Sexolve 125: ‘Don’t Be a Pseudo Feminist on the Sabarimala Issue’
Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.
If you have any problems, doubts or queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, which you can’t seem to deal with, or need some advice, answers or just someone to hear you out – write in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to email@example.com.
This week’s Q&As below:
‘I Am Sorry I Doubted Your Story. How Do I Find a Sense of Justice?’
I am writing this mail to you after a lot of thought. I have been sexually assaulted all my childhood. By my own father. He used to come home, drunk. He used to first feel me up. And when he saw that I didn’t revolt, he started shoving his penis inside my vagina. All of this happened when I was barely 13 or so. I am a single parent child. As a result, I started thinking in my little mind, that this was alright. I started enjoying it. I thought that this is how people learn. I became a nymphomaniac. I loved sex. I loved being penetrated. My father is but a good man otherwise. He took care of me as a single father.
It was all fine, till one day, I saw your program on Satyamev Jayate a few years back. I was still around 17 then. I started realising that this could have been abuse. I hated myself and more than hating myself, I hated you. I even confess to have sent you nasty emails and also started a hate page on Facebook against you. I doubted your story. I thought you would have been enjoying with your uncle throughout your child hood and then grew up to frame a story against him so that you could win yourself a ticket to fame. If you would remember, I am the one who spat on you from the moving train, a few years back, when you were in a train station.
I am 23 now. I am less hateful and less vengeful. I recently joined a spiritual movement and in one of the sessions, I realised that what happened with me was sexual assault. In the meantime, parallelly, the #MeToo movement was gaining momentum. I hate my father. He is fragile and old now. But I hate him. Thank you for reaching out to me even in those hate mails.
I wanted to publicly tell you that I am sorry. I am really sorry for what I did with you. I believe you. Please don’t be kind with me. Please scream at me back. Please.
Do not change my name. I want people to know that I goofed up big time. I want to own it up. I want a sense of justice. How can I find that?
Sorry my words are all over. I am just angry. Very angry. I am sorry very sorry. Pardon me.
Woman In A Better Place
I hear you.
But things get better. You will find your space. You will get better.
I acknowledge your apology and hold no grudge for I now understand where your anger came from. Things get better with time. We all heal with time.
Your equation with your father, is what you will have to decide. You get to call the shots. You get to decide what you wish to do with him. There are legal options available, we could help you reach a good probono lawyer if you wish to, there is a crowdsourced list in the internet. If you wish to not pursue this legally but confront him verbally and seek closure, even that’s something that you could pursue. You decide your path. You define, your closure.
However, be aware that these thoughts of abuse will not go anywhere. They will come back whenever you watch a movie or read about an incident in the web or see a hashtag trending. It will be overwhelming then.
And when the dust settles, simply pick up the memories of your past and park them in the past.
I am sorry that you had so much hate within you for yourself that you hated me too. Who am I to pardon you? You were hurt and while that is not a reason for anyone to hurt others in words or deeds, things get better when we realise, accept and reform. If you seriously need to do something for me, please do visit a counsellor, and visit them regularly. Look after yourself for me.
We all get better with time. We heal with time.
P.S. You are visiting a counsellor. PROMISE?
‘I Am Upset You Joined the Chorus of Pseudo Feminists on the Sabarimala Issue’
I am someone who has been an ardent follower of your columns. I appreciate your views on issues. However, I wish that you stay away from what God’s wishes are. I am referring to the Lord Ayyappa issue. Take my point in case, I am a married man. Married for the past 20 years and very happy. Not once has my wife ever wished to come to Sabarimala. She has come to Pamba and has always respected the wishes of the holy God. Why don’t you concentrate on other important issues. My equation with my daughter is not the same. She read your views and other so called feminists on social media and has been creating a drama at home asking to go to Sabarimala to visit our God who has always been celibate. We need to respect his celibacy. She is 12. She has started menstruating. She has no right to go there. Just by these pseudo feminists sharing their views on social media and media, you have disrupted an age old tradition and polluted young minds against our culture. We all should fear God’s wrath. (Remember the floods that happened after so many years) I am so upset that you joined the chorus of pseudo feminists. Not expected this of you.
Dear Angry Dad,
Thanks for writing in and letting me know about what upset you. Through dialogues we can make the world a better place. We may not agree with each other everytime, however, if we could just listen to another’s point of view and see where they are coming from, without getting defensive, our world would be a better place.
First things first, do you have the consent of your daughter for sharing about her menstrual cycles. Let’s not take the autonomy of their bodies from children. It doesn’t matter if you are her father or her mother, you should know that only the daughter can speak about her periods, publicly, and not anyone else.
Let’s not pride ourselves with our superiority and take away the autonomy of how our kids bodies.
Secondly, I am glad that you have voiced your disagreement. I believe and continue to believe that all Gods believe in equality of all genders.
I don’t see any reason why menstruation should be treated like some sort of a disease, and worse, a communicable disease. Women menstruate. It is their body process. Just as men create sperm, it is their body process. If men don’t masturbate for a while, they would get sperms as “nightfalls”, just as women would have periods. In these bodily fluids that flow from bodies of the two highly populous sexes, who gave us the right to assume the right to ban only one of the sexes.
You may say it is the custom for many years. Well, customs change. Just as customs changed to disallow menstruating women, maybe customs would change to allow everyone to enter.
And regarding floods, well, let me mince no words in telling you that - that’s quite an irresponsible statement from your end. No mishap will happen because you create an enabling environment for all sexes and all genders. Only good will come out of giving respect and love to everyone. For preventing floods, let’s conserve forests and ensure that our planet is green and clean.
I am with your daughter. I am okay to lose one more follower to Lord Ayyappa. He is the God.
P.S. Have you unfriended me yet? Or is rahukaal a good time to do that?
(The text and the location has been edited to protect the identity of the people. You can send in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)