Wednesday, December 19, 2012

50 Shades of India

Turns out, a problematical fantasy in India. Image Source: Public, I think that's Cherry Torn pictured.

A report in The Times of India announces that the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon is sweeping through country, sparking interest in BDSM in this one billion strong nation. The Times is reporting on the formation of The Kinky Collective a Delhi-based 15-person strong group that provides support for lovers of BDSM.

Wait ... 15 people? India? In India, 15 people is an empty room! Good lord, this is a trend sweeping the nation? Really?

One sense that the author fervently hopes so. If it were, they might have something sexy to report on in a nation that the story admits has a reputation for being very conservative sexually. To wit, it's prudish.

In addition to being prudish, Indian society is sexist and violent. So the search for good news about sex in India that's not completely bad probably gets kinda desperate at times. Here's a good article on all the sexism and violence toward women in India. Most of the violence and sexism appears to be in the rural and poor elements of India, which despite the rise of a detectable middle class in India, still constitutes one hell of a lot of people, the majority of that one billion. Jezebel recently got in on the issue, but Times of India does a much better job of covering it, as you might expect.

In an overwhelmingly violent, sexist culture like the ones many Indians live in, all sexual relationships are going to be profoundly affected by the sexism and violence. I guess if you are wealthy enough and sufficiently privileged, or sufficiently alienated from Indian society (the Kinky Collective was started by a couple, one of whom is transgendered -- hmmm) you might be able to figure your only sane path is to just go your own way, but most women are probably too afraid that men will tie then up and rape them for real to enjoy pretending that a man is tying them up and raping them for consensual kinky fuckery.

I don't know, it's a knotty problem, figuratively speaking. It's tempting to feel cheap moral superiority from the outside, but probably a bad idea, which is why I'm not gonna do it. I suspect that the only reasonable path is to take on the sexism and violence and put an end to it, which is what most reasonable people can agree on. How? Gonna be hard, gonna be a rough slog, as many of the originators of the sexism and violence are illiterate, young, poor and male, a hard group to reach. But most of them have mothers and sisters, and with the same kind of full court press that has been applies in other societies, they'll learn. Sadly, they will almost inevitably learn ... eventually, which will do little good for the women being victimized now.

In the meantime, maybe Fifty Shades of Grey will provide a nice fantasy of kinky, romantic love for those Indians that are at liberty to enjoy it, and perhaps it can preach the subversive message that pretendy sexual submission is all fun and can last throughout a lifetime, while the real thing is nasty, short and brutish.

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