Monday, July 20, 2015

Not my problem?

Vartanama, Jul '15
By Pawan Dhall

“Erasure as individuals and invisibility as a group – that is the fate of women with disabilities. Teased, taunted, looked down upon, and spoken about instead of spoken to, women with disabilities experience the combined disadvantages associated with gender and disability . . . Autonomy, respect, dignity and equality of personhood are denied to them. Women with disabilities form a heterogeneous group, since disability and gender also intersect with other categories like type of disability, class, caste, ethnicity and rural-urban residence . . .”

Intimacy, family and violence in queer lives

Insight, Policy Matters, Jul '15
By Pawan Dhall

Intimate partner violence or family violence, not quite alien facts of life, with news headlines and television serials full of one or the other! Victims of intimate partner violence are often women, sometimes men; while family violence seems to affect inter-racial, inter-caste or inter-religious couples at an alarming frequency. But this is only part of the reality around intimate partner and family violence.

What if the violence is between two males in an intimate relationship, or between a Hijra and her male lover? What if the family violence is directed at a son who would rather be a daughter? Or how do you help trans women who face relentless physical and emotional abuse at home because of their gender non-conformity, and then face it also from male intimate partners to whom they turn to for solace and love? Equally importantly, why does such violence happen, what is its impact and how can it be reduced, if not eliminated?

Through the prism of gender diversity

My Story, Jul '15
Pallav Bonerjee continues his series of personal narratives on psychology, people and destiny, this time on the need to do away with biases around gender and sexuality

Artwork credit: Himanshu Patra
From our very early childhood years, we are taught by our parents, elders and teachers to evaluate almost everything from the ‘good-bad’ and ‘right-wrong’ perspective. It is an essential component of the socialisation process, where we learn to stay away from the ‘bad/wrong’ and work towards all that is considered ‘good/right’ for us. Through consistent use of rewards and punishments, we are primed to identify objects, activities, places, events, situations and people through that very same lens, judging them quickly and modifying our actions accordingly. We hardly ever try to find the basis of these evaluations, mainly because we may be too young to ask at the time they are being formed. Gradually, they become part of our value systems and belief patterns, thereby shaping our attitudes. It is a very efficient process; one that helps us with decision making on a day-to-day basis effortlessly. So that, effortful thinking is preserved mainly for the more important and bigger decisions that would affect our lives.

Pride in Chandannagar

Clickhappy! Jul '15
Prosenjit Pal photo-recorded his pride walk debut at Chandannagar’s third rainbow pride parade on June 26, 2015

At the starting point on Strand Road, Chandannagar

Tackling blackmail around Section 377

Advice - Rights and Laws, Jul '15
By Kaushik Gupta

Reader queries

My friend is a bisexual man and has been a victim of blackmail by someone known to him. The blackmailer threatened to expose my friend's sexual relations with another man to my friend's parents and had to be paid money to keep quiet. Is there any law at all that can be used to protect my friend from this blackmailer?
Anonymous, Kolkata