Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan: I feel naked without my bag & earrings'

rediff.com publishes another excerpt from Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan‘s new book “You Are Here”.

Now, though, there’s this unspoken code that specifies that you can’t flirt with your friends’ ex-boyfriends, former crushes or fuck-buddies. I don’t quite get the concept of a fuck-buddy, though, and I certainly don’t think it works in an Indian context. Sure, we’re second-generation liberated and all that, but there are still people among us who talk about rape victims in the most uneducated way, saying things like they had asked for it because they had dressed attractively and were walking alone on a deserted street and what not. In short, the accusatory finger points straight at the woman, always, and I’m not sure it’s about to change. It’s not really the twenty-first century in many parts of India, and it’s not just the small towns I’m talking about. Sometimes when I’m travelling and I light a cigarette, the way people look at me it’s almost as if I were dancing around naked, ringing a bell in their ears to draw attention. In Delhi itself if a woman is thirty and opinionated and lives alone, she’s either a slut or one of those terrible Indian women who doesn’t need a man and is therefore, definitely, a lesbian. With attitudes like this, is it any wonder that women in Indian urban societies still stifle orgasms and are yelled at in school for wearing skirts that end above the knee because it would mean attracting ‘male attention’ which would make you, well, ‘dirty’, ‘Westernized’ and ‘loose’?

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