judiciary,	the	police	and	the	army.

SESSION NINE
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Guiding Notes
Legal mechanisms are critical regulatory instruments in the arena of sexuality. Various levels can distinctly be spotted. Internationally, one of the most relevant agreements are the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) which are binding to the member countries that have ratified them. Various international consensus treaties, such as those adopted at the major UN-convened world conferences in the 1990s (Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the International Conference on Population and Development) are built on them. Nationally, laws must be in accordance with the international documents a country has ratified. Often, however, religious or other motivations intervene. Laws are the sediment of the long processes of nation building. Colonialism, postcolonial nationalist sentiments and religious motivations have all had their impact and still do so. Laws are, therefore, not neutral instruments, but the objects of intense discussions, particularly in the area of sexualities. Legal struggles often take the form of a fight for the legalization of a relation or practice that was not allowed previously (such as gay marriage) or the decriminalization of certain practices, such as sex work or sodomy. The prohibition of acts or practices deemed detrimental is another form (such as marital rape, pornography) of legal struggles around the issue of sexuality. The discourse of rights – human rights, women’s rights or even sexual rights – are important rallying points for both consciousness raising and political activism. Legal campaigns lie at the basis of wide social movements, as was the case during

the struggle for legalization of abortion in The Netherlands. Eventually, even though abortion was only partly legalized, the women’s movement had developed enormously around this struggle and helped achieve other wider goals. However, even within important legal struggles, there are several ambivalences and contradictions related to a purely rights-based approach (Wieringa 2004). An instrumentalist approach to rights-based struggles may ignore that once rights are achieved, they may not always be implemented. This may happen because the required simultaneous change in social consciousness had not been achieved. Thus, domestic violence laws do not end domestic violence per se. They are just critical tools in the hands of women and men who fight against domestic violence and may help victims of this form of violence. Similarly, winning civil rights (such as the vote for women or gay marriage) will not end the discrimination of women and lesbians/ gays in other fields of society. As is the case in South Africa, the destruction of the apartheid did not end racism there. Secondly, the struggle for rights may call attention to people of certain minorities who may not welcome that attention at all. For instance, the growing visibility that the struggle for lesbian and gay rights gives to issues of same-sex sexuality may tear apart the defences of heterosexual relations that could be hidden behind layers of silence (Wieringa 2005). Friendships between women – deemed innocuous so far – may be associated with sexuality, once the word ‘lesbian’ comes into the public realm. This does not mean that the struggle for LGBT rights must be curtailed. All we need to do is draw attention to a byproduct of the movement, in order to alert rights-based groups of the need to take the relevant issues into account.

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Thirdly, the approach to human/women’s sexual rights campaigns is somehow based on the assumption that the body is stable. The discourse too is generally framed within the heterosexual, nuclear-family model. Generally, the binary model of most societies ignores inter-sex persons or the possibility of trans-sexual changes. A good case is the most progressive international consensus document on sexuality and sexual health, the document that emerged from the 1994 Population Conference in Cairo. However, it must be noted that the human rights’ discourse is controlled and directed by the United Nations (primarily the Northern countries), thus homogenizing the rights’ discourse and praxis. The objective in this session is to hold a discussion on current issues of sexualities, against the backdrop of international and national human rights treaties/conventions/ agreements. You could ask the participants to make presentations on existing laws for homosexuality, sex work, the sex industry and pornography. These laws should be discussed in the framework of current discourses on morality in your country and its relationship to current political processes (both national and international), such as rising fundamentalisms. Participants could draw upon examples from their own respective country contexts, for

example, in India, communalism will be a focus of the discussion. In Indonesia, special attention needs to be paid to the process of regionalization. The purpose of this session is to discuss the minimum agenda for a sexual rights campaign.

International Treaties
The following international legal instruments are significant in building a national framework of sexual rights. 1. The 1945 Charter of the UN establishes its objectives so as to foster international peace and security; to promote social and economic progress; and to define and protect the rights and freedoms of every individual regardless of race, sex, language or religion. 2. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN; crucial elements in the Declaration are the right to education, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to social security. 3. Article 12 is particularly significant as it stipulates that the State must protect an individual against the violation of a person’s integrity. Most national constitutions contain a similar clause. 4. The next major step was the CEDAW declaration adopted in 1979. This is a binding declaration for all member States that have ratified it.

Rights and Responsibilities: A Complete Package
A participant shared the case of a gay man who married just because he wanted a child. He later left his wife and took the child to live with his partner. A long, painful legal battle followed and the wife eventually got the custody of the child. The NGO involved in the case worked for the rights of homosexuals as well as for women’s rights. The case presents a double bind. It makes a good case to highlight the issue of responsibility, while addressing rights.

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The following are some important sections from the above-mentioned treaties/ declarations. 1. Paragraph 96, the Beijing PFA
“The human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. Equal relationships between women and men in matters of sexual relations and reproduction, including full respect for the integrity of the person, require mutual respect, consent and shared responsibility for sexual behaviour and its consequences”.

eradicated and that comprehensive education on sexual and reproductive health should be made available. In spite of the above agreements and treaties, national laws contain various forms of discrimination. In general, they uphold heteronormative and patriarchal relations. This is visible in the prohibitions or various stipulations, as also in the definitions of the family (for example, the eldest male is usually defined as the head of the household) or of marriage. In the Philippines, for instance, the definition of marriage (the spouses should naturally belong to the opposite sex) effectively excludes homosexual/transsexual marriages. Based on the above documents, various groups have drafted their own sexual rights’ programmes. Listed below is the framework produced by a group called Health, Empowerment, Rights and Accountability (HERA), a Working Group of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC). The right to sexual pleasure without the fear of infection, disease, unwanted pregnancy or harm; The right to sexual expression and the right to make sexual decisions that are consistent with one’s personal, ethical and social values; The right to sexual health care, information, education and services; The right to bodily integrity and the right to choose if, when, how and with whom to be sexually active and engage in sexual relations with full consent; The right to enter relationships, including marriage, with full and free consent as adults, and without coercion; The right to privacy and confidentiality in seeking sexual and reproductive health care services; and

2. The ICPD Platform of Action includes a section on ‘satisfying and safe sex life’ in its definition of reproductive health: Paragraph	7.2
“Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counselling and care related to reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases”.

3. The UNGASS political declaration of 2001 on HIV/AIDS
Paragraph 30 of the Declaration states that to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, gender inequality and gender-based violence must be

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The right to express one’s sexuality without discrimination and independent of reproduction.

Indonesia and Sexuality
Before the imposition of the Roman-Dutch colonial and legal system, every ethnic group had its own regulations in Indonesia. There were a wide variety of kinship systems ranging from the patrilinear Batak and Balinese to the matrilinear Minangkabau. Some ethnic groups – such as the majority Javanese – were bilinear and recognised economic property of women (such as land) and limited voting rights for women. However, the 18th and 19th century bourgeois Dutch law did not recognise these rights. In 1915, the Dutch imposed the Concord Principle in Indonesia that was a decree that formalised and institutionalised women’s legal dependence on their husbands. Surprisingly, that law included marital rape, even though the lawmakers sought to prevent forced and child marriages. During the authoritarian New Order government of President Suharto (1966-1998), various laws were introduced to strengthen the control of the State and husbands over women’s sexuality and reproductive capacities. The 1974 marriage law serves as a classic example. It defined women as dependent on their husbands and allowed polygyny, albeit under strict conditions. Indonesia’s present national criminal code does not prohibit homosexuality. However, in the process of regionalisation – which started after the fall of the military dictatorship of president Suharto in 1998 – several people locate their regional identities in conservative interpretations of Islam. They adopt regional regulations that, in some aspects, deviate

from the national legislation. In the newly adopted regional regulations of Lampung and Palembang, for instance, homosexuality is criminalized. Likewise, prostitution is not criminalized at the national level, only pimping is. Yet, recently promulgated regional regulations of, for instance, West Sumatra or Tangerang imply that any woman who is out on the street at night without a male relative is considered a prostitute and is liable to be picked up by the police. In this way, although Indonesia has been a secular State since 1945, Sharia laws are slipping into the country through the back door. Only in Aceh has Sharia law been officially accepted. New Islam-based regulations are surfacing everywhere. For instance, in many regions, it has become compulsory for candidates for important positions – or in some cases even for children – to enter secondary school, to be able to read the Qur’an in Arabic. The law on regional autonomy was signed in 2001. It allows local administration to issue their own regulations or bylaws. Bylaws promoting Sharia or Islamic law have been issued by various regencies, including major areas in Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. These bylaws are often based on conservative, ‘Arab’ versions of Islam which are alien to Indonesia that has a much more moderate history. Aceh is the only region where Sharia is officially allowed. Although several bylaws go against national laws, so far the national government has been very reluctant to address any such inconsistencies. Women’s rights have particularly come under attack. In Aceh, a militia group has been harassing women for not wearing headscarves or for being out at night without being accompanied by a male relative.

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There are various laws in Indonesia which are created on the assumption that women’s bodies should serve men’s needs. The rape law, for instance, excludes married women. The health law defines men as the head of households and recognizes only the onefamily form, that of the heterosexual family. Contraceptive services are only provided to married women. The marriage law stipulates that polygyny is allowed if the wife is ill or has no children or cannot fulfil her duties as wife. This means that women are seen as providers of sex (Katjasungkana and Wieringa 2003). Debates on polygyny have been dividing the women’s movement since 1928, when the first Indonesian Women’s Congress was held.

The primary motivation was that Section 377 hindered HIV/AIDS outreach work which is the mission of Naz (India). Outreach workers and service providers were frequently harassed by police, extorted for money, and prevented from delivering services to groups vulnerable to HIV infections, particularly sexual and gender minorities by exerting the threat of Section 377. Further, a petition against Section 377 presented the opportunity to advocate, on behalf of the communities that they served, especially men who have sex with men (MSM), Kothis, and gay men. Due to the lacuna in child sexual assault laws, the petition asks for a “reading down” of Section 377 I.P.C. to exclude adult, consensual, private, same-sex sexual activity. The petition takes the position that Section 377 violates fundamental constitutional rights. Since there is widespread discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, it argued that the law posed a threat to the right to life, right to health and the right to privacy of homosexuals in India. Under the alibi of preventing child sexual abuse, guarding public morality and defending Indian culture, the issue has not been given its due. However, a national platform, Voices Against 377, has been formed to continue the struggle around the issue of sexual rights. Human rights activists and others involved in the fight against Section 377 have managed to place the issue in mainstream media, in an effort to draw attention and support from a large section of society including intellectuals, artists and the public at large. The fight has become more consultative over the years. The 2005 National Convention against Section 377 held in Mumbai brought many more heterosexual people who support the

India and Sexuality
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (I.P.C.) was first introduced into criminal legal codes in 1860 by the British colonial state and remains a law to date. It specifically states: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”. Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section. The struggle against Section 377 was started way back in 1994 by the AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Aandolan. In December 2001, Naz Foundation (India) Trust filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes “unnatural sex” acts, including homosexual practices.

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struggle. A participant informed the group that in Kolkata in June this year, a programme called ‘Queering Justice’ was organized by some local NGOs and human rights activists. The mayor of Kolkata attended it and the session was very invigorating. Such events offer hope that at least the dialogue seems to have begun. The issue of handling Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) too came up for discussion. If Section 377 disappears, how will CSA cases be handled? The answer is that a better defined, exclusive and stringent law on CSA has to evolve simultaneously. Among other things, the response of the Indian Home Ministry, the Government of India, stated that the Indian society is not ready to accept legalised homosexual behaviour. The Indian issues… judiciary on other relevant

Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 – which prohibits ‘Indecent representation of women through advertisement, publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner’. Even though feminists are fighting against the law, there is, however, no unanimous position. Abortion under specific circumstances, irrespective of the martial status, is legal in India. It was passed as early as 1977. Adult women require no permission from anyone to decide to have an abortion, neither the husband, partner or parents. ‘The Domestic Violence Bill’, a fairly progressive law, was passed in 2006; it does not recognize marital rape as a crime.

Under the pro-censorship forces within the State, a law was formulated – the Indecent

Trainer’s notes

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Exercise

EXERCISE 1
Discuss, revise and adapt (in small groups) the above-mentioned HERA framework to suit your own situation.

EXERCISE 2
Discuss different national/international legal frameworks and instruments, keeping the following pointers in mind: the underlying assumptions on gender; whose interests are prioritized by law the definition of the legal subject, and of what sex/gender; the definition of the ‘normal’ family; and where lies the burden of proof.

EXERCISE 3
Select one or more issues to build a campaign on sexual rights. First, map out the State agencies associated with the issue. These may be religious or educational institutes, family courts or particular ministries. Then, design strategies to deal with each of the institutions mentioned.

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Trainer’s notes

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S

exual Empowerment; Strategising the Personal and the Public
	 Understand	the	concepts	of 	sexual	 power	and	sexual	empowerment 	 Introduce	various	interpersonal	 negotiating	methods	and	skills,	and	their	 relevance	to	issues	related	to	sexual	 empowerment; 	 Explore	practices	in	society	that	violate	 reproductive	rights	and	sexual	health,	 and	relate	them	to	the	instruments	of 	 law	(as	discussed	in	Session	9). 		Identify	strategies	for	advocacy	of 	 sexual	rights	and	women’s	sexual	 empowerment	at	the	local/regional	 levels.

Objectives

SESSION TEN
9

Guiding Notes
Sexuality is one of the major sites of power. Within the wide arena of sexual relations, power operates through various dimensions—ranging from the apparent to the deepest, invisible and intangible levels. Before discussing the possibilities of sexual empowerment, it is important to comprehend various dimensions of the concept of power itself. Power is the motor that creates, reproduces, sustains and changes hierarchies. Power relations are pervasive. They operate not only as the power exercised by the State, but also in intimate relations such as those dealt within this Manual. Power relations manifest themselves at various levels of human existence in acts of speech and written material, as also in institutions (such as family, religion, and so on) and other discursive formations. They can also be seen at work at the level of daily practices. From this perspective, three aspects of power and power relations can be distinguished. First, power can be oppressive (consider military or patriarchal power). However, power can also be empowering, for example the forms of power that counter women’s (sexual) oppression and hegemonic masculinity (Connell 1995) that women’s and queer movements and organizations worldwide exercise. Thirdly, power can be a creative force not only in the field of arts and culture, but also through the realization of one’s individual potential, including sexual fantasies. The processes of empowerment for both women and men are related to all three dimensions: exposing the oppressors of the existing gender relations, critically challenging them, and creatively shaping different social relations. Yet, another way of looking at power is to consider its mode of visibility. Lukes’ (1986)

theory on the three dimensions of power is relevant here (quoted in Wieringa 2006). The first dimension he highlights refers to processes that are manifest in visible confrontations: the ‘power to’ effect changes. This kind of power can be exercised through the use of force or, conversely, through rebellion against oppression. The second dimension relates to ‘power over’—processes by which one group manages to suppress certain conflicts and prevent their being discussed. They are not even put on the agenda. Usually, this kind of power operates within certain biases and assumptions that effectively serve to deny the validity of specific concerns or interests. Women’s inability to speak out about experiences of sexual oppression may be an example. Power imbalances at this latent level are recognized by women and experienced as injustice. However, women are powerless and cannot do much about it. Writing of the third dimension of power, Lukes pointed at those invisible processes that are present when the ‘real interests’ of certain groups of people are being denied. Structures and the ideologies that govern the marginalized have an in-built mechanism that does not allow them to see their own oppression. This occurs when oppression is seen as ‘natural and unchangeable or because they are valued as divinely ordained and beneficial’. This naturalisation of oppression is generally accepted and seldom contested. It is, therefore, not even experienced as inequality. For instance, male superiority in sexual matters and the resultant obligation women feel to serve their male partner’s sexual needs (Wieringa 2006). This level is the most difficult to reach as it is ingrained deeply in the psyches of both women and men. Often, it is strongly supported by various institutions, such as legal structures,

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educational and religious institutions and the media. This is where power masquerades not only as silence (and as acquiescence) but also in the glorification of women’s suffering. A major difficulty here is to determine what women’s ‘real interests’ are. Wide cultural, political and psychological differences exist. For the purpose of this Manual (women’s sexual empowerment), it is suggested that CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) and the other international Declarations and consensus documents dealt with in the previous sessions can be assumed to represent women’s ‘real interests’.

Women’s Empowerment as a Process
While it is possible to consider the interconnections between various spheres and levels in which women’s sexual disempowerment is acted out, awareness of these issues does not directly lead to the process of empowering women. Women’s empowerment is not a linear process. Increased visibility of inequalities in sexual and gender relations or even challenging patriarchal norms may not directly lead to women’s sexual empowerment. The motivation to change existing sexual and gender relations depends on many factors related to women’s subjectivities, personal histories and the perceived costs/ risks of transformation. In line with the complexities sketched above regarding the concept of power, all aspects of the process of empowerment have different dynamic moments. The distance between women’s individual sexual empowerment to their collective empowerment involves various steps vis-à-vis women’s movements and organizations to policy interventions. The first aspect is the issue of awareness and consciousness. Awareness usually surfaces first at the conspicuous level of power relations where women’s sexual subordination is most clearly experienced. Yet, many factors determine whether an awareness of sexual oppression can be translated into agency. These factors range from education, information to the existence of alternatives, political conditions to subjective factors such as confidence and self-esteem. A second moment in the process of women’s empowerment is the existence of alternatives. Women may be aware of the conditions of their oppression but if they see no viable alternatives (such as shelters), they can only

Women’s Empowerment
In relation to the concept of women’s empowerment, it is important to distinguish between two aspects. In the first place, women’s empowerment as a field of operation, its dimensions, its linkages, as well as its intersections with other areas of power relations, such as those of race/ ethnicity, religion and class, heterosexuality, disability etc. Second, women’s empowerment can be seen as a process whereby the following elements are crucial steps: awareness/consciousness, choice/alternatives, resources, voice, agency and participation. This dimension of women’s empowerment is linked to enhancing women’s ability to make choices that matter to them in their lives, both ‘strategic life choices’ that Kabeer (1999) discusses and choices related to daily life (Wieringa 2006). To empower women sexually, they need to claim the expression of their sexuality on their own terms. Women need to engage in sexual relations that are free of force and based on the principles of mutual pleasure and responsibility.

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turn their anger inwards into frustration and bitterness or into (quasi-religious/ philosophical) acceptance of suffering. Women’s capability to make meaningful decisions over critical areas of their lives depends (to a large extent) on alternative ways of life. To make the process of women’s sexual empowerment a success, women must have access to resources. Resources can be of different kinds, starting from sufficient budget allocations by the State to be able to implement suggested policies. Social resources refer to (sexual) health, or various forms of information and training (management, accounting, leadership skills, gender training and so on). A critical dimension is that women must have clear knowledge about the working of their own bodies and of methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies while engaging in safe sex. There are also other critical material resources such as access to office space. The knowledge of legal instruments and the potential to make use of them is essential too. An important element in the process of women’s empowerment is women’s voice. This voice allows them to discuss their grievances in the public and political arena, and to find a legitimate base to resolve such grievances. Ideally, women should be accepted as full and equal partners at all levels where decisions are made about their lives. This effectively means that there are very few concerns in social and political life that do not affect women’s existence. A next step in the process of women’s empowerment is for women to acquire agency, that they start acting on their own behalf. Agency may imply meaningful and purposeful intervention or the construction of something new. This ‘new’ thing may be at

the personal level, for example, a girl’s fight to be educated, to seek information on sexual health, or resist a marriage she doesn’t want. Agency also works at the collective level— women setting up their own group/collective to fight for women’s sexual rights or to carry out research. However, agency may not always lead to such positive outcomes. In situations where women accept the norm of sexual and gender regimes (that construct men as inherently superior), women’s agency may be turned against their own interests. This happens when women turn sexual oppression into glorification of suffering; or when it negatively affects other women who are in hierarchies of a different order (age, class, ethnicity and so on) inferior to them. They may, for instance, accept limitations on their mobility or social contacts in order to be perceived as ‘good women’, and force others (daughters) to do so likewise. Agency starts with critical reflection and may involve resistance, bargaining, manipulation or even deception, if overt resistance is perceived to be too dangerous. A first step in the process of women’s sexual empowerment is the realization that women have rights. The dignity of women as sexual citizens of a civil society must be restored. This also means that the whoremadonna split (as discussed earlier) must be challenged. In short, women’s rights include both formal rights – as contained in laws and policies – and the right to question oppressive ideological formations. Thus, apart from the general sexual rights discussed in the previous session, these include: right to sexual health education right to care and health services right to elimination of all forms of sexual abuse and violence, including domestic violence and abuse, sexual harassment and sexual mutilation;

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right to the elimination of discrimination against women in the context of marriage and outside it; right to accurate, non-judgmental, nonmoralistic knowledge about sex and sexualities; and the right to challenge pervasive sexual taboos, stigma and coercion Sexual empowerment is based on the following principles Realize that women have rights; The dignity of women as sexual citizens of civil society must be restored. Women have to be able to express their sexuality on their own terms; They must be fully informed of all issues related to sexual health and sexual pleasure; All sexual relations should be based on consent; Sexual relations should be conducted in a responsible manner (not inflict illness, take responsibility for conception etc.) Knowledge of own body and sexuality; Creation of self-esteem by subverting patriarchal notions of femininities and masculinities; Knowledge of safe sex methods; Acquisition of negotiating skills based on responsibility for sexual health and pleasure; Access to resources; Acquire confidence to raise their issues in the public arena to eventually resolve their grievances; and Be treated as equals A major aspect of women’s sexual empowerment is increasing women’s selfesteem, both in relation to wider psychological issues and to their sexuality. Earlier discussions in this manual on the historicity of traditional notions of femininity (kodrat

wanita, women’s passivity) and masculinity are useful here. The realization that what was constructed earlier can be undone has a rather empowering effect. It is also relevant to discuss who ‘profits’ from patriarchy (the ‘patriarchal dividend’) while stressing upon cultural, historical and religious notions of respect, love and care. Thus, responsibility, consent, information, safety and pleasure are linked. If women know their bodies, they will be able to negotiate the sexual practices they want. Yet, very often women’s sexual relations are fraught with the opposite—the unknown and danger. ( See Annexure 10.1) This document carries a guide to sexual health. The guide can be used both for information purposes and to help women negotiate safe and pleasurable sex. The purpose of interpersonal negotiation skills is to create an environment where responsibility and mutual pleasure can be discussed and negotiated openly. Effective communication is only possible if the following principles are adhered to: Speak in order to be understood; Listen actively and acknowledge what is being said; Make emotions explicit and acknowledge them as legitimate Besides turning personal and interpersonal techniques of sexual empowerment, it is also important to boost community strategies for women’s empowerment. Effective community strategies have to involve community leaders and other strategic partners. Focused strategies must be used to address specific subgroups such as the groups discussed in this manual (sex workers, widowed/divorced women and Lesbian). Members of these sub-

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groups have to be part of the strategies; peer group education often works best. The group must attempt to get their work reported by the media in a manner that does not sensationalize it. Activists should not expect quick results because the kind of change needed for collective sexual empowerment is massive. Therefore, it is bound to be gradual and will occur over a long period of time. It might be useful to have a local university or a health department establish monitoring techniques to ascertain behavioural change. For women to realize their sexual rights, it is important to build alliances, based on ties of affinity. The allies must be identified for mobilization around certain issues, such as women’s groups or queer organizations. To do so, common interests must be identified with people, groups or networks whose primary political agendas are different but are willing to uphold women’s demands for sexual empowerment. Thus, solidarity can be built on common sites of struggle. Differences in various groups must be recognized and affinity on specific issues must not become an iron grid that dissolves the unique contribution of different actors. It is also possible to build alliances within queer communities at a more personal level, as they share many aspects of the oppression of sexually marginalized women. Through these alliances, a common platform of struggles can be built, while their identities and practices can be made visible. Particularly the experiences of marginalization, animalization and abjectification can be shared. This may help women to see through common elements of the creation of ‘abject’ categories and to turn shame and prejudice into pride and selfesteem. Sexually marginalized women need to be acknowledged as survivors and the enormous costs of that survival should form a basis of pride. After all, the fact that they

have not succumbed, but somehow achieved some sort of autonomy. Sharing those struggles towards autonomy can be highly empowering.

Specific Forms of Empowerment
Apart from the general demands outlined above, the various groups (lesbians, sex workers and widowed/divorced women) have identified different needs to address their specific form of sexual marginalization. In general, they all feel stigmatized in relation to the dominant heteronormative model. They demand an end to the discrimination they are faced with and require respect for diversity in general and for gender/sex multiplicity in particular. They want their share of human rights and respect and want to be seen as sexual citizens. Their stories also clearly indicate that heterosexual marriages are not the best and the only solution to their issues. They want the right to claim, build their own lives and to express their own ways of seeking sexual gratification. The sex workers interviewed demanded that they: not be seen only as commodities but as human beings; be given access to health care services; have the right to be organized; work without interference of state agencies; and get protection from violence of clients and pimps. The widowed/divorced women demanded the right to: bring up their own children; admit their children in institutions;

educational

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be seen as the head of their families; property; get housing, health care and welfare services; and sexual pleasure/relations. Lesbian women demanded that: their way of life not be seen as illness or sin; they have the right to establish their own support groups; they have the right to live with dignity with their own chosen partner; they have access to partnership and coparenting rights. they have the right to own joint property and other assets they have the right to choose their profession without any prejudice However, effective communication strategies by themselves will not be as useful as those that have the involvement of community support groups and other strategic partners.

To make this possible, the following indicators can be useful: Focused strategies for specific subgroups, such as the groups discussed in this manual. Members of those subgroups have to be involved. Peer group education often helps. Media coverage, without sensationalism, is needed. Behavioural changes at the societal level to be monitored, in cooperation with a research groups, women’s studies department, sexual rights groups etc. It is important to build affinity-based alliances. Affinity may not on political agendas but on common demands for women’s sexual empowerment. Women’s groups and queer communities share many aspects of the oppression of sexually marginalized women. Alliances can help create a common platform of struggles to make visible identities and practices.

Trainer’s notes

0

Exercise

The following exercises are meant to stimulate participants into speaking about their sexual experiences, both of danger and of pleasure; to make the participants understand the many kinds of ‘dangers’ associated with sexuality and their prevalence. It is also meant to stimulate participants to use fantasy as a tool towards enlarging sexual pleasure.

EXERCISE 1
Participants are divided in several groups (the number of groups depends on the number of participants, groups of around 4-5 are best). Each group focuses on one particular dangerous practice, or one group at risk. Group members then discuss the gendered dimensions of power relevant to that practice/group. Examples are: waria, gigolo’s, hijra, kothi, partners of clients of sex workers, female genital mutilation, its methods and consequences, ethnic communities in which group sex is practised, dry sex (in which herbs or other ingredients are used to make the vagina as tight as possible) etc.

EXERCISE 2
Participants are handed two sets of coloured cards. On each card, they write one or more sentences or a word to indicate their worst (dangerous) sexual experience and an erotic fantasy. The colour of the card chosen for each of the situations must reflect danger and pleasure respectively. The trainer should collect the cards with total anonymity. The cards describing dangers and those describing pleasures should be discussed separately. Either the facilitator or a volunteer reads them aloud and then writes them down on the flip chart.

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EXERCISE 3
Create short skits on any of the following (or other) situations. Take care that the principles of communication are adhered to. 1. Date rape. (Boyfriend takes a (younger) woman out for dinner. He expects sex in return and tries to force her). 2. Teacher/boss demands sex in return for higher grade/job security. 3. Wife suspects her husband is cheating on her. She wants to practice safe sex. 4. Woman wants a child from her partner. She wants both to be tested. 5. A woman is diagnosed HIV-positive. Reactions from her friends. 6. A mother realizes that her daughter has a boyfriend. She wants to educate her on safe and responsible sexual behaviour. 7. A mother realizes that her son has a girlfriend. She wants to educate him on safe and responsible sexual behaviour.

EXERCISE 4
Each participant is asked to write (on cards) the worst sexual experience she has had. After this is done, participants form groups of five each, share their cards and discuss the causes of their experiences.

EXERCISE 5
Divide the participants in two groups and discuss the following. Elaborate on reasons why women engage in sex: out of duty for economic reasons for procreation to ‘keep’ a lover/husband to gain respectability for ones own pleasure Discuss in the plenary: when is engaging in sex is liberating and when is it disempowerning?

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EXERCISE 6
To acquire the capacity for assertive, non-aggressive and non-passive negotiation, the following skills are needed: name body parts and sexual practices in your own language; use skills to express feelings in an open way. In smaller groups participants stand in a circle and each one completes the following sentences: I am worried that… I am sad because… I would be more happy if… With the help of these and similar expressions, partners can communicate their feelings. It can not be assumed that one’s partner automatically knows one’s feelings, particularly when there are certain cultural assumptions. Women’s readiness for sexual intercourse is one such assumption. The foundation of such acknowledgement is mutual respect for one another’s feelings. This is not only a basic human right, but is also in line with religious teachings. Negotations (in relation to sexual intercourse) can take place before the couple is having sex, while they are having sex and after having sex.

EXERCISE 7
For community purposes, the following are strategies for advocacy. Participants can be asked to: Make a study of all national or regional regulations that impede the rights of sexually marginalized groups; Conduct life story interviews and publish these stories; Support particular cases in which the rights of sexually marginalized women are violated; Make fact sheets on sexual right and other relevant information Plan training with relevant groups (women’s groups, schools, community centres) and make use of case studies and fact sheets.

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Trainer’s notes

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List of films

S1 Title: Antonia’s Line Directed by: Marlene Gorris’ S2 Title : Who Can Speak of Men? Directed by: Ambarein Al Qadar S4 Title : Boy’s Don’t Cry Directed by: Pierce Kimberly S-5 Title : Gulabi Aina Directed by: Sridhar Rangayan S6 Title : Killing Us Softly Directed by: Sut Jhally S7 Title : Tales of the Night Fairies Directed by: Shohini Ghosh

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Glossary

INTRODUCTION
Abject. The meaning of this word in the dictionary is ‘the state of being cast off’. The abject is neither the object nor the subject. In contemporary critical theory, it is used to describe marginalized groups such as women, sex workers, and so on. Agency is an individual’s ability to cause change; to be an agent. For example, patriarchy takes away women’s agency to act in their interest. Feminisms refers to the various kinds of feminist belief systems found within the movement, largely centered in the West. There are liberal feminists, radical feminists, eco-feminists and so on. Even in Asia, feminists have initiated various social, cultural and political movements, theories and moral philosophies that are concerned with their respective cultural, political and economic practices and inequalities that discriminate against women. Feminists disagree over the sources of inequality, ways to attain equality, and so on. Heteronormativity fuses the two words heterosexual and normative. It refers to social, familial or legal institutions and their rules that prescribe the heterosexual as the norm. The term is widely used in queer theory. It is based on the belief that human beings fall into two distinct and complementary categories of the male and female; that sexual and marital relations are normal only when between people of different sexes; and that each sex has roles in life that should be based on biology. Normative refers to the norms of human society or the ‘ought to do’ that is prescribed for men and especially women. Women are told by others what is good for them and they therefore ought to follow.

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Sexuality encompasses sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors of individuals. It is an integral part of the personality of every human being. Sexuality develops through the interaction between the individual and social structures; it is influenced by ethical, spiritual, cultural and moral factors. Its various dimensions involve anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of the sexual response system; identity, orientation, roles and personality; and thoughts, emotions, and relationships. Sexual rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity and equality of all human beings. Sexual rights include the right to bodily integrity; the right to sexual autonomy; the rights to voluntary sexual relationships; the right to freedom from all forms of discrimination, violence or coercion; the right to sexual privacy; the right to sexual pleasure; the right to express one’s sexuality; the right to information and to comprehensive sexuality education; and the right to a full range of voluntary, accessible sexual and reproductive health services.

SESSION 1
Sociogram is a visual representation of social links that a person has. It can be drawn on the basis of many different criteria: social relations, identity affiliations, channels of influence, lines of communication etc. The diagram represents the pattern of individual relationships in a group, usually expressed in terms of the identity each person associates with.

SESSION 4
Ardhanarishvar is a Hindu diety with half-male (Shiva) and half-female (Shakti) body. This represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies. The Ardhanari form also illustrates how the female principle of God, Shakti, is inseparable from the male principle of God, Shiva. Anti-Semitism refers to discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed at Jews as a religious, racial, or ethnic group. Bourgeois generally refers to the middle classes, as an approximate equivalent; traditionally the word was used for the trading/merchant class. In capitalist societies, the term often refers to the owning and ruling classes. Hegemony is the dominance of one group over others where the former dictates its terms. Cultural hegemony can be well noticed in the control of culture, patterns of thought and behaviour by a certain class/community and so on. Homophobia is the irrational fear of or hatred towards homosexuals, generally practiced by heterosexuals.

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SESSION 6
Biological determinism refers to the belief that human behaviour and values are shaped by biological characteristics such as genes, and not by other social factors such as family, community etc. Constructivism is a theory of learning that states that it is the learner who interacts with objects and events, and thereby constructs his/her own conceptualizations and solutions to problems. It encourages the autonomy and initiative of the learner. Foucault, Michel (1926-1984) was a French historian and philosopher, associated with the structuralist and post-structuralist movements. He has had wide influence not only on philosophy but also in a wide range of humanistic and social scientific disciplines. He is particularly known for his work on the prison system and the history of sexuality. His work concerning power, the relationship between power and knowledge and ‘discourse’ in relation to the history of Western thought, has been widely discussed and applied. Madonna/whore split refers to the cultural conditioning that divides women into good and bad. The good women marry, produce babies and serve their families; while the bad women enjoy sex with their partners, who might not be their husbands and do not conform to other codes of conduct laid for women. Pornography is Greek for ‘writing about prostitutes’. In popular use, it refers to sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material that is designed to cause sexual arousal. Patriarchy refers to a social system where the family, community, or society is governed by men. Patriarchy therefore connotes that women and children are controlled by men. It carries its own value system that denigrates women as sexual objects and inferiors to men. Sexual health is the ability to express one’s sexuality, free from the risk of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, coercion, violence and discrimination. It means being able to have an informed, pleasurable and safe sex life, based on a positive approach to human sexuality and mutual respect in sexual relations. Sexual health strengthens self-esteem and self-determination, and enhances communication and relationship with others. Simone de Beauvoir. A French author and philosopher (1908–1986), she is best known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex. It presented detailed historical analysis of women’s oppression and is seen as a classic in feminist literature even today.

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SESSION 8
Erotica (from the Greek word Eros or “love”) refers to works of art (literature, photography, film, sculpture and painting) that deal largely with erotically stimulating or arousing descriptions. Erotica is a modern word used to describe the portrayal of the human anatomy and sexuality with high-art aspirations, differentiating such work from commercial pornography. The distinction between erotica and pornography This distinction is difficult, if not impossible. Promoters of each of the two forms contend that their work is harmless. In a nutshell, erotica refers to sexually arousing material that aspires to artistic or scientific merit, whereas pornography aims to titillate with explicit portrayal of the sexual act, with little or no artistic value. Supporters of pornography find the stance of eroticapatrons – that erotica is merely aesthetic – pretentious and flawed. However, there are grey areas between the two forms of art: where does art begin and mere sexual titillation end; can the two always be mutually exclusive? The debate has been on for decades but the common understanding of the each of these art forms is as stated above.



References

Abraham, Leena, 2000, “Introduction”. In: Understanding Youth Sexuality: A study of college students in Mumbai. Unit for Research in Sociology of Education, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Deonar: Mumbai, India. Agnes, Flavia, 2006, “State Control and Sexual Morality – The Case of the Bar Dancers of Mumbai”. In: Workshop on Life and Law in South Asia. Majlis Mumbai, Yale university. Anderson, Benedict, 1983, ‘Imagined Communities’. London: Verso. Andrea, Dworkin, 1981,’Pornography’. London :Women’s Press. Bhaiya, Abha and Sen, Menon Kalyani, 1989, ‘Feminist training: percepts and practices’. New Delhi: Mahila Samakhya National Office. Butler, Judith, 1993, ‘Bodies that Matter: On the discursive Limits of “Sex”. New York Routledge. Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit, 1997. London. Connell, 1995, ‘Masculinities’. Berkeley: University of California Press. Dean, Jodi, 1996, “Struggling for Recognition: Identity Politics and Democracy”. In: Solidarity of Strangers: Feminism after Identity Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press. De mooiste Indonesische Mythen en Sagen, uitg Verba, 2002. Delacoste, Frederique B., Alexander & Priscilla, 1987, ‘Sex Work’. New York: Clesis Press. Ford Foundation, 2005, Making The Connection- Struggle for Action and Investment, Knowledge, Creativity, and Freedom Program. New York.



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Foucault, Michel, 1978, The History of Sexuality. Volume 1 Introduction. New York: Vintage Books. Graham, Sharyn, 2004, ‘It’s like one of those Puzzles: Conceptualising Gender among the Bugis’. In: Journal of gender Studies Vol. 13, No. 2. pp 107-116. Routledge, Part of the Taylor and Francis Group. Halberstam, Judith, 1998, ‘Female Masculinities’. Durham and London: Duke University Press. Huntington, Samuel P., 1997, ‘The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order’. London: Simon & Schuster. Jakarta, KPI, report workshop HIV/AIDS and women’s sexualities, Ciloto 2002. Jakarta: APIK, report on TOT workshop on non-normative sexualities, Jakarta, 2006. Kabeer, Naila, 1999, ‘The Conditions and Consequences of Choice: Reflections on the Measurement of Women’s Empowerment’. Geneva: UNRISD. Discussion Paper 108. Katjasungkana, Nursyahbani & Saskia Wieringa, 2003, ‘Sexual Politics and Reproductive Rights in Indonesia’. In: Development, vol. 46, no. 2, June. Kenneth, Zucker, & Bradley, Susan, 1995, ‘Gender Identity Disorder and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents’. New York: Guilford Press. Koeswinarno, 2004, ‘Hidup sebagai waria (Living as a waria)’. Yogyakarta: LKIS. Lukes, S., 1986, ‘Power, Readings in Social and Political Theory’. Basil Blackwell, Oxford. Morgan &Wieringa, Saskia E., 2005, ‘Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men and Ancestral Wives’. Johannesberg: Jacana. Morgan, Robin, 1980, ‘The theory and practice: pornography and rape.’ New York. Nanda, Serena, 1990, ‘Neither Man nor Woman; The Hijras of India’. Belmont: Wadsworth. National workshop on non-normative sexualities, sexual rights and women’s empowerment, September 2006, organized by Jagori( New Delhi, India) Oetomo, Dede, 2001, ‘Memberi Suara pada yang Bisu (Giving Voice to the Mute)’. Yogyakarta: Galang. Pande, Alka, 2004, Ardhanarishvara the Androgyne (probing the gender within). New Delhi: Rupa.



Said, Edward W., 1978, ‘Orientalism; Western Conceptions of the Orient’. London: Penguin. Synott, Anthony, 1993, ‘Bodies and Senses’. In The Body Social. Schildrick, Margrit & Price, Janet, 1999, ‘Feminist Theory and The Body’. Edin University Press, UK, Vance, Carole, 1984, ‘Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Women’s Sexuality’. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Weeks, Jeffer, 1986. Sexuality. Ellis Horwood- Tavistock Publications. Wieringa, Saskia E., (1998) ‘Rethinking Gender Planning. A Critical Discussion on the Concept of Gender’. In: Journal for Gender, Technology and Development. AIT, Thailand 21-37. Wieringa, Saskia E. & Blackwood, 1999, ‘Female Desires; Same-Sex Relatons and Cross-Gendre Practives across Cultures’. New York: University of Columbia Press.

Wieringa, Saskia E., 2004, ‘Global Discourses on Sexuality and the Emergence and Disappearance of Sexual Cultures in Asia’ . Keynote Speech in First Conference Kartini network on Women’s /Gender Studies in Asia, Dalian University, China, September. Wieringa, Saskia E, 2005, Globalisation, Love, Intimacy and Silence in a Working Class Butch/ Fem Community in Jakarta. Amsterdam: ASSR, University of Amsterdam. Wiereinga, Saskia E. & Chhachhi, Amrita, 2006, ‘Measuring Women’s Empowerment: developing a Global Tool’. In: Thanh-Dam Truong, Engendering Human Security; Feminist Perspectives. London and New Delhi: Zed Books and Kali. Wieringa, Saskia E., 2007 “Post Colonial Amnesia In Indonesia and Southeren Africa And the Women’s/Sexual Rights Discourse”. India: New Delhi : Sangat, Kartini & Jagori. Wolf, Naomi, 1991, “The Beauty Myth”. London.

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Trainer’s notes



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Annexure

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ANNEXURES MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

Content
Session number pg A.1 Traveling and Transgendered Deities Introduction A6 1.1 Sociogram session 1 A12 2.1 Bhima, the Kite Runner session 2 A13 2.2 Durga as Slayer of the Demon A16 3.1 Queering the Family Pitch session 3 A17 3.2 The 1965 Events In Indonesia A29 3.3 Personal Introduction A37 3.4 Handout on Sex & Gender A38 4.1 The Story of Lut session 4 A39 4.2		Nadira:	Profile	of 	a	Widow		 A40 4.3		Navigating	Divorce/Widowhood	in	Jakarta		 A44 4.4 Gliding Scale of Heteronormativity A47 4.5 Homophobia in Europe A48 4.6 Declaration of Montreal A51 5.1		Intersex:	What	if 	it’s	(Sort	of)	a	Boy	and	(Sort	of)	a	Girl?		 session 5 A61 5.2 Esmeray: Story of a Transgender A69 5.3		Ayesha:	Profile	of 	a	Lesbian	Woman	 A72 5.4 Handout on Identity Formation and Politics A78 6.1 The body: a polemic session 6 A79 6.2	Feminism	and	Censorship	in	the	West		 A80 6.3	The	Indecent	Representation	of 	Women(Prohibition)	Bill		 A85 7.1	Sex	Work	in	a	Massage	Parlour	 session 7 A89 7.2		Hemali:	Profile	of 	a	Sex	Worker	 A92 7.3 State Control and Sexual Morality A96 8.1 Lee a Muslim Female Husband session 8 A113 10.1 Guide to Sexual Health and Safe Sex session 10 A117

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Introduction
A.1 Traveling and Transgendered deiTies
By Saskia Wieringa

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here are various cases of deities who move in realms which are not limited to the binary female/male division. An interesting example is Avalokiteshvara, alias GuanYin alias Kannon, who travelled all over Asia and changed her/his gender and/ or sex both in between these travels and on location itself.. I came across manifestations of this deity during my own travels, in both India (Avalokiteshvara), Singapore (Guan Yin), China (Guan Yin and her alter ego Miao Shan), Indonesia (Avalokiteshvara) and Japan (Kannon). Below a short exploration of the various meaning this god/goddess has or had. I became first interested in Guan Yin when I learnt that this Buddhist Goddess of Compassion was the protector deity of the anti-marriage sisterhoods in Guangdong, in southern China, often called the ‘Golden Orchid Associations’. These sisterhoods consisted of silk workers, who enjoyed economic independence so they could afford to live outside of the strict patriarchal heterosexual marriages of other Chinese

women. They vowed never to marry and if already married off during infancy, not to consummate the marriage (as proof they had to return after the marriage ceremony with their clothes intact into which they had been tightly sown). Life in these sisterhoods offered women not only respite from the dependence of heterosexual marriages, but also the possibility of a religious career or political status, not open to heterosexually married women. When two sisters became attached to each other and wanted to engage in a marriage bond they performed similar ceremonies (such as hairdressing) as those performed by heterosexual couples. The Guan Yin temples serving them were staffed by abbesses and nuns who were called vegetarian sisters, vegetarian thus meaning no meat and no men. These sisterhoods, which consisted for over 100 years, were labelled ‘feudal’ by Mao’s victorious Red Army and prohibited. The nuns were dispersed all over Asia, from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. (Honig 1985, Topley 1975) During my frequent trips to Singapore at the beginning of the 1980s. I traced such a vegetarian temple. Below are some abstracts of the account I wrote of those meetings: During my first visit in 1983 I contacted some researchers at the university and learnt that:

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ANNEXURES MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

‘…many Chinese women had immigrated in the 1920s and ‘30s. They were silk workers who had been involved in the anti-marriage campaigns, and who lived in sisterhoods, where they supported each other until they died. They earned their living with their profession and had no plans of ever marrying.’ They told me that those sisterhoods no longer existed. But I had already found out myself that there were still sisterhoods called Sam Shui women, who worked in construction. They were recognizable by their red scarves. I also knew that there were sisterhoods of sex workers, so-called butterfly gangs. The gang women were highly trained and much-feared knife fighters who protected the workers. Later that year I went again, this time I was accompanied by a Chinese sociologist, V, from Singapore, whom I had met earlier, at a conference for anthropologists in Vancouver. “I told her that I had looked for sisterhoods in this city-state the last time I visited, but that it had been in vain. ‘Oh, but they actually do exist, it’s just that nobody talks about them,’ she said. ‘They are seen as a thing of the past, but they are well rooted in Chinese society. If you really want to meet these women, I can help you. My aunt is the abbess of a vegetarian sisterhood.’ The next day we set off I her blue Volvo. My colleague informed me that: ‘[The temple we will visit is] a Hakka temple. My great-aunt is the abbess of the group. [Unfortunately she is travelling now]. Sometimes my great-aunt refers to herself with masculine pronouns, but she has never shown any signs that she wants to be anything other than the woman she is. The other sisters also sometimes use masculine terms when they talk to her or about her.

There are two reasons for this. In the first place my great-aunt would like to be reborn as a man, since living like a man does have major advantages, so you might as well announce it well in advance. Furthermore she is heading a fairly complex household. Usually men head households like this; so the masculine term of address is used to signal the deference enjoyed by men running such households.’ ‘I heard about the worldly sisters, the Sam Shui construction workers and the butterfly gangs. Do you know how those women live?’ ‘It is the same as with the religious groups, the women help each other when they are unemployed or ill. They pay and arrange each other’s funerals, which is very important because we worship our ancestors. There is also a sisterhood of domestic servants, the black and white amahs, recognizable by their white coats and black pants. All the women in these sisterhoods earn their own living. Sometimes they live alone, but often they form a kongsi so that they can live together and support each other. Almost all have children, either children of their own or adopted children, to take care of them when they are old and to honor them after their death. The women in these worldly sisterhoods are not vegetarian, but they do not want to get married anymore - if they ever did - just like the religious vegetarian aunts. Some don’t because they do not want heterosexual contacts, and others because they do not wish to accept the loss of independence that comes with marriage. For them it is not so much a relationship with a man that they dislike, but everything that a marriage entails: submission to in-laws, social control, giving up their economic independence. Moreover, marrying is not the only way to get children.

Introduction
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What is important is to have a child, you don’t have to give birth to one. Prostitutes usually have their own children, and the women in the other sisterhoods who have been married before do too. The rest tries to adopt a child. The members of the butterfly gangs are usually older prostitutes who protect their younger colleagues. So they work without pimps. They spitefully call such men: “someone who eats rice from slippers.” When my great-aunt was a novice at the vegetarian temple, she and her girlfriend, who was also a novice then, would hug each other publicly. And people said: “Oh what sexy nuns they are!”. V. is smiling. ‘Now they are both abbesses of their own temples.’ And then, after a slight hesitation: ‘Do you know the Cantonese expression for women who make love to each other?’ ‘No, tell me.’ ‘Grinding bean curd.’ We are met at the temple by a vegetarian aunt, who after serving us fruits and soft drinks, told us: ‘Vegetarian aunt used to have a difficult life. Her family grew cotton and the women used to spin and weave it. When she found out how women had to live after they got married, she decided that this would never happen to her. She had two distant cousins who led vegetarian lives and she found that much more desirable than the way women lived around her. One was my great-aunt, the other her friend who is now the abbess of Johore. It wasn’t just the social and economic consequences of marriage that scared her. She also didn’t want to lead a heterosexual life. She was much more interested in living exclusively with women. After she and the other three women had obtained permission to leave China, she didn’t dare to set off right away. My great-aunt wrote that they

could just go with a captain, but they were scared that they would be sold as prostitutes or concubines. After two years their permit had expired, and they had not yet found an opportunity to leave. Then the current abbess of Johore, my great-aunt’s lover, asked permission for them once more, and this time she decided to pick them up and bring them.’ In February of the next year I am again in Singapore. ‘The day after my arrival we go to the temple where vegetarian great-aunt, back from her trip to China, is expecting us. We are taken right to the reception room behind the Guan Yin altar, where we are received with peanuts, sunflower seeds, vegetarian krupuk, candy and orange juice. Vegetarian great-aunt is quickly coming down the stairs right behind us. We get up and greet her respectfully. She has a strong, pearshaped face and smooth tanned cheeks. Her eyes show the wrinkles from laughter, she has a beautiful, sweet mouth. She is wearing dark blue cotton pants and a light blue silk buttoned up jacket in a floral pattern with three-quarter length sleeves. Around her right wrist she wears a light green jade bracelet and a matching ring on her ring finger. After we have honored Guan Yin with incense sticks, she proposes to show me the house. The vegetarian aunts and the adopted daughters sleep on the first floor. There are boxes with food and temple supplies, such as incense. Vegetarian great-aunt has her bed on the top floor, right next to that of her lover, the abbess of Johore. The abbess of Johore is eighty-three years old so she doesn’t come to visit vegetarian great-aunt very often anymore. The trip is getting too tiring for her. There are a few pictures on the wall showing vegetarian great-aunt and the abbess when they were young. Vegetarian great-aunt is a strong, handsome woman

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who is looking at the camera in a confident, intelligent way. The abbess of Johore is quiet and more contemplative. There is a statue of the goddess of meditation in the front room, to which vegetarian great-aunt often withdraws. Before we start our meal I tell a little about the Guan Yin temples I visited in Jakarta. The name Guan Yin is hardly ever used anymore, though, instead they are called Avalokiteshvara. ‘Ah,’ V. says right away. ‘That is the name of Guan Yin in her male transformation. ‘Yes,’ confirms vegetarian great-aunt, ‘Avalokiteshvara is the name of one of the most important bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism. These bodhisattvas are usually men who have already reached nirvana state, but who haven’t entered yet because if they do they can no longer do anything for us ordinary mortals who are not quite there yet. As far as that is concerned, the Buddha is of no use to us because he is too perfect to be reached. He is completely above the worries and needs of our limited earthly life. In China Guan Yin has kept her original female form. She is probably based on a much older goddess. For us the divine is not something abstract, not something distant, not something beyond the reach of humans. It is humanity in a higher form. Everyone has something of the divine inside her or him and is capable of reaching nirvana in principle. The only difference is that the immortals, such as Guan Yin, have reached the top of humanity and therefore the top of divinity as well.’ (abridged and translated from Dutch, Wieringa 1987, 47 - 78 )’ Guan Yin is believed to be able to transform herself at will to the male Avalokiteshvara, the saviour bodhisattva vegetarian greataunt refers to. In her female form she is the

companion of Amida Buddha. The older Chinese goddess vegetarian great-aunt mentions is probably Miao Shan, who rejected marriage and entered into a Buddhist convent. Conner e.a. (1997) write that the unwelcome attention of the monks caused Miao Shan much disillusionment, upon which she was carried to the heavens on a rainbow (232). Ann and Myers Imel (1993) give a slightly different version: Miao Shan was the daughter of King Miao Tohoan. Having only daughters, the king found them suitable husbands, so that they might produce an heir to the throne. MiaoShan refused to marry, preferring to dedicate herself to becoming a Buddha. Her father tried persuasion, and then cruelty, to change her mind. When she still refused, he ordered her decapitation. Her body was carried off by a deity who appeared in the form of a tiger. She visited hell where she set free some of the damned. On he return , Buddha gave her a divine peach that would provide her with food and drink and give her eternal life…She became the “saviour of Men” and refused to enter paradise until all humans could also enter. (119)” Buddhism entered Japan from China in the 6th century AD. Guan Yin came to be known as Kannon and is today one of the most important deities. When Buddhism spread in Japan around the 10th and 11th centuries AD the Buddhist clergy became almost completely masculinized. Japanese Buddhism became strongly concerned with upholding the social system and preserving peace. Buddhist teachings were stressed that upheld that women could only find salvation by either renouncing worldly life, through dedicated motherhood, for instance of monks, or through the metamorphosis through rebirth into a man (Haruko in Wieringa forthcoming). The present day dominant interpretation of Kannon is masculine. Thus between the age

Introduction
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when the deity entered Japan and today s/he has gone though various transformations, remnants of which survive to this day. Her/his androgynous, haunting beauty is displayed in major temples all over the country. She entered the country in the manifestation of the white-clad ‘Goddess of Mercy’. Transformed into Kannon she performed similar functions as she originally did in China (Paul, quoted in Wieringa forthcoming). In spite of her female origin and her generally androgynous appearance she is usually referred to as male by Japan’s Buddhist clergy. When a professor at one of Kyoto’s universities discussed the female origin of Kannon with a Buddhist head monk he vehemently denied this: ‘no no no, maybe his phallus is not visible, but he has a big one tucked away under his robe!’ he exclaimed. In a fourteenth century tale Kannon is linked to male same-sex practices. A certain Japanese Buddhist monk was a passionate worshipper of Kannon. As he was very lonely, he was rewarded for his faith by the bodhisattva with a young male lover, a manifestation of Kannon. S/he appeared to the monk as a beautiful young man, dressed in a lavender kimono and playing a flute. They spent three loving years together, after which Kannon returned to her/his abode in the heavens (Conner e.a. in Wieringa forthcoming). There are still traces of Kannon’s gender ambiguity. For instance in Kamakura’s Hasedera Kannon temple. In the main hall of this Hasekannon temple an impressive Kannon of elusive beauty is standing. On her/

his right side there is a painting in which s/ he is portrayed in a more or less masculine posture, with thousand arms. On her/his right side a female form is represented, that of Sarasvati (Benten in its manifestation in Japan, a popular fertility goddess) with a sun at the background. The parallel locations of these panels suggests that Kannon is associated both with masculinity and with femininity, as represented by Benten. In one of the minor halls a wooden statue of a lying, nude Benten, in an auto-erotic pose is found, in the midst of Buddhist sages and other deities, and beside a huge prayer-wheel. Thus Japan’s major Buddhist deity, Kannon, originally arrived in a female form. Buddhist clergy however masculinized her. Yet they cannot erase the omnipresence of androgynous, beautiful statues of this god/ dess in which her/his femininity is clearly perceivable. Kannon is often seen as the Madonna of East Asia, second only in popular esteem to the Amitabha Buddha (Cotterell in Wieringa forthcoming). Kannon combines both ‘feminine’ qualities such as mercy and compassion and enormous powers that the clergy associates with masculinity. Thus Avalokitshvara/GuanYin/Kannon transcends gender/sex binaries but is again and again pinned down to an established sex/ gender pattern. In her most powerful feminine form she is able to protect the anti-marriages sisterhoods, but masculinised as Kannon s/ he is used to shore up the claims to power of Japan’s mighty patriarchal monks.

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References
Ann, Martha and Dorothy Myers Imel, 1993, Goddesses in World Mythology; a Biographical Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Conner, Randy P, David Hatfield Sparks and Mariya Sparks, 1997, Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit. London: Cassell. Honig, Emily, 1985, Burning Incense, Pledging Sisterhood: Communities of Women Workers in the Shanghai Cotton Mills, 1919-1949, in: Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 10, no. 4. Topley, Marjorie, 1975, Marriage Resistance in Rural Kwangtung, in: Margery Wolf and Roxane Witke, eds, Women in Chinese Society, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Wieringa, Saskia, 1987, Uw Toegenegen Dora D., (Yours sincerely Dora D) Amsterdam: Furie. Wieringa, Saskia E., forthcoming, Silence, Sin and the System Women’s Same Sex Practices in Japan. In Saskia E. Wieringa, Evelyn Blackwood and Abha Bhaiya, eds, Women’s Same Sex Experiences in a Globalizing Asia. Palgrave McMillan.

Introduction
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Session 1
1.1 SoCIoGRAM
For this Sociogram, participants can be asked to form groups based on their individual identies: People who think they are human beings; Those who believe they are male, female, any other (groups to be formed on the basis of sexual identities); Those who believe they are man, woman any other (gendered identities); How many believe they are considered ‘normal’, ‘abnormal’ by the family/ society; Groups to be formed on the basis of religion/caste/ethnic/class identities; People who are single/married/coupled; Those who live with their partners; People with children: within marriage or outside it; Those who think marriage is important/essential; How many work professionally on the issue of sexuality; and How many can talk about issues of sexualities at home/workplace.

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Session 2
Session 2

2.1

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BHIMA, THE KITE RunnER
By Saskia Wieringa

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hima welcomes us warmly into his small, neat ground floor apartment in Amsterdam. I am accompanied for this interview by Ge Meulmeester, a staff member of the Amsterdam women’s archives I direct, and himself a transgender. I haven’t seen Bhima for some years and complement him on his apparently good health. Proudly he shows us around, pointing out the paintings he himself made. He offers us tea, and a plate of petits fours. Bhima is dressed in a dark brown and blue striped men’s shirt and light brown trousers. His waving hair is combed back and is balding. His face is clean shaven. All in all he gives the distinct impression of a courteous, slightly corpulent gentleman. Only his delicate hands betray that he was born as the daughter of an East Javanese woman of high descent and her Indian husband, in 1948. His town of origin was Jakarta but he spent the first years of his life in Delhi. I met him for the first time in hospital in Jakarta, in 1982, when I brought him tapes that carried the loving words of his Eurasian partner in Holland. His lover was the sister of an ex-lover of mine. He had just had his second operation, the removal of both his

ovaries and his womb, so that never again, as he explained, he could be startled by a dark spot in his trousers. Some years prior to that he had had his breasts removed. He still used his maiden name then, Rita, only later he insisted on the male name that he is now known by. Bhima is a pseudonym for the purpose of this interview. He chose this name as he used to identify as Bhima, as a kid. When all his friends in the street would play out the stories of the Indian epics such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, girls would want to play the roles of Sita, the abducted wife of Ram, or Srikhandi, the warrior wife of Arjuna, one of the five Pandava brothers, the heroes of the Mahabharata. Rita would always choose to be Arjuna’s invincible warrior brother, Bhima, with his long thumbnail and his proud, indomitable character. Bhima is talkative, happy to share his life story with us, and often accompanies his words with broad gestures. At several times during the long evening we talk, he gets up and acts out a dialogue. During the tea breaks he slips out, into his garden, to smoke. He is mindful that Dutch people may not like others smoking in

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front of them, but like most Indonesian men he himself smokes. As he remembers, the first signs of rebellion against the dictates of his body were at the age of three. His mother made him wear a frock at his birthday party which he deeply resented. Bhima gets up to get a photo album and shows a picture of a pouting child. His mother used to tell him that he protested vehemently. From then onwards he gradually became aware that he doesn’t have a little willie as the other boys have and cannot stand up peeing the same way they do. When he started attending school he was forced to wear the skirt of his school uniform but he always had knickerbockers underneath them. Once out of the school gate he would quickly stuff his skirt into those knickerbockers and run off to his friends in the same street where he lived, once more a boy. He thus lived a double life, ostensibly a girl at school, forced to participate in girls’ games, as the boys wouldn’t accept him in their soccer team and a boy in the streets and at home. Says Bhima: “I was forced to act the role of a girl, it felt strange.” The boys in the street generally accepted him as one of them. But when it really mattered they insisted on their prerogatives. Bhima remembers vividly the time they were playing a game of kites. Two older boys were having a kite contest, trying to cut the string of each other’s kite. As usual the smaller boys would run after the kite that had been cut loose. It would become the property of the boy who had found the loose kite first. Once the game was over and one kite was flying away forlornly, Rita started running after it, as the other boys did. After a wild chase he came upon it first and clutched it triumphantly against his chest.

The other boys who had chased after the kite surrounded him threateningly and started shoving and kicking him. “Hey, why do you do that?” Rita asked. “It is my kite, I found it first.” “Get out,” the other boys shouted, “you cannot have that kite. You are a girl, a banci.1 This is a boys’ game, that kite belongs to us.” Crying Rita held on to his legitimate property. He was liberated by a neighbour, who told the boys to let him alone. Rita ran home and hid into bed, with his torn kite. Around the age of 8 or 9 years he started to discover his feelings for girls. Bhima was confused. Why did he love girls so much better than boys? A neighbouring boy had a sister whom Bhima was much attracted to. He used to go there often to play and beg for a farewell kiss on his cheeks from the sister. After a few months he became bold and asked for a kiss on his lips. The sister of his friend pushed him away: “Are you mad Rita? That is abnormal Only men and women kiss each other on the lips!” Ashamed and rejected Rita ran off to cry in his bed once more. He kept being confronted by people calling him abnormal. Why? He often thought. I never hurt anybody. I am always honest, I help people as much as I can. How can they call me abnormal? He got his first girlfriend, Sandra, in junior high school. She accepted him as he was, but when they made love he would keep his t-shirt and underwear on. At that time he still wore women’s underwear. He would write little notes to himself, reflecting for instance on why he loved girls so much. He once gave one of those notes to Sandra, who lost

1 Banci is the Indonesian term for transgender, which is traditionally used both for persons with a female and a male body. At present it is mainly used for persons with a male body.

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it at home. Her mother read it and started to spy on them. Once she climbed on top of the bathtub and peered through a small top window into the bedroom where they were making love. Her mother then realized that these two innocent-looking girls were in fact lovers and she prohibited the relationship. She sent her daughter to another school, a catholic one, to separate them. Undeterred Sandra and Bhima kept meeting each other, after school hours, outside of the house. During this relationship, that lasted for 8 years, Bhima started dreaming about being operated to get the body he felt he should have. At that time such an operation was not possible in Jakarta. So he would need a lot of money to go abroad. When he heard of somebody who had been operated in China, his determination grew. But he had little money. As he refused to wear a skirt any longer after he had left high school, he could not enter into university. His mother had bought him a small car and he worked as a driver escorting hostesses to and from a nightclub. In 1976 he started taking hormones. By then the first Indonesian gender team had formed and he had immediately enlisted. After the intake they realised he was serious and he could go on for the obligatory 20 sessions with a psychologist. Having completed those he was eager to move on with the first operation. However, the doctors hesitated when they saw on his identity card that he was a Muslim. They feared the wrath of conservative clerics. Bhima was desperate. “Listen, I have come this far! I have saved up for this, sold my car, relatives have contributed, how can you do this to me? Tell me what other religion I should take up and I will immediately get my identity card changed. I have never even been inside a mosque. I don’t care about any institutionalised

religion.” However the doctors advised him to get a letter of recommendation from a noted Muslim scholar. Undaunted Bhima made an appointment with a progressive woman psychologist who had been trained in Egypt and who often gave liberal advice on Muslim issues on the radio. He managed to make her write a letter to take to the well-known Muslim scholar Prof. Hamka. Letter in hand Bhima presented himself at the gate of Prof. Hamka’s house where he was let in by the great scholar himself. Bhima pleaded his case, upon which Prof. Hamka opened the qur’an and pointed to a passage which read that when you are ill you must make all attempts to heal yourself. “Are you ill?” Hamka asked. Bhima nodded vehemently. “Fine, so then tell them that the qur’an advises to heal your illness.” “It is better, sir,” Bhima suggested, “that you write that down for them.” With that letter Bhima had no problem to be accepted for the first operation, in which his breasts were removed. Before the doctors put him on the operating table, however, they asked him to pose nakedly, for their files, so they said. Bhima experienced that as very humiliating, but complied with the request. The second operation was performed in 1982. By then Bhima had changed considerably. If before 1976 Bhima was a dashing, rather androgynous looking youth, by the early 1980s, his face had become more square. With his moustache and beard he really looked very masculine. At the back of his picture album he has stuck a series of portraits of himself in which his progress into full masculinity can be seen from year to year. After his womb and uterus were also removed he never was surprised by signs of menstruation again, though he says he is still haunted by that in his dreams.

Session 2
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Bhima had met Irene, the elder sister of my friend, while on senior high school. Although he still had his relationship with Sandra, they started an affair, which ended after a few months when Irene’s family moved to The Netherlands, following the nationalisation of Shell, where her father worked, by the Indonesian government. Irene’s mother intercepted their letters so they lost contact. They only got to know each other again when Irene’s younger sister presented herself on Bhima’s doorstep, with a lesbian badge for him. Indignantly Bhima refused, as he was not a lesbian. Irene’s sister had already realised that, noting the change in Bhima from their school days. As both Irene and Bhima had just ended their respective relationships, they were free to explore their old love again. After an intensive correspondence Irene came to Jakarta and they fell deeply in love again. However, Irene couldn’t find employment and had to leave the country again when her visum expired. She invited Bhima to join her in Holland. After 3 years Irene dumped Bhima and told him to get back to Jakarta. Indignant, Bhima refused and decided to prove that he could very well survive on his own in Holland. He

was still thinking of getting his third operation, the fabrication of a penis from his own skin from either the thigh or stomach. However, by that time his health had deteriorated. He was finally diagnosed as having kidney stones and operated on. Via his network of transsexuals in Holland he learnt of the risks of this new penis. Although it would allow him to pee standing up, the risk of frequent and painful blockages has so far prevented him from attempting it. My last question regards his health. When I last saw him, he didn’t look too good. Laughing Bhima ensures me that all is well now, after his stones have been largely removed. He only regrets that the hormones he is taking cause him to get bald. Otherwise he is fine. He has a passport saying he is a man, everybody accepts him as such. He has a house, a small but stable income and a circle of friends. He split up with his last girlfriend a few years ago but is hopeful that he will once again get a relationship. And that future partner will once again be a heterosexual woman. “For,” he says, “they have all gotten male lovers after me. So that proves that they are heterosexual women and that I am a man.” (Amsterdam interview, held 17 October 2006)

2.2 DuRGA AS SLAyER oF THE DEMon

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urga is a Hindu goddess depicted primarily as a woman warrior. She is also associated with Devi, Kali and other goddesses (in Bali, as Rangda). Durga is both beautiful and terrifying. She is also known as the goddess of wisdom. Durga’s faithful include gender variant males (Cassell 126/7).When the gods were attacked by the monster-demon Mahisha, neither Vishnu nor Shiva could

prevail against it. Thus, they combined their energies, sakti, creating Durga. With eighteen arms, she set out to battle and conquered the terrifying monster. Thus, the gods in the time of their need had surrendered to her every weapon and power. She became known as the all-comprehending One. (Cassell 1997:67)

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Session 3
3.1
Session 3

QuEERInG THE FAMILy PITCH: Sexual and Textual Preferences in Indian Fiction
- “The Little Magazine”, Nov-Dec 2000, Article: Sohini Ghosh

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he social diversity of contemporary life notwithstanding, we live in a culture where normative family arrangements far outweigh non normative familial preferences. Just as it is impossible to think of sexuality without considering gender, it is difficult to speak of normative familial arrangements without presupposing the role of heterosexuality. The family remains a strongly-gendered institution that shapes and influences the process of gendering by its everyday performance. Despite feminist interventions, public discourse around ‘family values’ continues to carry powerful myths about harmony; accord, safety, integration, individual and collective fulfillment Moreover, it is the family that ‘normalises’ heterosexuality through its everyday performance and allows it to masquerade

as immutable, natural and innate. If the assumed objective of the hetero-normative family is to produce, reproduce and represent heterosexuality through its everyday lived experiences, how does it engage with nonhetero-normative or queer sexuality? In exploring the intersection between queer sexuality and the family, the paper attempts to understand how both negotiate, contour and finally ‘queer’ each other.1 In 1998, Deepa Mehta’s film Fire, about the lesbian relationship between two sisters-inlaw in an urban, middleclass household in Delhi, created a furore.2 Activists of the Hindu Right stormed and vandalised cinema halls where the film was being screened. Clearly, their outrage had to do with Fire’s challenge to the twin foundations of the Hindu family: marriage and heterosexuality.

1 I will use the word ‘queer’ instead of gay and lesbian. The terms gay and lesbian imply binary polarities between men and women and between hetero and homosexuality as being mutually exclusive. The term queer does not presuppose naturalised sex-gender binaries. I will use gay and lesbian to refer only to specific same-sex relationships between men and women respectively. 2 See ‘From the Frying Pan to the Fire: Dismantled Myths and Deviant Women’, Journal of the Inter-University Center for Humanities and Social Science, Vol. V, No. 2, Winter 1998, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.

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This article attempts to trace the architectural ancestors of Fire and map the ‘queering’ of the family space through three literary texts: Lihaf (The Quilt), Terhi Lakir (The Crooked Line) by Ismat Chugtai and Naya Gharvas (A New Domesticity) by Vijaydan Dheta. In discussing Naya Gharvas I will recall another visionary text, Sultana’s Dream by Rokeya Sakhawatt Hossain. Lihaf and Terhi Lakir were written in Urdu while Naya Gharvas was written in Rajasthani and later translated into Hindi. The paper attempts to understand how queer love – in this case lesbian relationships – negotiates the seemingly heterosexual family space in order to explore the limits of ‘otherness’. The three literary texts chosen for this paper emerge from three distinct genres of narrative practice. Lihaf is a short story that deploys elliptical tropes of suggestion, wit and irony combined with a sense of the grotesque. Written in the tradition of the Bildungsroman Terhi Lakir is a detailed and realist narrative about the life of its central female protagonist. Naya Gharvas, on the other hand, is a phantasmic folk narrative where tropes of realism meld effortlessly with the fabulist. In the popular imagination Lihaf (1941)3 is the most visible story depicting a lesbian relationship. Claims of ‘visibility’ and invisibility are complex and have as much to do with the absence of images as with a lack of interpretive practices. The public attention that Lihaf received had much to do with the controversy that followed the publication of the story in 1942. Charged with obscenity, Ismat Chugtai had to face trial in Lahore. The trial lasted for two years and was dismissed when the court could not establish any clear

evidence of ‘obscenity,’ in the story. Perhaps it was due to the highly publicised court case that Lihaf has been more visible as a lesbian text than Terhi Lakir (1943), which also depicts lesbian love and desire.4 In fact, Terhi Lakir deals with relationships between women in greater depth and detail even though it is only a small part of the novel. Terhi Lakir traces the birth and life of Shaman, who is the tenth and youngest child in a middle-class Muslim family. Growing up either ignored or rejected in a large joint family; Shaman becomes a rebellious and temperamental young girl who develops a deep attachment to her wet nurse and older sister, Manjhubi. She suffers intense rejection and loneliness when Manjhubi gets married. Her despair and longing for her sister manifests itself as a passionate craving for her physical touch. Returning to her maternal home, Manjhubi decides to give Shaman a bath. “Come here, you miserable child! What have you done to yourself in just these few days?” asks Manjhubi as she gives her a sound thrashing. The “attention-laden smacks” that accompany Manjhubi’s cleaning and scrubbing of Shaman quenches “a bunting thirst” in both siblings. The reunion is short-lived as Manjhubi soon gets busy with her own life and children. After finishing school, Shaman leaves for college and finds herself in an all-women college. Here, she attracts the attention of one Rasul Fatima, for whom she feels nothing but revulsion. But Rasul Fatima, who is hopelessly in love with Shaman, writes: “Goddess of my heart’s temple... ah... why are you angry, with your devotee? How long will you be vexed

3 I have based my reading of Lihaf by Ismat Chugtai on The Quilt and Other Stories, trans. Tahira Naqvi & Syeda. S. Hameed, Kali for Women, 1990. 1 have occasionally referred to Syed Sirajuddin’s translation from Modern Indian Literature: Poems and Short Stories, Department of English, University of Delhi, OUP, 1999. 4 The Crooked Line trans. Tahira Nagvi, Kali for Women, 1995.

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with me? If you hate me so much then strangle me with your beautiful hands. What a spell you have woven! Let me fall at your feet and beg forgiveness.” The letter is signed by “Rasul Fatima, the worshipper of your beauty”. The meek but persistent advances made by the ever-servile Rasul Fatima only serve to alienate the object of her devotion. In a fit of mean-spiritedness, Shaman punishes her by locking her up all night in the prayer room. Next morning, Rasul Fatima is discovered in the prayer room burning with fever and in a state of coma. Despite the illtreatment, she refuses to name the culprit. The incident leaves its sinister traces in Shaman’s consciousness. She is reminded of the common belief that “if you kill a serpent, its mate seeks vengeance”. She consoles herself by reasoning that “after Rasul Fatima was gone, there was no female serpent to be afraid of”. Eventually, the avenging mate appears, as it were. Very soon Shaman herself falls deeply in love with Najma, another college friend. Najma looks delicate, as though “she didn’t have a solid bone in her body” and if one were to try and hold her “she would slip through like a boiled egg”. Through a succession of vignettes, Chugtai describes in detail Shaman’s sensual and tactile obsession with Najma. One day, a corner of Najma’s dupatta falls on Sharman’s arm. When she removes the dupatta from her arm, she immediately- feels sorry, as if she had tossed out some “very precious object from her lap”. She prayed “Najma would fling her dupatta in the same impish manner...” On another occasion, Shaman is drawn to Najma’s koti (jacket) hanging in the room. As she tiptoes toward the koti her heart beats so rapidly that she thinks it will explode. As a “mesmerising whiff” enters her nose, she begins to feel dizzy. Unfortunately, Najma

is in love with Saadat, who happens to be Shaman’s roommate. The closest that the two women get to each other is during a fancy-dress show when Shaman wears a man’s suit and Najma dresses as a washerwoman. But to the lovelorn Shaman, the washerwoman looks like the beautiful, legendary queen Padmini and she cannot help but stare at her. Najma too blushes and says, “She looks just like a boy”. Najma grasps Shaman’s hands and it all seems like a dream. More than anyone else, Najma is most impressed with Shaman’s clothes and she spends the evening teasing and flirting with her as Saadat becomes increasingly jealous. During dinner, an excited Shaman can hardly eat as Najma keeps up a playful chatter. Najma’s anklets and earrings keep getting unclasped and Shaman is required to fix them. This tactile and sensual proximity thrills the shy Shaman. For that moment, the attraction is reciprocal as Najma too is drawn to her cross-dressed admirer. Unfortunately, the happiness is short-lived. The evening ends unhappily for Shaman as Najma is reunited with a jealous Saadat. Shaman watches the ecstatic couple standing with their arms around each other’s waist, singing in perfect harmony. “Both were totally absorbed in each other, far away from the rest of the world.” The codes of romantic narrative conventions like gazing, touching, fantasising, romance and courtship that consistently mark the erotic attraction in Terbi Lakir is almost completely absent in Lihaf. The child protagonist and narrator states at the outset that she is “not about to relate a romantic incident surrounding [her] own quilt” as she does not believe that there is “much romance associated with it”. She says she prefers the blanket which, “though less comfortable, is preferable because it does

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not cast such terrifying shadows, quivering on the wall”. Thereafter unfolds a story of a sexual relationship that is devoid of romance and marked by sexual physicality. Having failed to distract her husband from his young boy lovers, Begum Jan begins to satisfy her sexual desires with Rabbo, the massage woman. Of course, the facts are never stated directly. In fact it is the ambiguity of the narrative voice that heightens the sexual tension in the story. Rabbo’s entry into Begum Jan’s life is described with seeming innocence. It seems Rabbo entered Begum Jan’s life “just as she was starting to go under”. However, Rabbo’s entry marks a turn for the formerly despondent Begun Jan, whose” emaciated body” suddenly begins to fill out. Her checks become rosy and beauty seemed to glow though every pore of her body. Having described this sudden and marked change in Begum Jan, the author offers a disarming explanation: “It was a special oil massage that brought about the change in Begun Jan. Begging your pardon, you will not find the recipe for this oil in the most exclusive or expensive magazine!” Clearly, the oil massage is sex in disguise. The seeming innocence is an artifice. The author tells all while saying nothing. If the massage is indeed sex, then the story is an elaborate and tantalising detailing of Begum Jan and Rabbo’s sex life. “Rabbo had no other household duties. Perched on a fourposter bed, she was always massaging Begum Jan’s head, feet or some other part of her anatomy... as if this daily massage were not enough, on the days she bathed this ritual extended to two hours! Scented oils and unguents were massaged into her shining skin... Usually, Rabbo was the only one allowed inside the sanctum. Other servants, muttering their disapproval,

handed over various necessities at the closed door.” At other times, the massage-standing-in-forsex idea is more explicit. The narrator writes: “The fact of the matter was that Begun Jan was afflicted with a perpetual itch. Numerous oils and lotions had been tried, but the itch was there to stay. Hakims and doctors stated: It is nothing, the skin is clear. But if the disease is located beneath the skin, it’s a different matter... These doctors are mad! Rabbo used to say with a meaningful smile while gazing dreamily at Begun Jan. `May your enemies be afflicted with skin disease! It’s your hot blood that causes all the trouble’.” By positioning the author as an adult, then a child, Chugtai creates a double and simultaneous narrative voice. A dual narrative that knows and yet pretends not to know. The narrator who is both child-adult and insider-outsider leaves the narrative poised precariously between silence and eloquence, visibility and invisibility, expose and subterfuge. This straddling of multiple thresholds could make Lihaf seem to be a feminist joke. But such a reading is somewhat complicated, though not entirely displaced, by the narrator’s deep ambivalence regarding Rabbo and Begum Jan’s sexual involvement. The narrator’s ambivalence about Begum Jan and Rabbo’s relationship is marked by the alternating feelings of comfort and discomfort that the child feels in the inner quarters of the household and her interaction with the two lovers. Clearly, the narrator is in love with Begum Jan herself. She writes: “How I loved her looks. I wanted to sit by her side for hours, adoring her like a humble devotee. Her complexion was fair, without a trace of ruddiness. Her black hair was also drenched in oil. I had never seen her parting crooked, or a single hair out of place. Her eyes

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were black, and carefully plucked eyebrows stretched over them like a couple of perfect bows! Her eyes were slightly taut, eyelids heavy and eyelashes thick. The most amazing and attractive part of her face was her lips. Usually dyed in lipstick, her upper lip had a distinct line of down. Her temples were covered with long hair. Sometimes her face became transformed before my adoring gaze, as if it were the face of a young boy:”5 The narrator’s adoration for Begun Jan manifests itself in her gazing at Begum Jan like a “humble devotee”. This romantic engagement is ruptured by Begum Jan’s tactile sexuality. The conflict between romance and sexuality could be seen to determine much of the ambivalence that runs through the body of the story. Later, many readers would be disturbed by the same conflict. Were Begum Jan to be in love with Rabbo, the narrator might have been less ambivalent. Consequently, the narrator’s discomfort around the body and corporeality gets articulated through the suggestions that Rabbo and Begum Jan have too much sex. “Someone other than Begum Jan receiving such a quantity of human touching, what would the consequences be?” asks the narrator. “Speaking for myself, I can say that if someone touched me continuously like this, I would certainly rot.” Later she writes, “Imagining the friction caused by this prolonged rubbing made me slightly sick.” This fearfulness informs the narrative telling of these childhood recollections. In fact, the adult narrator’s childhood memories are triggered by the rather sinister spectacle of the quilt throwing fearful shadows on the wall – like the swaying of an elephant. Sexuality here is not affirmative, but almost stalking, predatory and insatiable.

Rabbo, more than Begum Jan, seems to embody this transgressive and devouring sexuality: “Rabbo! She was as black as Begum Jan was white, like burnt iron ore! Her face was lightly marked with small pox, her body solidly packed: small, dexterous hands, a tight little paunch and full lips, slightly swollen, which were always moist. A strange and bothersome odour emanated from her body. Those puffy hands were quick as lightening, now at her waist, now her lips, now kneading her thighs and dashing towards her ankles. Whenever I sat down with Begum Jan, my eyes were riveted to those roving hands.” Rabbo is the archetypal unruly working class woman occupying a transgressive female body – too dark, too rough, too masculine and too sexual. Her robust physicality seems indicative of a body and sexuality that seems out of control. The sight of Begum Jan and Rabbo making love under the quilt looks like “an elephant was struggling beneath it”. The sound of their lovemaking resembles “sounds of a cat slobbering in the saucer”. The ambivalence of the child narrator’s own feelings about Begum Jan is heightened when Rabbo disappears on an errand and an innocuous back-scratching exercise between Begum Jan and the child begin to acquire sexual overtones. Impelled by romantic devotion and the promise of bribes, the childnarrator inadvertently proceeds to arouse Begum Jan. To the child’s horror, she realises that the `unthinking and mechanical scratching’ has resulted in her stroking not Begum Jan’s back but her breasts. As Begum Jan struggles to hold her close, she escapes: “To this day, whenever I think of what she looked like, I get nervous. Her eyelids became heavy, her upper lip darkened and, despite the cold, her

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5 S Syed Sirajuddin translates this line as: “Sometimes, watching her face you had the queer feeling that you were looking at the face of a young boy.”

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nose and eyes were covered with tiny beads of perspiration. She was clutching me like a clay doll. I started feeling nauseated against her warm body. She seemed possessed. What could I do? I was neither able to cry nor scream! In a while she became limp. Her face turned pale and frightening, she started to take deep breaths I figured she was about to die, so I ran outside.” The child narrator’s first encounter with Begum Jan’s sexual appetite is unnerving –almost frightening. The indeterminate and uncertain threshold between sexual experience and sexual abuse destabilises both an entirely – serious or humorous reading of the situation. The uncertainty and irony of the situation consolidates the ambivalent strain of the narrative. Perhaps, it is for this reason that Lihaf despite its daring to engage with a lesbian theme, has been read as a deeply homophobic text.6 For queer readers, Lihaf presents some obvious problems. By making an easy slide from consensual sexual engagement to what almost verges on sexual abuse the narration momentarily abandons its earlier playfulness and adopts an uncomfortable, even sinister overtone. The discomfort is heightened by the child narrator’s relative powerlessness and legitimate anxieties: “How I wished Amma would return. Begum Jan had become such a terrifying entity that I spent my days in the company of household servants. I was too scared to step into her bedroom. What could I have said to anyone? That I was afraid of Begum Jan? Begum Jan who loved me so dearly?” In the penultimate moment of the story the narrative ambiguity heightens the sexual suspense of the story. The dual voice holds

out a simultaneous promise; those who have no idea what’s happening under the quilt will finally be told and those who do know will receive some confirmation. Tonight, the narrator will turn on the fight and solve the mystery of the swaying quilt. She writes, “The elephant started fluttering once again, as if about to squat. Smack, gush, slobber – someone was enjoying a feast. Suddenly, I understood what was going on”. This is the caesura the hiatus where the readers wait with bated breath. One more time, the author turns the joke on the readers through her deliberate and playful misreading. “Begum Jan had not eaten a thing all day and Rabbo, the witch was a known glutton. They were polishing off some goodies under the quilt, for sure.” The return to this playfulness considerably reduces the tension created by the narrator’s uneasy sexual encounter with Begun Jan. The quilt starts to billow once more. This time the narrator turns the light on and the elephant somersaults. The climactic moment of seeing has arrived but so has the closure of the story. In its famous closing lines, the author writes: “What I saw when the quilt was lifted, I will never tell anyone, not even if they give me a lakh of rupees.” Taken together, Terhi Lakir and Lihaf could seem to represent a certain mind and body dichotomy. It is not till Vijaydan Dheta’s Naya Gharvas that romance and sexuality are conflated to create the affirmative and subversive lesbian text.7 Naya Gharvas is not content to just ‘queer’ the family space and subvert instimtionalised heterosexuality; it makes a poetic appeal for the radical altering of both family and community.

6 See author’s introduction to Ismat Chugtai in Same-Sex Love in India: readings from Literature and History, ed. Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai; St. Martin’s Press, 2000. 7 The Dilemma and Other stories, by Vijaydan Dheta, trans. Ruth Vanita; ed. Madhu Kishwar, Manushi Prakashan, 1997. ‘Naya Gharvas’ was first published in Hindi in 1979. It seems the Rajasthani original was published in the early 1970s.

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Vijaydan Dheta inaugurates his short story by rupturing dominant notions of familial love and affection and uncovering layers of deceit and treachery that underlie the ‘natural’ heteronormative family. Two moneylenders, who are also friends, decide to have their children marry even before they are born. When the children are born, both turn out to be girls. Blinded by his pledge and greed for dowry; one Seth refuses to divulge or acknowledge that his son is actually a daughter. He brings them up like a boy and has her wear men’s clothing. When the time for marriage draws near, the Seth’s wife begs him to confront the situation: “How can you shut your eyes to reality like this?” Determined to construct a seemingly ‘natural’ heterosexual family, the Seth argues: “When men go out on business for eight or ten years, their wives, if they are sensible women, wait patiently. When women are married to incapable men, somehow they still the desire of their wombs. After all, a child widow also lives out her fife, doesn’t she? A girl has to endure whatever is in her fate.” When the distraught Sethani persists in dissuading him, the Seth rudely reminds her that she herself was born of a low-caste man because everybody knew she had an incapable father. The daughter herself walks into the marriage innocently imagining that her manliness was secure in her men’s clothing and sixteen-foot-long turban. When a friend tells her that she is actually a girl she says: “Even if I had been a woman instead of a man, I would not have refused this marriage. After all, a marriage is a union of two hearts. If the hearts of two women unite, why should they not get married?” From the start the relationship of the two women is described through tropes of romantic convention. When the two babies are conceived, we are told, “while still in

the womb, the two children were linked together”. During the wedding ceremony “two soft hands” are joined as a current runs “like lightning through their bodies” and “two strangers” are “joined together for life”. When, at night, the couple are left alone, the groom lifts the veil to see his bride: “Here was a veritable moon hidden behind the veil.” The groom says, “I had heard so much about your beauty but I never dreamt and hoped for such perfection.” The bride replies: “You are no less beautiful. My beauty is nothing before yours.” So overcome by beauty are the newlyweds that they spend two entire nights just gazing at each other. When he feels hot, the groom opens his shirt-front and the bride discovers that her husband is really a woman. The moment of revelation is marked through metaphors of sight and vision. Having seen her ‘husband’s’ bane chest, the bride swoons. The groom’s illusion is finally broken. She realises that “the demon of illusion is able to render a person blind and deaf. He neither sees nor hears. He sees only that shadow cast on the screen of illusion which he wishes to see. Truth loses its meaning and purpose. After so many years now, her eyes began to throb with eagerness to see the naked truth”. She rouses her partner in swoon with the words: “Open your eyes. I am rid of my illusion.” The reinvention of the two women begins with the bride reclothing her partner with the clothes of a woman. “From today,” she says, “your name is Beeja and mine is Teeja. How blessed we are that fortune has brought us together.” Having confronted the hostility of their family and community, Teeja and Beeja leave the village to begin a new life together. “We two will now seek freedom together,” Beeja had said. As Teeja and Beeja leave the village they escape the claustrophobia of their earlier life.

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“The beauty of this earth lay before them, limitless, stretching out in every direction. For the fast time these beloved daughters of nature met with nature. Leaping like does, they climbed a hill. Mad with joy, they chased each other to the highest peak and began to whirl round and round, holding hands... Rain fell in torrents. The air vibrated as though with drumbeats of joy. Flashing around them, the lightning throbbed with eagerness to see the beauty of the two friends.” Wiping Beeja’s face, Teeja said, “The lightning is thirsting to meet us. Perhaps its thirst cannot be quenched through these veiling clothes.” Beeja answered: “What use have we for veils? Why keep the poor lightning thirsty?” As the blouses fell open, the lightning flashed. As if it too, hidden in clouds, had been thirsting for centuries. The glimpse of this lotus pain quenched its thirst. Once more, joyful drumbeats burst forth. Like ladybirds, the two stood, embracing, lost to the world, longing to mingle with one another, drinking nectar from each other’s lips.Like the clouds, they discharged their passion and slackened their embrace. The inanimate life of the mountain was infused with new meaning, and a new glow dissolved into the lightning. “ The nature imagery deployed to describe Teeja and Beeja’s fast sexual encounter reverses the notion of same-sex love as being ‘unnatural’ or ‘against nature’. In fact, it is Teeja and Beeja’s fearless venturing into the haunted tank that ultimately leads them into a fabulous utopia. Here, they meet their invisible protector, the chieftain of the ghosts. They discover that it is actually this invisible mentor who had ensured their safe exit from the village. When Teeja and Beeja realise that the ghost chieftain had seen them make love, they are embarrassed. The chieftain puts them at ease by saying that since they

were not too shy to make love before the lightning, why should they feel shy in front of him? He proceeds to create a paradise, a plentiful utopia for Teeja and Beeja: a palace where every need is met and all desires fulfilled. In my reading, there are two significant narrative moments in the story. First, the entry of the ghost chieftain and second, Beeja’s ‘crossing over’ to become a man. The appearance of the ghost chieftain heralds the utopian imaginary within the story. Realism, both of plot and as a constellation of narrative strategies, is dismantled to make way for a textual terrain that is shaped by the phantasmic universe of fable and folklore. The utopian new world of Teeja and Beeja stands in complete contrast to their earlier life in the village. Their brief and unhappy return to the village is depicted through a series of staccato, almost truncated sentences, suggesting limitations, restrictions, confinement and most importantly, the tyranny of binaries that so critically determine gender roles in society. The tyranny of having to choose either one or the other. “The same encirclement of walls and barriers. The same huts and roofs. Each with its own limits and boundaries. Each with its own fire and smoke. The squabbles of thine and mine. Heaps of rubbish lying here and there. Amid all the squabbling to secure peace and happiness, bankruptcy showed its face. Worries and anxieties over children. Stinking baby clothes. Filth everywhere. Conflicts and quarrels in every house.” In contrast, the utopian world of Teeja-Beeja and the ghosts are marked by laughter, light, playfulness, openness, colour, plenty, trees, birds, animals and a simultaneous attraction for sameness and difference. The attraction

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for sameness is articulated through Teeja and Beeja’s love for each other and celebrated through their rapturous sexual encounters. “At dawn, when they came out of the palace and saw the sun rise, they felt as though it were rising from the pure petals between their thighs. Ever since that night, the sun had forsaken its former dwelling and has begun to rise from this new, abode, whence it rises from even today. All the joys of the world throbbed with eagerness to dwell in the bed of that palace. The thirst of the whole universe was encompassed in that one thirst of theirs.” The ghost chieftain reinforces this notion when he says, “But you are one fife and being – in fact even less than one at the moment of physical union.” Meanwhile, the ghost chieftain himself marks the departure from sameness. I shall return later to this. In its imaginative leap and dating, Naya Gharvas recalls Sultana’s Dream, perhaps the earliest feminist utopian fiction to be written in India. First published in 1905, Rokeya Sakhawatt Hossain’s (1880-1932) witty and engaging short story is about the author’s phantasmic journey through Ladyland: a country where women have removed war and aggression, used science for peace and productivity and relegated men to the mardana or ‘reverse purdah’8. Humorous and satirical, Ladyland does not expel men but divests them of all power and privilege. Here men, who are not considered competent to do any skilled work, manage the kitchen and raise children, much like the women in Rokeya’s contemporary India. As Roushan Jahan writes, “It is as

if the omnipotent author is punishing men in an ideal world, according to the laws of poetic justice, for their criminal oppression of women in the real world.”9 Just as Sultana’s Dream attacks sexism and women’s oppression, Naya Gharvas attacks both sexism and heterosexism in contemporary society. By locating utopia in the future or at least in another world’, both stories implicitly evoke the dystopian horrors of the ‘present’. Utopian fiction, therefore, enables a critique of the present while simultaneously envisioning an empowering future. Unlike Terbi Lakir and Lihaf, the two pieces of utopian fiction are not content to subvert the system from within by making visible the contradictions within marriage and family: Both Sul-tana’s Dream and Naya Gharvas dream of a more thoroughgoing restructuring of social arrangements. For precisely this reason, both works are likely to raise at least two major concerns. That of being ‘manhating’ and effecting nothing more than a simple reversal or ‘mirror-image’. The troubling moment in Naya Gharvas occurs when, with the help of the ghost chieftain, Beeja decides to become a man in an attempt to undo the wrong that was done to Teeja. As soon as she changes into a man, Beeja becomes a tyrant and acquires the same oppressive characteristics as the men in her native village. This could be read as a puzzling moment in the story. Beeja’s body and mind transformation into a brutish and insecure man could be seen to legitimise a ‘biology as destiny’ position. However, another reading of this crossover is possible.

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8 Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880-1932) was born into an elite family in a village that is now in Bangladesh. She was a writer, journalist, essayist and an activist for women’s education and rights. A courageously self-conscious feminist, she has been an influential persona for feminists in Bangladesh. 9 See Sultana’s Dream and Selections from the Secluded Ones by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, ed. and trans. Roushan Jahan, The Feminist Press, New York, 1988.

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The mind-body crossover can be seen as a severe indictment of biologically sanctioned social hierarchies where the possibilities and limitations of the body determine power and privilege. Interestingly, Beeja’s transformation into a tyrant happens only with the change of the body and not when she grows up crossdressed like a boy. It would appear that it is the material body and not social markings that make a critical difference. It is the knowledge of the body with its social power that seems to be at the heart of Beeja’s psychological transformation. The act of lovemaking de-generates into a power struggle when “a new knowledge gradually begins to draw on the husband’s mind that a man is stronger than a woman. In fact, a frail woman is of no account at all in the face of man’s unlimited strength. A man is indeed tremendously powerful.” The husband’s metamorphosis into a tyrant is accompanied by his deep distrust of both Teeja and the ghost. He begins to act and sound like the same men who had been threatened and humiliated by the “new domesticity”. The ‘anti-men’ tone could well be seen to continue at the end when in changing Beeja back to a woman he destroys her womb so that “the filthy seed of man” is “burnt up forever”. The ghost chieftain also decrees that the “creature

named man dare not venture within a distance of twenty-four and twenty-four, a total of eight miles around the place.” To avoid the reductive interpretation that the stories arc ‘man-hating’, it is important to understand that all utopian fiction is allegorical. Furthermore, both Sultana’s Dream and Naya Gharvas suggest utopian possibilities through a reconfiguring and re-articulation of masculinity. In Sultana’s Dream, Rokeya successfully displaces masculinity from men and femininity from women. When Sultana, the narrator, walks down the women-only streets of Ladyland for the first time, she realises that she is the object of much mirth. She asks her companion and escort Sister Sara the reason for this and is told that, “The women say you look very mannish”. Much to Sultana’s astonishment, Sister Sara explains that the women find her “mannish” because she is “timid and shy like men”. By extricating femininity from women and divesting men of masculinity, Hossain is able to rupture the normative sex and gender associations. Similarly, the rest of the story is an exercise in reconfiguring the relationship between gender and sex.10 In Naya Gharvas masculinity, becomes re-articulated through the figure of the

10 Both Sultana ‘s Dream’ and ‘Naya Gharavas’ attack the notion that men are superior because they are of superior strength or bigger build. While, Dandheta critiques this notion through the transformation of Beeja into an egotistical and tyrannical man, Rokeya effects the same through a logical sequence of arguments. When Sultana is unable to understand the logic of men being secluded and kept indoors, Sister Sara says, “But dear Sultana, how unfair to shut in the women and let loose the men.” Sultana then asks whether it was not safer for women to remain indoors as they were “naturally weak”. Sister reasons that it is not safe for women as long as men roam the streets just as it was unsafe for everyone “when a wild animal enters the marker place” or “some lunatics escape from the asylum and start harming people and animals.” Would it not be better to keep the troublemakers locked up, instead of their victims? As a matter of fact,” retorts Sister Sara, “in your country, this very thing is done! Men, who do or at least are capable of doing no end of mischief, are let loose and the innocent women are shut up in the zenana, How can you trust those untrained men out of doors?” Here, Rokeya looks at gender as a discursive site of power, then proceeds to uncover how notions of male supremacy are embedded in myths around physical strength. Explaining their own complicity in being ‘shut up’ by stating that the situation could nor be helped, as men are “stronger than women”. To this Sister Sara replies, “A lion is stronger than a man, but it does not enable him to dominate the human race.”

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ghost the ‘reinvented man’ of the story. The ghosts live on the margins of human society in opposition and resistance to the “black deeds of dishonest humans”. The heterosexual male seems to be the ghost’s primary adversary. Handing over the palace to Teeja and Beeja, the chieftain says, “You can live here without fear... Women can come here, but the shadow of man will not be able to cast a sharp glance at you.” Yet, the ghost is a man himself; albeit a man with a difference. He is a “dazzling white man” who looks as though he is “moulded from moonlight”. Being a ghost and thereby having transcended his body, he is ‘ungendered’ and unmarked by biology. He is the rearticulated man who holds out a vision for a utopian and egalitarian future. Teeja tells him that he is “the immortal flame which the visionary sees in the future”. The heterosexual men in Teeja and Beeja’s native village stand trapped within the body and its attendant social privileges. In contradistinction, the ghost is able to reinvent himself precisely because he is able to transcend his body. Having forsaken the petty and material privileges of the heterosexual male body, the ghost embodies mental and intellectual faculties whose powers are infinitely superior. Besides, not all men are excluded from Teeja and Beeja’s palace. The significant inclusion, at the very end, is the narrator himself who, “on Teeja’s express invitation”, saw the “wonderful palace with [his] own eyes” and wrote the story “at Teeja’s dictation”.

The re-articulation of masculinity similarly makes impossible an unproblematic mirror image of marriage and family.11 The inversion here is not mimetic but effected through a gender bending that displaces the fixities of being male and female: masculine and feminine. Therefore, the inversion itself complicates and reconfigures the fixed binaries that hetero-normative marriages strive to privilege. With the re-articulation of gender, the ‘mirror image’ must inevitably be a queer one.
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In Lihaf and Terhi Lakir, the space for queer relationships is markedly distinct. Ruth Vanita points out that in twentieth century literature, pre-marital college life had emerged as a major site for the representation of homosexuality.12 Just as the girl’s hostel is a temporary residence, so too her lesbian experience can be seen as a temporary, phase en route to the inevitable destination of domesticity and heterosexuality. Lihaf, on the other hand, subverts the ‘inevitable destination’, so to speak. It acts out female sexual transgressiveness within the institutions of marriage and heterosexuality. Lihaf is about unabashedly female, transgressive sexuality lived and practiced within the inner sanctum of the home. By choosing a working-class woman as her sexual partner, Begum Jan not only disobeys marriage and heterosexuality but also transgresses class and social boundaries. In Terhi Lakir, samesex attraction, though powerfully depicted,

11 See ‘Homophobic Fiction/Homoerotic Advertising: The Discourse of Options in Twentieth Century India; by Ruth Vanita, forthcoming, Routledge, 2000. 12 This anxiety often finds expression in the ‘lived’ world around us when two women (or two men) decide to get married. The crudely homophobic response dubs the phenomenon as ‘unnatural’ and therefore undesired. But often, gay positive people also raise objections wondering whether same-sex marriages are unproblematic appropriation of a problematic institution. The concern is often as to whether queer people are being queer enough. The trouble here is with the exportation that queer people must remain queer, therefore better and more politically conscious, than straight couples. Second, it assumes that an unproblematic inversion is possible. A same-sex social arrangement is inherently decentralising ‘unproblematic inversion’ in its drastic re-arrangement of gender and sexual roles. However, this does necessarily make it inherently more progressive or egalitarian.

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remains coded in romantic convention and restricted to the adolescent ‘growing-up years’. Moreover, in the course of the novel, the protagonist moves surely and inevitably toward heterosexuality with her same-sex cravings left unrequited. The resolution of Lihaf suggests no such inevitable journey toward heterosexuality.13 Last seen, the women were in bed making love. Unlike Terhi Lakir, where the college hostel provides an all women subversive space outside the family, Lihaf poses a greater threat to normative familial relations because it chooses as its site of subversion the very heart of the (seemingly) heterosexual family. Traditionally, women’s sexual spaces have been perceived to be far more threatening than women’s romantic spaces, even though the lines between the two have never been distinct. Therefore, despite the ambivalence surrounding lesbianism, Lihaf’s deviancy is far greater than that of Terhi Lakir. Much like the child narrator of the story, many readers of Lihaf, including several contemporaries of Chugtai, were troubled by the non-romantic sexuality depicted in the story. For instance, Patrus Bukhari writes: ‘The story loses its value because its centre of gravity ceases to be a matter of the heart and shifts to physical activity. At the beginning of the story, one hopes that the psychological intricacies of Begum Jan’s mind will be expounded; then, one expects that her interest lies in the emotional state of the girl narrating the story. Instead the story takes an entirely different turn and sets its sights on the movement under the quilt. The result is that

the reader finds himself unwittingly among those spectators who sit on their haunches along the roadside to witness the spectacle of animals mating.”14 The deviancy in Lihaf is particularly disconcerting for the homophobic reader/ onlooker, because the erotic emerges through an easy slide from the homo-social. Here, the quotidian homo-social act of a woman massaging another woman’s body metamorphoses into sexually charged activity. Therefore, the proscribed and prescriptive space, originally designed to regulate women’s sexual autonomy, transforms into a domain of sexual danger, much like the quilt that billows like an elephant and casts fearful shadows on the wall. But its transgression notwithstanding, the sexual spaces of Begun Jan and Rabbo remain isolated from the rest of the family and community. What happens under the quilt will always remain a mystery and Begum Jan’s secret sex life will continue with its charade of ambivalent homo-sociality. Naya Gharvas makes several significant departures both in content and deployment of narrative strategies. Here, institutions of marriage and the family are not covertly subverted but overtly restructured. It is a utopian ‘coming-out’ narrative in which the ruse of heterosexuality is determinedly discarded. Since the reconfiguration of social arrangements that Vijaydan Dheta posits can hardly be effected through ‘social realism’ he skillfully uses the tropes of fable and folklore to create a phantasmic and utopian text.

13 Ismat Chugtai’s own ambivalence about the propriety and legitimacy of lesbianism is evident from the extratextual closure she attempts to provide the story of Lihaf. Chugtai, in her autobiography, had hoped that some “bold young man” would rescue Begum Jan from the “clutches of the witch Rabbo”. Years later, when Chugtai met the Begum she was happy to know that she had been trained to another man and was now the mother of a son. 14 ‘Something About Ismat Chugtai’, by Patrus Bukhari, trans. Usha Nagpal, Ismat: Her Life and Times, ed. Sukrita Paul Kumar & Sadique, Katha 2000.

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The re-ordering of society seems contingent upon altering its integral core, that is, the institution of the heterosexual family. In contradistinction to the hetero-normative family, the nets social arrangement dispenses with procreation as its primary organising principle. Herein lies Vijaydan Dheta’s most radical assault on the normativities of the sex-gender system. Heterosexuality is denaturalised by uncovering the layers of subterranean manipulations, treachery and deceit that are deployed for its biological and social reproduction. It is only when Teeja and Beeja are able to transcend the procreative compulsions of a hetero-normative universe that they are able to attain utopian happiness.

The return to the utopia of reinvented men and woman must therefore be marked by a destruction of Teeja’s womb. In a radical inversion, expressed through textual and metaphoric devices, nature celebrates the love that has historically been called ‘against nature’. To this end, Naya Gharvas embodies a truly queer vision as it is able to envision a society where intimate and social relations among consenting adults are sustained without being regulated either by genital-anatomical differences or the social and power hierarchies that are ascribed to them.

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3.2 THE 1965 EvEnTS In InDonESIA: A Campaign of Sexual Slander
Saskia E. Wieringa

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n 1965 a military putsch in Jakarta wiped out the country’s top brass. Afterwards a campaign of sexual slander was launched in which members of the communist women’s organization, Gerwani, were accused of having killed and castrated the generals. A genocide followed: over a million people were massacred. Thereafter the power of the then president Soekarno was so weakened that he could be forced to give over the presidency to the general behibd the mass murders, Soeharto. In this article I give the background to the putsch and the campaign of slander.

Background to the putsch
By mid-1965 tensions in Indonesian society were reaching a climax. In the countryside the actions of the Farmers’ Front, which demanded the rapid implementation of

the recently introduced land reform laws, had thoroughly disturbed social relations. Rising levels of inflation caused increasing poverty. The relationship between the army leaders and conservative religious, mainly Muslim, groups and the communist party of Indonesia, PKI became increasingly tense, with President Soekarno leaning more than ever towards the PKI side. Only the nation’s leader seemed able to keep the competing factions together. The PKI was particularly worried that the President might not be able to protect them much longer in view of the six murder attempts which had been made on him already (May 1978). Rumours of his illness therefore caused great unrest. In this tense situation several middle-ranking officers of the Army, led by Colonel Untung, staged a military putsch. They wanted, so they

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testified later, to protect the President against plans of an alleged Council of Generals, which, so they had come to believe, intended to overthrow Soekarno on Army Day, October 5 (Latief 2000). Also, they were discontented with the corrupt and decadent lifestyle of some of those Generals, in particular Yani (Crouch 1978). The plans of the officers were discussed in several meetings of the PKI politbureau, during which some limited support was promised to the plotters (Mortimer 1974). During the putsch six generals and one lieutenant were killed and their bodies were thrown into a deep well known as Lubang Buaya (Crocodile Hole), at a training field for volunteers of the Malaysia campaign, which had been mostly used by volunteers of the PKI-affiliated youth organization and Gerwani. This field lay on the grounds of the military airport, Halim. Other groups of volunteers trained on other fields. Before the day was out General Soeharto’s forces had managed to cajole and threaten half of the rebel forces into submission (Crouch 1978). In the meantime President Soekarno had decided not to appoint General Soeharto, who was next in line to replace the murdered Chief of Staff, General Yani, possibly because he considered him too ‘strong-willed’ (Anderson and McVey 1971). Instead he appointed a junior General, Pranoto Reksosamudro. Soeharto ignored the orders of his President. He issued his own radio announcement that he had taken over the army leadership to restore security and order (Crouch 1978: 132). Two weeks later Soekarno was compelled to replace Pranoto by Soeharto. Thereafter followed the propaganda campaign, the massacre and mass detainment. Broadly speaking there are three interpretations of the events in October 1965

which marked the end of the ‘Old Order’. The army version is that the PKI was the dalang (puppeteer) behind the coup, through its Special Bureau. The fullest account of the army view is given by Notosutanto and Saleh (1968). The PKI on the other hand maintained initially that it was purely an intra-military affair. This version was supported abroad by a paper circulated since 1966 authored by two social scientists from Cornell University, Anderson and McVey. A third interpretation is that Soeharto and possibly the CIA were behind a conspiracy to break the power of the PKI. Holtzappel (1979), Scott (1985) and Wertheim (1979, 1991) have elaborated this view. This interpretation stresses the class aspects of both the coup and the propaganda campaign which followed it, pointing out that most victims fell in the areas where peasant unrest had been heaviest. I suggest another interpretation, an elaboration of the interpretation that sees the putsch as a mainly intra-military affair – albeit with very limited support from some members of the PKI politbureau. I maintain Soeharto played a critical role not only in the putsch itself, but particularly in the subsequent ‘real’ coup, the taking over of the power from the legitimate nation’s leader, President Soekarno. Soeharto has shown himself to be both a ruthless and very ambitious man and a person able to wait patiently for the right moment to strike. The information he had received (Latief 2000) may have convinced him that the coup was so clumsily planned, with so little actual support that it would be too risky to support it, while it could very easily be put down. He would then come out as the great saviour of the nation and Soekarno would have had no other choice than to appoint him Chief of Staff. The start of the propaganda campaign which formed this second, ‘real’ coup may have been when Soekarno appointed a junior officer to Army Chief instead, which humiliated and

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enraged Soeharto and made him realize that his only access to power lay in the removal of President Soekarno. And that in order to replace the President, his most powerful support group at the time, the Communists, had to be destroyed (Wieringa 1999).

The ‘Real’ Coup: Demonizing Communist Women
Based on my research in the early 1980s my reconstruction of what actually happened at Lubang Buaya is the following: some seventy women, most of them young girls from the youth organization, others from the trade union and the farmers’ front, and a few Gerwani members, including some wives of soldiers, were assembled at Lubang Buaya for the anti-Malaysia Campaign. The plotters made use of this circumstance. Gerwani as an organization was left out of the plans. What happened then? What about the wild accusations which were later hurled at them, of ‘naked, sexual dancing’, of having ‘severed the penises of the generals’, and of having their ‘eyes gouged out’? How did the generals die (Anderson 1987)? In the morning of October 1st the girls and women were sleeping heavily when they were woken up by shouts. It was still dark outside and they were all frightened. They ran to the open space where they saw a group of soldiers dragging the kidnapped generals. The soldiers hit the generals and finally they were shot and thrown into the well. The soldiers were enraged, they even rained bullets on them when they were already dead. Afterwards the army media started circulating stories about dancing and sexual perversions, and cutting off penises. In fact the army went to great length to construct the stories they decided to circulate. Witnesses were ‘quoted’ in the papers, photographs were shown. There were television broadcasts and

radio programmes on the horrors said to be committed at Lubang Buaya. How did the military go about that? The girls were horribly tortured, sexually molested, gang raped and then forced to say ‘yes’ to anything their torturers wanted them to testify. A volunteer at Lubang Buaya told me that she was forced to undress and to dance naked in front of her torturers while they took pictures (Wieringa 1999). The campaign had a slow start. While the autopsy results had become available to the authorities, they were not made public. The autopsy demonstrated that the wounds found on the bodies of the killed generals and lieutenant were either gunshots, or resulted from heavy, dull traumas, possibly caused by clubbing with the butts of guns or the damage likely to occur from a fall into a 10-metre well. All the genitals were intact, all eyes were in their proper sockets, and there were no traces of cuts with razors. As General Soeharto himself had ordered the report to be prepared it is unlikely that he had not been informed of its results before the burial (Anderson 1987). The Berita Yuddha of 11 October 1965 reported on the condition of the bodies of the Generals which were found in the well. Contrary to what the autopsy revealed, the paper wrote that ‘eyes had been gouged out, and of some Generals the genitals had been cut off’. Other reports tell of women dancing nakedly and of young women committing sexual acts with the generals. Spurred on by the army the campaign got underway; the slogans of students and other groups who were demonstrating against the PKI and Soekarno included Gerwani Tjabol (Gerwani Whores), Gantung Gerwani (Hang Gerwani) and Ganjang Gerwani (Crush Gerwani). Islamic leaders joined the chorus. The Muhammadiyah declared that the ‘extermination of the Gestapu/PKI and the Nekolim (neo-olonialist forces) is an obligatory

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religious duty’ (Boland 1982:146). This call for a holy war was subsequently echoed by many Muslim leaders, who justified the killings as ‘the will of Allah’ (see also Cribb 1990 and Schwarz 1994). More lurid reports followed implicating Gerwani members as having prostituted themselves routinely for PKI leaders on the instigation of PKI chairman Aidit. It is striking that after these ‘confessions’ none of the women who had been present at Lubang Buaya and who had been detained were ever brought to court. In December the campaign lost its vigour. Most of the killing in Java had been done, although in Bali the worst killing took place in the second two weeks of December 1965 ( Robinson 1995 and 1996).

women, a religiously-inspired apprehension that women’s disobedience will endanger the entire social system, Hindu notions of allfemale maniacal crowds and the male horror of castration. Assisted by the army, and especially the troops of Sarwo Edhie (Crouch 1978; Robinson 1995), Islamic youth groups were the major killers, assisted in some places, especially in Bali, by members of the conservative wing of the PNI. As Utrecht reports, Hindu Balinese saw the killing of people associated with the PKI ‘as the fulfillment of a religious obligation to purify the land’ (Robinson 1995:300). Robinson argues that the killings in Bali were spurred by a campaign mounted by the local military and police authorities.

Creation of Disorder
The significance of the campaign of sexual slander against Gerwani lies in the deliberate manipulation of the collective cultural and religious conscience of the Indonesian population on which Soeharto built his road to power. Soeharto himself wrote explicitly that ‘a mental transition’ was required in a pamphlet that appeared a year after the putsch (Soeharto 1966). Because of Soekarno’s great popularity and the large following of the PKI it was not an easy task to eliminate the PKI and shove aside President Soeharto. Another reason to go slowly and to first prepare the required ‘mental transition’ is put forward by Soeharto himself in his autobiography (1991). He explains that a military coup would have been much faster, but that that might have entailed the danger of a counter-coup. It seems that a climate of disorder deliberately was created exploiting the deep anxieties of a population which was already badly shaken by the political and socio-economic tensions of the period. This disorder struck chords with the fear of the uncontrolled sexual powers of

Sexual Politics and the New Order of President Soeharto
In March 1966 General Soeharto knew the time was ripe for him to wrest power from President Soekarno’s hands. Since then the New Order state has for over thirty years waged a war of sexual imagining - posing the government against ‘communist whores’, a campaign aimed at presenting the Army under General Soeharto as the virile saviours of a nation on the brink of destruction. Long after the PKI had been destroyed in one of the bloodiest transitions to power in modern times, the spectre of communism, especially as animated by its women, was still called up to justify the harsh repression of any democratic anti-government forces in the country. As Enloe wrote ‘nationalism has typically sprung from masculinized memory, masculinized humiliation and masculinized hope’ (1990: 45). Masculine memories, hopes and humiliations often centre around women’s sexuality. The ‘own’ women’s chastity has to be defined and protected, while the ‘other’ women are either constructed as objects of rape or they are disciplined in other ways.

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Sexual politics thus underlie the construction of national states, such as the New Order regime. Sexual politics deal with the moral, sexual, symbolic, cultural and political codes in which individuals, families and the nation are linked and with the interplay between sexed and gendered bodies and the sociopolitical realm. In Indonesia the putsch of 1 October 1965 started a bitter struggle in which the military version of family life and state power prevailed over another patriarchal force, the Communist Party. In the process the communist ‘revolutionary’ family was wiped out and the military family form, built on an excessively masculine power obsessed with control and women’s submission became the dominant one. Women were no longer defined as comrades in the revolutionary struggle, but as submissive wives and devoted mothers. General Soeharto became the superpatriarch, as Father of the Development family he wanted his New Order state to be. Thus the change form Soekarno’s Old Order state to Soeharto’s New Order state not only an inter-military conflict, it was also a fratricidal struggle, a clash of masculinities. Both sides had their own version of the ideal family. The PKI had built a hybrid construct called the ‘Manipol’ family, composed of Soekarnoist and socialist rhetoric. The word ‘Manipol’ comes from Manifesto Politik, Soekarno’s 1959 independence day speech. Women in these Manipol families supported their men as revolutionary fighters for a bright socialist future, while struggling along in their own women’s organization, Gerwani, which also claimed a role in the national political arena. They combined political, socialist and nationalist activities with their duties in the household. Soeharto’s Development State consisted of families in which women were first of all loyal wives, and educators of children. They were responsible for the strict obedience of the family as a whole to the

patriarchal, authoritarian national ideology Soeharto imposed on the nation (Wieringa 1985). For this project women’s sexuality had to be controlled and women’s organizations had to be set up in order to police women themselves in the required obedience. The legitimacy of the New Order state thus rested on the measure of control it exercised both over its ‘own’ women, as well as over the ‘abject’ communist women and the ‘enemy’ men who were portrayed as being responsible for the ‘perverse’, ‘inhuman’, ‘primitive’ behaviour of ‘their’ women. These abjected women were so powerless that even after they have been released they could be used as sexual slaves. All through Soeharto’s reign the PKI was associated with these two words: penghianat, ‘traitor’ and biadab, ‘primitive’, ‘pagan’. The PKI was thus excluded from the nation and even from human culture as such. The regime tried to keep the memory of the fantasy it had created itself alive by building an enormous museum, called ‘Museum Penghianatan (Betrayal) PKI on the site where the generals were murdered. It contains huge murals of photographs, composed of pictures taken, amongst other places, at Lubang Buaya. Strikingly enough the pictures of the bodies of the generals, terrible enough as they are, show no signs of razor blade cuts, and there are no bloody patches on the place where the castrations should have taken place. All the crotches, as far as visible, are intact. The monument on the same site is called ‘Monumen Pancasila Sakti (sacred) Lubang Buaya’. It is a huge semi-circular construction in front of a pillar and a statue of the Garuda, the national bird. Statues of the slain generals and lieutenant in a vigorous attitude, and in full military attire are placed on a platform. Below them the history of Indonesia since 1945 according to Soeharto is presented in a mural. It is here that the full ideological

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weight of the way the New Order regime was built on the subordination of women and the manipulation of sexual symbols becomes clear. The centre part of the mural is devoted to the events at Lubang Buaya. The generals are being clubbed and thrown into the well. They are surrounded by representations of women. To the left three women are standing. One of them is dressed in a very sexual way and argues defiantly with a man. Both of them are ugly. Beside her two dancing women are arranged, one of whom with a wreath of flowers (representing the so-called ‘Dance of the Fragrant Flowers’). Above the well one woman is portrayed, leaning against a tree. She is clad in uniform trousers and a very sexual blouse, which clearly reveals her full breasts. A knife hangs on her belt. Her posture again is defiant. More to the right the scene is dominated by the overpowering figure of General Soeharto. Under his left arm two women are standing, heads down, attitude demure, one of them is carrying a baby. The figure of General Soeharto has intervened and turned those defiant, seductive, dangerous and castrating women into the very symbols of obedience and motherhood. The last scene shows the allpowerful General and President Soeharto in front of what is presumably a courtroom. The absolute military and legal power is his (see also Leclerc 1991). An example of the control over women’s sexuality that the New Order state since then has enacted is a government decree of 1983, which deals with the sexual conduct of government workers and which in practice gives men much more leeway than it gives women.

the major hand in torturing and killing the generals, dancing naked, cutting off their penises. The truth as I see it is that women members from the PKI youth organization, Pemuda Rakyat, and Gerwani had indeed been assembled at the training camp. Gerwani as an organization however was not involved and the accusations of sexual debauchery are totally unfounded. The clash of masculinities, that formed the core of the internecine struggle between a patriarchal army and a differently patriarchal communist party, was played out over women’s bodies. As the male, militarized honour was constructed as being defamed by communist women, and as Gerwani’s rebellious women were demonized, the control over women’s sexuality became a matter of prime national concern. As the army was victorious, a militarized masculinity obsessed with control over abject forms of masculinity became the hegemonic ideological force in the New Order state. The femininity that went with that model entailed a return to a conservative kodrat wanita, a return to the meek, obedient Sumbadra. Those women who had been branded as ‘communist’ or who had somehow been caught up in the cruel aftermath of the ‘events of 1965’ were tainted as abject and their suffering continued. One of the most striking elements of these dark pages of Indonesian history is the mystery that still clouds the ‘events of 1965’. The role of General Soeharto has still not been fully revealed, for instance. More important for the women who speak to us from the following pages is the answer to the question who was the dalang of the second coup? Who invented those stories of rape and castration? The extent of the genocide has never been revealed either. Nor is there a monument for the victims.

Conclusion
The central element of the ideological fury unleashed around women’s involvement in the murders of Lubang Buaya is that Gerwani in its ‘communist’, ‘perverted’ madness had

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Bibliography
Anderson, Ben, 1987, How Did the Generals Die? Indonesia no. 43 pp 109-35. Anderson, Benedict R., and Ruth T. McVey, 1971, A Preliminary Analysis of the October 1, 1965, Coup in Indonesia, Ithaca: Modern Indonesia Project Cornell University, Interim Report. Boland, B.J., 1982, The Struggle of Islam in Modern Indonesia, The Hague: Nijhoff. Cribb, Robert (ed.) 1990, The Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966. Clayton: Monash University Centre of Southeast Asian Studies.
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Crouch, Harold, 1978, The Army and Politics in Indonesia, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Enloe, Cynthia, 1990, Bananas, Bases and Beaches: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.London: Pandora. Holzappel, C., 1979, ‘The 30 September Movement: A Political Movement of the Armed Forces or an Intelligence Operation? in: Journal of Contemporary Asia, 9(2), pp 216-239. Latief. Kolonel Abdul, 2000, Soeharto Terlibal G 30 S. Jakarta: Institut Studi Arus Informasi. Leclerc, Jacques, 1991, Sang et Volupté A Lobang Buaya, ECIMS, mimeo 11 p. Mortimer, Rex, 1974, Indonesian Communism under Soekarno, Ideology and Politics, 19591965, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Nugroho Notosutanto and Ismael Saleh, 1968, The Coup Attempt of the ‘September 30 Movement’ in Indonesia, Djakarta. Robinson, Geoffrey, 1995, The Dark Side of Paradise; Political Violence in Bali, Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Robinson, Geoffrey, 1996, The Post-Coup Massacre in Bali, Daniel S. Lev and Ruth McVey (eds) Making Indonesia, Essays on Modern Indonesia in Honor of George McT. Kahin, Ithaca: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, pp 118-144. Schwarz, Adam, 1994, A Nation in Waiting, Indonesia in the 1990s, St Leonards: Allen & Unwin. Scott, Peter Dale, 1985, The United States and the Overthrow of Soekarno, Pacific Affairs, Summer, pp 237-64.

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Soeharto, 1966, Setahun Penghianatan GESTAPU/PKI, Setahun Lobang Buaya, Jakarta: Jajasan Lembaga Penjelidikan Islam pp I-V. Soeharto, 1991, My Thoughts, Words and Deeds: Autobiography as told to Dwipuayana and Kamadhan K.H.( transl.) Sumadi Mutiah Lestiono, Jakarta: Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada. Wertheim, W.F., 1979, Whose Plot? - New Light on the 1965 Events, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 9, No. 2. pp 197-216. Wertheim, W.F., 1991, Indonesië in 1965: Wanneer gaan de Archieven open? Derde Wereld Jrg. 9., nr. 5, Feb. pp 33-56. Wieringa, Saskia, 1985, The Perfumed Nightmare, Some Notes on the Indonesian Women’s Movement, The Hague: Institute of Social Studies Working Paper, 46p. Wieringa, Saskia E., 1999, Penghancuran Gerapan Perempuan di Indonesia. Jakarta: Garba Budaya and Kalyanamitra. Wieringa, Saskia Eleonora, 2003a, The Birth of the New Order State in Indonesia: Sexual Politics and Nationalism. In: Journal of Women’s History, pp 70 -92. Wieringa, Saskia E, 2003b Lubang Buaya, Jakarta: Metafor.

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3.3 PERSonAL InTRoDuCTIon
Q. When did you for the first time realize that you are a boy/girl? How was that experience?

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Q.

If you were to be born again, would you like to be a boy or a girl? And explain why?

Q. Which of your qualities are feminine/ masculine?

Q.

Is the relationship between your mother and father equal?

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3.4 HAnDouT on SEX & GEnDER
sex gender

1) Women are better care-takers of children than men 2) Hair on man’s body is natural but women should not have them 3) Women are born to be good nurses 4) Women breastfeed children and look after them 5) Postmortem is only done by men as women are too soft for the job 6) Boys are taller than girls 7) Men are soldiers because they are brave and physically strong 8) Women fall sick more often than men, but more men access health care 9) Girls cry very easily while boys are emotionally strong 10) Men’s voice breaks at puberty 11) Women menstruate and have to follow taboos 12) Women by nature are soft, sacrificing and can bear suffering 13) First nightfall of an adolescent boy. 14) Women do 67% of the world’s work yet their earnings amount to only 10% of the world’s income 15) Boss makes sexual advances to a young married man 16) In most Asian countries, taxi drivers are men

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Session 4
4.1 THE SToRy oF LuT

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he story of the Prophet Lut (or Lot) and the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is told in both the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an. It is generally believed that this story means that God meant to punish homosexuals particularly because they engaged in anal intercourse, hence called sodomy. However, a careful reading of the original Arabic text of the Qur’an reveals many more layers,. For instance the Muslim scholar Daayiee, member of the Al-Fatiha Foundation, offers the following analysis: One of the main tenets of the Bible and the Qur’an is that God found idol worship abhorrent. Sodom and Gomorra were cities rife with idol worship particularly of Allat and Eizah. Allat is a pre-Islamic gender variant goddess, a deity of love and war. Her faithful would circle the Ka’aba. The cities were considered so wicked, that Lut and his family were considered to be the only decent people. Lut tried to steer the people away from idol worship and the sexual practices associated with it but his warnings were not heeded. God then sent angels to destroy the cities. But what exactly were the perversions that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah

committed? Daayiee contends that the Arabic words which were translated into the English ‘lewd practices’ does not include the Arabic word for ‘lutee’, sodomy. Instead the people were condemned because they were prey to their passions, including obscenities, unreasonableness, adultery, the use of alcohol, prostitution, fornication, vile deed and abomination. In those days there were various religious practices in Arabia including the worship of trees, animals, phallic images and mother goddesses. From his analysis Daayiee contends that the major sin the people of Sodom committed was the worship of phallic images. This ancient phallic worship was closely related to the cult of mother goddesses, via heterosexual rituals. The seed was implanted into the (mother) earth via copulation, ensuring not only procreation but also fertility and abundance of the next harvest. Studying closely the original Arabic texts Daayiee finds not reference to anal penetration in the various places in the Qur’an where this story is told. He concludes that only through implication and allegory the association of the evil deeds the people of Sodom and Gomorrah committed in the eyes of God could be associated with sodomy, ie homosexual anal intercourse as the only cause

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of the destruction of the cities. If sodomy was implicated, it was only in the context of a long list of evil deeds, the most evil of all being the continued practice of idol worship. Thus the people of Sodom and Gomorrah rather invited the angels who had come to redress the situation or warn the people of their evil ways, to participate in their polytheistic rituals rather than having sex with them. It is likely that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah also knew temple prostitution. Which was common in the are and in that time. The prostitutes might either be women or castrated males. This form of prostitution is always linked to fertility rituals. The Qur’an, not only condemned polytheism but also adultery, in all forms, be it heterosexual or

homosexual. From the Arabic text it is clear that Allah denounced both practices. However, temple prostitution as a ritual practice, is very far from the present-day connotation of MSM as a sexual identity. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were thus destroyed because they lacked in spiritual awareness because they practiced various forms of idol worship and engaged in pagan rituals including sexual promiscuity, such as adultery, prostitution and possibly sodomy, but for the last activity there is no conclusive evidence in he original Arabic text. Besides that they were also robbers and highwaymen.

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4.2 NADIRA	:	PRoFILe	oF	A	WIDoW	
Profile by Abha Bhaiya Name: Nadira Place of Birth: a small village in the state of Bihar (India) Age : 37 Religion: Islam Class: working class Education: Illiterate Occupation: Domestic Worker Martial status: Widow No. of Interviews: 2 As Nadira walked in, the environment just got lifted. Somehow I felt I can talk to this woman. She was wearing a lovely dark Rosa ( something between red and purple) dress, her round, black eyes lively and alert. She had put kohl in her eyes and wore blue studded earrings. There was a very light feel about her, as if she was about to take off, fly away. I could not believe that she was 37, a mother of seven children, about to get her 18 years old daughter married. We moved to a quieter place, sat on the floor. I looked at her intently. She blushed with a smile, like a little girl. We felt comfortable with each other. Nadira got married at the age of 14 to a man who was 16 years older than her. She has eight children. Her husband died a year back of tuber culosis of the lungs. He used to drink a lot and left the course of medicine incomplete. He was a painter and used to work on contract, painting buildings. According to Nadira, he was a very skilled worker. However towards the end, he stopped working and the household slid down to below poverty line. She started looking for work and found domestic work in four houses. She

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also does sewing and stitching to make two ends meet. Her childhood memories are very painful. Nadira eyes filled up as she described the situation at home. “My father never worked regularly. He was involved with one of my aunts and used to run away to Calcutta and not return for days. We were five children, none of us could go to school. Mother brought us up doing stitching work. Often there was not enough food in the house. She decided to come to Delhi and brought all of us here. Since her sister was here, she thought she might be able to find more paying work. We squatted and built a small hut. Mother became friends with a man and he helped us in illegally occupying the space. Later my father also joined us. My mother has not known any happiness in her life. Even her daughter in law does not get along with her and has thrown her out of the house. My mother often stayed without food. I used to get very angry with my father. I do no t understand why only women have to suffer”. Her own marriage was not an event of her choice. “ I went to my in laws place at the age of 14. My meher(contractual money that a husband has to pay to his wife , if he ever divorced her) was fixed for Rs.5000/-. My mother fixed up the marriage in a hurry. My husband was much older, but I could do nothing about it as I had no say in the matter. In those days girls seldom talked. Who would have listen to me anyway?” We began to joke about sex as that’s what the marriage is about. She blushed and looked at me hesitatingly. The first night is not something to share,

as I gently persisted, “oh, I felt very scared. I was sitting on the bed. He was on a chair. He kept asking me to write off the promised meher. (This is a common practice among Muslims in the South Asia region). He did not touch me till very early morning as I did not agree to his demand. This is the only security women have. We call it a suhag raat (The first night of sexual intimacy between husband and wife)”. Nadira spoke with so many emotions in her voice- fear, excitement, shame, amusement- “what a night god has created. It is like passing through a test, a moment swinging between life and death. You die a million times”. As a practice, husband and wife are given sweets and milk by the women to the newly wedded couple. The assumption being they need strength to perform the sexual act. Nadira could not eat anything. “ who can , a women is so terrified”. “Yes the sheet was full of blood and there was so much pain. You cannot stop a man once he gets sexually aroused. I got pregnant on the same night and delivered a child within eight months of my marriage”. Nadira’s sister in law spread the rumour that she brought the pregnancy with her and the child was not of her husband. Her husband became very suspicious. There was a lot of conflict. However, her mother in law saved her from public scruitiny by making it public that she had seen the blood smeared sheet on the first night of their wedding. Nadira once again reiterated that it was her legitimate child from her husband. However, when she got married she knew so little about sex and sexuality. No one had talked to her. She started menstruating just before her marriage. She used to believe that a child comes out from the stomach and not the vagina. According to her, television has

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become a guru on sexuality. She stills feels shy talking about it but her children talk so openly about everything. She continued her line of story. Her husband was a very nice man. “He never allowed me to go out. He said he would never eat from the earnings of a woman. He never beat me”. She also shared how she misses him. Her life has become very hard. She misses him most in the night as she often dreams of him touching her. When I asked how did she came to know of her husband. “I used to run a paan shop (betle nut shop) to help my mother to augment the family income. Her husband saw her there and resolved to marry”. Nadira knows that she is good looking and attractive. All her eight children were born at home. A very good mid wife delivered her children. Except for one, all deliveries were normal and without any difficulties. During this difficult delivery, a Hindu healer performed some magic and she came out like a fish. At home she is still called ganga (a very Hindu name for a Muslim child). During our next meeting, we talked about her present hardships. She works in four households and gets approximately $50 per month. Nadira dislike this work. “I feel embarrassed telling people that I clean utensils and wash other peoples clothes and plates. At times tears roll down my cheeks as I am washing in those homes. No, she was never subjected to sexual violence. However, after her husband’s death, she just gave up the veil “ how can I work with a burka (veil). I need to do so much work and run from one place to another. I feel exhausted but this is my fate. My two boys are useless and do

nothing. How do I bring up children on my own?” But what about your other needs? Don’t you miss a companion? I asked. ‘Not really’ was the prompt answer. I persued, “you are so young and attractive, what about your physical needs”? Do you have no other friend? Some how she felt she could trust me. “To be honest, my husband was not sexually so active. Only once in a while he asked me for sex. He was old and sick. I need it more. Sometimes my body used to get very excited and hot with passion. Even I would ask him to come near me. Sometimes I got an orgasm but often I felt dissatisfied”. Nadira shared her sense of loneliness in the night! I asked Nadira whether she has a boy friend? She gave a mischievous smile ‘how do you know? she asked. ‘Just by looking at you’. I admitted “It is so natural for us to have these feelings and desires”. “Yes I have been involved with Arif for the last four years. He used to say ‘ I am living because of you. You are my life’. But then he got involved with another girl. This hurts me a lot. He still comes to meet me but there is a distance. When you like someone you want to spend time with that person, you want him to take you out to a park, for a movie. He does nothing of this sort. But I cannot forget him”. I further asked her how it all started? “He used to come to my house often and we used to talk. One night he came drunk and just lay down next to me. We had sex. It was

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sudden but we were ready and it was intense. No, I was not worried about getting pregnant as I have got myself operated. I do not want to marry. I just want a friend someone intimate and close to me. Who will share everything with me. I miss Arif. He sits very deep inside my heart. He still loves me but does not take care of me”. In response to my question as to how did she enjoy being with him sexually, she replied very honestly “Since we had no space, immediately after the act he would leave in a hurry. It was not satisfying”. “Did you not have any other relationship?” “While my husband was alive, I also got involved with a friend but I think he did some magic on me. This caused lot of tension as I felt I was under his spell. My husband got very angry and left the city taking all children with him. We had a short physical relationship but then I had to make a choice. My husband used to beat me and abuse me. He would challenge me to get married to another man”. The death of my husband did not make any difference. I was always inside the house, no entertainment, no knowledge of the outside world. I was like a caged bird. In order to know what she thought of widow remarriage, she was clear and articulate “In our religion, there is no restriction on remarriage we are not treated like a Hindu widows. After all a woman needs a physical relationship. If my mother had been alive, she would have got me married. All my life I have craved for happiness. Once I marry off twothree of my children, I will set up a home with

a man. But I need a good man otherwise how will I live through my old age”. Even my mother would ask me to put lipstic, before I stepped out of the house. I love henna. Yes I know I am beautiful, I like my face, my body. There was pride in her voice. She was confident and sure of herself. I wondered how married women commented about Nadira’s you being a widow and still so open? Nadira’s reply was prompt “They sre not going to help me with the struggle of my life and after all I have a full house. Except him everything else is there- my children, relatives, friends”.
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Yes, Nadira has a very close friend. She cherishes the photograph that they took of themselves together. They share everything about their lives- But they are not able to meet each other regularly. Nadira finds no time from her heavy schedule. When I asked her whether she had heard of relationship between two women or two men, her response was interesting. She had heard of two men but not of women. ‘How can women make love and have sex’ she was amused and laughed loudly. We had a long discussion on the issue as she wanted to how that was possible. Nadira talked about how her body gets tense sexually. When I asked her whether she masturbates, she was again a bit surprised, as she had neither heard about it nor ever thought of it. She shared how there is no space in the house and she also feels shy. We agreed that everyone has physical needs. In fact, she asked about one of our common friends who has not allowed her husband to come near her for more than ten years. Nadira quipped, “do you think she lives without sex? I do not believe her”.

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In the end I asked her as to what is her dream for future? With a smile she said, “I want a smart, young, good looking man. I do not feel attracted to men of my own age. I am hungry for love. I

want a man who would love me the most. I love loafing around but none of my lovers are like me. Lets look for a smart man, one for you and one for me”. We just could not stop laughing.

4.3 NAVIGATING	DIVoRCe/WIDoWHooD	IN	JAKARTA;		 THE SToRy oF DIAnA
Researcher: Widjayanti Mulyono Santoso Editor: Saskia Wieringa marry in the Islamic way, with the use of a fake ‘wali’ (substitute for her father).1 She is convinced he used ‘pelet’ (love magic) to get his way.2 This is the more remarkable as he is from Arabic ancestry, who usually consider such practices un-Islamic. “Everyone said that I was being ‘wush-wush’, being blinded by him. In fact I didn’t even like him.”After five months the power of the ‘wush-wush’ began to fade and she began to realize what kind of man she had actually married.“He would get angry when I would come home late. He said that I had committed adultery when he saw me being hugged by a male colleague in a group photo. He forbade me to go to a male physician.” Diana began to feel very uncomfortable. She herself is from a santri background, though she never wears the head veil.3 She resisted his attempt to subordinate her by imposing oppressive Muslim values on her. He would scold her in front of their guests,

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n Indonesia the word for widow and divorced woman is the same, janda; sometimes it is specified, janda mati for widow (mati means death) and janda cerai for a divorced woman. Diana is a divorced woman of 37 years old. She has one son, lives in Jakarta and works as a secretary for a humanitarian NGO. She is a modern, bright woman determined to make a good living for herself and her son. She follows night classes at a polytechnical school in order to get a better paying job once she graduates. She is very aware of her status as a janda and takes great care to guard her reputation. This is not easy, even for a woman like herself, who works in the most progressive circles of Indonesian society. Her first love died just before they were married. She was devastated at the time and still prays for him regularly. The man she eventually married she hardly knew at the time. She was barely introduced to him by a friend when they decided to elope and

1 Indonesia doesn’t have a system of marriage by civil registration. All marriages are religious. Which is why interreligious marriages are usually registered abroad and then legalized in Indonesia. Religious officials issue the surat nikah, the marriage certificate. In some places those officials follow the regulations strictly, in other places it is easier to get the required certificate. 2 The belief in and the use of pelet is widespread in Indonesia, particularly among syncretist Muslims, who mix Islam with traces of older religions. There are many dukun (traditional healers) who are believed to have the power and knowledge to cast spells over people 3 Santri are religious scholars, related to a pesantren, a Qur’anic school.

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citing her ‘loose’ behaviour if she came home late from work. Or he would lock her our of their bedroom. When she became pregnant, initially she wanted an abortion. But her husband furiously objected. “’…he thought I would be more submissive if I would get a child.” Diana’s mother supported her when she decided to file for a divorce. But her friends from the women’s movement she was working for at that moment advised against it. They felt that she was a crazy child (cah gendeng) to ask for a divorce. “They said that that was a bad choice. People always think very negatively about divorced women. And how did I think I would manage financially?” Diana indeed has financial worries. Her own family doesn’t support her. It is no use to ask for alimony form her husband, for although she would be entitled to it, it would be too costly and cumbersome to try to make him pay. From that moment on she decides to live for her son. But financial worries are not her only problem. The school friends of her son constantly asked him about his father. In the end he said that his father had made the pilgrimage to Mecca and was now away in Sumatera. That silenced his interrogators. Diana has a strong faith. Her Allah is forgiving and she feels very close to her God. Her mother taught her to read the Qur’an and how to dress properly, though, as stated above, she has never worn the veil. She has also noticed many times that things she felt or said eventually happened, so she is afraid to speak openly about her feelings these days. However the Muslim community she belongs to is not very supportive of their little family. The Qur’an clearly teaches to give

alms to orphans on certain occasions, such as Idul Adha, but the Qur’anic study group in their neighbourhood has never given them anything, though they do give to other (half) orphans. “I never got anything during Idul Adha. What kind of Islam is that?”They don’t mind so much the meat that is passing them by, but rather their exclusion from the community. Her son regularly attends Qur’anic practice. She has to constantly guard her reputation. She is hurt by the many songs about widows which portray the bad character and loose morals of janda. It took her a year before she got used to the fact that people will constantly gossip about her status as janda. At her school she does not disclose her status, but in the community where she lives and at her work people know. She is conscious about the fact that she is seen as a sex object and decided that for her her work and her responsibilities as a parent are quite enough to compensate for her sexual desires. She adamantly refuses to become some man’s secondary wife and instead goes out regularly with friends for lunch, dinner or the movies. Her social life is rather constricted. She is conscious of what other janda do to keep their reputation. “A janda may become the secondary wife… but they are usually neglected by their husband. He may come home to them once every two weeks or so. But these janda are proud, for they now have a married status, though only as a secondary wife.. However they are then free to go about, for society knows they are married. I cannot do that, my reputation as a single patent is at stake. I become very angry at this hypocritical situation. How come society doesn’t see this as a problem?”

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Having a husband solves the major problem of a janda, that she is seen to be single. Married she is no longer considered loose and available, or a threat to other married women. Diana is not so much against remarriage as such but she wants it to happen through her own choice. She had a boyfriend, a colleague from the humanitarian NGO where she worked. They kept the growing affection secret. He was a smart man, and thoughtful of her reputation. However, he was a womanizer and she found out he had another girlfriend as well. Fearful of being called a flirt who stole other women’s boyfriends, she arranged a meeting with the three of them. Her boyfriend was furious at being found out and that was the end of it. Diana was sad, but didn’t want to be toyed with. Anyway, she feels it is not very likely she will soon meet her life partner (jodoh) as she and a friend of hers who also has a ‘sixth sense’ believe that her former husband still works his ‘wush wush’ on her so that any relationship she may develop with a man will fail. She has already gone to a very ‘clever’ person to break the spell but that will probably still take some time. Other than this unsatisfactory affair Diana keeps very much to herself. When she gets home late she always uses the motorcycle drivers from her own neighbourhood. When they go out with colleagues for seminars or the like and they spend the night somewhere, she is very careful never to give her room number to any of the men. When she gets visitors she makes them sit on the front porch, in full view of her neighbours. She lives in a rather conservative neighbourhood of mainly Betawi people (original inhabitants of Jakarta). She will never invite them inside the house and close the curtains. Yet she is in general an open and friendly person eager to have company. She is aware that her colleagues may consider her to be a bit too talkative and open for a janda, too aggressive.

Any friendship has its potential problems. She cannot be seen to be too close with older men, as they usually have wives and children. The wife may get nervous, as janda have the reputation to steal other men’s wives. If she as a single parent would meet such a man, everybody would immediately get suspicious, for everybody opines that life as a single woman is very hard. She would be seen as available to the advances of her male friend, or even as preying upon him. The man himself would think that she should be easier to get than a woman who has never been married. “I am afraid he would just like me because I am a single parent. I am sure they would have all sorts of sexual fantasies. Sometimes I am angry when they approach me and tell them to leave me.” It would be ideal if she would find a man who is single as well. But being single for a man has quite a different connotation:“I always think that as a single mother I should find another single man. But there is a risk…most of the time our society blames a single man for striking up a relationship with a janda, especially when she has a child. His family will consider him unlucky because they expect that he will find a young girl.” It is not easy for Diana to engage with the other women in her neighbourhood either. Wives will always consider janda a threat to their families. “I once went to look for a woman in her own house. I asked her husband where she was. Then I heard her saying that I am a bad girl, a whore. I got angry and told her husband to shut his wife up and to tell her to mind her own business. Whatever I do is my own business with God. No need to give that kind of shit to me.” Diana is in many ways remarkable woman. As a janda she refuses the easy way out to

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become somebody’s secondary wife. She wants love and trust. She only experienced that with her fiancée. She feels the mockery and distrust of society very keenly. Yet she opts for the hard way, working and studying

in order to get a better job to be able to provide for her son. In the meantime she has to guard her reputation and to curb her natural friendliness.

4.4 GLIDInG SCALE oF HETERonoRMATIvITy

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n all countries the division between socalled ‘normal’ and so-called ‘non-normalsexual practices and identities is diffuse. Class, religion and ethnicity are mediating factors. Due to certain socio-historical processes, such as globalization and the rising tide of fundamentalisms shift occur. Thus this dividing line is shifting and at all times unstable. Thus this gliding scale of heteronormativity will be different for various countries, classes , ethnic groups and religions, and it will vary according to historical period Yet there are also some constant factors. Every society ‘knows’ which categories are ‘normal’ or ‘abject’ and this fluctuating and unstable division has great consequences. In Indonesia the participants of the research and advocacy project drew up the following rough division on gliding scale of heteronormativity. On top is the most ‘normal’ form of sexual identity, at the bottom end the most abjected one: Heterosexually married obedient wife in a monogamous family Heterosexually married powerful wife in a monogamous family Heterosexually married first wife in a polygnous family Heterosexually married second etc wife in a polygynous family

Heroine widow, of a martyr in the struggle for national liberation ‘Good’ widow, old and not active sexually ‘Bad’ widow, young and sexually active ‘Good’ divorced or deserted woman, not sexually active ‘Bad’ divorced or deserted woman, young and sexually active This category can be ‘saved’ through heterosexual marriage, even if it is as a secondary wife Lesbian ‘feminine’ woman who is seen as the victim of a butch woman Masculine lesbian, seen as the seductress, sometimes classified as ‘professional’ lesbian. The ‘feminine’ lesbian can be saved through heterosexual marriage, the butch lesbian is seen beyond redemption and scorned for assuming male prerogatives. Mistress of rich man, sometimes with a contract High class call girl Massage girl Street prostitute These women can be ‘saved’ through rehabilitation or preferably heterosexual marriage. The scale of heteronormativity keeps women in competition with each other, as only through liaison with a man can they be ‘uplifted’.

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Exercise Discuss the hierarchy of particular ‘normal’ and ‘non normal’ sexual identities in your own context. Give the local terms Discuss the mediating factors, age, religion, ethnicity, class. Discuss the different reactions the various categories evoke. Likewise there is a gliding scale of sexual activities. In most countries this looks approximately as follows, but again here the order will vary: Heterosexual intercourse with man on top Heterosexual intercourse with women on top Male masturbation Oral sex performed on a man Female masturbation Oral sex performed upon a woman Heterosexual anal penetration of the woman P_TA-PROV(00)00

Soft consensual heterosexual sm (such as bondage, spanking) Hard core consensual sm (such as whipping) Heterosexual rape Men having sex with men (MSM) (here again the order is from soft, consensual, to hard core SM) Women having sex with women (WSW) Soft consensual vanilla sex such as rubbing, mutual masturbation Butch-femme role playing Soft consensual sm Hard consensual sm Exercise Discuss the various sexual practices and try to classify them in the order in which they appear in your context.

4.5 HoMoPHoBIA In EuRoPE European Parliament Resolution on Homophobia in Europe
The European Parliament, having regard to international and European human rights obligations, such as those contained in the UN conventions on human rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, having regard to provisions of EU law on human rights, notably to the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union , as well as to Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union1,
1 OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1. 2 OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, p. 22.

having regard to Article 13 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, which invests the Community with the power to adopt measures to combat discrimination based, inter alia, on sexual orientation, and to promote the principle of equality, having regard to Council Directives 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin2 and 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework

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for equal treatment in employment and occupation3 , which prohibit direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, having regard to paragraph 1 of Article 21 of the Charter of fundamental rights, which prohibits ‘[a]ny discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation’, having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure, A. whereas homophobia can be defined as an irrational fear of and aversion to homosexuality and to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people based on prejudice and similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism and sexism, B. whereas homophobia manifests itself in the private and public spheres in different forms, such as hate speech and incitement to discrimination, ridicule and verbal, psychological and physical violence, persecution and murder, discrimination in violation of the principle of equality and unjustified and unreasonable limitations of rights, which are often hidden behind justifications based on public order, religious freedom and the right to conscientious objection, C. whereas a series of worrying events has recently taken place in a number of Member States, as widely reported by the press and NGOs, ranging from banning gay pride or equality marches to the use by leading politicians and religious
3 OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16.

leaders of inflammatory or threatening language or hate speech, failure by police to provide adequate protection or even breaking up peaceful demonstrations, violent demonstrations by homophobic groups, and the introduction of changes to constitutions explicitly to prohibit same-sex unions, D. whereas at the same time a positive, democratic and tolerant reaction has been shown in some cases by the general public, civil society and local and regional authorities that have demonstrated against homophobia, as well as by the redressing by judicial systems of the most striking and illegal forms of discrimination,
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E. whereas same-sex partners in some Member States do not enjoy all of the rights and protections enjoyed by married opposite sex partners and consequently suffer discrimination and disadvantage, F. whereas at the same time more countries in Europe are moving towards ensuring equal opportunities, inclusion and respect, and provide protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity, and recognition of samesex families; G. whereas the Commission has declared its commitment to ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the EU, and has set up a group of Commissioners responsible for human rights, H. whereas not all Member States have introduced in their legal systems measures to protect the rights of LGBT people, as

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required by Directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC, and not all Member States are fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation nor promoting equality, I. whereas further action is needed at EU and national levels to eradicate homophobia and promote a culture of freedom, tolerance and equality among citizens and in legal systems,

as through administrative, judicial and legislative means; 6. Reiterates its position in relation to the proposal for a decision on the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All that the Commission must ensure that all forms of discrimination referred to in Article 13 of the Treaty and in Article 2 of the proposal are addressed and dealt with equally, as stated in the Parliament’s position on the proposal4, and reminds the Commission of its promise to monitor closely this matter and to report to Parliament; 7. Urges the Commission to ensure that all Member States have transposed and are correctly implementing Directive 2000/78/EC and to start infringement proceedings against those Member States that fail to do so; in addition, calls on the Commission to ensure that the annual report on the protection of fundamental rights in the EU includes full and comprehensive information on the incidence of homophobic hate crimes and violence in Member States; 8. Urges the Commission to come up with a proposal for a directive on protection against discrimination on the basis of all the grounds mentioned in Article 13 of the Treaty, having the same scope as Directive 2000/43/EC; Urges the Commission to consider the use of criminal penalties in cases of violation of directives based on Article 13 of the Treaty;

1. Strongly condemns any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; 2. Calls on Member States to ensure that LGBT people are protected from homophobic hate speech and violence and ensure that same-sex partners enjoy the same respect, dignity and protection as the rest of society; 3. Urges Member States and the Commission firmly to condemn homophobic hate speech or incitement to hatred and violence, and to ensure that freedom of demonstration – guaranteed by all human rights treaties - is respected in practice; 4. Calls on the Commission to ensure that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in all sectors is prohibited by completing the anti-discrimination package based on Article 13 of the Treaty either by proposing new directives or by proposing a general framework covering all grounds of discrimination and all sectors; 5. Urges Member States and the Commission to step up the fight against homophobia through education, such as campaigns against homophobia in schools, in universities and in the media, as well
4 Texts adopted, P6_TA(2005)0489.

9.

10. Calls on all Member States to take any other action they deem appropriate in the fight against homophobia and discrimination

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on grounds of sexual orientation and to promote and implement the principle of equality in their societies and legal systems; 11. Urges Member States to enact legislation to end discrimination faced by samesex partners in the areas of inheritance, property arrangements, tenancies, pensions, tax, social security etc.; 12. Welcomes recent steps taken in several Member States to improve the position of LGBT people and resolves to organise a seminar for the exchange of good practice on 17 May 2006 (International Day against Homophobia);

13. Reiterates its request that the Commission put forward proposals guaranteeing freedom of movement for Union citizens and their family members and registered partners of either gender, as referred to in Parliament’s recommendation of 14 October 2004 on the future of the area of freedom, security and justice5; 14. Calls on the Member States concerned finally to accord full recognition to homosexuals as targets and victims of the Nazi regime; 15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, to the governments of the Member States and to the accession and candidate countries.

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4.6 DECLARATIon oF MonTRéAL Preamble
‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’. This famous first sentence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted almost sixty years ago by the General Assembly of the United Nations, still contains in a nutshell our political agenda, as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, transitioned and intersexual persons. The world has gradually accepted that individual human beings have different sexes, racial or ethnic origins, and religions, and that these differences must be respected and not be used as reasons for discrimination. But most countries still do not accept two other aspects of human diversity: that people have different sexual orientations and different gender identities; that two women or two men can fall in love with each other; and
5 OJ C 166 E, 7.7.2005, p. 58.

that a person’s identity, as female or male or neither, is not always determined by the type of body into which they were born. Refusal to accept and respect these differences means that oppression of LGBT people is still a daily reality in most parts of the world. In some countries, discrimination and violence against LGBT people are getting worse. But more and more, brave individuals and groups are standing up for LGBT human rights in every region of the world. In particular, LGBT individuals and groups in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe no longer accept prejudice and discrimination, and are becoming increasingly impatient to achieve freedom and equality. But progress is very uneven and is not automatic. Worldwide, we are seeing advances and setbacks. Progress in realizing LGBT human rights

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demands multi-layered change in all parts of the world: rights must be secured, laws changed, new policies designed and implemented, and institutional practices adapted. LGBT individuals and groups are the prime agents of change. But we will only win if we enlist others as allies in our struggle. The purpose of this declaration is to list and explain the changes that we need, and build an agenda for global action.

will, and risk heavy penalties (including violence and death at the hands of members of their families) if they try to escape such arrangements. Forced marriages are indisputably a human rights violation that must be combated. Intersexual individuals experience a particular form of violence, in the form of genital mutilation resulting from unnecessary post-birth surgery designed to make them conform to a rigid binary model of physical sex characteristics.

1. Essential Rights
A first demand is to safeguard and protect the most basic rights of LGBT people, rights which are well established and not legally controversial.

(b) Freedom of expression, assembly and association
In a number of countries, LGBT human rights groups and courageous LGBT individuals see their rights to free expression, assembly and association blocked by hostile public authorities. Pride marches are denied permits, journalists are jailed, clubs are closed, and NGOs are refused registration. Without the essential right of LGBT non-governmental organisations to carry on their work, free of repressive and discriminatory restrictions, it can become impossible to campaign for the reform of discriminatory laws LGBT activists are entitled to protection and support, and to express themselves without fear of recrimination, just like other human rights defenders.

(a) Protection against state and private violence
Nine countries punish homosexuality with the death penalty – a human rights violation in itself, regardless of the reason for imposing the sentence. Extrajudicially, we witness in many countries torture and other violence against – and sometimes killings of LGBT individuals simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. These hate crimes are committed by private actors (with the active help or passive condonation of public officials, as at some pride marches), or by police, soldiers and other public officials themselves.. These hate crimes against LGBTindividuals are a subject of growing concern; many states are failing in their obligation to protect LGBTpersons from this violence. In many parts of the world, LGBT individuals are still forced to marry a person of the opposite sex against their

(c) Freedom to engage in (private, consensual, adult) same-sex sexual activity
Seventy-five countries – over one third of the countries in the world – still have laws in place criminalizing same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults. Acts that harm nobody. Under international human rights standards, this violates the right to privacy, as recognised by the UN Human

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Rights Committee in its Toonen decision in 1994, and is also discrimination: a refusal to recognise the equal dignity and worth of LGBT individuals. Even where such laws are not enforced in practice, they stigmatise, perpetuate prejudices, encourage blackmail and intimidation, and serve as justifications for other forms of discrimination. We urge the international community to put pressure on the governments of countries that keep violating the essential human rights of LGBT people. We demand an immediate end to use of the death penalty worldwide–especially for the so called “crime” of same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults. We demand that national governments and international organisations develop and implement effective policies to prevent, investigate and punish hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We demand that genital surgery on intersexual persons be prohibited unless they are old enough to understand it and consent to it. We demand that international organizations (at the global and regional levels) systematically monitor the human rights situation of LGBT people and widely publicize their findings. We call on the international community to protect and give political and financial support to LGBT human rights defenders and organizations, in particular in those countries of the world where LGBT persons still have to fear for their lives or their safety on a daily basis.

We demand that national governments and international organisations make their international development aid conditional on real progress concerning respect for human rights, including the human rights of LGBT people. We demand the repeal of all laws criminalizing private, consensual, adult, same-sex sexual activity.

2. Global Issues
A world where LGBT human rights are systematically violated, is a world where nobody can feel safe and free. ‘All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated’ (World Conference on Human Rights,Vienna,1993). LGBT identities or practices have existed and continue to exist in every culture and corner of the world; they are simply part of the human condition. Fighting ignorance and prejudice remains our first priority. More information about LGBT persons, and more openness on the part of LGBT persons (when this can be done safely), are conditions for further progress to be made. We therefore call for the preparation of a world-wide information campaign. We ask the organizers of the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights at the 2nd World Outgames in Copenhagen in 2009 to launch such a campaign. We demand the support of like-minded NGOs and sympathetic governments in the preparation and running of the campaign. LGBT people do not live on an island, but form part of all societies, and rightly expect

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that their situations and their demands will be taken into account in formulating all public policies. Accordingly, LGBT human rights must be mainstreamed into global debates about social and political issues. This can only be achieved if the international LGBT human rights movement takes part in wider struggles, such as the fight for development and fair trade, worldwide social and economic rights, and international peace and stability. LGBT human rights may seem a far cry in a those parts of the world where coping with poverty and violence top the daily agenda. Working to overcome these problems, however, should include working for better living conditions for LGBT individuals. One crucial global issue is the HIV/AIDS pandemic. “Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.” That is UN Development Goal number 6, with a target date of 2015, endorsed by 189 Heads of State and Government in 2000. This goal can only be reached by deploying a human-rightsbased approach that includes the human rights of LGBT individuals. Criminalizing sexual activity between men, and banning freedom of expression for LGBT groups, still common practices in some countries, have a directly detrimental effect on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Access to information, adequate health services, and the elimination of violence and discrimination are crucial for both the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. We urge governments to stop thwarting LGBT groups which spread information on the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS among LGBT individuals, but instead to make it their own responsibility to include LGBT people in their fight against HIV/ AIDS. We urge donor countries and international institutions to step up their aid

programmes for the prevention of HIV/ AIDS, and work with local LGBT health groups to ensure that LGBT people are included in these programmes. We demand the removal of moralitybased restrictions on HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment campaigns, including restrictions on promoting the use of condoms. Another global issue is asylum. Our primary goal is to work for a safe environment in every country, so that LGBT people do not need to leave their countries because of fear for their lives. But every nation has an obligation to grant asylum to persons persecuted on the basis of their race, religion, political opinion and the like. LGBT persons who have a wellfounded fear of persecution, by state or nonstate actors, based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, must find similar protection within the framework of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention. A growing number of countries explicitly interpret this Convention in this way. And so does the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. We think that more countries should follow their example. We demand that national governments explicitly recognize in their national laws and practices a right to asylum based on a well-founded fear of persecution because of sexual orientation or gender identity. We demand that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees step up his actions to convince national governments to implement the Guidelines on Genderrelated Persecution, adopted in 2002. A third global issue: migration. The world is getting smaller and smaller; more and more people travel the world, make friends, and

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meet lovers who sometimes become partners. But most countries deny to bi-national samesex couples the right of one partner to sponsor the other for immigration, which different-sex married couples take for granted. Even same-sex couples who have a marriage certificate or a registered partnership, recognized by the country of origin of one of the partners, cannot be sure of their status when they move somewhere else. We demand of our respective national governments residence rights for our partners from abroad under the same conditions as different-sex married couples, without discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. We demand that international treaties on these matters be reformed and grant same-sex couples the same rights as different-sex married couples. The United Nations has so far been unwilling or unable to recognize that LGBT rights are human rights, and fully incorporate LGBT issues into its human rights work. Some specific UN treaty bodies and special rapporteurs have taken LGBT rights into account. But in 2005, the UN Commission on Human Rights refused for the third time to decide on a general resolution on ‘Human Rights and Sexual Orientation’, first tabled by Brazil in 2003. And in 2006, the Economic and Social Council of the UN for the third time refused to grant consultative status to ILGA – the International Lesbian and Gay Association – as in 1992, in 1994 (when the consultative status granted in 1993 was suspended) and in 2002. We will continue knocking on the door of the United Nations. We do not accept that a world organisation can be closed to a specific part

of the Earth’s population, and can decide that it does not want to deal with their issues. We therefore urge governments to put LGBT human rights on the agenda of the new UN Human Rights Council, and to work for the adoption of a text, that will give a mandate to the Council and to other UN bodies to deal with LGBT human rights as a normal part of their work. We demand that ILGA and other LGBT organisations be granted the place they deserve among the many other NGOs that are entitled to consult with the Human Rights Council.
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We urge the Human Rights Committee and other UN treaty bodies to integrate the systematic monitoring of LGBT human rights into their work. We call upon lawyers, human rights institutions, and NGOs to continue studying which human rights of LGBT individuals are protected by existing international human rights treaties, and whether there are any gaps in the protection these treaties provide. This could lead to a discussion of the potential benefits of a UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination (CESOGID). We urge all UN Special Procedures to address LGBT human rights issues within their relevant mandates.

3. The Diverse LGBT Community
Our demand that the heterosexual, nontransgender majority respect our human rights and our diversity does not stop at our own doorstep. We must also work to build an

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LGBT community that is open to all, and offers fair chances to everyone, regardless of their sex, race, religion, disability, age, economic status or other similar characteristic. We must fight discrimination within our own ranks. We cannot tolerate sexism and racism inside our movement. We are Muslims, Christians, Jews, non-believers, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and humanists. Among us, we have every form of disability, members of every age group, and members of every social and economic class. The growing visibility and activism of LGBT groups in the Global South must be taken into account. We must work as hard as we can to make it possible for LGBT activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe to participate in the global LGBT human rights movement on an equal footing. Our longterm goal, as resources permit, should be much more proportionate representation of the Global South at international LGBT conferences. We must remember that 88% of LGBT people live in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The unequal position of women inside the our movement reflects the still unequal power relations between womenand men in the world as a whole. Despite all the progress made over the last few decades, women are still le deuxième sexe, and lesbian women are no exception. We must therefore seek more cooperation with the women’s movement, and stress our common ground. The commonality is our right to control our own bodies and to choose how we live our own lives. Our joint goal is to challenge the rigidity of the fixed roles allocated to women and men, and the dominance of heterosexual male norms and interests. This joint goal is not something marginal, but is part of the core business of the LGBT human rights movement.

Transgender, transsexual, transitioned and intersexual individuals have become a more and more visible part of our movement, and have seen some of their demands taken on board. Non-transgender lesbian, gay and bisexual persons will have to recognise that questioning the meaning of sex, and challenging rigid gender roles, are in fact two sides of the same coin. Transgender issues therefore should be considered as part and parcel of our common struggle for equality and dignity. We recommend that international LGBT organisations expand their pools of candidates for leadership positions by offering training courses, information seminars and the like to new – female, male or transgender - activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. We ask the organizers of the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights at the 2nd World Outgames in Copenhagen in 2009 to make an extra effort to realise an equal participation of women and men, to maximise participation from the Global South and from ethnic and cultural minorities, and to ensure full inclusion of transgender people and issues. We would also like to see at that conference more workshops on the role of women inside and outside our movement, and on increasing co-operation with the women’s movement.

4. Participation in Society
(a) General
In many countries, the fight against discriminatory rules and practices, started more than fifty years ago, has brought

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success. We are proud of the victories of the international LGBT human rights movement. As such we count: the elimination of homosexuality from the official list of psychiatric diseases; the long list of countries that have abolished discriminatory criminal laws; new constitutional equality clauses that explicitly mention sexual orientation; the growing number of countries, states, provinces, territories, counties or cities that have outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; the still small, but growing, number of countries that have opened up legal marriage to same-sex couples; the more substantial increase in the number of countries that recognize registered same-sex partnerships; the increasing openness of LGBT people in public life in many countries, so that openly LGBT artists or politicians, for example, are no longer so unusual; the changes in public opinion that make it possible for LGBT individuals to be themselves and live their lives as they wish, without fear; and the growing number of public and private institutions, including human rights organisations, trade unions and other NGOs, that make it their responsibility to integrate the protection of LGBT human rights into their daily work BUT, … These successes are only part of the story, and are valid for only a small part of the world. Much work still needs to be done. Over time, all sectors of society must be scrutinized for existing rules and practices that still hinder the free, open and equal participation of LGBT individuals. Among these sectors, specific priorities for action

must be decided by the LGBT human rights movement in each country, depending on their local circumstances. We demand that all governments develop and implement a comprehensive policy against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in all sectors of society. This should preferably be done within the framework of an overall antidiscrimination policy designed to tackle all forms of discrimination in all spheres of life on all grounds - but without sweeping LGBT issues under the carpet. We demand that such an antidiscrimination policy focus on both legal equality, ending second-class treatment by the state, as well as on social equality, fighting discrimination and prejudice throughout society, including on the part of private parties. We demand that national parliaments hold their respective governments accountable; guaranteeing the rights of all citizens, including LGBT citizens. We demand that LGBT experts and organization be involved in the planning and execution of such policies and that the effects be properly monitored; We demand that LGBT human rights issues be mainstreamed in overall governmental policy-making. This means that, before decisions are taken, the effects of policy proposals on the situation of LGBT individuals must be identified and taken into account. We urge international LGBT organisations to continue to monitor national policymaking on LGBT issues,

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design comparable indicators of progress and improve their databases documenting legislation and practices in different countries around the world. distribute information on best practices.

(b) By Sector
Fair chances in employment or business are essential for LGBT individuals to be economically independent, maintain selfesteem, and lead a fulfilling and productive life. Sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in the workplace must be combated by all parties concerned, working together on the basis of well-designed programmes, that are properly monitored. We therefore endorse the Plans of Action adopted yesterday by the “Workers Out!” and “Out for Business!” conferences and will support the activities they have planned for the future. We demand that governments and public institution set a good example, by eliminating discrimination against their LGBT employees, and promoting their equality and safety in the workplace. LGBT people are not isolated individuals. We fall in love, and establish relationships and families – however configured. For many of us, these relationships and families are the most important parts of our lives. Unless they are legally recognized, our rights to equality and dignity cannot be fully secured. Indeed, many countries are willing to grant us equality in every area of our lives except in relation to our relationships and families, to ensure that our relationships and families are stigmatized as inferior. As a matter of simple equality, same-sex couples are entitled to the full range of relationship options available

to different-sex couples, including marriage for those who choose it. Similarly, LGBT individuals and same-sex couples who are parents, or wish to become parents, are entitled to equal rights, and to equal access to the full range of parenting options available to heterosexual individuals and different sex couples, including adoption, fostering, and use of medically assisted procreation. Doing justice to the changing realities of family life also entails recognizing and granting equal rights to non-marital relationships, and extending this option to all couples, without discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. We therefore demand that all governments that have not yet done so reform family law in order to reflect the growing diversity of family life, by opening-up legal marriage to samesex couples, introducing similar partnership rights for all unmarried couples, and ensuring equal access for all to every option for parenthood. Education, the media, health care, and religion are social institutions of crucial importance to the success or failure of the struggle for LGBT human rights. Each has its own role to play and its own contribution to make. We demand that the competent (national or local) government authorities in charge of education policies, including school boards include lessons on LGBT human rights in the school curriculum; and take action to combat intimidation and violence against LGBT pupils and teachers. We demand that the mainstream media contribute to breaking down stereotypes,

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and promote a realistic visibility of LGBT people. We demand that health care facilities and individual health care providers be open to the special health needs of LGBT people, flight prejudice, and supply relevant information on a non-discriminatory basis. We demand that governments permit all medical treatment necessary for gender reassignment, that they fund such treatment to the same extent that their resources permit them to fund other medically necessary treatment, and that they amend their legislation so as to permit a transgender person to change their legal sex to the one that corresponds to their gender identity. We urge religious institutions and nonconfessional organisations to put into practice the principles of tolerance and equality towards LGBT individuals among their own ranks, and to contribute to the fight for LGBT human rights in the world at large.

5. Creating Social Change
The legal, political and social changes that will bring LGBT individuals equal rights do not serve our interests only. In a society where some people are oppressed, nobody can be free and equal. Bringing about the changes we want must therefore be the result of the combined efforts of the LGBT human rights movement and other groups and organisations, which share our vision and our goals. We call on LGBT organizations to continue their fight for LGBT human rights in all countries, as well as at the international

level, by mobilizing their rank and file, enlarging their constituencies and broadening their bases of financial support; promoting better cooperation, coordination and solidarity among the LGBT communities within countries, and throughout the world; making more LGBT and non-LGBT individuals aware of the need of further global action, and invoking their sense of solidarity; building strategic alliances and cooperation between different organisations and institutions inside and outside of the LGBT human rights movement; strengthening their knowledge and expertise and making their actions more professional; encouraging LGBT cultural activities, so as to show a living reality and use culture to get the message of LGBT equality across. We call on trade unions, professional organisations and NGOs working for human rights and social welfare to participate in our fight against discrimination, to lend us their support, and to share resources. We call on national and international companies to grant equal opportunities to their LGBT workers, cater for the needs of their LGBT customers, and meet their social responsibility by supporting the global fight for LGBT human rights. We call on leaders of sport around the world to create safe spaces for the LGBT community to participate openly and fully, without discrimination of any kind. We call on religious institutions and nonconfessional organisations to help their LGBT members to overcome traditional

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prejudices and fight homophobia among their own ranks and in the outside world. We call on funders to ensure that funding programmes support NGOs in working towards legal and social equality for LGBT people, by advancing all of the objectives set out in this Declaration. We call on national governments to protect the rights and promote the interests and well-being of all their citizens, including their LGBT citizens. We call on the international community to include LGBT human rights in the international human rights agenda, and

to support and protect LGBT human rights defenders. And – last but not least – we call on all countries in the world, and on the United Nations, to recognise and promote the th of May of each year as the International Day against Homophobia. These are our demands. It will take tremendous courage, great personal sacrifice, and countless hours of hard work by many thousands of LGBT activists and friends of the global LGBT community. But our goal, equal rights for every LGBT person in every country of the world, can be and will be achieved.

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Session 5
5.1 WHAT	IF	IT’S	(SoRT	oF)	A	Boy	AND	(SoRT	oF)	A	GIRL?	
By Elizabeth Weil Published: September 24, 2006 When Brian Sullivan — the baby who would before age 2 become Bonnie Sullivan and 36 years later become Cheryl Chase — was born in New Jersey on Aug. 14, 1956, doctors kept his mother, a Catholic housewife, sedated for three days until they could decide what to tell her. Sullivan was born with ambiguous genitals, or as Chase now describes them, with genitals that looked “like a little parkerhouse roll with a cleft in the middle and a little nubbin forward.” Sullivan lived as a boy for 18 months, until doctors at ColumbiaPresbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan performed exploratory surgery, found a uterus and ovotestes (gonads containing both ovarian and testicular tissue) and told the Sullivans they’d made a mistake: Brian, a true hermaphrodite in the medical terminology of the day, was actually a girl. Brian was renamed Bonnie, her “nubbin” (which was either a small penis or a large clitoris) was entirely removed and doctors counseled the family to throw away all pictures of Brian, move to a new town and get on with their lives. The Sullivans did that as best they could. They eventually relocated, had three more children and didn’t speak of the circumstances around their eldest child’s birth for many years. As Chase told me recently, “The doctors promised my parents if they did that” — shielded her from her medical history — “that I’d grow up normal, happy, heterosexual and give them grandchildren.”

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Catherine Opie for The New York Times
Sullivan spent most of her childhood and young-adult life extremely unhappy, feeling different from her peers though unsure how. Around age 10, her parents told her that she had had an operation to remove a very large clitoris. They didn’t tell her what a clitoris was but said that now things were fine. At 19, filled with rage and feeling suicidal, she started trying to access her medical records and finally succeeded when she was 22. As a means of recovery, she threw herself into her work. She graduated from M.I.T. with a degree in math and then went on to study Japanese at Harvard. Soon after, she moved to Japan and helped found a successful tech

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company, assuming she’d work really hard for now and be happy later. At 35, realizing that being happy later was not going to happen, she flew to Florida with a list of questions to ask her mother, to whom she was never close. According to Chase’s notes from that conversation (both of her parents have since died), her mother maintained that the clitoridectomy had not impacted her daughter’s life. “When you came home,” Cathleen Sullivan told Chase about her return from the hospital after surgery, “there seemed to be no effect at all. Oh, yes, wait a minute. Yes, there was one thing. You stopped speaking. I guess you didn’t speak for about six months. Then one day you started talking again. You had known quite a lot of words at 17 months, but you forgot them all.” After that conversation, Chase, an extremely ambitious, focused and analytical individual, decided it was time to heal herself, and she gave herself a year. As part of that project, she moved to San Francisco and started calling and writing to doctors, academics and gender activists — anybody who might have something concrete to say about the predicament of being born part male, part female, or who might be able to tell her why it had been necessary to have her clitoris removed and if she’d be able to get any sexual function back. Along the way, in 1993, Sullivan called Anne Fausto-Sterling, a professor of biology and gender studies at Brown, who had published several papers on intersex (the term that has come to replace “hermaphrodite”) and who was about to publish an article in a magazine called The Sciences. Sullivan wrote a letter that was published in the next issue calling for people with intersex conditions to get in touch with her, and she signed it Cheryl Chase, the Intersex Society of North America, though neither a person named Cheryl Chase nor an organization called the Intersex Society of North America yet existed.

Thirteen years later, Chase, as Sullivan began calling herself, is now known throughout the urology and endocrinology establishment as a passionate advocate for the rights of those born with ambiguous genitals, and she has succeeded in stirring a contentious debate among those doctors over how intersex babies should be treated. At the heart of the controversy is the question of whether intersex children should have surgery to make their genitals look more normal. Chase has talked to thousands of doctors and others in the medical profession, making the case that being born intersex should not be treated as shameful and require early surgery. In doing so, she has assembled an impressive intellectual arsenal, drawing on everything from the Nuremberg Code and its prohibition against experimental medical procedures without patient consent to the concept of “monster ethics” — the idea that we perform questionable medical procedures on certain patients, like intersex people and conjoined twins, when we consider those patients to be less than human. Reports on the frequency of intersex births vary widely: Chase claims 1 in 2,000; more conservative estimates from experts put it at 1 in 4,500. Whatever the case, intersex is roughly as common as cystic fibrosis, and while the outcome of the debate Chase has stirred is directly pertinent to a limited number of families, her arguments force all of us to confront some basic issues about sexual identity, birth anomalies and what rights parents have in physically shaping their kids. Will a child grow up to enjoy a better life if he or she is saved from the trials of maturing in a funny-looking body? Or will that child be better off if he or she is loved and accepted, at least at home, exactly as he or she is? The old protocol for dealing with an intersex birth, the protocol Chase was subjected to as a child, was based on the belief that children

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should be saved from the anguish of looking weird, or of even knowing they were born looking weird. This would come to be known as the “optimal gender of rearing” protocol and was put forth by John Money, a psychologist who in 1965 founded the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic, which specializes in transgender surgery. Money’s protocol guided doctors to perform genital surgery on intersex babies and then discourage families from discussing the child’s ambiguity, for fear that the child would grow up questioning his or her sexual identity. This protocol held for 40 years, until Chase began agitating against it in the mid-1990’s. For a dozen years, she chipped away at its logical underpinnings, and last month Money’s protocol officially fell. The journal Pediatrics published a paper signed by 50 international experts, primarily doctors but including Chase, titled “Consensus Statement on the Management of Intersex Disorders.” The consensus promotes the traditional idea that every child should be assigned a gender as soon as possible after birth, and that this should be done by doctors examining the baby’s genes, hormones, genitalia, internal organs (via ultrasound), electrolytes, gonads and urine. These doctors then make their best guess as to whether that child will want to live his or her adult life as a man or a woman. Where the consensus departs from tradition is that it also instructs doctors to discourage families from rushing into surgery. The paper is a bit vague on this point; it doesn’t directly tell doctors not to operate but does state that no good scientific studies prove infant cosmetic genital surgery improves quality of life. Chase says she believes that every child should be assigned a gender at birth but that the assignment should not be “surgically reinforced” and that parents and doctors

should remain open to the idea that they may have assigned the wrong sex. She contends that the most important thing is for a child to feel loved by her parents, despite her difference. An operation, she says, should not be done to assuage parental embarrassment or anxiety; it should be chosen, if it is chosen at all, by an intersex individual who is old enough to make her own decision and give proper consent. The consensus is a major victory for Chase. Yet making progress from here may prove extremely difficult. Chase now must take her arguments not just to medical professionals but also to parents of intersex children, almost all of whom will be feeling intensely stressed and almost none of whom will have considered the complexity of raising an intersex child. One doctor, who didn’t want to be named, put her chances of persuading parents not to choose surgery for their intersex children at “honestly, zero.” From the parents’ perspective, the argument for surgery is almost impervious to reason. As one mother of an intersex girl wrote on a message board: “How can anyone possibly think that a child can grow up and feel confident of her sexuality looking down at her genitals that look like a penis? Come on.” One day last spring, Chase traveled from her home in Sonoma County, Calif., to Chicago to tell her story to a group of genetic counselors and to distribute the Intersex Society’s latest handbooks, one for medical professionals and one for parents. On this morning, Chase, who is 50, has short white hair, fashionable glasses, intelligent eyes and a strong build, was wearing a wide-necked sweater meant to fall off her shoulders, exposing a black bra. She lives as a woman and as a lesbian, and while she imagines she doesn’t look or feel exactly as other women do — for instance, she can’t find any gloves

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made for women that fit — she has no desire to be a man. Chase had been invited to speak by Rebecca Burr, a genetic counselor who several years ago found herself dealing with a 26-yearold woman who’d never menstruated, knew she’d had multiple operations as a child but didn’t know that she was intersex. Burr felt ill prepared to handle the case and tracked down the Intersex Society. In Chicago, Chase stood in front of 30 members of the Genetic Task Force of Illinois, telling them about the parkerhouse roll, the trashing of her baby pictures, the hospital stay at age 8, when she was told doctors would be helping her stomachaches but when she really had the testicular part of her gonads removed. When Chase began her activism, more than a decade ago, few doctors were open to her ideas about the way intersex babies should be treated. “When I first started doing this, it took some extreme kinds of conversation to get people to listen up,” she told me. She also organized a picket of a pediatric convention; she sneaked into medical conferences and buttonholed attendees. In 2000, however, the esteemed Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society finally invited her to speak, and since then Chase’s technique has evolved. She now receives and solicits speaking engagements from groups of all kinds. She addresses nurses’ associations, doctors, medical students, anybody who will listen. Among the Intersex Society’s primary goals is ending the shame and secrecy surrounding being intersex, and toward that end, upon founding the society in 1996, Chase organized an intersex retreat. She wanted to help people, herself included, become more comfortable speaking openly about their condition. So she invited the 62 intersex people she had made contact with for a weekend at her farm in

Sonoma. Eleven came. Chase made a raw and moving documentary of their time together, titled “Hermaphrodites Speak!” Ten people directly address the camera. Nine tell stories of surgery and lives nearly wrecked. One man refers to himself as a monster. Another says she’s “damaged goods.” One person, however, did not have an operation, and she alone looks fit and confident, sitting with great posture and seeming at home in her body. She grew up in a Catholic family, and when she first saw another naked woman up close, at age 12, her initial thought was, What’s wrong with her? She modeled her sexuality on Grace Jones and David Bowie. Her story, though just one account, is consistent with the findings of Sarah Creighton and Catherine Minto, two London gynecologists. The two have reported, albeit with small samples, that genital surgery is likely to have a negative impact on sexual function and quality of life. In the last several years, the Intersex Society has formed an active speakers’ bureau, and at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, after Chase addressed the genetic counselors, a young woman stood up to speak. A 20-yearold DePaul student, she was very pretty, in a chunky necklace, floral shirt and hiphugger jeans. “I found out last year I was intersex; I was in my freshman women’s studies class,” the young woman, who asked not to be identified in this article, said. Her professor was lecturing about various intersex conditions and started describing the symptoms — “No periods, can’t have children, ambiguous genitals. I called my mom, and I said: ‘What’s it called? What do I have?’ ” It turned out she has partial-androgen-insensitivity syndrome, a phenomenon in which fetuses with male chromosomes (XY) can’t properly metabolize male hormones and are born looking mostly like girls. “When she said the name I threw

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the phone across the room and started crying. I cried for like a week.” A few weeks after hearing this news, at the urging of Lynnell Stephani Long, a member of society’s speakers’ bureau who happened to be giving a talk around that time to the women’s studies class, the young woman retrieved her medical records from Chicago Children’s Hospital. “They photocopied them for me and I got them hot,” she told the group of counselors. “The first page said ‘pseudo male hermaphrodite.’ Just the words ‘male’ and ‘hermaphrodite’ made me want to throw up.” Chase has since lobbied doctors to stop using the word “hermaphrodite.” Intersex, she contends, is a medical condition, not an identity, and the consensus suggests using the term “disorders of sex development.” The young woman continued speaking, her story raw and captivating. “I grew up a girl. I was always a tomboy, I wrestled, I played softball. I had bladder problems when I was a kid, and when I went in to have my urethra fixed” — at age 3 — “they decided to give me a vaginoplasty and also a clitoridectomy,” that is, surgically reshape the vagina and reduce the size of her clitoris. “When I finally learned all this, I spent a lot of time staring in the mirror” — she pressed her hands flat against her cheeks and stretched her skin of her face back toward her ears — “going: ‘Do I look like a boy? Do I look like a boy?’ Now I think being intersex is pretty weird but kind of sweet. I just wish someone had given me the tools to be able to talk about it.” Chase’s position — that cosmetic genital operations on intersex children should be stopped and that children should be made to feel loved and accepted in their unusual bodies — is still considered radical. Most people believe, reflexively, that irregularlooking genitals would be extremely difficult

to live with — for a child on a sports team, for an adult seeking love and sex — so why not try to make them look more normal? Katrina Karkazis, a medical anthropologist at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford, interviewed 19 clinicians and researchers of various specialties who treat intersex individuals, 15 intersex adults and 15 parents of intersex children, and she found that a majority of the doctors and parents felt surgery was a good idea. “We chose surgery for my daughter mainly because we did not want her to grow up questioning her sexual identity,” one mother explained about her baby, who was born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a genetic defect of the adrenal glands that causes girls’ genitals to appear masculinized at birth. “We felt that she should look like a female, so we chose the clitoroplasty and the vaginoplasty. We felt that she would have a better self-image if she did not have a ‘phallic structure’ and ‘scrotum.’ ” Within the medical community, Chase has been successful in tempering the explicitness with which people publicly make this argument. As Chase has explained innumerable times, intersex babies are not having difficulty with sexual identity or self-image. The parents are, and parental anxiety about the appearance of a child’s genitals should be treated with counseling, not with surgery to the child. When I met Melvin Grumbach, one of the doctors who cared for Chase as an infant and who went on to become one of the most respected pediatric endocrinologists in the country, he’d clearly heard Chase’s line of reasoning many times. He participated in forming the consensus, and he also signed it. He knew what he was supposed to say. “We say, ‘Don’t do surgery unless it’s necessary, unless it’s important,’ ” he told me in early summer in his office at the University of California in San Francisco, where he’s now an emeritus professor. “But I think if the external

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genitals are really masculinized, you work it out with the family. I mean, good grief. What about the parents? The parents are raising the child. Don’t they have some say?” A debate has emerged in recent years concerning if and when parents and doctors should medically shape children. Should very short children be treated with growth hormone and surgery? Should children have multiple cosmetic operations to try to erase all traces of a cleft lip? In these instances, no studies have shown that these medical interventions improve children’s quality of life. The same is true for operations on intersex children, though in truth, few well-controlled studies exist that prove much of anything, in part because the success of these treatments cannot be meaningfully assessed for at least 20 years, and by then most patients are lost to follow-up. Among the arguments against genital surgery is the fact that sexual identity does not derive solely, or perhaps even primarily, from a person’s genitals. As Eric Vilain, professor of human genetics, pediatrics and urology at U.C.L.A., has shown, many genetic markers go into making a person male or female, and those markers affect many parts of the body. In studies of mice, he has found 54 genes that work differently in male and female brains just 10 days after conception. In humans, we’ve all been taught, and we’d like to believe, that being male or female is as a simple as having XY or XX chromosomes, but it is not. Even the International Olympic Committee acknowledged this when it suspended its practice of mandatory chromosomal testing for female athletes in 2000, reflecting current medical understanding that a female who tests positive for a Y chromosome can still be a woman. (Chase is XX, and the reason for her intersex condition has never been fully understood.)

Vilain has a clinic devoted to treating disorders of sex development, where he sees 40 to 50 new intersex patients a year. When he first left the lab and started seeing patients, he said he couldn’t believe that surgeons were performing genital reconstructions with so little data. “To me it was shocking, because where I come from, molecular genetics, we’re under extreme scrutiny,” Vilain told me on the phone in July. “If you want to show that a molecule causes something, you have to show it with a bunch of excruciatingly painful controls. And here I was looking at a lot of surgeons who were saying, ‘We think it’s good to do genital surgery early on because the children are doing better.’ So each time I would ask, ‘What’s the evidence that they’re doing better?’ And in fact the answer is there’s no real evidence. Then I’d ask: ‘What does it mean doing better? How do you measure it? Are you talking quality of life, or quality of sex life?’ And there was never any convincing answer.” Other surgeons contend that not intervening presents its own risks. “There haven’t been any studies that would support doing nothing,” says Larry Baskin, Grumbach’s protégé and current chief of pediatric urology at the University of California, San Francisco. “That would be an experiment: don’t do anything and see what happens when the kid’s a teenager. That could be good, and that could also be worse than trying some intervention.” In Baskin’s view, being intersex is a congenital anomaly that deserves to be corrected like any other. “If you have a child born with a cleft lip or cleft palate or an extra digit or a webbed neck, I don’t know any family that wouldn’t want that repaired,” he told me. “Who would say, ‘You know what, let’s wait until Johnny is 20 years old and let him decide’? You probably get those fundraising postcards from the Smile Train all the time. I can’t send those out, because you can’t

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put pictures of penises on postcards. But if you could, I think I’d be able to raise a lot of money.” Still, Baskin acknowledges that intersex is different: genital surgery has the potential to diminish sexual function, and how do parents weigh that risk? Doubtless, surgical techniques have improved since Chase’s clitoridectomy — Baskin describes the old operations as being “like bloodletting,” when doctors were only able to excise the clitoris, not try and reduce it. Now, he says, “We have a pretty good handle on where all the nerves are.” But whom are these operations serving? Do parents have a right to take chances with a child’s future sexual function? And are we more willing to risk the sexual futures of intersex kids? The vast majority of adults — parents and doctors included — find intersex bodies, especially sexualized intersex bodies, unsettling. Karkazis, the medical anthropologist, heard from clinicians she interviewed of numerous cases of parents who initially decided against surgery but changed their minds when their children started to explore their own sex organs, often around the age of 2. “Masturbation in little girls with clitoromegaly” — abnormal enlargement of the clitoris — “is a situation I’ve encountered quite a few times, and that’s actually pushed many parents toward surgical intervention,” one doctor told Karkazis. “The little girl was masturbating, and the parents just fell apart and were back in the office the next week for surgery.” Chase says that her own mother’s discomfort with and ignorance about sexuality contributed to the decision to have Chase’s clitoris amputated. When Chase flew from Japan to Florida to discuss her childhood with her mother, she also quizzed her mother about sex. “No, I don’t know what human genitals look like, exactly,” Chase’s mother

told her. “I have never looked at myself, and I never looked closely at my children. The doctor said your clitoris had to go. Mine never meant anything to me, so I didn’t think it was wrong to remove yours.” Chase claims she wasn’t even a social human being before age 35, when she started trying to recover from being “extremely pathologically shy and withdrawn.” She has built her personality alongside her activism, both growing steadily more refined over the years. As we traveled from Chicago to New Jersey, where Chase was to address the New Jersey Psychological Association, she told me she was working very hard on presenting herself as “extremely moderate.” To do this, Chase has been honing her arguments about who has the right to do what to other people’s bodies. Those arguments first took shape in 1998, when Chase wrote an amicus brief to the constitutional court of the country of Colombia. At the time, Colombia was considering the ethical and human rights implications of genital surgery, as it pertained to a case of a 6-year-old boy with a micropenis and the question of whether his penis should be reduced to the size of a clitoris, his testes removed and a vagina constructed out of a piece of his ileum. Medical convention has traditionally held that the phallic structure must be at least 2.5 centimeters long on baby boys and shorter than 1 centimeter for girls. And since it’s easier to surgically construct a vagina than to make a penis, children with anatomies that fell in the middle were almost always raised as girls. Building on work on the Colombia case, in 2004, Chase and the Intersex Society were involved in persuading the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to hold a hearing and address the question of medical procedures on intersex infants in the United

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States. Over the course of three hours, dozens of intersex people and parents of intersex people testified. When it came time to ratify the report, Chase addressed the commission. “What the Human Rights Commission has done. . .is to recognize me as a human being,” she said. “You’ve stated. . .that just because I was born looking in a way that bothered other people doesn’t mean that I should be excluded from human rights protections that are afforded to other people.” This is the one time Chase was seen crying in public. “She lost it crying, and I thought, What a perfect time to lose it,” Chase’s friend Alice Dreger, a bioethicist and medical historian at Northwestern University who writes about intersex and conjoined twins, told me. “I’ve never seen her cry in public since. She’s damaged in a way that she doesn’t get very emotional.” One of Chase’s closest allies is William Reiner, a University of Oklahoma urologist who retrained as a child psychiatrist to better understand his intersex patients. Reiner, like Chase, says he thinks that a child transitioning from his or her initially assigned gender to the opposite gender should not necessarily be viewed as a medical failure. A baby who was born with a penis-size clitoris who had that penis removed and a vagina constructed out of a piece of her intestine but who ended up wanting to live as a man — that’s a failure. Yet transitioning from one sex to another, says Reiner, is something a child can often handle. Transitioning, Reiner maintains, is much more difficult for parents than for children, because parents have large and complex psychological and social landscapes, while children have relatively small and simple ones. Reiner told me about a family he worked with in which a mother told her 7-year-old daughter that she was actually born a boy. “And within an hour the child had chosen a boy name and

announced he was a boy.” Reiner continued: “The youngest child that I’ve had that spontaneously changed sexes was 4ð. This was one of the most assertive human beings I’ve met in my life. She cut off all of her hair one afternoon while Mom was at work.” When asked to explain, the child said proudly, “Mom, I’ve been telling you: I’m a boy, and boys have short hair, so I cut off my hair.” Over the same period that the Intersex Society became effective, Chase’s personal life bloomed. Chase married Robin Mathias, her partner of five years, in 2004, when gay marriage was legal in San Francisco, and the two live on a hobby farm in Sonoma. In recent years, Chase has also made some important professional connections, like David Sandberg, a psychologist at the University of Michigan whose work has been instrumental in raising questions about treating children with very short stature with growth hormone and who has now turned his attention to intersex. Sandberg joined Chase for her presentation to the New Jersey Psychological Association, and afterward they talked late into the night. Both Chase and Sandberg say that the first few days of an intersex child’s life can set a tone within a family that persists for many years. Both say that medical professionals, right from the start, should behave as they would with any healthy baby and encourage parents to do the same — name the child, fall in love and bond. “If we don’t care for the parents early on,” Sandberg said as we all sat around Chase’s hotel room, “we might lose the battles in terms of creating circumstances for a happy life for this child, and perhaps sacrifice the quality of life for siblings too.” The next morning, Chase came down to breakfast reading “On Becoming a Person,” a book by the psychologist Carl Rogers. Her goal of appearing mainstream while publicly discussing fused labia and unusual gonads

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seems, at times, unattainable. Few would argue that her current message — that doctors and families should not rush into surgery — is nothing if not prudent. Nonetheless, her longterm goal remains the eradication of infant genital surgery for the sole purpose of altering appearance, and this continues to sound outlandish to many medical professionals and to most of the general public as well. Over coffee, Sandberg told Chase that he, too, could not yet join her in taking the position that cosmetic genital surgery on infants is always wrong, and Chase was trying hard to understand why. “But is there ever a good reason for reducing the size of a clitoris?” Chase pressed Sandberg.“If the parent cannot tolerate it,” Sandberg replied. Chase paused, struggling to empathize with a mother unable to raise a child because of the size of that child’s clitoris. Chase has spent her adult life explaining why such a position is unethical. The logic she has constructed is nearly unassailable. Yet for most of us, Chase’s thinking is emotionally difficult to embrace. For starters, we tend not to be very rational when it comes to our children and to our genitals. Complicating matters, in treating

intersex, as opposed to, say, a heart condition, what feels best for the parent in the short term may not turn out to be what is best for the child over time. Finally, parents feel entitled to make decisions based on the (sometimes false) sense that they know what’s right for their families, and the reality is that in the case of intersex children, the right treatment for one child, or even the majority of children, will not be the right treatment for all. Even Sarah Creighton, one of the London gynecologists who reported that intersex patients who have not had surgical procedures tend to fare better, has noted that no treatment is guaranteed or even likely to make the lives of those babies born intersex pain-free. “These are not all happy people, either,” she has said. “Some of them have isolated, difficult lives. Some of the surgery patients are fine, and some of them are not, and it’s very hard to separate all the things out.”
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Over time, the public may grow to accept Chase’s idea that we, as families and neighbors, have an obligation to shed our own biases and accept bodies that are neither neatly male nor neatly female. Or maybe we will not get there, and our discomfort with ambiguity will never fade.

5.2 eSMeRAy:	A	WoMAN’S	SoUL	TRAPPeD	IN	A	MAN’S	BoDy
Kamla Bhasin

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he is tall. Particularly tall for a woman. Broad shouldered, well built and perhaps just a wee bit flabby. Face a bit rough. Shoulder length hair, tied at the back but flock of hair covering the left part of her forehead. Hanging earrings, a simple necklace. Loose dress with spaghetti shoulders, i.e. sleeves shoulders uncovered. Big, expressive eyes.

Very feminine mannerisms, coy, friendly and a big, heavy, ‘male’ voice. Had I seen her in public in India I wouldn’t have been able to describe her so well, because I wouldn’t have dared to look at her for so long. I would have avoided eye contact. Out of fear. You don’t want a “lafda” with a “Hijda”. This is what I would have called her (in my mind), a HIJDA.

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I would have called her this without knowing anything about her and I would have been fearful to find out more from her.

An Activist on Multiple Issues
However…here I was with Esmeray in a workshop. She was a participant, me a resource person; she a Turkish citizen from a Kurdish background (I quickly learnt to be politically correct, otherwise I would have called her Turkish, which she is not) me an Indian. Esmeray was representing two feminist groups, Amargi and Lamda. Amargi means freedom and going towards the mother. This organisation was created to bring together women from different identities, particularly women from “excluded’ groups who are often the “other’. Amargi conducts research, organises seminars, joins other groups to do advocacy on rights, peace, democracy etc. It also brings out a very impressive quarterly magazine with highly analytical articles and excellent photos and illustrations. Esmeray also works with LAMDA, an organization of and working with LGBT. (Don’t tell me you don’t know what LGBT is!! It is lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and trans sexual, transgender and transvestite) Lamda runs a hotline, provides psychological and legal counseling, organizes workshops and seminars. Others, who have known Esmeray for many years, told me that she is well respected as an activist and a feminist in and around Istanbul. Esmeray is a transvestite. I can tell you what that is only because I looked up dictionaries. I hope what I know is still politically correct. A transvestite is a person who cross dresses (i.e. a man dressing up as a woman or a woman dressing up as a man. Esmeray is a biological man who dresses like a woman). Esmeray was given the name Mehmet, a local

version of Mohammad. To suit her feelings, she dropped this male name and took on the name Esmeray, which means black moon, she said with a glint in her eyes.

Every Where the “Other”
Without feeling sorry for herself, being bitter or aggressive, Esmeray says she is the “other” in so many of her identities. She is Kurdish, which according to the Kurds is an oppressed minority. She is working class, so exploited and poor. She had one superior identity, (male) which she gave up and became a woman; she is a transvestite and technically a homosexual. By the last description I mean, because she is a biological man and has love relationships with men, she is technically a homosexual. However, she feels she is a total heterosexual, because she is actually a woman and she loves men. On top of all these, she has also been a sex-worker. Esmeray has thus experienced many forms of discrimination and violence. She has however refused to accept these discriminations as the given, as irremovable. This is why she is deeply political and actively involved in a number of struggles – Kurdish, working class, LGBT, feminist, democratic, anti war etc.

Incredible Sensitivity and Sense of Humour
As I did not know Turkish and most participants did not speak English, we had simultaneous interpretation during the workshop. I found Esmeray listening very carefully and looking at me with her big eyes. Every intervention she made was meaningful and often she got a spontaneous applause for what she said and how she said it. She had a deep understanding, particularly of patriarchy, masculinity, heterosexualism etc.

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During breaks she generated a lot of laughter and herself laughed heartily in her heavy voice. I suppose she needs a big sense of humour to survive and to deal with all her difficulties. As I also laugh heartily and quite loudly, pretty quickly we became laughing partners. Fortunately laughing together did not require translation. During breaks Esmeray and I started interacting with each other with the help of an English and Turkish speaking friend. Having established a good rapport with her, after three days I asked her if she could spend an evening with me to educate me about “people like herself”. She agreed willingly and so did Esin, a very sensitive young woman who often translated for us.

about her life was not easy, even though she did it willingly and happily. As we had enough time and I had no ‘predetermined questionnaire’, we chatted with ease. It was neither an investigation nor an interview. It was a heart to heart talk between two people who wanted to get to know each other.

Total Mismatch Between Body and Soul
For as long as she remembers, Esmeray felt uncomfortable in her male body. She did not feel at home in it, because with that body came so many expectations about “male” attitude, behaviour, language etc. Ever since her birth she felt like a girl and identified with girls and women. She does not think her feelings were caused by an incident or bad or aggressive behaviour by a man or men in general. “I was born knowing and feeling I was a woman and nothing but a woman” she said. Even the privileges attached with “boyhood” or “manhood” didn’t make her change her mind. Esmeray remembers that when she was about four years old she was bathing with her sister. For the first time she noticed the difference in their genitals. She asked why their genitals were different when they both were girls. Her mother once again tried to tell her she was not a girl. She was a boy and her sister was a girl. No amount of telling by any one helped her, Esmeray said. In her heart and her soul she was a girl and she behaved like that whenever and wherever she could. Because of fear of hostility Esmeray adjusted her behavior in the presence of most people. She said the men in her family and around her were particularly hostile to her feelings and expressions. Her father and brothers

My First Close Encounter With a Transvestite
I was quite amazed and ashamed that for 60 long years I had not had a one to one interaction with a transvestite, trans sexual or transgender person. It showed how insular our lives are. In fact, I have felt this many times in my life, especially when our son developed cerebral palsy and he was termed spastic. I was 34 years old and I had not known any person with C.P or spasticity. Soon I was to know it all, often in a painful way. It was then that I realized how many scientific terms like spastic, idiot, and moron were used as abuses. The same is true of terms like hijdas, transvestites. These conditions are all seen as “curses” and those with these conditions as ‘cursed’ Esmeray, Esin and I sat after dinner on the roof. The sun was just setting. The green hills in the distance looked calm. The sky and clouds were multi colored and they kept changing colors. Later on, the moon spread its silver around us. To feel warm we huddled together and Esmeray smoked. She apologized for smoking too much and explained that talking

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had no understanding for her. Her mother and sisters were not hostile but they were helpless to be helpful. Like all other boys Esmeray was circumcised in a ceremonial way. She felt no more a boy even after this rite of passage. Around the age of 13 she accompanied other boys for ‘donkey sex’. What is that I asked? She said most boys there have their first sexual experience with an animal and it is normally a donkey. Esmeray held the head of the donkey while boy after boy had a go at it. She felt no desire to do this strange ritual she said. On that day, however, she felt the first stirrings of sexual arousal when she was close to an older male cousin. “Did the cousin feel the same towards her?” I asked. “No”, she said. However he did teach her masturbation. The same cousin had violent sex with her, which she later realized was rape. Because of this and similar experiences Esmeray has strong dislike for male attitudes to sexuality and a great deal of understanding for the sexual and other violence women face in society. Having lived with both men and women Esmeray seems to know both the worlds quite well. She however has little respect for men. She firmly believes, for example, that men cannot be feminists. Because of financial reasons Esmeray had to discontinue her studies. She also had to earn a living. She was also finding it more and more difficult to live like a man. To be true to her feelings she now had to live and be like a woman. As she could not do this while living at home, she moved out. She went and found places where “people like her” hung out. It was not easy and it was violent. Men were violent towards her. Although she did not like the idea of sex work she felt it was the easiest way to earn money. She worked as a sex worker for a while but gave it up later. She did not like doing it. Esmeray has trained herself

as a cook. This is her main profession and she does it when desperate. These days she is trying to make a living by selling feminist magazines. She lives very simply, she said, hence does not need too much money to survive.

Hormonal Therapy and Surgery to Change Sex
Esmeray says when she started dressing as a woman, she felt compelled to change her “male” body to be closer to her “feminine” soul. She started taking hormonal therapy about 16 years ago to develop her breasts and to reduce her body hair. She is now saving money to get the surgery done to change her sex. She knows the risks and high expense involved in the surgery but feels she has to do this “final act” to be a “complete” woman. “But isn’t being a woman a matter of how you feel and not your body”, I asked. “Yes it is, but I hate this penis. It has to go, at all costs” I realized I could not understand Esmeray’s compulsions and dilemmas. Ever since Esmeray started dressing as a woman and left her home she has not seen her father or brothers. They wouldn’t see her. “If my father saw me like this he would kill me or die himself” she said with tremendous sadness. However, she does meet her nephews and nieces, many of whom are part of Kurdish organisations. Although many of us in this group had met a transvestite for the first time, we had completely accepted Esmeray as a woman and as a part of our group. Esmeray feels completely at home with women and can spend hours dying her hair, removing her body hair, polishing her nails with other women. Getting to know Esmeray has been a humbling experience. Her courage, political commitment, optimism, sense of humour,

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sensitivity, in the face of such huge odds makes me feel small. After a week at the workshop, when I hugged everyone good-bye and sat in the car to leave, I saw Esmeray with a water jug, spilling water behind the car, as it moved. My Turkish friends in the car explained that this ritual was to wish a safe journey. “Literally it means, go smoothly as water and come back smoothly” I felt a lump in my throat and moisture in my

eyes, as I waved at Esmeray. She is no more the “other”. She is my friend. Kamla Bhasin, is a feminist writer and gender trainer. Presently she is the Advisor to SANGAT, a South Asian initiative and a member of Jagori, women’s training and documentation centre based in New Delhi, India. For more information contact: <kamla@sangatsouthasia.org>

5.3 AyeSHA:	PRoFILe	oF	A	LeSBIAN	WoMAN
Profile By Ambarien Al Qadar Name: Ayesha Age: 27 years Place of Birth: New Delhi Class: Lower middle Religion: Islam Education: Senior Secondary (12th Std) Occupation: Multiple It’s difficult to define Ayesha’s occupation. She runs a vocational center for women, manages a taxi service between Delhi and Najafgarh, is setting up a school and aspires to be a politician. It’s equally difficult to write about Ayesha in words- a mysteriously joyous spirit who is friendly and aloof in the same moment. Her partner, Aneesa, also belongs to a lower middle class family that lives in the same neighborhood. For the last many years they’ve been working together. Ayesha and Aneesa have been together since childhood. They began as very close friends and over the years, the relationship has changed. Both the families silently accepted their togetherness till now, never knowing exactly what this relationship meant. Aneesa’s family now wants her to marry a man settled in Qatar. They say that Aneesa will never get such a good offer. Aneesa says to them, how can she marry a man she has never met. But deep down she can’t imagine a life without Ayesha.

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Growing Up in the Nook and Corners:
Ayesha was born the third youngest in a lower class Muslim family in Delhi. Her father used to run a small plumbing shop and her mother used to manage the home full of six children. Childhood was fun…full of running in the innumerable galis (narrow bylanes) of her mohalla (neighborhood). The financial condition of the family remained tough all along. Things are beginning to improve with Ayesha working and contributing to the family income. The home exudes warmth. The entire family gets together for dinner and everybody eats out of the same plate sitting on the ground around a dastar-e-khan (a cloth spread used to lay food; typical of Muslim households).

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Ayesha’s family is very fond of her and she’s the favourite aunt of her innumerable nieces and nephews. On Sunday evenings, when Ayesha is at her home, the whole family sits together to watch TV and chat. Aneesa’s presence is unquestioned. But the relationship has to be consciously projected as that between friends. At Ayesha’s home, I noticed Aneesa referred to her as ‘Ayesha m’am’. And while doing so, her eyes lit up in a special way. “ Since childhood I used to feel this crazy energy about myself. I never liked sitting at home and playing with dolls like my other sisters did. I always made more friends with boys and playing hide and seek in the afternoon was what I loved most. We used to just slip into the various nook and corners of the gali and run as if there was never to be any other day. The hide and seek game was much more than what it actually meant and all of us were very aware of this. While other boys used to pull their pants off and share secrets with their friends in the halfbuilt, un-plastered houses that were coming up in our neighborhood, I always felt out of place. I used to feel very scared when they used to approach me because I knew I was not like them. I needed girl friends to share my secrets!” “ Perhaps my father was expecting a male child when my mother was pregnant with me. He always treated me like one as long as I was a child. I always had close crop hair and used to wear clothes that no longer fitted my elder brothers. As soon as I reached puberty, my father started behaving very oddly with me. A certain distance was slowly settling in. I had become so used to sitting in his lap and eating. But suddenly it was no longer proper. I felt bad. My mother explained it as normal for fathers to avoid physical intimacy with growing daughters. I shouted and screamed

about having been brought up like a boy. The sight of my father with my brothers…sitting and stroking their hair troubled me. For the last few months, my father has been asking my mother to talk to me about marriage. I told her that I’m not cut out for it. My mother never broached the topic again. And though my father has been getting insistent about it, my mother has chosen to be silent. As for myself, I’m too happy being with Aneesa. I don’t need to think about any other man or woman.” “ I grew up with a strong sense of my not being like other women. Somewhere I felt that a little bit of me was like a man…that’s not to say that I felt less like a woman…perhaps I felt like a woman in my own way! What was beautiful about it was that I was at peace with it. It came naturally to me. Now, I consciously wear a pathan-suit (knee length shirt with collar worn over pajamas’ a typically masculine attire) with a jacket.” Aneesa was sitting next to Ayesha and they were holding hands as we talked. They looked at each other and smiled. “ Now I wear what Aneesa likes. And she likes me in this attire. So I wear this”

Love and Longing:
Aneesa and Ayesha used to go to the same school in the neighborhood. “ There was something about Aneesa that used to distract me. Something used to flutter inside me at her sight. The day I did not see her in school…I used to feel tensed and uneasy. Those were the days when we had not started talking. It continued till we came to class 10. I was constantly thinking about Aneesa and wondered what was happening to me. I was confused…how could the idea of falling in love with a woman appear normal to a 16 yr old? I used to sit up for entire nights and think about this. But then I decided to talk to Aneesa…I had to muster the courage to do so

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because I feared rejection. I decided to ask her to be my friend.” “ When I approached Aneesa that morning in school …I was fearing the end of it all. I asked her to stay back after assembly, as I wanted to talk to her. She blushed and didn’t say anything. On talking to her…she said that that was all I was so tensed about? She had also wanted to be my friend but didn’t know how to approach me because I was always with boys.” Aneesa started visiting Ayesha’s home and they spent a lot of time together. They sat and prepared for exams together through the night. “The next two years were pure bliss. School got over and Aneesa wanted to study ahead. My heart and mind was somewhere else. The financial condition of my family was bad and I wanted to do something. Anyways, I was not meant for the world of books. So Aneesa took up college and I started to think about what to do. Those were tough times but Aneesa was always there to reassure me. I began falling in love with her…if love was a feeling to be completely for each other …it was here… between her and me. She was silently aware of the fact that we could not live without each other. That though I was an extremely strong person on the outside…in front of her I was totally defenseless and vulnerable. Aneesa added to my strength and determination.” “ We used to be together all the time. I used to wait for Aneesa’s classes to get over and then we would go out…restaurant, watch a movie…just be together. Her friends used to say that I was her boyfriend. Silently, I enjoyed such jokes...but still I could not talk to Aneesa very openly about our relationship. She never used to mind when I used to touch her. It was the way our relationship was. We held hands while walking...for a long time everything was fine but then people started giving us

strange looks. It never worried me because I knew I had the gut to give it into their faces the moment any of them uttered a word. Also because I look so masculine, nobody dared say anything to us.”

Is She a Man or a Woman? the Eternal Puzzle:
“ We used to be together till 8 or 9 in the night and then I used to drop her at her home. Though her family would’ve objected to Aneesa’s returning this late otherwise, with me they felt safe. They felt that I was quite bold and manly. While I was walking home one night after seeing off Aneesa, two men on a motorbike started following me. It was dark and I felt a bit nervous. They sang songs and kept cracking lewd jokes. I did not pay any heed to them till they said…yaar ye mard hai ki aurat (is she a man or a woman?) I looked back and said that only their sister could discover that. That’s not for them to know! They looked so shocked. The bike just sped away and though I see them in my gali at times, they do their best to avoid any eye contact with me.” “ I have these strange obsessions- to be photographed dressed up like film stars. Aneesa says that I resemble Govinda (a famous Bollywood actor). So we went to a photostudio. I wore black trousers and a red shirt with dark glasses- all Govinda style. Aneesa guided me in posing like Govinda and that was fun.” As Aneesa pulled out the photo album from the cupboard, a pack of them slipped out and fell on the ground. Each photograph had a story to tell- the innumerable holidays, birthdays, family get togethers, marriages, Eid dinners and Iftaar parties they had celebrated together. Aneesa glanced through them and neatly stacked it back. She pulled out the Govinda-style photograph and all of us burst into peals of laughter. Ayesha had chosen a

Session 5
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background full of pink bougainvillea flowers for her picture. With her right leg balanced on a stool and the index finger balanced against the tilt of her head, she looked quite a star.

The Gaze:
“ Whenever I get time, we go out on holidays. Aneesa is with me when we’re working as well. But being away from our homes …being together…gives a very different feeling. We feel as if we’re in our own home. Usually we take an overnight bus to the hills and tell our families that we’re going on a work related trip. In the bus, Aneesa usually sleeps with her head resting on my shoulder and holding my hand. The co-passengers give us a really confused look because most of the times these buses are full of honeymoon couples. On one such trip, the bus halted for dinner and we chose to get down last. I was holding Aneesa in my arms when a passenger walked in. Aneesa started screaming as if she had this really terrible headache and I were just comforting her. We also asked the man if he had any medicine for headaches and in the hotel room we laughed endlessly over what we’d done! ” “ My relationship with Aneesa began as a deep friendship and we got very close to each other over the years. I’ve known her for the last 13 years …and our relationship has also changed. How it became physical ...I really don’t know but I know that it stemmed out of our need to connect more wholly to the other. I had rented a small apartment from where I was beginning to work towards setting up the vocational training center. We were working together and at times we used to spend the night together there. I guess the fact that we had that space to ourselves brought physical intimacy between us. It was difficult for me to talk about it to Aneesa even after having a very sure sense that she loved me. She used

to cook for me in the small kitchen we had put in that apartment cum office. We had dinner and were just chatting about this and that…I was looking at her and just kept looking. She sensed something in my eyes and looked away. I held her and said that looking away was never going to be the end between us. We’ve looked away for a long time…we’ve denied ourselves enough. Aneesa was very shy and she was blushing red. Perhaps she was also confused as to how we’d do ‘it’. But I just made her feel very comfortable. I also had no clue what would happen physically between us…but we just listened to each other’s bodies. Giving pleasure to Aneesa gives me pleasure. It’s the same with her. We make sure that we don’t give a sense of being ‘used’ for the pleasure of other. We really laugh a lot after we make love. We lie together and recollect odd episodes from our lives…like the bus incident…such things provide ample food for crazy laughter.”

What is Sex?
Ayesha had spoken about the fact that she felt like a man and a woman simultaneously. I asked her if it determined the contours of her relationship in any way? Was she more of the man in the relationship? Who took initiative and how? Aneesa and Ayesha looked at each other and laughed. “ I would not say that I’m the man in the relationship. I’m a mix of both and that has kept us together. We’re different people at different times. For me, Aneesa’s pleasure is most important. We speak very openly about it between us and any one can take the initiative. But I like when Aneesa cares for me…cooks for ma and I watch TV…we’re like a family then.” the model of the heterosexual relationship is ruptured in the very moment it is appropriated. “ What is most wonderful between us that we are familiar with each other’s bodies. I know what will give pleasure to Ayesha. It can be

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touching, caressing…doing a lot of things men don’t think I sex! I want to ask them what is sex? I think sex happens when your body feels aroused…you are satisfied there is a sense of fulfillment.” Aneesa says. “ I really never got the time to think if there were more women like us. My world begins and ends with Aneesa. But now with television... etc…people are beginning to understand words like lesbians. Aneesa came across the word for the first time in a magazine perhaps and she told me about it. Anyways, I’m least bothered. But it makes things more difficult for us. Because people only hear or read these words. Without meeting women who love women, they form opinions about them… as if they’re diseased etc…etc… moreover; talking specifically about our relationship…I feel the emotional bond is above all. That’s why we never watch films like Fire and Girlfriend. I feel those stories are too far from our lives. Aneesa only reads newspaper reviews of them and that’s it.”

several times and said that she could not live without me.” The boy’s family liked Aneesa. Aneesa’s family has been pressing her to get married since then. Their explanations are endless…how will her two younger sisters get married? What will happen if she crosses the ‘marriageable’ age? Who will be there to look after her? The fact that Aneesa does not want a marriage with that man…or any man…doesn’t make any sense to them.

The Road Ahead:
“ One day Aneesa said that she’d rather commit suicide than leaving me. I really want to do something but all seems so difficult. We don’t want to run away either. We just want to continue with our lives as it was turning out to be. I’m also very attached to my mother. It’s difficult to choose at the moment. Apart from our families, we really don’t have friends who’ll stand by us; or the money to see our decision through. ” “ I’ve never felt guilty because I love a woman. Deep down I’m a believer and never feel that there’s a conflict between my faith and me. For me, Islam has never been an issue. I’ve heard that same sex relationships are sinful in Islam…but I’ve never felt like believing any of that. I want to live with Aneesa and that’s from where my happiness comes. Her pain hurts me. She’s been very hard to postpone this marriage. But how long will her family listen to her? We’ll have to think of a way out and on second thoughts running away might be the only option left to us…difficult though it seems. I want to give every possible happiness to Aneesa. I want a family with her…a home to which we return after a tiring day...a kitchen where Aneesa cooks the most lovely dinners…if we could have or adopt children…if all of us could watch TV together…that’s what I want.

Session 5

Family and Pressure:
“ Two years back, Aneesa’s cousin introduced her family to his friend who was working in Qatar. One evening, as she was getting ready to see me, her mother asked her to get dressed in a bright red salwar-kameez. The instruction was to look her best. Usually Aneesa loves wearing make-up…so the mother no special instructions there! (Laughs). Aneesa called me up and she sounded very upset. She could sense that it was a suitor for her. Her sisters had been married off in a similar manner… they had never even briefly known the person they were getting married to. I felt so helpless. There was nothing I could do if her family forced her to get married- the thought struck me. More than that I was aware of Aneesa’s pain and helplessness. We kept in touch over phone the entire evening. Aneesa wept

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5.4 HAnDouT on IDEnTITy FoRMATIon AnD PoLITICS
1. How is the process of identity construction taking place?

2. What is considered essential? 3. Who is taking the lead, who follows, and why? 4. Where is the power within a group--who defines it, who controls it, who disciplines, what are the sanctions, who is recognised, and who resists? 5. What kind of arguments are presented by the contesting parties? 6. What demands are made and who benefits? 7. Review issues related to recognition, resources and inclusion. 8. How are opponents viewed? 9. What role are women playing and how are they viewed and treated?

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Session 6

6.1 THE BoDy – A PoLEMIC By	Sunila	Abeyskera
(Source: Options ; July, 00) So, what is it about my body that makes me a feminist? I am a feminist because I understand how easily I could be trapped within my body, and I resist! I am a feminist because I believe that biology is not women’s destiny. So I refuse to bow down to social dictates about how I should use my reproductive and maternal options and I am not afraid of my sexuality. I am a feminist because I recall from the predatory male gaze and feel assaulted when a man brushes against me in an un-crowded bus. So I encourage other women to organize against violence against women in all places. I am a feminist because I resist attempts by the media and popular culture to ascribe for me a norm of ‘beauty’ and the ‘attractive body’. So I am not a slave to my hairdresser. How do you use your body?
Session 6

How much do you spend organizing about the way your body should look after watching a few music video or reading Femina or Cosmopolitan? How much weight do you assign to giving pleasure over getting pleasure? How often do you comment on other women’s dress codes and decide what is “decent” and what is “vulgar”? Do you tell your daughter she can’t use her limbs to climb trees because she’s a GIRL?

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6.2 FeMINISM	AND	CeNSoRSHIP	IN	THe	WeST By Brinda Bose
Source : Gender and Cencorship, 00, Women Unlimited, New Delhi

If there ever was a quintessential postfeminist issue, pornography is it. 1
It is fairly de rigueur in the West today to claim that the age of feminism (however that may be defined) is past. It is more difficult the world over, though, to lay the ghosts of the varied issues that feminist movements were constructed upon. Pornography-or the representation in the media of sexually explicit images-has been a persistently troublesome one for feminists, simply because it has created serious divisions within the ranks of those otherwise radically committed to the protection of the rights of women everywhere. ‘Patriarchal society has traditionally seen pornography as potentially exploitative of women, exposing and using their bodies for the sexual titillation of the public, and therefore to be condemned. However, a woman’s right not to be exploited, degraded and demeaned by the sexual use of her body is counteracted by her right to consensually expose her body in whatever way she deems fit, as also by her-and everyone else’s-right to freedom of speech, expression and representation that is guaranteed by democratic constitutions all over the world. Feminism, indeed, has been hard put to locate the specific dilemma that pornography represents, because any intervention for the purpose of protecting the possibly-exploited bodies

of women must necessarily contend with the problems of censorship, in that it restricts freedom of speech and expression, invests an inordinate amount of power in the censor (which is often the state with a specific political agenda of its own) and can never come to a true consensus about what is actually obscene since it is such a culturally variable term. Within feminist debates on representation and rights, the issue of censorship has proved to be a black hole. As identified in the West, the debate may be framed in the following terms: ‘Why is the problem of censorship important to us as feminists? Should feminists have a different perspective on censorship from other groups of radical people? What, indeed, do we mean by censorship? For some women this pertains to state censorship alone; for some it denotes the silencing of oppositional voices in a variety of ways; for others it represents an acceptable method of controlling material that is offensive, degrading and possibly dangerous. For all, it is a question riven with dilemmas and potential conflict2. The central dilemma of censorship for feminists clearly rests on 1 the (perhaps potential) conflict between the question of freedom of speech, expression and representation on the one hand and the possibility/threat/reality of exploitation on

1 Tanya Modleski. Feminism Without Women: Culture and Criticism in a ‘Postfeminisnst Age’. New Yok: Routledge, 1991. 135. 2 Julienne Dickey and Gail Chester.(eds) ‘Introduction’, Feminism and Cencorship: The Current Debate. Dorset, UK: Prism Press, 1988. 1.

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the other. If censorship could be viewed only as a patriarchal construct-as a silencing agent employed by the state-then feminism, a movement dedicated to protecting the rights of a less powerful group in society, would have been able, presumably, to take a less ambiguous position on the dilemma. However, because freedom of expression in the representation of women also arouses apprehensions about the exploitation of women through obscenity and pornography, some feminists feel the requirement for some kind of censorship. Others believe that pornographic representations cannot cause oppression and can, in fact, be liberating. The questions that this brings us to are simply, as Julienne Dickey and Gail Chester voice them, ‘Are we seeking some kind of unity of opinion? Should we be? Can we assume that women have a commonality of interest? Is there one position which is more “rational”, more “liberated,”? Or should we be seeking a way to accommodate our differences?’ 3

context of the gendered image-and/or, the imaging of gender-the question becomes particularly fraught with patriarchal tensions. Mary Ann Doane has drawn upon the work of Jameson, Luce lrigaray and Laura Mulvey to come to some pertinent conclusions about ‘the connections between commodity and culture, spectacle and spectator, male and female. Tracing a process by which the female ‘spectatorconsumer’ is programmed to bear a male gaze and endorse the commodification of her body parts, Doane identifies her body as ‘the stake of late capitalism’, and asks, ‘Whose gaze is ultimately addressed?’ and, ‘Who profits?’ 4 The feminist answer to both, presumably, is ‘the male’. Post-Mulvey (1975/1989), it ,has become a commonplace in film theory to evoke the concept of the female object/subject dilemma, and the notion of the woman spectator who has internalised the male gaze and thus bought into a patriarchal commodification of her body. To move the debate further into the realm of censorship, one would have to apprehend a question not only of the desiring gaze and its subject! object, but also of the rather more complicated and vexed area of representations that infringe upon matters (personal and/or public), considered degrading and exploitative. In the sexual context, such a gaze-that sees what it perhaps should not within the framework of social acceptability-may be identified as, in Norman K. Denzin’s term, ‘the voyeur’s gaze’. However, given that voyeurism is essentially determined to be a private enterprise, any representation that is processed (scripted, filmed, edited, marketed) in the public arena then defies the

Framing theories of representation and censorship: desire and pleasure, private and public, oppression and agency
Fredric Jameson’s famous theory of the logic of consumer capitalism is intimately linked, of course, to contexts of desire: what does the consumer want? How much, how often, how desperately? How much is s/he willing to pay for what s/he wants? By logical progression, it is not difficult, perhaps, to deduce that the representation of images in the media is necessarily intricately linked to such economies, what one desires to see/ hear/watch and what one is concomitantly prepared to ‘pay’ for such imaging. In the

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3 IBID. 1-2 4 Mary Ann doane. ‘The Economy of Desire: The Economy of Desire: The commodity Form in/of the cinema’ in Movies and Mass Culture.(ed). John Belton. London: Athlone Press, 1996/99. 124-132. A

very context in which a voyeur exists, and daringly attempts to re-sell the commodity in a new-perhaps more socially acceptablegarb. The instrument of censorship intends to intervene at this very juncture, by allegedly separating the acceptable from the degrading! exploitative, by moulding the public gaze so that it distinguishes between what the censor considers appropriate and that which it discards as unacceptable. Denzin has usefully summed up the problems inherent to the· classic Mulvey formula of the cinematic gaze, a landmark though it undoubtedly has been in feminist film theory5. Ultimately, according to Denzin, A gaze is not simply voyeuristic. It is regulated, has a trajectory, and evokes emotions and conduct which are differentially reciprocated, and erotic. A gaze may be active, or passive, direct, or indirect and indifferent. It will always be engendered, reflecting a masculine and feminine perspective. A gaze may be a gaze of power and domination ... It may be investigative, medical, or psychiatric. It may be erotic or non-erotic, or both. 6 Denzin stresses that neither the gaze nor the object of it possesses pre-determined characteristics, but reflects the contexts in which they are framed. It may be said that the moment at which the erotic gaze slides into the voyeuristic mode-regulated by a particular ‘structure of meanings’ and ‘the context in which it is framed’-is also the moment at which the public/private dichotomy enters the playing arena. What was termed erotic/ beautiful/sexual is now also-possibly-

obscene and pornographic. Nicola Lacey has constructed what she calls a ‘feminist critique of individualism’ in which she attacks the protection of pornography through liberal thought which plays on the private/ public dichotomy and subverts it for its own use. Lacey believes that feminist criticism of this process is essentially empowering, and necessarily must be developed into legislative praxis, though she concedes that such ‘feminist’ legislation as had been introduced in the United States, for example, in the 1980s, came with its own set of problems. Lacey finds the construction of pornography both as private sexual enterprise and a matter of public right to free expression at the same time, as claimed in liberal analysis, troubling7. In the public sphere, it has been crucial to feminist politics as a movement to attempt to translate theory into practice by proposing legislative reform to control the dissemination of ‘pornographic’ or ‘obscene’ material in the media that it considers degrading to women. However, theoretical polarisation has also effectively transformed into a polarisation between feminist activist groups that are either antipornography or anti-censorship: clearly, the definitions of ‘pornography’ and ‘censorship’ diverge considerably in each context.

Censorship legislation in the West: questions for the feminist movement(s) in the United States and Britain
In what is obviously a critique of the antipornography movement within feminism,

5 Norman K Denzin. The Cinematic Society: The Voyeur’s Gaze. London/Thousand Oaks/New Delhi: Sage 1995. 6 Ibid. 48 7 Nicola Lacey. ‘Theory into Practice? Pornogrphy and the public/Private Dichotomy’ in Unspeakable Subjects: Feminist Essay in Legal and Social Theory. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 1998. 88-89.

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Ann Brooks has summed up its limitations as a simple binary model which reads all pornography as reflective of transgressive male sexuality that will end in violence against women; according to Brooks this model neither differentiates between the impact of such divisions as race, class, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation nor escapes from assumptions about women as passive victims, denied of any opportunity for resistance. She labels it a ‘pro-censorship movement’, seeking to authorise the state with greater powers to intervene in issues of sexuality and identity, and contrasts it to the ‘anti-anti-pornography position’ that distinguishes between pornography and erotica and establishes multiple cultural spaces for the proliferation of sexual representations and their reception8. Feminists who argue for civil legislation to control pornography believe that this would invest power of control in women rather than in the state; this call for civil legislation is based upon the ordinances drawn up by American feminists Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon. In her definitive study, Pornography: Men Possessing Women9, Dworkin presents a sexual theory of gender inequality of which pornography is a constitutive practice: the process by which pornography produces its meaning is the same process by which gender inequality/male supremacy become socially real. According to MacKinnon, Pornography sexualises rape, battery, harassment, prostitution, and child sexual

abuse; it thereby celebrates, promotes, authorises, and legitimises them. More generally it eroticises the dominance and submission that is the dynamic common to them all. It makes hierarchy sexy ... Through this process pornography constructs what a woman is as what men want from sex ... The content of pornography is one thing ... What pornography does goes beyond its content: it eroticises hierarchy, it sexualises inequality. It makes dominance and submission into sex. Inequality is its central dynamic ... 10 It is fairly easy to comprehend how this argument translates into a pro-censorship stance, the question of gender inequality coupling with that of civil (women’s) rights. Dworkin and MacKinnon drafted an ordinance11 based on this understanding of pornography as a practice of sex discrimination and a violation of women’s civil rights, which aspired to ‘guarantee women’s rights consistent with the First Amendment by making visible a conflict of rights between the equality guaranteed to all women and what, in some legal sense, is now the freedom of the pornographers ...12 While Dworkin and MacKinnon’s pornographycensorship activism has had a huge impact and following in the United States, there has also been a great deal of resistance to, and criticism of, its principal tenets. This critique has been comprehensively summed up in a brief written on behalf of the Feminist AntiCensorship Taskforce (FACT), co-signed by the Women’s Legal Defense Fund (WLDF) and 80 individual feminists. This document forthrightly condemns the Ordinance’s

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8 Ann Brooks. Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms. London and New York: Routledge, 1997. 206. 9 The Women’s Press, 1981 10 Catharine A. MacKinnon. ‘Pornography, Civil Rights, and Speech’ (from Feminism Unmodified, 1987) in Sex, Morality and the Law.(eds) Lori Gruen and George E. Panichas. New York and London: Routledge, 1997. 186-7. 11 Known widely as the Indiana Ordinance, it prohibited any ‘ production, sale, exhibition, or distribution’ whatever of the material it defined as pornographic 12. MacKinnon Supra note 17, 189. A

‘unconstitutional vagueness’ and propensity to ‘discriminate’ on the basis of sex, thereby reinforcing sexist stereotypes, and concludes that in order to reject the notion that women are fragile, passive and in need of constitutional protection against sexually explicit speech, the Ordinance has to be roundly denounced.13 As is clearly evident from these confrontationist positions, there has been very little consensus amongst feminist activists in the United States on the issues of pornography/ obscenity/ sexually explicit materials and speech. In England, most of the relevant debates have centred on the Obscene Publications Act that had first come into existence in 1857, and then re-constituted significantly a century later, in 1959. According to the 1959 Act, books with literary, scientific, artistic or educational importance were exempt from conviction for obscenity; such a provision assured a sense of security to those who believed that censorship threatened individual freedom of expression by providing a weapon of control to the state. In 1986,. however, the proceedings of the English House of Commons recorded an important moment in the history of censorship in the country. Clare Short, MP, during a debate concerning the amendment of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, declared her intention to introduce a bill banning ‘girlie’ pictures-known popularly as the ‘Page 3’ imagein the tabloid newspapers, seeking to deal with women’s degradation in the media through censorship. Though the Bill eventually failed at its second reading, it unleashed a storm of reaction from women all across the country, and shaped Short as something of a feminist icon.

Pratibha Parmar, feminist activist working for the rights of British women marginalised by race, class and sexual orientation, has addressed another problem that assails both American and British societies today, that of dealing with multiculturalism: The majority of pornography is about the public depiction of sexual imagery of women, which is created, controlled and consumed by men and is one manifestation of women’s oppression ... It is an agenda which sees women as a class oppressed first and foremost by a universal patriarchy, unmediated by race, class or history ... But ... this sisterhood of all women assumes that there are no significant differences between women, compared with the similarities of our experiences of pornography. I find such an analysis both Eurocentric and nationalist. It is also insulting in its simplicity ... They also make no attempt to explore how women may be affected differently by pornography because of their different subjectivities.’ 14 Awareness of these differences has grown consistently within the various divergent forms and shapes that the feminist movement has taken in Britain and elsewhere, the complicated debate on pornography becoming only one of the many contentious issues in debate. As Carol Smart points out, In Britain there is a sense that there is a closure of options for subversive sexualities. Some of this perceived closure relates to feminist campaigns such as those on pornography in which it is feared that legal censorship will become an acceptable mode of regulating the issue ... In the field of law

13 Excerpted from Nan D. Hunter and Sylvia A. Law, ‘ Breif Amici Curiae of Feminist Anti-Censorship Taskforce, et al., in American Booksellers Association vs. Hudnut’ in Sex, Morality and the Law. (eds.) Lori Gruen and George E. Panichas. New York and London: Routledge, 1997. 202-209. 14 Pratibha Parmar. ‘Rage and Desire: Confronting Pornography’ in Dickey and Chester. Dorset, UK: Prism Press, 1988. 123

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feminist work has to be especially careful in that in identifying problematic practices or even harmful practices, invoking the law may merely introduce a new set of problems rather

than solutions. The struggle between antipornography feminists and anti-censorship feminists articulates these difficulties well 15.

6.3 THe	INDeCeNT	RePReSeNTATIoN	oF	WoMeN	 (PRoHIBITIoN)	BILL,	1986	 Statement of Objects and Reasons
The law relating to obscenity in this country is codified in Sections 292, 293 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code. In spite of these provisions, there is a growing body of indecent representation of women or references to women in publications, particularly advertisements, etc. which have the effect of denigrating women and are derogatory to women. Though there may be no specific intention, these advertisements, publications, etc. have an effect of depraving or corrupting persons. It is, therefore, felt necessary to have a separate legislation to effectively prohibit the indecent representation of women through advertisement, books, pamphlets, etc.

(b) It is proposed to prohibit all advertisements, publications, etc. which contain indecent representation of women in any form. (c) It has also been proposed to prohibit selling, distribution, circulation of any books, pamphlets etc. containing indecent representation of women. (d) Offence under the Act, are made punishable w.ith imprisonment of either description for a term extending to two years and fine extending to two thousand rupees on first conviction. Second and subsequent convictions will attract a higher punishment.

The Bill seeks to achieve the aforesaid objects.
Margaret Alva, New Delhi, 13 August 1986. As introduced in Rajya Sabha, 20 August 1986. Bill No. XXVIII of 1986. A bill to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings,. figures, or in any other manner and for matter connected therewith or incidental thereto. Be it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:

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The salient features of the Bill are:
(a) Indecent representation of women has been defined to mean the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman, her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent or of being derogatory to or denigrating women or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality, of any person of any class or age group, notwithstanding that persons in any other class or age group may be similarly affected.

I. Short title, extent and commencement:
(1) This Act may be called the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition)

15 Carol Smart, ‘ Law, Feminism and Sexuality: From Essence to Ethics?’, in Law, Crime and Sexuality: Essay in Feminism. London/Thousand Oaks/New Delhi: Sage, 1995. 120-121.

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Act, 1986. (2) It extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoints.

4. Prohibition of publication or sending by post of books, pamphlets etc. containing indecent representation of women
No person shall produce or cause to be produced, sell, let to hire, distribute or send by post any book, pamphlet, paper, slide, film, drawing, painting, photograph, representation or figure which contains indecent representation of women in any form. Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to(a) any book, pamphlet, paper, slide, film, writing, painting, photograph, representation, or figure-(i) the publication of which is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the ground that such book, pamphlet, paper, slide, film, writing, painting, drawing, photograph, representation or figure is in the interest of science, literature, art or learning or other objects of general concern; or (ii) which is kept or used bona fide for religious purpose; (b) any representation, sculpture, engraved, painted, or otherwise represented on or in(i) any ancient monument within the meaning of the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (24 of 1958); or (ii) any temple, or on any car used for the conveyance of idols, or kept or used for any religious purpose; . (c) any film in respect of which the provisions of Part II of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952).will be applicable

2. Definitions:
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires: (a) ‘advertisement’ includes notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document and also includes any visible representation made by means of any light, sound, smoke or gas; (b) ‘distribution’ includes distribution byway of samples whether free or otherwise; (c) ‘indecent representation of women’ means the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman, her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent or of being derogatory or denigrating women or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals of any person or persons of any class or group notwithstanding that persons in any other class or group may not be similarly affected; (d) ‘label’ means any written, marked, stamped, or graphic matter, affixed to or appearing upon any package; (e) ‘package’ includes a box, carton, tin, or other container; (f) ‘prescribed’ means prescribed by rules made under this Act.

3. Prohibition of advertisements containing indecent representation of women
No person shall publish or cause to be published, or arrange or take part in the publication or exhibition of any advertisement which contains indecent representation of women in any form.

5. Powers to enter and search
(1) Subject to such rules as may be prescribed, any Gazetted Officer authorised by the State Government may, within the local limits of the area for which he is so authorised:

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(a) enter and search at all reasonable times, with such assistance, if any, as he considers necessary, any place in which he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act has been or is being committed; (b) seize any advertisement or any book, pamphlet, paper, slide, writing, drawing, painting, photograph, representation or figure which he has reason to believe contravenes any of the provisions of this Act; (c) examine any record, register, document or any other material object found in any place mentioned in clause (a) and seize the same ifhe has reason to believe that it may furnish evidence of the commission of an offence punishable under this Act; - provided that no entry under this subsection shall be made into a private dwelling house without a warrant; - provided further that the power of seizure under this clause may be exercised in respect of any document, article or thing which contains any such advertisement, including the contents, if any, of such document, article or thing if the advertisement cannot be separated by reason of its being embossed or otherwise from such document, article or thing without affecting the integrity, utility or saleable value thereof. (2) The provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) shall so far as may be, apply to any search or seizure under this Act as they apply to any search or seizure made under the authority of a warrant issued under section 94 of the said Code. (3) Where any person seizes anythirig under clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-section (1), he shall as soon as may be, inform the nearest Magistrate and take his orders as to the custody thereof.

6. Penalty
Any person who contravenes the provision of section 3 or section 4 shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, and in the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment for a term of not less than six months but which may extend to five years and also with a fine not less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to one lakh rupees.

7. Offences by companies
(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person, who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of and was responsible to, the company, for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment, ifhe proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained insub-section (1), where any offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is atttibutable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

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Explanation-For the purpose of this section: (a) ‘company’ means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and (b) ‘director’ in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

8. Offence to be cognisable and bailable
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, an offence punishable under this Act shall be bailable. (2) An offence punishable under this Act shall be cognisable.

9. Protection of action taken in good faith
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Central Government or any State Government or any officer of the Central or any State Government for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be. done under this Act.

(b) any other matter which is required to be or may be prescribed. (3) Every rule made under this Act, shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session for a total period of 30 days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be, so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

Memorandum Regarding Delegated Legislation
Clause 10 of the Bill seeks to empower the Central Government to make rules for carrying out the provisions of the Act. The matters in respect of which rules may be made relate to the manner in which seizure of advertisements or other articles shall be made, and the manner in which the seizure list shall be prepared and delivered to the person from whose custody any advertisement or other matter has been seized or any other article, which is required to be, or may be prescribed by rules under the Act. The matters in respect of which powers are proposed to be delegated to the Central Government under the provisions of the Bill pertain to matters of administrative detail or procedure. The delegation of legislative power is, therefore, of a normal character.

10. Power to make rules
(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act. (2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely: (a) the manner in which the seizure of advertisements or other articles shall be made, and the manner in which the seizure list shall be prepared and delivered to the person from whose custody any advertisement or other article has been seized;

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Session 7
7.1 SeX	WoRK	IN	A	MASSAGe	PARLoUR;	THe	SToRy	oF	WINA.
Researcher: Endah Sulistyowati Edited by Saskia Wieringa Wina comes across as an assertive, talkative and attractive young woman. She has a clear purpose in life and is not ashamed of her profession. For 2,5 years prior to the interviews she has been working in a massage parlour, giving ‘plus plus service’. That is she provides sexual services to those clients who demand that. She has a boyfriend, Seto, whom she intends to marry. Together they work hard to save enough money to set up a shop. Only occasionally, particularly when religion or the regulation of sex work is discussed, it becomes apparent that the way she earns her living also gives rise to insecurities. Wina hails from Indramayu, a town in West Java which is known for providing sex workers. Her father is a government employee. Although he is a womanizer and has had numerous girls friends Wina feels he has been a good father to her. He never neglected his financial duties towards his wife and children1. He sent his eldest born to nursing school. As many women from her town, she left home to work as a migrant worker, in Taiwan. There she got into a relationship with a Philippino man and she had an abortion. She finished her contract as a nurse in an elderly home and went back to Jakarta. There she got work in a massage parlour. She found the cost of living in Jakarta so high that besides her regular job she started to provide sexual services as well. Only in this way can she pay for the schooling of her younger siblings, pay the rent in the small room she rents and save something. She goes home every three months. Her family knows she works in a massage parlour but nobody speaks openly about the possibility that she may be providing more intimate services. So far nobody has openly asked her about it and she hasn’t felt obliged to tell it. When her sister, Rita, who also works

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1 The term uses for womanizer is setia, an abbreviation of selingkuh tiada akhir, meaning cheating endlessly. This is a very ironical pun, for setia means actually ‘loyal’

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as a therapist, suggested to their mother that Wina is engaged in sex work, mum told her to mind her own business. So Wina is quite secure that as long as she supports her family nobody will mind her doing sex work. It wasn’t hard for her to start doing sex work. As a regular therapist her salary was so small she hardly could survive. After getting by on her meagre salary as a regular therapist for about one year she shifted to a massage parlour where ‘plus plus services’ were offered. “Maybe if I had started right away working is a sex massage parlour, I would have felt shaky. As I had already worked for about one year in a different massage parlour, without providing sexual services, I was not afraid. Maybe I would have felt more afraid if I would not be paid (laughing)…” Wine and her friends follow the 246 pattern. For a hand job they charge 200.000 rupiah, for a blow job 400.000 and for intercourse the client has to pay 600.000 rupiah.2 However is the customer wants to flaunt his wealth he gets charged more. The same goes for clients who want to spend more time than the regular double session, that is 90 minutes. Compare this to her income as a regular massage girl, where she gets between 5 and 7.000 rupiah per session. Wina also has a regular customer, a rich civil servant from outside of Jakarta. Wina knows very well that Islam considers her occupation as haram, forbidden. She acknowledgers that she commits many sins in the eyes of religious people, included herself. She would like to stick to the regular 5 times of praying per day, but her work doesn’t make
2 One US dollar is about rs 9.000

that easy. One can only pray if one is ritually clean, that is after one has taken a bath and washed one’s hair after sexual intercourse. So if she has 10 clients a day, she will have to wash her hair 10 times. In the face of such obstacles she usually manages to pray only once a day. “Frankly speaking, from the religious standpoint, I am a sinner. But as a Muslim myself, I still fulfil my obligation, and pray regularly (giggling). My boyfriend says we have to pray but we don’t have to worry all the time whether our prayers will be received by Allah. We just have to fulfil our obligations. Except, that is impossible in the workplace. If I have to take a bath so many times a day I will get cold. Yet our relationship with Allah has to be maintained, just as we have to keep up our relationship with other people... If women who are wearing the veil disparage us... Well, they shouldn’t pretend they are the holiest persons on earth just because they are wearing a veil.. But according to me this is the business of Allah. This kind of job may be very wrong. We cannot ignore religion. Maybe we are the nastiest and dirtiest persons on earth, but we are not atheists, we still have a chance to go to heaven. The issue is whether our prayers will be received, and that only Allah determines. But I won’t do this my whole life. I have a plan to quit and ask Allah forgiveness.” Seto, Wina’s boyfriend, supports her work. He reminds her that it is not up to human beings to determine whether or not Allah will receive our prayers. As long as a person is not murtad (change one’s religion) heaven is still open. Seto also has two jobs, he works as a night guard and during the day transports people at the back of his motorbike (ojek). Wina is

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happy he is a responsible man, hard working, not easily jealous and not possessive. He doesn’t look down on her for her work and he doesn’t squander her money. They have been together for one year and plan to get married. At the moment Wina cannot leave her job at the parlour, because she will have to pay a hefty fine. So they discussed and both agreed that it would be better for her to honour the contract. Both are working hard to save up for their dream to have a shop. This way they hope to earn enough money to buy a house, a car and provide their future children with a good education. “I want to marry the man I love and have kids with him. I want to lead a proper life, not luxurious, but enough to live on comfortably. We would like to open a mini market under a franchise arrangement, or maybe a gas station.” The first time Wina had sex was when she was 17 years old and still a school girl. She doesn’t have a pleasant memory of that occasion. Only in Taiwan she learnt how to enjoy sex, and she experimented with several men. For her sex is not the most important thing in her relationship with Seto: that is the love and care they both share for each other. She will satisfy him when he feels like it but for her orgasm is not the ultimate goal. She has sex so often, and she also gets orgasms in her work, with her clients, when they are slow in ejaculating or when she feels attracted to them. But she regularly fakes orgasms too, to please her clients. She also regularly masturbates when she feels like having an

orgasm. But Seto is the only one she loves and with him she shares the emotional sides of love making and he is the only one she kisses on the lips. With Seto she has been trying several sexual positions but she has always refused to have anal sex. Seto never asked for it, but some of her customers did. As an employee of a massage parlour Wina works in a relatively safe environment. She is never forced to provide sexual services and the owner puts clients who misbehave on a black list. But Wina is aware that street sex workers are in a much more vulnerable position. She has no clue about their and her legal situation but she does know that on the streets women are an easy prey for the police, street bullies, and their own clients. Particularly if a sex workers is caught by the police and paraded on tv she will have a hard time. First of all there is the violence by the police themselves, then there is the humiliation of her face being shown on tv nationwide. Therefore Wina advocates that the government provides special locations for sex workers, and a clinic they can go to for regular check ups without harassment. Wina is bitter when it comes to clients and pimps, who never get subjected to the kind of treatment sex workers get from the police.

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Concludes Wina:
“We sex workers are also human beings with feelings who have to fight hard to survive. How come that the only place the government provides for us is the jail?”

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7.2 HeMALI:	PRoFILe	oF	SeX	WoRKeR
Profile by Abha Bhaiya Name - Hemali Age - 29 Born - In a small village in Nepal Education - Class Third Religion - Hindu Social economic background - Peasant family Martial status - Single No. of children - 1 No. of Interviews - 3 Regardless of their actual sexual activity and history, sexual experience and availability are assumed more readily of such marked women.(The prostitution Prism-Gail Pheterson
Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam 1996, pg 69)

hand and as she was going in, she asked me to come in. I suddenly felt a bit relieved. I nudged myself ‘why don’t you talk to this woman? But will she talk? She does not know me… there is no harm in asking her.’ The dialogue just carried on inside my mind. Suddenly someone called out Hemali. She responded so I knew her name. As I went in, I saw a lot of women and the place seemed so packed and noisy. I wondered about the commotion. Hemali looked at me and said ‘everyone is getting their share of Condoms’. ‘What about you?’ I asked. She pulled out a small plastic bag from inside her blouse and we laughed. She asked me to go inside. Inside there was a bigger open room with small cubicles at one end and a semi open verandah facing the street. The floor of the central room outside the cubicles was kind of a public activity area. Two kids were playing with some broken toys; in a corner a woman was sitting with a mirror combing her hair. She gradually started putting on her makeup. In the corner of the room there was a door. I realized later that it was the brothel owner’s room. Sonali pointed to one of the kids and said “that is my daughter.” She was well dressed and did not look malnourished either. Sonali told me that she was little less than two years old and her name was Usha. I found this an appropriate moment to ask her whether I could interview her. I told her about the research, that I was now familiar to this area.

It was a real coincident that I met Hemali. I was looking for a woman called Nafeesa. I came to know about Nafeesa from a friend working in an HIV-AIDS organization. Nafeesa lived in one of the brothels of the Red Light areas. As I was climbing the steps, I found a young woman sitting at the landing. In front of her was a man with a basket of bangles. She looked excited and fully absorbed in selecting the bangles. Suddenly she looked up and as our eyes met, we both smiled at each other. ‘Who are you looking for’, she asked. I told her I wanted to meet Nafeesa. She gave a blank look. There was no Nafeesa in the house she lived in. She saw the disappointment on my face and asked me to go in and look for myself. It was not that I did not believe her but wondered how and where to look for Nafeesa. In the meanwhile she stood up from near the bangle vendor, she had a few bangles in her

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She wondered still as to how it would help to talk to her. She asked me whether I was going to write about her in a newspaper. It was not easy to explain the difference between a newspaper and a book- after all I was going to write. She was not convinced that it would help her in any way. I told her about all other women who we had interviewed. In the mean while, a client arrived. It was Sonali’s turn. She asked me to leave but I told her I would wait. She left hurriedly for the cubicle. I sat there watching the kids and tried to make friends with them. I had some sweets in my bag and that helped.

place. She remembers days of hunger pain. Where could she run away to? She became pregnant twice but had a miscarriage. Second time he took her to a government hospital as she was bleeding a lot. She somehow did not want to talk that day. She was also in a hurry to wash clothes and cook something for her daughter and herself. During the next visit, I asked her whether she was in touch with her family. Yes, she was. In fact, her sister had also come away and was working in another town as a sex worker. Gradually during the course of these years (after 5 years), she established contact with her family and went back to fight with her father. He had already died. The family was in a bad way. She brought her sister along. Hemali somehow managed to get out of that house as he went out of town to sell goods once. She took a train that was going to Dehradun- a small town in the foothills of Himalayas and that’s when she got into the sex trade. She did not say more about the way she got to know about it. The experience of sex was no different. She remembers that when she was first sent with a client into the room, she got frightened when he grabbed her breasts. Throughout the act, she kept her eyes closed as she could only see that husband of hers. It was in this brothel that she learnt about HIV/AIDs and the use of condoms to protect them from getting infection. Once a man asked her to suck his penis and she refused. She got to know a lot about sex, about different kind of clients with different demands. She also developed some regular clients. One of them would bring her flowers. Once he came with a bottle of rum and insisted that she also drinks. She refused to serve and the brothel owner had to mediate. He continued coming and they developed a

The Following Story Unfolded in the Next Three Interviews
Sonali was married at the age of 14 to man who was a trader. He used to walk through the remote villages to sell bed sheets and other materials. He once asked Sonali’s mother whether she was looking for a groom for her daughter. This was a long drawn interaction between them over a few months. Sonali was unaware of the transactions. However, she noticed that he was coming more regularly to her village. Before she knew, her father fixed her marriage to this strange man. The day she left the village is still very fresh in her memory. She remembered how she cried all through the journey. We just sat next to each other without saying much, just being. He brought her to a town in the plains and took her to a small room inside a narrow lane. She was raped that night. She knew nothing about sex. She hated his smell, his body, his organ. It was too big and ugly. She bled a lot as he had sex with her three times that night. Her entire body was sore. This became a routine. He would lock her up during the day and return in the night. It was just that room with a small corner used for cooking and bathing

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more regular relationship. Once she planned to run away with him but was caught as one of the sex workers informed the ‘madam’. It is there that she watched blue films. Those were fun hours as many of them sat together and laughed as they watched scene after scene. She gradually got used to drinking. Is there a difference in the experience of sex with a customer and a more regular visitor? Hemali first could not answer but then she said,“ you wait for both- one for money and for love. The regular one also brings things to eat, or a small gift”. One of them had given her a necklace. What she likes most is to go out with the man. But that she can only do during the day as madam does not allow any outing in the night. However, none of these relationships lasts. Once again, I probe into her experience of sex with a client and a more regular partner. Hemali shared the difference-“ the man who comes just for you, spends lots of time after the act, he asks for different kinds of pleasure like kissing or holding him tight, sometime teases”. It was evident that she was thinking of someone specific, of someone who was special for her. ‘How did she come to Delhi’? One day, along with a sex worker, they escaped from the brothel. They went to see a film and after that sat in a small hotel to plan to come to Delhi. She was very scared as it was the second time she was planning to escape. “Suppose my ex-husband finds me or the madam sends a pimp to bring us back”. They were both from Nepal. They were told that in Delhi Nepali girls are in demand and that they can earn more. Hemali and her friend, both were very fair and men demanded such girls. They were also young.

The sex industry has a huge premium on young and fair girls. She left her sister behind. She was sure that once she settles down, she will find a way of getting her sister there. It was a difficult journey. She can still hear her own heart beat. They arrived early morning. It was strange that the rickshaw man immediately knew where to take them. This is something that I observed every time I went to a red light area. No one made a pass at us. These women were no different except most of them were poor. Whenever I sat with them it was like sitting with a group of women in a village or in a slum, with same concerns, same emotions and feelings as any other group of poor women. It was difficult to discern the markers of their identity. To provide services to a customer was so mundane and without any glamour. So often the entire act does not even last for more than 3 to 5 minutes. Often I watched the coming and going of customers, as if they had come for some immunization. They went in and out with sex workers following each one of them with a soiled condom in her hand. Sometimes I saw her covering her nose with her sari/or scarf, going straight to the tap washing her hands few times after throwing condom in a bin. This visual imagery has never changed in any of the brothels I have visited, in Calcutta, Mumbai or Delhi. I found out that there is a fixed rate for these short sex encounters. However, the ‘madam’ used her discretion. What kind of customer does Hemali like? She had no clear answer. Most customers she does not even interact with. In fact, she may not even recognize him if he ever came again. However when they go down to the street and entice a man, the memory is a bit more vivid as they watch them carefully. It is only when a man shows more interest, engages in talking,

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comes repeatedly and asks for her specifically that gradually a bond gets established. When I asked her about her daughter Usha, I get to know that she is her first child. She has had four abortions/miscarriage. Does she know the father? She evaded the issue in the beginning of our interview. One day as I was sitting there waiting for Sonali who had gone to get some medicine. A man walked in and made himself comfortable. It was clear that he was familiar with the place. One of the women told him that Sonali will be back in a while. Thus, I knew that we were waiting for the same woman. Sonali introduced me to him. He was an auto rickshaw driver. As we started talking, I got to know that they have known each other for more than two years. Satyapal is not a client. However, the relationship has no fixed motif. He comes as and when he chooses. Sometimes when he comes in the evening, between her customers Sonali cooks and eats with him and Usha. It was obvious that he was Usha’s father. Sex workers often do not use condoms when they are with a man with whom they are sexually and emotionally involved. Satyapal is married and has his family in a village in Uttar Pradesh, one of the northern states. Sonali was clear that she cannot depend on him. She also came to know that he visit other sex workers and they have had fights over it. However, he is someone who has been a more permanent feature of her life. In response to my question, Sonali was clear that for the admission of her child she would give her

name and not of the father. She added, “no one would believe me if I said he was the father. That is why I did not even tell you”. She was worried about Usha’s future.
I picked up the issue of jealousy. If she continued to entertain clients, why did she object to satyapal going to other sex workers?

She felt it was not the same. Serving clients is her Dhandha( work/job) while she had no relationship other than with Satyapal. She seemed to be in lot of pain and turmoil. The overall insecurity of life was palpable in my interaction with her. It was clear that the most women lived their lives on a kind of daily basis, taking things as they came. Similarly the fear of police raid also looms large. Does she think it would help to legalize sex work? Her cryptic answer was “ Our life will not change. Today here, tomorrow somewhere else, that’s how we live. I have no real family as I have lost touch with my sister”. Sonali has no real friend either except Satyapal but that relationship is also insecure and uncertain. What is her dream for herself?
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“I want a house of my own and a man who will take care of me and my daughter”, I know I cannot work after sometime---people demand young girls. But I do not want to go back to the village. “Can Sarkar(government) not give us land?” This is a dream of every poor women, especially single women.

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7.3 STATE ConTRoL AnD SEXuAL MoRALITy: The Case of the Bar Dancers of Mumbai
Flavia Agnes Majlis, Mumbai Yale University, Workshop on Life and Law in South Asia, May 11-12,2006

i. Historical Ruling
Let me begin this essay on a positive note - the historical Bombay High Court ruling which upheld the dancers right to dance in bars and earn a living1. It was a moral booster for the pro-dancer lobby which had been fighting an uphill battle against extreme odds, countering the norms of the middle class Maharashtrian sexual morality. For last several months it seemed that the ground was steadily slipping from under our feet and we were left with only a slender hope of the judiciary deciding in our favour. Since the ban was crouched in a language of cleansing the city of sex and sleaze our hopes were indeed slender, considering that our courts are known for their Victorian ‘stiff upper lip’ moral sensibilities. But when we had all but given up hopes, the High Court ruling came as a bolt out of the blue or rather a ray of hope for the lowly bar dancer who lives at the margins and our stand was vindicated. The judgement striking down the dance bar ban as unconstitutional. was pronounced on l2th April, 2006 to a packed court room by a Division Bench comprising of Justices F.I. Rebello and Mrs. Roshan Dalvi and made national headlines. The concerned statute, an amendment to the Bombay Police Act, 1951, was passed by both Houses of the Maharashtra State legislature in July, 2005 and the ban had come into effect on 15th August,

2005 to coincide with the independence day celebrations. The decision to ban dance performance was part of a drive to cleanse the State of immorality. But the statute exempted hotels with three stars or above as well as gymkhanas and clubs so that they could hold such performances to ‘promote culture’ and ‘boost tourism’. As the State celebrated the independence day, an estimated 75,000 girls, mainly from the lower economic strata, lost their means of livelihood. Soon thereafter, Petitions were filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the constitutionality of the Act by three different segments - the bar owners associations, the bargirls union and social organizations. After months of legal battle, finally, the High Court struck down the ban as unconstitutional on the following two grounds: the exemption (given to certain categories of hotels as well as clubs etc.) has no reasonable nexus to the aims and objects which the statute is supposed to achieve and hence it is arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India (the clause of equality and nondiscrimination); it violates the fundamental freedom of the bar owners and the bar dancers to practice a occupation or profession and is violative of Article 19 (I)(g) of the Constitution.

1 Writ Petition ~o. 2450/2005 - Indian Hotel & Restaurants Asssociation (AHAR) and others VS. State of Maharashtra and others.

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Regarding the exemption given to starred hotels, gymkhanas, clubs etc. the Court held as follows: “ ... the financial capacity of an individual to pay or his social status is repugnant to what the founding fathers believed when they enacted Article 14 and enshrined the immortal words. that the State shall not discriminate.” But if this was the only ground of violation of fundamental rights, then the provision granting exemption to a certain category of establishments, which is contained in a separate section i.e. Section 33B2 of the amended statute, could easily have been struck down and the ban could have been retained and made uniformly applicable to all establishments to remedy the Act of its discriminatory aspect But the fact that the judgement goes much beyond this and deals elaborately with yet another fundamental right seemed to have missed the media attention. The Court struck down the dance bar ban on the ground that it violates fundamental freedom guaranteed under Article 19(I)(g) of the Constitution. This is a significant development and nearly half the pages of the extensive 257 page judgment deals with this concern. “Are our fundamental rights so fickle that a citizen has to dance to the State’s tune”, was the caustic comment3. Further the court held: “The State does not find it offensive to the morals or dignity of women and / or their

presence in the place of public entertainment being derogatory, as long as they do not dance. The State’s case for prohibiting dance in dance bars is, that it is dancing which arouses the physical lust amongst the customers present. There is no arousing of lust when women serve the customers liquor or beer in the eating house, but that happens only when the women start dancing ..... The right to dance has been recognized by the Apex Court as part of the fundamental right of speech and expression. If that be so, it will be open to a citizen to commercially benefit from the exercise of the fundamental right. This could be by a bar owner having dance performance or by bar dancers themselves using their creative talent to carry on an occupation or profession. In other words using their skill to make a living... 4 While contextualising the High Court ruling, the essay attempts to locate the bar dancer within a larger framework of state policies and entertainment industry of the colonial and post-colonial period and examine the hypocritical and contradictory moral postures of the state administration and the politics of police raids in recent times. Of particular interest are the concerns of morality and obscenity which surround the bar dancers, the construction of their sexuality by social organizations supporting and opposing the ban, and their own agency in negotiating their sexuality in an industry confined within the traditional binaries of a male patron and the female seductress. It also traces my own journey into the world of sexual erotica and

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2 As per the amended statute, the concerned Section, i.e. Section 33B of the Bombay Police Act, 1951 is worded as follows: “Nothing in section 33A shall apply to the holding of a dance performance in a drama theatre, cinema theatre and auditorium or sport club or gymkhana where entry is restricted to its members only or a three starred or above hotel or in any other establishment or class of establishment. Which having regarding to (a) the tourism activities in the State or (b) cultural activities, the State Government may by special or general order, specify in this behalf.” 3 Para 61 at page 163 4 para 68 at page 183

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dwells upon the personal challenges it posed to my notions of sexual morality.

ii. Entertainment Industry and Liquor Policy
The female dancer / entertainer has been an integral part of the city’s thriving nightlife. The Bombay that never sleeps. The city is hailed as the crowning glory of the nation’s entertainment industry. Her history is also linked to the migrant workers who were brought in to build this city. From the time when the East India Company developed Mumbai as a port and built a fort in the seventeenth century, Bombay has been a city of migrants. Migrant workers have flocked the city for over three hundred years in search of livelihood. And with the workers have come the entertainers. The traders, the sailors, the dockworkers, the construction labour and the mill hands - all needed to be ‘entertained’. So the government marked areas for entertainment called ‘play houses’ which are referred to in the local parlance even today as ‘peela house’ areas. Folk theatre, dance and music performances and, later, silent movie theatres all grew around the ‘play houses’ and so did the sex trade. Hence Kamathipura - a name which denoted the dwelling place of a community of construction labourers, the Kamtis of Andhra Pradesh, later came to signal the sex trade or ‘red light’ district of the old Bombay city. Within the red light district there were also places for performance of traditional and classical dance and music, and the mujra houses. [Sometime in the seventies, when the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi visited the area and saw the dilapidated status of the dwellings of the performers she sanctioned a grant to construct modern buildings under the banner of ‘Lalit Kala Academy’. This did

not bring much change in the social status of the performers or their dwelling places which continue to be dilapidated except for a change of nomenclature. The area is now ironically, the area is now referred to as ‘Congress House’.] The city of migrants - predominantly male migrants - also needed cheap eating-places. To cater to their needs initially there were Irani restaurants, Chilia (Muslim) restaurants and later South Indian (Udupi) joints and Punjabi dhabas. The prevalence of dance bars is linked not only to the restaurant industry and the entertainment business but also to the state policy on sale of liquor. After independence, during the fifties, when Morarji Desai was the Chief Minister, the State of Bombay was under prohibition and restaurants could not serve liquor. But after Maharashtra severed its links with the Gujarat side of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency, the newly formed state reviewed its liquor policy and the prohibition era was transformed into the ‘permit’ era. A place where beer was served was called a ‘permit room’. Only a person who had obtained a ‘permit’ could sit in a permit room and drink beer. But gradually, the term ‘permit room’ lost its meaning and the government went all out to promote liquor sale in hotels and restaurants. It is during this period, the beer bars started introducing innovative devices to beat their competitors - live orchestra, mimicry and ‘ladies service bars’ where women from the red light district were employed as waitresses. In early sixties, the State started issuing entertainment licences5 , and some bars introduced live dance performances to boost up their liquor sales. Hindi films also started introducing sexy ‘item numbers’ and the dancers in the bars imitated these popular

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dances. The government also issued licenses for performance of ‘cabaret shows’. A place that was notorious for its lewd and obscene cabaret performances is ‘Blue Nile’ which was constantly raided and was entangled in lengthy litigation. It is this litigation that forced the High Court to examine the notion of obscenity under S.294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPe), an issue I will deal with more elaborately later in this essay. Soon the sale of liquor and consequently the profit margins of the owners recorded an upward trend. This encouraged the owners of other Irani ‘permit room’ restaurants, South Indian eateries and Punjabi dhabas to convert their places into dance bars. Coincidentally, during the same period, the Mujra cuIture in Mumbai was on the decline due to loss of patronage. The dance bars opened up a new and modern avenue of earning a livelihood to these traditional Mujra dancers. Even for daughters of sex workers, this was a step forward - from brothel prostitution to dance bars. Soon the ‘dance bar’ phenomenon spread from South Bombay to Central Bombay, to the Western and Central suburbs, to the satellite cities of New Bombay and Panvel, and from there, along the arterial roads, to other smaller cities and towns of Maharashtra. From a mere 24 in 1985-6, the number increased ten folds within a decade to around 210. The next decade 1995-2005 witnessed yet another phenomenal increase and as per one estimate, just before the ban there were around 2500 dance bars in Maharashtra. As the demand grew, women from traditional dancing / performance communities of different parts of India, who were facing

a decline in patronage of their age-old profession, flocked to Mumbai (and later to the smaller cities) to work in dance bars. These women from traditional communities have been victims of the conflicting forces of modernization. Women are the primary breadwinners in these communities. But after the Zamindari system introduced by the British was abolished, they lost their zamindar patrons and were reduced to penury. Even the few developmental schemes and welfare policies of the government bypassed many of these communities. From their villages, many moved to cities, towns and along national highways in search of a livelihood. The dance bars provided women from these communities an opportunity to adapt their strategies to suit the demands of the new economy. Apart from these traditional dancing communities, women from other poor communities also began to seek work in these bars as dancers. These women are mainly daughters of mill workers. With the sole earner having lost his job after the closure of the textile mills, young girls with more supple bodies and the sex appeal of their youth entered the job market to support their families. Similarly endowed women who had worked as domestic maids, or in other exploitative conditions as piece-rate workers, or as door to door sales girls, as well as women workers who had been retrenched from factories and the industrial units, also found work in dance bars. For children of sex workers, dancing in bars provided an opportunity to escape from the exploitative conditions of brothel prostitution in which their mothers had been trapped. The majority of bar dancers were single women, sole breadwinners of their families.

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5 Rules for Licensing and Controiling Places of Public Amusement (other than Cinemas) and performances for Public Amusement including Melas and Thamashas. 1960.

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While most of these were illiterate, there were a few who came from an affluent background. These were young, vivacious women who enjoyed the thrill of dressing, dancing and entertaining men. This is not to say that women from the lower classes did not enjoy the thrill of dressing, dancing and entertaining men. On the whole, they were a group of confident women who could negotiate their sexuality and sex appeal to their advantage in the globalised economy of the megha city.

(b) the dance bar caused “annoyance” through obscene and vulgar display under S.294 of the IPC; and (c) causing a public nuisance under Section 110 of the Bombay Police Act. After a raid licenses were sometimes either suspended or revoked. But the bar owners say that the government always came to their rescue. They could approach the Home Department for cancellation of the suspension orders issued by the police or for getting the revoked licenses re-issued. All this for a fee! But something went wrong in late 1998. A large number of bars were raised. The State Government also declared a hike of 300 percent in the annual excise fee, raising it from Rs.80,000 to Rs.240,000. It was at this point that the bar owners decided to organize themselves. Around 400 bar owners responded to a call given by one Mr. Manjeet Singh Sethi; later they formed an association called, ‘Fight for the Rights of Bar Owners Association’ which organised an impressive rally on 19th February 1999. In order to work out a compromise, the Association approached the then Commissioner of Police (CP), assured him of their cooperation, and sought his intervention to end the Hafta Raj 7 They claim that they had evolved an internal monitoring mechanism to ensure that all bars abide by the stipulated time for closing down. But the local police stations were most unhappy at their potential loss of bribes. They tried to break the unity among the members of the Association. The police benefit when bar owners violate the rules and consequently pay regular haftas.8

iii. Tax Revenue and Police Raids
Paucity of jobs in other sectors, and the boost given by the Maharashtra government to the active promotion of liquor sales led to the proliferation of dance bars. Each ruling power provided additional boost to this industry. The maximum gain to the State Government was the 20 per cent sale tax on liquor. As the liquor sales increased, so did the coffers of the bar owners and the revenue for the state. But while the business of dance bars flourished in the State, until 200 I, the State administration did not frame any rules to regulate the performances. 6 The official charge for police protection was a mere Rs 25 per night and the stipulated period for closing the bars was 12.30 am. But in this Hafta Raj most bars remained open till the wee hours of morning. Only when the haftas (bribes) did not reach the officials in time would the bars be raided. The grounds for raiding the bars were: (a) the owner had violated the license terms by keeping the place open beyond 12.30 am;

6 The bar owners functioned under regular licenses issued to restaurants and bars. They paid Rs.55, 000 per month for the various permits and licenses to the Muncipal Corporation. They also paid an annual excise fee ofRs.80 000. In addition the bar owners also pay Rs.30,OOO per month to the Collector by way of “entertainment fee”. 7 This is a slang word for corrupt state administration.

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Over a. period the regular haftas paid by each bar owner to the police increased and just before the recent ban, each bar owner allegedly pays Rs.75,000 per month to the Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) of their zone. The money then trickles down the police ladder from the DCP to the lowest ranking constable in pre-determined proportions. The right-wing BJP-Sena alliance lost the 1999 Assembly elections and there was a change of regime. The Association started fresh negotiations with the ruling CongressNational Congress Party (NCP). They greased the palms of high ranking politicians to extend the timings from 12.30 am to 3.30 am. so that there would be no need to pay regular haftas for this particular violation .. After much negotiation, on 3rd January 2001, the first ever regulation regarding dance bars came through a .government notification. The bars were granted permission to keep their places open till 1.30 am. But somewhere the negotiations backfired, or perhaps the right palms were not sufficiently greased. The government decided to increase the police protection charges from Rs.25 to Rs.1500 per day per dance floor. The angry bar owners held rallies and approached the courts. Due to court intervention, the hiked fees were brought down to Rs.500 per night. Bar owners claim that the police raids increased after a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) worker was beaten up by a security guard, outside a bar, late at night in February, 2004. Following this, 52 bars were raided in February, and 62 in March 2004. The bar owners alleged that the raids are politically motivated and were connected to the forthcoming State Assembly elections. The CP denied these charges and accused the bar owners of indulging in trafficking of minors.
8 Bribes

The bar owners approached the High Courts and several FIRs filed by the police were quashed. Again in July 30 bars were raided. This time, the bar owners filed a Writ Petition in the Bombay High Court and sought protection against constant police harassment. They also organized a huge rally at Azad Maidan on 20th August 2004. An important feature of this rally was the emergence of the bar girls’ union on this public platform.

iv. Women Activists and Differing Perceptions
The mushrooming of an entire industry called the ‘dance bars’ had escaped the notice of the women’s movement in the city despite the fact that several groups and NGOs had been working on issues such as domestic violence, dowry harassment, rape and sexual harassment. Everyone in Mumbai was aware that there are some exclusive ‘ladies bars’. But usually women, especially those unaccompanied by men, are stopped at the entrance. Occasionally, when a bar dancer was raped and/or murdered, women’s groups had participated in protest rallies organized by local groups, more as an issue of violence against women than as a specific engagement with the day to day problems of bar dancers. The 20th August rally in which thousands of bar dancers had participated received wide media publicity. The newspapers reported that there are about 75,000 bar girls. Soon thereafter, Ms. Varsha Kale, the President of the Bar Girls Union approached us the legal center of Majlis) to represent them through an ‘Intervener Application’ in the Writ Petition filed by the bar owners. Varsha is not a bar dancer, she was part of a women’s group in Dombvili (in the Central suburbs of Mumbai), which had left leanings.

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During the discussion with the bar dancers, it emerged that while for the bar owners it was a question of business losses, for the bar girls it was an issue of human dignity and right to livelihood. When the bars are raided, it is the girls who are arrested, but the owners are let off. During the raids the police molest them, tear their clothes, and abuse them in filthy language. At times, the girls are retained in the police station for the whole night and subjected to further indignities. But in the litigation, their concerns were not reflected. It is essential that they be heard and they become part of the negotiations with the State regarding the code of conduct to be followed during the raids. As far as the abuse of power by the police was concerned, we were clear. But what about the vulgar and obscene display of the female body for the pleasure of drunken male customers, which was promoted by the bar owners with the sole intention of jacking up their profits? It is here that I lacked clarity. I had been part of the women’s movement that has protested against fashion parades and beauty contests and semi-nude depiction of women in Hindi films. But the younger lawyers within Majlis had a different perspective. They belonged to a later generation which had come to terms with fashion parades, female sexuality and erotica. Finally after much discussion, we decided to take on the challenge and represent the bar girls’ union in the litigation. We invited some of the girls who had been molested to meet with us. Around 35 to 40 girls turned up. We talked to them at length. We also decided to visit some bars. ,This was my first ‘visit to a dance bar. Though I was uncomfortable in an environment of palpable erotica, I realized that there is a substantial difference between a bar and a brothel. An NGO, Prerana, which works on anti-trafficking issues, had filed an

intervenor application, alleging the contrary - that bars are in fact brothels and that they are dens of prostitution where minors are trafficked. While the police had raided the bars on the ground of obscenity, the Prerana intervention added a new twist to the litigation because they submitted that regular police raids are essential for controlling trafficking and for rescuing minors. The fact that the police had not abided by the strict guidelines in anti-trafficking laws and had molested the women did not seem to matter to them. Opposing a fellow organisation with which I had a long association was not easy. Prerana had been working with sex workers and had started an innovative project of night creches for children of sex workers in Kamathipura way back in 1986-7. I had conducted several legal workshops with sex workers to explain to them their basic legal rights. During these workshops the main concerns for the sex workers was police harassment and arbitrary arrests. I viewed my intervention on behalf of bar girls as an extension of the work I had done with Prerana. But members of Prerana felt otherwise. At times, after the court proceedings, we ended up being extremely confrontational and emotionally charged, with Prerana representatives accusing us of legitimizing trafficking by bar owners and us retaliating by accusing them of acting at the behest of the police.

V. Under Garb of Morality
From September 2004 to March 2005, the case went through the usual delays. In March, when the case came up for arguments, the lawyer [or the Bar Owners produced an affidavit by the complainant, upon whose complaint the police had conducted the raids. The same person had filed the complaint against nine bars in one night. The police themselves admitted that he was a ‘professional’ pancha

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(police witness). The second person who had filed the complaint was a petty criminal. In the affidavit produced by the bar owners, the professional pancha stated that he was not present at any of the bars against whom he had filed the complaints and the complaints were filed at the behest of the police. This rocked the boat for the police and invited the wrath of the judges against them. They were asked to file an affidavit explaining this new development. This turned out to be the last day of the court hearing. Before the next date, the Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) who also happens to be the Home Minister, Shri R.R. Patil had already announced the ban. So in view of this, according to the police prosecutor, the case had become infructuous. Rather ironically, just around the time when the DCM’s announcement regarding the dance bar ban was making headlines, the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court gave a ruling on the issue of obscenity in dance bars. While according to the Home Minister the dances in bars are obscene and have a morally corrupting influence on society, the High Court held that dances in bars do not come within the ambit of S.294 of the IPC. The police had conducted raids on a dance bar in Nagpur and initiated criminal proceedings against the owners as well as the dancers on grounds of obscenity and irru110rality. The bar owners had approached the High Court for quashing the proceedings on the ground that the raids were conducted with a malafide intention by two IPS officers who had a grudge against them .. In his affidavit filed before the High Court, the Joint Commissioner of Police, Nagpur stated as follows: “It is found that certain girls were dancing on the floor and were making indecent gestures. The girls were mingling with the customers, touching

their bodies, and the customers were paying money to them.” On 4th April, 2005, Justice A. H. Joshi presiding over the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court quashed the criminal proceedings initiated by the Police on the ground that the case made out by the police does not attract the ingredients of S.294 of the IPC. S. 294 is attracted only when annoyance is caused to another, due to obscene acts in a public place. The court held that the affidavit filed by the Joint Commissioner of Police did not reveal that annoyance was caused to him personally or to any other viewer due to the alleged obscene dancing. This ruling followed several earlier decisions by the Bombay High Court, which had addressed the issue of obscenity in dance bars. One of the earliest rulings on this issue is by Justice Vaidhya in the State of Maharashtra v Joyce Zee alias Temiko in 1978 where the court examined whether cabaret shows constitute obscenity. The police had conducted raids in Blue Nile and had filed a case against a Chinese cabaret artist, Temiko, on grounds of obscenity. While dismissing the appeal filed by the state, the Bombay High Court held as follows: “An adult person, who pays and attends a cabaret show in a hotel runs the risk of being annoyed by the obscenity ... “ Interestingly, prior to the raid, the policemen had sat through the performance and enjoyed the same. Only when the show was complete did they venture to arrest the dancer. The court posed a relevant question - when and how was annoyance caused to the police, who had gone in to witness a cabaret performance? Regarding notions of morality and obscenity, the judge commented: “A cabaret performance mayor may not be obscene according to the
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time, place, circumstances and the age, tastes and attitude of the people before whom such a dance is performed.”

vi. Out of the Closet - Into the Public Domain
The DCM’s statement announcing the ban was followed by unprecedented media glare and we found ourselves in the centre of the controversy as lawyers representing the bar girls’ union. The controversy had all the right ingredients - titillating sexuality, a hint of the underworld, a faintly visible crack in the ruling Congress-NCP alliance, and polarized positions among social activists. Ironically, the entire controversy and the media glare helped to bring the bar girl out of her closeted existence. It made the dance bars more transparent and accessible to women activists. The controversy was not of our own making but we could not retract now. We threw in our lot with that of the bar girls’ union. The bar girls petitioned to the Chief Minister, the National and State Women’s Commissions, Commissions for Backward Castes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the Human Rights Commissions, and the Governor, Shri S. M Krishna. We even met Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President and sought her intervention. Other women’s groups joined in and issued a statement opposing the ban. An equal or even greater number of NGOs and social activists issued statements supporting the ban. The child-right’s and anti-trafficking groups led by Prerana issued a congratulatory message to the DCM and claimed that they had won. Then women members of the NCP came on the street brandishing the banner of depraved morality. The Socialists and Gandhians joined them with endorsements from stalwarts of the women’s movement like

Mrinal Gore and Ahilya Rangnekar to aid them. These statements had the blessings of a retired High Court judge - Justice Dharmadhikari. Paid advertisements appeared in newspapers and signature campaigns were held at railway stations. ‘Sweety and Savithri - who will you choose?’ goaded the leaflets distributed door to door, along with the morning newspaper. The term Savithri, denoted the traditional pativrata ,an ideal for Indian womanhood, while Sweety denoted the woman of easy virtue, the wrecker of middle class homes. Suddenly the dancer from the city’s sleazy bars and shadowy existence had spilled over into the public domain. Her photographs were splashed across the tabloids and television screens. She had become the topic of conversation at street corners and market places; in ladies compartments of local trains and at dinner tables in middle class homes. Every one had an opinion and a strong one at that. In her favour, or, more likely, against her. Saint or sinner ... worker or whore ... spinner of easy money and wrecker of homes or victim of patriarchal structures and market economy? The debate on sexual morality and debasement of metropolitan Mumbai seemed to be revolving around her existence (or nonexistence ). Interestingly, the Gandhians seemed to be only against the dancers and not against the bars that have proliferated. Nor have they done much to oppose the liquor policy of the State, which had encouraged bar dancing. The anti-trafficking groups who had been working in the red light districts had not succeeded in making a dent in child trafficking in brothels that continue to thrive. But in this controversy, brothel prostitution and trafficking of minors had been relegated to the sidelines. The sex worker was viewed with more compassion than the bar dancer, who mayor may not resort to sex work.

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The bar dancer was made out to be the cause of all social evils and depravity. Even the blame for the Telgi scam was laid at her door; the news story that Telgi spent Rs.9,300,000 on a bar dancer in one night was cited as an example of their pernicious influence. The criminal means through which Telgi amassed wealth faded into oblivion in the fury of the controversy. Was it her earning capacity, the legitimacy awarded to her profession, and the higher status she enjoyed in comparison to a sex worker that invited the fury from the middle class Maharashtrian moralists?

bar dancing prevent trafficking? And if certain bars were functioning as brothels, why were the licenses issued to them not revoked?” These were several contradictions and hypocracies in the stand adopted by the ruling party and the pro-ban lobby but no one was willing to listen. While the hue and cry about the morality of dance bars was raging, in Sangli district, the home constituency of the DCM, a dance performance titled, ‘Temptation’ by Isha Kopikar, the hot selling ‘item girl’ of Bollywood, was being organized to raise money for the Police Welfare Fund. The bar girls flocked to Sangli to hold a protest march. This received even more publicity than the performance by Isha Kopikar who, due to the adverse publicity, was compelled to dress modestly and could not perform in her usual flamboyant style. The disappointed public felt it was more value for their money to see the protest of the bar girls than to witness a lack luster performance by the ‘item girl’. And the bar girls raised a pertinent question, whether different rules of morality apply to the police and the Home Minister. All this was heady news for the television channels and the tabloids. From April to July, 2005, the city was abuzz with the dance bar ban controversy. In June the State tried to bring in the ban through an Ordinance. But to everyone’s surprise, the Governor Shri S.M. Krishna returned the Ordinance and insisted that the ruling party should introduce a Bill in the State Legislature. The pro-ban lobby raised a stink and accused him of taking bribe from the bar owners, majority of whom come from the Southern State of Karnataka and from the beer baron Vijay Malya, who also hails from Karnataka. Interestingly, before being appointed as the Governor of Maharashtra, Shri S.M. Krishna was the Chief
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vii. Hypocritical Morality
While the proposed ban adversely impacted the bar owners and bar dancers from the lower economic rungs, the state proposed an exemption to hotels which hold three or more “stars”, or clubs and gymkhanas. Those of us who opposed the ban raised some uncomfortable questions: “Could the State impose arbitrary and varying standards of vulgarity, indecency and obscenity for different sections of society or classes of people? If an ‘item number’ of a Hindi film can be screened in public theatres, then how can an imitation of the same be tenned as ‘vulgar’? The bar dancers imitate what they see in Indian films, television serials. fashion shows and advertisements. All these industries use women’s bodies for commercial gain. There is sexual exploitation of women in these and many other industries. But no one has ever suggested that you close down an entire industry because there is sexual exploitation of women! Bars employ women as waitresses and the proposed ban would not affect this category. Waitresses mingle with the customers more than the dancers who are confined to the dance floor. If the antitrafficking laws had not succeeded in preventing trafficking, how could the ban on

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Minister of Kamataka and he was accused of safeguarding the Kannadiga interests.

viii. Legislative Conspiracy
Finally a Bill was drafted and presented to the Assembly. It was an amendment to the Bombay Police Act, 1951 by inserting certain additional sections. On July 21, 2005, the Bill was passed at the end of a, ‘marathon debate’. Since the demand for the ban was shrouded with the mantle of sexual morality, it was passed unanimously. The debate was marathon not because there was opposition, but every legislature wanted to prove his moral credentials. No legislator would risk sticking his neck out to defend a lowly bar dancer and tarnish his own image. In the visitors gallery, we were far outnumbered by the proban lobby, the ‘Dance Bar Virodhi Manch’, who had submitted 150,000 signatures to the Maharashtra state assembly insisting on the closure of dance bars. It was a sad day for some of us, a paltry group of women activists, who had supported the bar dancers and opposed the ban. We were sad, not because we were outnumbered, not even because the Bill was passed unanimously, But because of the manner in which an important issue relating to women’s livelihood, which would render thousands of women destitute, was discussed. We were shocked at the derogatory comments that were passed on the floor of the House, by our elected representatives, who are under the constitutional mandate to protect the dignity of women! Not just the bar dancers but even those who spoke out in their defense became the butt of ridicule during the Assembly discussions. One of the comments was aimed at us. ‘these women who are opposing the ban, we will make their mothers dance .... ‘(The comments

have to be translated into Marathi to gauge its impact.) During the campaign we had been asked, ‘will you send your daughter to dance in a bar?’ But on the floor of the House, the situation had regressed, from our daughters to our mothers! Isha Koppikar ... she is an atom bomb, attttom bomb ... laughter and cheer ... the dancers wear only 20% clothes ... more laughter and cheering these women who dance naked (nanga nach), they don’t deserve any sympathy A round of applause. An esteemed member narrated an incident of his friend’s daughter who had committed suicide because she did not get a job. He said it was more dignified to commit suicide than dance in bars. And the house applauded! Yet another congratulated the Deputy Chief Minister, Shri R. R. Patil, for taking this bold and revolutionary (krantikari) step but this was not enough. Hotels with three stars ... five stars ... disco dancing belly dancing ... all that is vulgar ... every thing should be banned, he urged. Another esteemed member was anecdotal. He had gone to dinner with a friend to a posh restaurant in South Mumbai which has a live orchestra. Not a dance bar - he clarified. But women there were dressed in an even more obscene manner than the bar dancers. [Comments .. why had you gone there? (laughter) ... was it part of a study tour? (more laughter»). When licenses were given to bars, the understanding was that it would promote art - performing art. But what actually happens is vulgar dancing. A total destruction of our culture. Belly dancing in five star hotels is also vulgar. That should be stopped too. This Bill deals with the dignity of women. So all dancing except bharat natyam and kathak should be banned. Schools and colleges are full of vulgarity. We need a dress code for schools and colleges. The bill needs to be made more effective so that it can deal

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with issues like MMS and pornography. Then there were comments about films western ... English ... Tamil - all are obscene, they argued. But not a word about Hindi and Marathi films. That is ‘amchi Mumbai, amchi Marathi’, I guess! Then another esteemed member commented, ‘we are not Taliban but somewhere we have to put a stop. The moral policing we do, it is a good thing, but it is not enough ... we need to do even more of this moral policing . .’ Suddenly the term ‘moral policing’ had been turned into a hallowed phrase! These comments were not from the ruling party members who had tabled the bill. They were from the opposition. Their traditional role is to criticize the bill, to puncture holes in it, to counter the argument, to present a counter viewpoint. But on that day, the House was united, across party lines and all were playing to the gallery with their moral one-upmanship. No one wanted to be left out. Not even the Shiv Sena whose party high commandis linked to a couple of dance brs in the city, supported the ban on ‘moral’ grounds. And the Marxists were one with the Shiv Sainiks. The speech by the CPI(M) member, Narsayya Adam, was more scathing, than the rest. He went to the extent of casting aspersions on the Governor for returning the bill. To return a bill passed by the cabinet is an insult to the Maharashtra State, he declared. The women members, though a small minority, happily cheered the barrage against bar dancers. It was a moral victory to the Deputy Chief Minister (DCM), Shri R. R.Patil. In his first announcement in the last week of March, 2005, he had said that only bars outside Mumbai will be banned. A week later, came the next announcement. The state shall not discriminate! All bars, including the ones

in Mumbai, would be banned. What had transpired in the intervening period one does not know. But what was deemed as moral, legal and legitimate, suddenly a week later, came to be regarded as immoral, vulgar and obscene. At this time, the idea of a ban did not go down well even with NCP MLAs, let alone others. It took more than two months to get the Ordinance drafted and approved by the cabinet. Finally when it was sent to the Governor, he had returned it on technical grounds. By then it was mid-June. But even thereafter, the Congress Party Chief in Maharashtra stated that the Congress Party had not discussed the ban. In fact the media hinted that this indicated a rift within the ruling alliance over the dance bar issue. But gradually everything got ironed out. Not only the ruling alliance was cemented but even the opposition had been won over. Rarely does a bill gets passed without even a whimper of protest. But this bill was showered with accolades. Even the Shiv Sena whose party high command is linked to a couple of dance bars in the city, supported the ban. All had done their bit in this endeavoour of ‘protecting the dignity of women’. The ‘morality’ issue had won. The ‘livelihood’ issue had lost. It was indeed shocking that in this era of liberalization and globalization dominated by market forces, morality had superceded all other concerns, even of revenue for the cash-strapped state. The demand for the ban was grounded on two premises which were contradictory to each other. The first - that the bar dancers are evil and immoral, they corrupt the youth and wreck middle class homes; they hanker after easy money and amass a fortune each night by goading innocent and gullible young men

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into sex and sleaze. The second - that bars in fact are brothels and bar owners are traffickers who sexually exploit the girls for commercial gains. This premise refused to grant an agency to the women dancers. Rather unfortunately,. both these populist premises appealed to the parochial, middle class Maharashtrian sense of morality. What was even worse, the demand for a ban was framed within the language of ‘women’s liberation’ and the economic disempowerment of this vulnerable class of women came to be projected as a plank which would liberate them from sexual bondage. On August 14 , 2005, at the midnight hour, as the music blared in bars packed to capacity in and around the city of Mumbai, the disco lights were turned off and the dancers took their final bow and faded into oblivion.
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accepted the paltry sums thrown at them by customers, to make ends meet. Groups working for prevention of HIV / AIDS rang a warning bell at the increasing number of girls turning up for STD check ups.

ix. Malafide Motives
Why was the dance bar ban struck down? To understand this, first we must examine the Statement of Objects and Reasons (SOR) of the amendment. The SOR claimed the following: • The dancer performances in eating houses, permit rooms and beer bars are indecent, obscene or vulgar • The performances are giving rise to exploitation of women. • Several complaints regarding the manner of holding such dance performances. • The Government considers that the performance of dances in an indecent manner is derogatory to the dignity of women and is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals. The court overruled each of these reasons stated by the government on the ground that there is no rational nexus between the amendment and its aims and objectives. Some relevant comments from the judgement are summarized below: “Entry into bars is restricted to an adult audience and is voluntary. The test, therefore would be whether the dances can be said to have a tendency to deprave and corrupt this audience. The test of obscenity and vulgarity has to be judged from the standards of adult persons who voluntarily visit these bars.” 9 “If the dances which are permitted in the exempted establishments are also

Some left the city in search of options, others fell by the wayside. Some became homeless. Some let their ailing parents die. Some pulled their children out of school. Some were battered and bruised by drunken husbands as they could not bring in the money to make. ends meet. Some put their pre-teen daughters out for sale in the flesh market. And some committed suicides ... just names in police diaries ... Meena Raju... Bilquis Shahu ... Kajol ... In the intervening months there were more to follow. A few stuck on and begged for work as waitresses in the same bars. The exit of the dancer brought the dance bar industry to a grinding halt. Devoid of glamour and fanfare, the profit margins plummeted and many bars closed down. Few others braved the storm and worked around the ban by transforming themselves into ‘silent bars’ or ‘pick up points’ - slang used for the sex trade industry. Left with few options, women
9 Para 49 at page 130

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permitted in the banned establishments then, considering the stand of the State, they should not be derogatory to women and on account of exploitation of women and are unlikely to deprave or corrupt public morals. The expression western classical or Indian classical which are used by the State in the affidavit is of no consequence, as the Act and the rules recognize no such distinction. All applicants for a performance licence have to meet the same requirements and are subject to the same restrictions .... If the test is now applied as to whether the classification has a nexus with the object, we are clearly of the opinion that there is no nexus whatsoever with the object.” 10 “Dancing is one of the earliest form of human expression and recognised by the Apex Court as a fundamental right. If it is sought to be contended that a particular form of dance performed by a particular class of dancers is immoral or obscene that by itself cannot be a test to hold that the activity is res extra commercium It can never be inherently pernicious or invariably or inevitably pernicious. If the notions of the State as to the dancing are to be accepted we would have reached a stage where skimpy dressing and belly gyrations which today is the Bollywood norm for dance, will have to be banned as inherently or invariably pernicious. We think as a nation we have outgrown that, considering our past approach to dancing, whether displayed as sculpture on monuments or in its real form. Dancing of any type, if it becomes obscene or immoral, can he prohibited or restricted. Dancing however would continue to be a part of the funda-mental right of expression, occupation or profession protected by our Constitution.”11
10 Para 52 at page 135 11 Para 58 at page.155

“The right to dance has been recognized by the Apex Court as part of the fundamental right of speech and expression. If that be so, it will be open to a citizen to commercially benefit from the exercise of the fundamental right. This could be by a bar owner having dance performance or by bar dancers themselves using their creative talent to carryon an occupation or profession. In other words, using their skills to make a living .... “Does the material relied upon by the state make out a case, that the manner of conducting places having bar dances, constitute a threat to public order. The case of the State ... can be summarized as: “Complaints were received by wives relating to illicit relationship with bar dancers.” This by itself cannot amount to a threat to public order considering the number of complaints which the State has produced on record ..... “The bar girls had to suffer commercial exploitation and were forced into a situation that used to leave them with no other option than to continue in the indecent sector. It is true that there is material on record to show that many of those who perform dance in these bars are young girls, a large section being less than 21 years of age and with only a primary education. Can that by itself be a ground to hold that they constitute a threat to public order? Can a girl who may be semiliterate or even illiterate who may be beautiful, knows to dance or tries to dance prohibited from earning a better livelihood or should such a girl, because of poverty and want of literacy, be condemned to a life of only doing menial jobs? “ “It is normal in the hospitality and tourist related industries to engage young girls. Inability of the State to provide employment

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or to take care of those women who had to take to the profession of dancing on account of being widowed, or failed marriages or poverty at home and / or the like cannot result in holding that their working for a livelihood by itself constitutes a threat to public order. There is no sufficient data to show that the women were forced into that profession and had no choice to leave it.” “It is then set out that in or around places where there are dance bars there are more instances of murder, firing, thefts, chain snatches and that public in general and women in the locality feel unsafe. In what manner dancing by women in dance bars results in increase in crime which would constitute a threat to public order. Inebriated men, whether in dance bars or other bars are a know source of nuisance. The State has not cancelled the liquor permits to remove the basic cause of the problem. Maintenance of law and order is the duty of the State. If drunk men fight or involve themselves in criminal activity, it cannot result in denying livelihood to those who make a living out of dance. It is not the case of the State that apart from these places, in the rest of the State the same kind of offences do not take place.” “The state has produced record that 17403 cases have been registered under section 110 of the Bombay Police Act. These are cases of incidents within the establishments and at the highest have been committed in front of an audience who have taken no objection to the dresses worn by the dancers or the kind of dancing. The public at large are not directly involved. A learned Judge of this Court, Justice Srikrishna, (as he then was) in Girija Timappa Shetty vs. Assiatant Commissioner of Police, 1977 (1) All M.R. 256, has taken note of the fact that in order to inflate the figures,
12 Para 83 pages 222-225

the police would register separate case against every customer and employee present. Even otherwise we are unable to understand as to how, if there is a breach of rule by an establishment, that would constitute a threat to public order. An illustration has been given of one Tarannum as having links with the underworld. At the time of hearing of this petition the police had not even filed a charge sheet. Even otherwise a solitary case cannot constitute a threat to public order.” “It has also been pointed out that the Legislature has noted that the dance bars are used as meeting places for criminals. This defies logic, as to why criminals should meet at the dance bars where they could easily be noted by the police. Criminals, we presume, meet secretly or stealthily to avoid the police unless they are confident that they can meet openly as the law enforcement itself has collapsed or they have friends amongst the enforcement officers. Even otherwise, how does a mere meeting of persons who are charged or accused for criminal offence constitute a threat to public order? Do not they meet in other places? It is then pointed out that the nature of business of dance bar is such that it is safe for criminals and immoral activities and this constitutes a serious threat to public order.” “It was on the State to show that the dance bars were being conducted in the manner which was a threat to public order. The bars continue to operate with all activities except dancing. The State has been unable to establish a nexus between dancing and threat to public order.” 12 “It was pointed out that though the State has initiated action under Section 294 of I.P.C. it was not possible to secure a conviction as the

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State had to prove obscenity and annoyance to customers. This by itself would indicate that the dance performance inside the premises are not obscene or immoral as to cause annoyance amongst those who gathered to watch the performance. How that could cause annoyance to those who do not watch it or affect public order is not understood. It is like saying that watching a Hindi movie which has dance sequence and the dancers are skimpily dressed, would result in affecting public order…… “It is then submitted that though the Police were prompt in taking action under the prevailing enactments, the accused being successful in getting around the law and continued to indulge in the same activities again. Failure of the police to secure a conviction cannot be a valid ground to impose a restriction on fundamental rights. The pronouncement of this Court under Section 294 would be the law. How then can the State still insist that the performance of dance was obscene or vulgar and caused annoyance to the public?” 13

an agency and need State intervention to free them from this world of sexual depravity in which they are trapped. Refuting the argument of trafficking, the Court commented: “no material has been brought on record from those cases that the women working in the bars were forced or lured into working in the bars. The statement of Objects and Reasons does not so indicate this .... To support the charge of trafficking in order to prohibit or restrict the exercise of a fundamental right, the State had to place reliable material which was available when the amending Act was enacted or even thereafter to justify it. A Constitutional Court in considering an act directly affecting the fundamental rights of citizens, has to look beyond narrow confines to ensure protection of those rights. In answer to the call attention Motion, an admission was made by the Home Minister and it is also stated in the Statement of Objects and Reasons that young girls were going to the dance bars because of the easy money they earned and that resulted also in immoral activities. There was no mention of trafficking.” 14 Rather ironically the anti-ban lobby also framed its arguments within this accepted ‘victim’ mould. Single mothers, traditional dancers with no other options Further, it was important for the anti-ban lobby to make a clear distinction between the dancer / entertainer and the street walker and base the arguments squarely upon the fundamental right to dancing. The sexual erotic inherent in dancing had to be carefully crafted and squarely located within ‘Indian traditions’ and the accepted norm of ‘Bollywood gyrations’ and not slip beyond into sexual advances. The emphasis had to be for a right to livelihood

x. Constructing the Sexual Subject
A glaring discrepancy in the arguments advanced by the State was in the realm of the agency of this sexual woman. At one level the State and the pro-ban lobby advanced an argument that the dancers are evil women, who come to the bars to earn ‘easy money’ and corrupt the morals of the society by luring and enticing young and gullible men. This argument granted an agency to women dancers. But after the ban, the government tried to justify the ban on the ground of trafficking and argued that these women lack
13 Para 84 at page 232 14 Para 86 at page 235

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only through dancing and not beyond. During the entire campaign, the world of the bar dancer beyond these confines lay hidden from the feminist activists who campaigning their cause and was carefully guarded by the bar dancer. Only now and then would it spill over more as a defiant statement. So while we were exposed to one aspect of their fives which had all the problems - of parenting, poverty, pain and police harassment, we must admit that this was only a partial projection, an incomplete picture. We could not enter the other world in which they are constantly negotiating their sexuality, the dizzy heights

they scale while they dance draped in gorgeous chiffons studded with sequences, oozing out female erotica and enticing their patrons to part with a generous tip. Did the problem lie with us and the picture that we wanted to paint for them? Well, perhaps yes. But for now as the State prepares to file its appeal in the Supreme Court aided with the best legal minds in the country to defend its stand on sexual morality, we would be content, if we are able to safeguard the advantages we have gained in the Bombay High Court.

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Session 8
8.1 LEE, A MuSLIM FEMALE HuSBAnD1
Researcher: Bernadet Sinta Situmorang Editor: Saskia Wieringa feminine Muslim dress, including a veil. They are both born (1976) and raised in Sumatera and have known each other since their high school days. Lee feels her mother had hoped for a boy when she was born. As a kid she always played boys’ games, like flying kites and climbing trees. Her parents were loving but severe, stimulating their children to become successful entrepreneurs. Lee already earned her own school fees when she just started high school. That was around the time her father died, to whom she had felt very close. When she was still in elementary school she was raped by an uncle who used to pick her up from school. Since then: “I hate men, because they are destructive, you know.” The trauma is deep and she has long struggled with her feelings of revenge. Only In October 2006 I (editor) met Lee and Annisa last before editing this interview. Lee wore a Muslim skull cap, Annisa her customary veil. They were nursing their newly-adopted baby. As proud parents they showed off their beautiful daughter to the other members of the lesbian support group who attended the party. I gave Lee the present I had bought for her in Amsterdam, a strap on dildo. The neatly wrapped box was carefully placed in the seat bag of Lee’s motorbike when they left. A happy nuclear family to all appearances.2 As Lee says, “Annisa is my first and last love.” Yet the story of Lee and Annisa is exceptional in many ways. Their happiness has come at a heavy price and is under constant pressure. Lee has a masculine, neat, slender body. She is always carefully dressed in men’s clothes, her close cropped silky black hair often covered in a skull cap. She is almost inseparable from her spouse Annisa, who always wears

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1 This profile is based on the interviews the researcher held with Lee in 2005. The full interview is included in the book of interviews edited by Enday Sulistiowati (2006). This version is heavily abridged. Since then the present editor has met with Lee as well. The additional information is also included here. Wherever the editor has added information this is indicated in footnotes. 2 Additional information from editor.

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the realisation that she would be heavily sentenced if she would attack her uncle restrained her. When Lee was in senior high school in 1997 she realised she was attracted to Annisa, her class mate. Initially she had not been drawn to her, as Annisa wore a veil and acted very coquettishly. But when she got to know Annisa better, Lee felt the kind of peace and affection that her father used to give her. “How can I be like this? I kept saying to myself: I like girls, but oh, please, I am a girl myself. That feeling remained in my heart. I kept fighting it, every day. Time kept going on, but those feelings were stronger. …We were classmates, so when I went home we would be separated. The morning I would see her again would then be such a long time off. I really desired to see her.” They both tried out boyfriends, but they realised they only liked each other, though they didn’t speak about it. Lee even introduced Annisa to her younger brother: “During those days, honestly, I didn’t understand my feelings. I liked her but I introduced her to my younger brother in order to be able to meet her often…” Only when they had already finished their school did Lee speak about her love to Annisa. They struck up a long distance relationship as Lee went out of town to study. It was hard, and between 1998 and 2000 they separated again. Lee again tried to have a relationship with men but she was not in the least attracted to them. She could feel no more than friendship for them. “I just couldn’t feel the chemistry.” So Lee and Annisa started hanging out together again and began dating secretly. When their families found out Lee was severely harassed. She was beaten up, at times belts were used

on her, both by her own mother and other members of her family as well as by Annisa’s uncles. They were verbally abused. Lee kept silent as long as she could. There was nobody to help them. In the end she rebelled and left her family. She hasn’t been back since. They went to Jakarta and Lee set about changing her status. She managed to get a new identity card which stated that she is a man. In their citizenship identity card it says that Annisa and she are husband and wife, and that is also how they are regarded by their surroundings. Lee works at a bank during the day and always dresses carefully in masculine clothes, complete with a tie. Everybody calls her Bapak (sir), or the more familiar mas. As a good Moslim man Lee joins her colleagues to the mosque to participate in the Friday’s prayers. She always goes to the men’s toilets. In 2004 Lee decided to go to hospital and try to get a sex change. Her primary motivation was for Annisa to have a truly male husband: “I care so much about my partner…I would do anything for her.” She passed the psychological tests. However later that year she came into contact with members of the Indonesian Women’s Coalition which has a support group for members of sexual minorities. They advised her not to do it, as a sex change carries with it many risks. She hesitated: “The purpose of my life is to make my partner happy. She wants me to be a man so I must change my sex…For me it is no problem. As long as she is happy you know.” So far Lee has not been operated upon, but she does take testosterone, and she always wears a dildo. When the researcher held her interviews with the couple, they wanted very much to have a child. They were worried that Lee couldn’t

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make Annisa pregnant. For religious reasons Annisa only wanted to have a child via regular intercourse, so finding a sperm donor was out of the question. Lee was desperate but again decided to let Annisa’s happiness prevail: “Unless if I allow my partner to marry another man…How can an ovum and another ovum meet to produce a baby? It will break my heart though. Maybe sooner or later my sadness will disappear. If possible I can let her go slowly…”. But as stated above in the introduction, the couple overcame this crisis by adopting a child. Lee is now figuring out a way to produce a birth certificate that will say that they are the parents. Both of them feel the child is really theirs. Annisa was very much involved in the birth and she has even been lactating and feeding their baby with her own milk.3 Lee and Annisa are not very active sexually. Lee feels sexual intercourse is more an expression of affection, rather than lust. Tenderness and foreplay are more important. Lee always uses her dildo and keeps her own underwear on. Lee stimulates Annisa’s clitoris but doesn’t want to be touched herself. “We kiss, but we rarely have intercourse. At the most once a month. It is not sex so much that we are looking for. Rather we give each other attention, affection. It is not that I am afraid or something. We decided this from the beginning.” Their Muslim faith is very important to the couple. There are strict dress codes for praying which are different for men and women. Lee is aware of the story in the Qur’an (and in the torah and bible as well) in which Luth’s people are destroyed by God. As most Muslims she

believes it is their same sex conduct that attracted God’s wrath.4 Lee is not too worried about it and lets Allah decide how good a Muslim she actually is. But she is concerned about her way of dressing for prayer. Instead of the male way, with a sarong, she now dons the feminine mukenah, a long dress which covers a woman from head to toe: “Sometimes I think it is not right, lying to myself, pretending to be someone else. We cannot lie to God, right? Definitely God will know... After listening to the preachers in mosques I started worrying about how to condone for my sins and to conduct religious duties in ways that bring me merit.” Before they came into contact with the lesbian support group neither Annisa nor Lee were comfortable with using the word lesbian for themselves. Lee wanted to be seen as a man who likes women. Annisa finds that she likes men, not women and therefore is not a lesbian. To her Lee is just her man. Initially when they has just come into contact with members of the lesbian support group, Lee was amazed that these women were so comfortable with the term ‘lesbian’. Since then Annisa started teasing her and would call her a ‘lesbian’ when she was angry with her female husband. Lee would protest: “I am gay!” Recently they have decided that ‘lesbian’ is a word that probably describes their relationship best: “To be honest…we are a lesbian couple, you know, …impossible to hide..” They are very happy to have found others like themselves. They realize now they are not the only ones in Jakarta who live lives like that. They were alerted to the group through a newspaper article. After some detective work Lee found the phone number

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3 Additional information from editor. 4 Other interpretations stress that it is rather their lack of hospitality and their continued belief in many idols that is the cause of the destruction.

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and took up contact with the Indonesian Women’s Coalition. She is happy to share her experiences with their new friends and both have become active members of the group. Lee realizes there is still a long way to go before they will all be able to express their experiences openly in Indonesia. What causes her most pain at the moment is that since she left home she has lost contact with her mother. She doesn’t even know whether her mother is well. Since she fled the house in

great distress, she also didn’t have the time to take her diplomas with her. She is an engineer, but works now in a bank as she cannot show her diploma. To supplement their family income she works at night in a café. After the party in November 2006 I watch Annisa and Lee going home on their bike. Lee carefully manoeuvres it onto the narrow street, Annisa and their baby perched behind her.5

5 Additional information from editor.

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Annexure for session 0

10.1 GuIDE To SEXuAL HEALTH AnD SAFE SEX
Women and girls are particularly at risk to contract sexually transmitted infections (STI) or diseases (STD) for both biological and socio-cultural reasons. In 2006 already about half of all people who are HIV positive are women (that means 17.5 million women worldwide). In Africa 60% of all HIV-infected persons are women, in Asia that is about 30% and this figure is on the rise. Apart from HIV/AIDS, there are other STI’s that can have devastating effects on the lives of women and girls, such as syphilis, gonorrhoe and Chlamydia. The following socio-cultural factors contribute to women’s vulnerability: Women’s seldom have the power in their heterosexual relationships to demand that their partners use safe sex methods or that they are tested; As speaking about sexuality is taboo in many societies, particularly among women, women and girls receive little information; Women are expected to remain passive and not to be active partners in heterosexual relationships, their male partners may suspect them of infidelity if they demand negotiations on safe sex, or the spacing of children; Girls and women who are victims of forced prostitution, genital mutilation, sexual abuse, rape, incest of forced marriage, are particularly at risk; Women’s generally lower economic status vis `a vis their male partners puts them in an unfavorable position in relation to the sexual demands of their partners; Cultural taboos may prevent women and girls from seeking advice or treatment even when they themselves are aware they have contracted an STI.. Transmission of STI’s generally occurs through unsafe sexual practices. Needle sharing and transmission of untested blood are other sources of infection of HIV. The virus can also be contracted from mother to child. a) The following sexual practices are unsafe: unprotected vaginal intercourse with hiv infected person; unprotected anal intercourse with hiv infected person;

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unprotected oral sex with hiv infected person ; any sexual practice that may involve bleeding with hiv infected person; b) Factors that increase risk: contact with menstrual blood reproductive tract infections dry sex female genital mutilation forced sex, assault, rape, abuse; c) Other dangerous practices: needle sharing transfusion of infected blood perinatal transmission; d) The following practices carry some risks: oral sex on a woman – lips, mouth and tongue on genitals (riskier if menstrual blood is taken into the mouth and in the presence of STD) oral sex on men – lips, mouth and tongue on penis (riskier if semen is taken into the

mouth and in the presence of an STD) oral-anal sex on either partner urinating into the partner’s mouth or eyes sharing sexual toys without carefully cleaning them. There are various cultural practices that are unsafe. An example is the practice of sifon, in Indonesia (see box). All over Asia there are many more examples of historically rooted and sanctioned sexual practices which may carry particular risks of infection with an STD or with the HIV virus. It is not the purpose of this manual to encourage people to suddenly abandon such practices. Rather the discussion should focus on the conditions under which these practices are carried out. The basic principles this manual advocates are the recognition of gender equality and of women’s human and sexual rights, and of sexuality that is based on responsibility, safety and satisfaction for both partners. Another issues is to reduce women’s economic disadvantages.

Sifon: A Dangerous Cultural Practice.
In Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, men undergo genital mutilation just after marriage. This practice is called ‘sifon’. After a man has had this mutilation, he is supposed to have sexual intercourse with at least three women, before he is considered to be fully healed. This is supposed to increase his sexual potency. Men often go to prostitutes, or they pay poor widows to have the required number of intercourse. This practice is associated with various magical practices that traditional healers are involved in. Sometimes women fall under the spell of such a healer and feel themselves to be compelled to have sex with a man who has just been mutilated. It is believed that the healer provides a magic spell so no infection with an STD or with the HIV virus may occur. Men who impregnate a woman after having undergone mutilation are not responsible for the children that may be the product of their intercourse. The knife used for sifon is usually not sterilized.

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The following is a list of safe sex methods: massage masturbating yourself masturbating each other, at the same time or separately licking, kissing, nibbling each other (provided no blood) hugging and cuddling body-to-body rubbing

acting out fantasies using vibrator, sex toy or aid (if shared, clean in between) contact with semen, anal or vaginal mucus on unbroken skin. The basis of these skills is mutual respect for one another’s feelings. This is not only a basic human right, it is also in line with religious teachings.

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A jOINT PROjECT OF THE FOLLOWING ORGANIzATIONS: jAGORI,
a women’s training, documentation, resource and communication centre, was established in 1984. The main objectives and achievements of Jagori have been consciousness raising on issues such as violence against women, women’s health rights, right to education and information, action research, campaigns and feminist training for building leadership at multiple levels. Jagori has a well established library and a production and distribution centre with multimedia material including films, feminist music, posters, booklets etc. Jagori works directly with rural and urban communities to strengthen the capacities of marginalized people to intervene in development processes. Jagori is part of women’s movement as they derive strength from each other and for accessing their rights.

APIK ( Asosiasi Perempuan Indonesia untuk Keadilan = Indonesian women Association for
Justice). Founded in 1994 by 7 women lawyers in Jakarta. APIK is working on issue of gender, sexuality and legal reform. The aim is to create a fair and just legal system in the light of CEDAW and other Human Rights Conventions. The main programs are to provide legal services to poor women, public awareness raising, policy studies, training for legal enforcer to strengthen networks and to work for legal reform & advocacy. APIK has 12 branches throughout Indonesia and has its own legal entity.

KARTINI, the Asian European Network was formally established in Manila in 2003. Kartini
aims to create synergy between women’s/gender studies and feminist activism in the region. The main objectives of the Network is to strengthen feminist analysis and perspective, work towards social transformation, justice and equality, forge collaboration between academics and activists from the region, promote Asian women’s studies and conduct action research and gender training. Kartini has selected 5 themes as focus area of the network: Women’s/Gender Studies, Fundamentalism and Globalization, Resistance Against War, Conflict and Violence, Sexual Rights and Women’s Empowerment, Livelihoods and Securities. Kartini secretariat is located at APIK, Jakarta, Indonesia

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ANNEXURES MANUAL ON SEXUAL RIGHTS & SEXUAL EMPOWERMENT

AbHA bHAIyA is one of the founder members of Jagori, a feminist organization set up in

1984 in Delhi. She has been active in women’s movements in India for more than 30 years. She has been working on a range of issues including women’s social, political and economic rights; the status of single women; women’s right to health, bodily integrity and well being; sex and sexualities; against militarization, fundamentalisms; on food securities and livelihoods, and the increasing erosion of civil rights of the poorest. Her major contribution has been in the field of feminist training methodologies, with extensive experience in conducting feminist trainings for multiple constituencies and in many different countries. Presently, she is coordinating a community-based project in one of the mountainous areas of North India.

SASkIA ELEONORA WIERINGA

is the Director of the International Information Centre and Archives for the Women’s Movement, Amsterdam, and a Professor at the University of Amsterdam, holding the chair of Gender and Women’s Same- Sex Relations Crossculturally. She carries the rich experience of activism as part of the women’s, lesbian and third-world solidarity movements. Since the mid-1970s, she has co-founded several women’s groups, mainly in the area of women’s studies and has co-founded a journal. She has been teaching at various universities, both in The Netherlands and abroad, mainly on issues of women’s/gender studies and sexuality studies. She has published widely on the above topics.


				
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