Sexolve 256: “I Am a Woman Who Is Considered a Bad Omen”
(Trigger Warning: Some questions could make you feel agitated. Reader discretion is advised.)
Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.
If you have any queries regarding sex, sexuality, or your relationship, and need some advice, answers, or just someone to hear you out – write to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop-in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s Q&As are below:
'I Am A Woman Who Is Considered A Bad Omen.'
I have been in a turbulent relationship with my mother since many years now. She doesn’t love me and she doesn’t care for me. She never wanted a girl child and I am one.
I lost my father when I was 10 years of age and everyone in the family blamed me for that. I was just 10. I wonder what bad I could do at 10.
I was always considered a bad omen and my brothers were always shown more love than me. I am fed up with life.
I am 25 now and they don’t want to get me married off as they think it is an expense. My mother tells me everyday that I should rather catch hold of someone and run away.
They don’t want to keep me, they don’t want to get me married off, they don’t love me.
Since the age of 16, I have been working to fend for myself because they didn’t want to get me educated further. I am fed up.
My family is a modern family to the outside world but internally this is what is happening. I feel so ashamed to even tell this to someone as they may not even believe me.
I wonder what I should do. Is this my life? Is this how I will have to live?
Troubled Young Woman
Thank you for writing in. I cannot claim to understand what you are feeling, I can tell you though, what I feel about you after reading. I feel that you are a strong and independent woman.
I don’t feel sorry for you. I feel proud of you. I feel proud of the fact that even in the face of hate, you find the courage to think and pen down what you feel so clearly.
Your dad died because he stopped breathing, he didn’t die because a girl was born.
You definitely don’t deserve to be treated the way you are being treated.
No one ever should face the brunt of superstition. I wish your mother would have known better. I wish your brothers would have understood and stood up for you. I feel sorry for them. I feel pity for them—they have small thoughts and even smaller hearts.
I want you to reflect on one thing.
You said you are earning and that you are independent. What stops you from leaving your parental home and starting off by yourself, independently?
Park this thought in your mind as you think deeply on ways that you could be truly independent. You need no man or husband or wife for your independence. You need yourself—your complete self in control of yourself.
Do not give the reigns in their hands. They have no right to dictate how you should feel. In fact, no one has any right, not just them.
There are women’s rights groups across the country.
I don’t know the location you are in, but here is a national resource you could access. .
I would also suggest that you speak to a mental health professional.
In the meantime, do you like poetry? Here is something that I would love you to read if you do. This is a poem by Maya Angelo.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still, I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise?
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I am not a reader. But when I was hurt very badly by someone I loved, I found solace in reading poetry that was empowering. Maybe, just maybe, it will help you too.
Do remember though, this adds to your mental wellness, but doesn’t replace for the need for advice by a mental health professional. Please do visit one.
If your mind is in great form, every other battle could be fought better.
Much love to you.
P.S. Don’t give up on yourself. Not now, not ever.
'My Sister-In-Law Initiated Sex with Me.'
I am a 40 year old married man. My wife is doing a course in the US and I am here in Dubai.
Given the pandemic, my sister in law is living with me. My sister-in-law was in the city and she needed a place to stay.
She was home, she was drunk and she told me that she finds me hot. Because she told me so, I felt she needed me and I ended up having sex with her.
Had she not told me so, I wouldn’t have done so if she didn’t make a move on me.
Now I feel guilty for cheating on my wife. However, I know for sure, I wouldn’t have done this if it was not for the first move made by her. I am fed up with guilt now.
Thank you for writing to me. I am going to be frank and honest with you.
Your sister-in-law forced you to have sex? Or did you give in to her words and end up having consensual sex?
If it is consensual sex—let’s call it that. It doesn’t matter who made the first move or whose intention it was.
I want you to relax and reflect on your words.
Going by what you have written to me, let me ask you—what stopped you from not having sex with her, if you didn’t want to?
She admired you. Told you, you were hot. You both had sexual desires which were evident. And you both ended up having sex. Isn’t this the story?
Let’s not choose someone to blame, just because we are feeling guilty of our acts.
Yes, your wife may not be okay if she gets to know about it, if yours is a committed closed marriage. I would urge you to seek counselling to deal with this.
To live in guilt is not an easy task. If you take the decision of telling her, you should also be aware of the fact that your wife has the right to feel angry and upset.
Please seek counselling.
P.S. Fix up an appointment at the earliest.
'Feel Shy To Ask For A Condom.'
I want to buy a condom but feel shy to do so. Please help.
Dear Fellow Gay Friend,
Thank you for writing in.
I felt awkward too, the first time I asked the chemist for a condom.
The first purchase, like first consensual sex, may be filled with excitement, but also much awkwardness.
But this is about protecting yourself, so I suggest that you wear one while having sex. The awkwardness isn't as much because of our hesitance, as it is about “log kyaa kaheinge”.
Will going to a chemist shop, a little away from your locality, help? I remember my first condom purchase was two stations away. There, since I knew no one in that locality.
Maybe, a strategy like that could help?
P.S. Condom on, toh tension gone.
(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)
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