Chewing Gum!

Chewing Gum!

Sexual assault is a trigger warning.
There is no sex education in any Indian school.
You attend a meeting where the speaker asks, “Who wants it?” while holding out a stick of gum.
Of course, everyone does. Gum is a highly sought-after illicit drug and black-market cash.
The speaker eats the gum, spits it into his fingers, and then holds it up in the gymnasium lights, gleaming.
Now who wants it?
Nobody.
This is your body, the speaker says to the ladies.
The speaker claims that if you give up your virginity before marriage, no good guy would ever desire you.

It’s not surprising because you’ve heard a metaphor like this before. There’s the rose-passed-around-until-the-petals-fall-off one, then there’s the dog-poop-in-brownies one. Over and over again, you hear, “This is your body.”
By the age of 16, you’ve realised that your purity is the most significant aspect of yourself. The majority of men will want to take it from you, but you must be cautious and only give it to your God-ordained husband. By the age of 16, you’re terrified of taking on this duty. You gaze at each boy with a mixture of fear and hope in your eyes.
You are literally signing a deal with God.
You take delight in wearing a purity ring.

You believe you are superior to the girls who do not.
You intend to have sex on your wedding day because that’s what decent ladies do.
Until your first year of college, when you’re raped.
You’re a virgin, but you’re also perhaps no longer a virgin.
Does it matter if the gum was snatched? What if the brownies were contaminated while you were away? What if the rose was passed around without your permission?
It feels like catharsis when you take off the purity ring.
You don’t realise until you’re 20 that a woman can have an orgasm. You were only ever informed about your body’s capacity for pleasure when it came to pleasing others.

Three of your high school female classmates fall pregnant during your first year of college.
Four women find themselves in violent relationships and refuse to leave because they are certain that no other guy will desire them. They’ve been bitten up, poisoned, and have torn petals. They must marry this one or they will be without a partner.
Three people marry.
Within a year, two of them have divorced.
One goes to a rehabilitation centre.
The majority of them have ceased to meet.
When you hook up with half a dozen of them a decade later, you learn you all have intimacy difficulties. You don’t need her to explain why one of the women at the table is now a psychologist.

“Do you recall those assemblies, God?” As she drinks her wine, she says with her eyes averted.
Everyone at the table nods in agreement.
You do, of course.
You distribute a tin of mints around after supper.
None of you chew gum.

Next blog will be out soon.
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Desai Thoughts MEdia.

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