Sheer hypocrisy

Updated: Nov 19 2005, 05:30am hrs
Tamil film actress Khushboo is a victim of the double standards of morality. Pre-marital sex is being indulged in by people all over the country. Young people are doing so in even the rural areas. It is part of their experience of learning, understanding each other and experimenting.

And this is a global phenomenon. Yet, because the statement on premarital sex has been made by a woman, in this case by Khushboo, it has been made into such a big issue.

I dont think that premarital sex is a crime. It may not be part of our accepted norms. However, it cannot be forbidden by any kind of law. The attack on Khushboo for her statement is absolute hypocrisy and I would like to repeat that she is being singled out because she is a woman and had the courage to express her views, when she said that brides need not be virgins.

Men not only express views on premarital sex, but also indulge in it. And yet, there is no adverse reaction to it.

What we really need is an open debate on the issue of premarital sex and not attempts to impose chastity norms on women. Boys and men are not held responsible for their behaviour; then, why should women be

The current mindlessness being displayed on the issue should actually be used as an opportunity to reflect and debate the matter. We should engage in a debatewhy should women be virgins After all, virginity is just another chain to bind and subjugate women.

A debate on this issue should be raised at various fora by allyouth groups, political parties, etc. Sadly, when it comes to issues concerning women, society largely remains silent. Take this particular case, too, where only women have protested. Dont others think that it is an issue that needs to be discussed

Instead, attention should be paid to a larger and more important issue. And that is the issue of teenage sexuality. Not only in the light of the growing incidence of Aids, but also because the girl child is more vulnerable.

Sexuality, however, still remains an issue that is taboo. For instance, take schools. Though they are supposed to educate children about sex, most are still shy of discussing it in a real way. In fact, the entertainment industry and the media is more open about it, since it isnt something that can simply be tucked away somewhere.

(As told to FE)
The writer is director, Centre for Social Welfare, Delhi