‘Beat the pussy up’ – the way we talk about sex with women

VictimFocus Blog

This blog contains a discussion of violent language to discuss sex, sexual violence and porn. It also contains the titles to real porn films that a lot of people may find disturbing. Please take care of yourself whilst reading this and seek support after reading if you need to. 

As a massive old skool (and sometimes new skool) RnB, Rap and Hip Hop fan, I often find myself experiencing some pretty serious cognitive dissonance to try to enjoy my music without yelling at the radio or crying into my crisps.

As a younger feminist, I used to tell myself that it was okay that women were called bitches and hoes because that’s the way that artist chose to express themselves (I know, I know, so progressive).

As I got older, I started to resent the use of the word ‘bitch’ in my once-favourite songs. I stopped listening to some artists…

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Deep in thought 

Deep in thought 

Because 

I can’t be deep in action 

I was bred too highly

To get my hands dirty 

So I relegate this task 

To people who have no other jobs and then 

I act like I’m doing them a favour 

By paying their wages 

And treating them slightly better than 

Animals

I criticise their food choices

And the way they eat it

Calling their lifestyle violent 

While ignoring the silent violence 

I inflict on them daily

I am India’s upper caste, intellectual elite.

My head is in the clouds

 And I don’t know one grassroots from another 

All of it is just, 

Foliage to me.

Coming in the way of ‘development’. 

The costliest thing in India that inflation can’t explain: Having an opinion

Outrage is the new Indian hobby. Initially, social media would outrage over issues that required outraging, like rapes and brutal statements by politicians and what not, but now a days, we seem to outrage without thinking. Or worse, we outrage to drown out minority voices. Minority here stands not for muslims, but any person or group of people who want something different than what the mainstream does, something that is not an illegal or immoral thing to ask for.

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When Aamir Khan said his wife suggested moving out of India, he voiced the feelings of not just Muslims, but all sorts of groups who have felt targeted and the Government has done nothing to tell them they will be looked after. These groups include, but are not limited to: women, queer population, Sikhs, SC and ST population, tribals, people in high-distress areas, people affected by man-made and natural disasters, people under the poverty line, people with mental and physical disability, people affected by crimes, people stuck in human trafficking and child labour, children and young adults stuck in observation homes, and so on.

There were some Muslims who came out and said that they have had nothing but love and respect in India, so how could Aamir Khan say what he did. First of all, it’s good that their experience was nice, but because he expressed a different opinion, that does not mean that he is wrong. He has all right to say what he feels, and it is not irresponsible, because he just expressed a sentiment, that many people have been feeling, and not flung mud at anyone blaming them for it.

The outrage he harnessed proved his point that we are inching towards intolerance and bursting at our seems. But it also proved the convenient duality we had: We are happy to garner NRI investments, but loathe when someone talks of leaving the country. We want to champion minority rights, but we don’t care when Muslim women say that they want changes in the Muslim personal law. Perhaps he poked us where it hurts: our denial blind spot.

This divided attention and lack of peace-making efforts from central authorities (but harrowing communal comments from politicians, instead), speak of a psychological divide that was only at the fringes before but now is seeping in everywhere. There are some who are not divided but they simply do not care, and I can’t decide which is worse.

In light of the recent incidents, having an opinion is perhaps the costliest in India. It is much easier if you want to be a mule, absorb consumer products and mindlessly churn our revenue and tax.

“How Indian is counseling anyway?”

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I work for a start-up that’s trying to make counseling available online, therefore addressing the accessibility, affordability and stigma question, all at once. In the background research for this facility, in roping in experts, and in general as a training counselor, this question has often plagued me, “Isn’t therapy or counseling a western concept? How can we expect people to take to it?”

Sometimes, the question originated within me, as I saw the reluctance of people to come for counseling or pay for it, even when they could afford it. Most of the times, it was by concerned (and some mocking) friends and family.

To answer this question, for all of of us, I did some digging and here are a few pointers:

  • We have adopted a lot of seemingly western concepts with great ease, allopathic medicine, the current governing systems and computers are a few good examples. Do you ask about a discount when you buy a laptop, because it’s a western concept?
  • Indians have always been known for stories, and the need to tell about life’s dilemmas in eloquent ways in order to find solutions. The Jataka tales, Pancharatnas, and our epics are good examples of lengthy discussions done in order to understand and deal with the shades of grey in our lives.
  • India is where Buddhism was born, and Buddha was known for his calm demeanor and talking to people in a logical, reflective way, which helped them change for the better. Counselors are not Buddha or Buddhists, but if conversing reflectively can help, then why would you use chemicals with side-effects instead?
  • Counseling or therapy don’t have to be dull or pathological. There are strength-based approaches, group approaches, community psychology approaches (which use local rituals and indigenous patterns for healing) and therapy using art and creative forms.

 

In essence, we could do a lot if we would combine our knack and need for talking, story-telling and metaphors, with an organized system of healing like counseling, and by dropping the elite-western air.

We would have an approach which could address India’s alarming mental health situation without heavily relying on drugs. It would reduce crime rates, increase productivity. A preventive and curative approach, given we think of counseling as important to have reliable professionals and spaces for it, from the public health and government hospital space to the private sector.

The question is, do we want to? Will we?