You’re Not Alone: Brother’s Letter To Sister About Masturbation
Manik tells his sister not to succumb to the culture of silence and stereotypes surrounding female masturbation.
The Quint DAILY
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There is no doubt that gendered socialisation during one’s formative years reinforce the deplorable taboos and stigmas against the female gender.
Any effort to tackle them therefore, must begin in the early years.
Manik Rege, in a letter written to his adolescent sister, raises this point beautifully as he talks to her about female masturbation in a hard-hitting yet informal manner. He tells her to not succumb to the culture of silence and the stereotypes surrounding it, perpetuated by parents and friends.
Be your own master, and do not be reluctant to enjoy life on your own terms seems to be the message of the letter.
Read on and find some true words of wisdom coming from a young voice:
I’ll get right to the point.
I’m here to talk to you about masturbation.
Please don’t react like you’re hearing the word for the first time in your life. You and your friends have surely talked, gossiped & laughed about it at school. You’ve most probably been fed the wrong information in a format & language so filthy, it must make you cringe at the thought of touching yourself, even when your mind secretly itches to explore the wildness within.
And, so, I’m here to tell you that I totally understand what you’re going through mentally, if not physically. I’m really not here to conduct a sex ed class or make you feel uncomfortable. I’m only here to tell you that you’re not alone.
I was in the same situation 5 years ago, but, unfortunately, I didn’t get the right kind of information in the right way, so it took quite some time for me to figure it all out, and I don’t want you to go through the same confusion, which is why I’m here to tell you…IT’S OKAY.
It’s okay to want to touch yourself, and it’s okay to have weird fetishes & crazy dreams. In fact, masturbation is not only okay, but also necessary for your health & well-being. It gives you a chance to explore your body, understand your needs, and know exactly what hurts you & what turns you on.
It gives you power over your body; it makes you your own happy boss. Maybe, that’s why masturbation, and specifically female masturbation, is still such a big taboo.
The realisation that a woman, too, has certain desires & she can fulfil them without your consent, or your dick, strikes an unsettling chord in a society that has disempowered & objectified your gender since the beginning of time.
That’s the essence of the hush-hushed stigma of self-pleasure- it’s often, if not always, partial to us men. I mean, if boys do it, it’s just a part of the natural cycle they can’t control, but if a girl does it, it’s considered immoral, irreligious & filthy in every sense of the word.
Well, if that’s the case, and if masturbation is really so ‘unethical’ that an author had to describe it as ‘the path to Satan,’ I suggest you should just own the walk & waltz your way to hell if that’s where your happiness takes you, and I’ll tell you why it’s totally worth the ‘punishment’ you might receive.
First of all, with the exception of a few asexuals i.e. people who don’t feel sexually attracted to any gender- everyone in this world does ‘the thing,’ regardless of whether they accept it or not, because guess what? everyone is a human being, and everyone’s body commands them to fulfil certain needs.
Secondly, it’s completely free & safe, and unless you get addicted or let it intrude your work, it cannot possibly bring you any harm or pain.
Thirdly, it helps you keep your relationships alive, because you can now let your partner know about your needs, and what he/she can do to satisfy them.
Lastly, unlike the situation 50 years ago, there’s an infinite number of books, articles, videos you can refer to for knowing how you can make the most of your ‘alone time.’ I kid you not, there’s even an app that guides you through the ‘game.’ What a time to be alive.
My point is, there’s a great library of resources you can access to know more about the topic; all you have to do is open up & be bold enough to ask questions whenever & wherever they arise.
I say that, because contrary to popular belief & the most-used excuse by adults, I personally believe there is no ‘right time & place’ to share certain facts, especially in today’s world where a little kid has access to all the information on the net.
If we adults don’t share real facts with you kids when you ask for them, you’ll gladly forward your queries to your friends and get them answered anyways. Only this time, instead of getting the proper knowledge, you’ll be thrashed with all kinds of stupid stuff that may even scar some kids for life.
Parents*** need to understand that access to information is no longer an issue for any school-going kid in this world. The only difference between kids who grow confident & happy in their bodies & those who don’t, is the way in which this information has been given to them. But in most cases, these facts are avoided & hidden from them eyes, and this makes them even more curious to take unwanted paths leading to nothing but confusion & guilt.
***You wait for your kid to turn 18 so you can sit him down on a sofa & give the long awkward talk on ‘girls/boys’ only to find out your kid has already been stuffed with myths & misconceptions long before you can accept that his tiny brain even had room to accommodate them, and so you have no option but to hush down his quick responses, and softly ask him where he learnt ‘those words,’ and he then responds with something along the lines of ‘I heard a boy say it in school’ but what he really means is that he definitely didn’t hear it from you because you, Sir, were too uncomfortable & embarrassed to open up, and let your kid suffer for his/her lack of understanding of one of the most sensitive parts of life.
On that note, dear Isha, don’t you feel ashamed or afraid to bombard all the adults in the house with your questions & queries, because you have the right to know about how our bodies work, and as adults, it is our duty to give you the information you demand in the right way, regardless of the time & place of your queries.
My last piece of advice as a young human being who has the same needs as you do, is that you should never feel guilty about putting your needs before everything else, because there’s nothing bad in wanting to feel happy & good about yourself, because you’re doing nothing wrong, and because even if you make mistakes, there is someone who will always trust you, respect your space, and understand what you can’t express in words.
I promised Mom I’ll be the friend she & Dad can never be. So, I’ll say this again, and I’ll keep saying it until it gets fixed in your head You, my dear Isha, are never alone. You have my support, and you can be 100% sure that I’ll sincerely accept & appreciate all the decisions you take.
So, relax, dim the lights, google up Chris Hemsworth, and let your hormones take you on the craziest ride of your life.
Happy Play Time, my dear lady!
Yours in trust,
One can only hope that the letter is read by as many people as possible, and invokes a sense of emotionality rather than those deplorable cringes.
(Source: Manik Rege)
(Published after taking permission from the author of the letter)
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