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Slippery slope

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Slippery slope
In spite of the organic centrality of sex in our lives, we seem as a society to have been historically unable to come to grips with changes in sexual behaviour and its societal impact. People are becoming more open about homosexuality, premarital sex, casual sexual relationships, cohabitation et al. but at the mass level there is no unanimity on societal acceptability. Some experts believe that the so-called sexual revolution is about sexual openness while others are clear it is more about the freedom of women.
 
The beginning of India's sexual revolution can perhaps be traced to the initial decade post the 1991 economic reforms. Job opportunities expanded, the service sector grew manifold and global companies set up shop in India seeking educated, young employees offering them a lifestyle and opportunities that they had never envisioned conceivable in this country. Women who may have barely been permitted out of their houses ‘unsupervised’ were suddenly working midnight shifts. Socialization led to the mingling of the sexes and economic independence, especially of women, meant they were free to make their own choices.
 
But the changes in sexual choices and societal mores was apparently only at the surface as increasingly there is a conservative backlash. The recent protests by residents of Gurgaon against “soliciting by sex workers” in and around malls is perfectly understandable given prostitution is illegal in India. But in the bargain many couples engaged in consensual relationships and unafraid to show it are also being targeted. There is a churning going on and nobody seems to know what its result will be.
 
 
 
 
 

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