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Katju’s Shocking Statement On Homosexuality Reaffirms The Need For Gender And Sexuality Education

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By Rafiul Alom Rahman:

Markandey Katju, Chairman of the Press Council of India and Former Supreme Court Judge on Friday (26 December, 2014) condemned gay marriage and rights in a Facebook post titled ‘Gay Relationships and Gay Marriages’. He cited Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Man and Superman’ and used his idea around “Force of Life” to hail reproductive heterosexuality as “natural” and dismiss homosexuality as “all humbug and nonsense”. However regressive the former judge’s views might sound to us, they hint at a deeper social malaise pertaining to how we bring up our children.

Markandeykatju

We do not teach children about gender and sexuality at school. Instead, we teach them moral science and the great Indian art of hypocrisy. We tell them that the end-all and be-all of education is to make doctors and engineers and other professionals out of them. We tell them success is determined by the position you occupy in the social ladder and the salary you earn. As a result, we have people like Markandey Katju who can make the most irrational, insensitive and irresponsible statement concerning gay marriage and women’s rights.

According to Mr. Katju, homosexuality is a “modern” phenomenon and must be ‘cured’ to give way to reproductive heterosexuality. In his opinion, at the heart of heterosexual bonding, companionship, love, lies procreative sex and the desire to keep the human race going. Therefore, he questions, “Will a gay relationship or marriage serve nature’s requirement of continuing the species?” The former judge also believes that the role of the woman in a heterosexual union is that of being a mother-homekeeper and the role of the man is that of the protector-giver.

Such essentialised views not only reflect on the utterly heterosexist mindset of a man holding such a powerful position as him, but also discredits what feminists have critiqued for so long. Nivedita Menon, in her book ‘Seeing Like A Feminist’, has beautifully pointed out that motherhood is as “natural” to a woman as it is to a man and that lactation can be induced in a man too! Queer theory has questioned binaries of gay-straight and pointed towards a sexual continuum. Though I hate telling people that homosexuality (or heterosexuality, for that matter) is “natural” and “not a disease”, the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 and the World Health Organization in 1992 did accept homosexuality as a ”normal” variant of human sexuality. That apart, if one reads the history of sexual practices acros the world, one realises that same-sex sexual practices have been there since times immemorial and that sexual identity-based categories are only an early 20th century invention of American-European psychologists and sexologists.

In the present context of India, where an utterly regressive, Victorian law like Section 377 vitiates the atmosphere for equal rights, thereby enabling people like Mr. Katju to spew hatred and prejudice against people who do not stick to the “norm”, one can only ask (as Nivedita Menon does): Is it natural to be normal? If yes, why would we need laws to maintain something natural? In other words, if heterosexuality was normal, why would we need Section 377 to curtail same-sex intimacy? It’s time we introduce gender and sexuality education in schools. Changed mindset is the need of the hour!

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  1. The Joker

    Aha! We need section 377 because of douchebags like you. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Dark Knight

    The bit about lactation in men is the height of perversity, outrageously sickening and demeaning to men, overshadowing the abnormality exhibited by homosexuals by a huge margin.

  3. Babar

    God has designed men and women to complete each other, and through marriage, they fulfill each other emotionally and sexually, while also providing a perfect balance for their children. Concerning reproduction, please explain how homosexual ‘couples’ are supposed to have children. Furthermore, it is your article which is irrational and irresponsible, as you plan to create chaos in otherwise peaceful families, just as the Rockefellers did in the 1960s for personal gain, by citing motherhood natural for men. They wanted taxpayers money, you crave attention. It is scientifically proven that a mother-child bond is stronger, and women are better suited and better able to take care of children’s needs, biologically, psychologically, and emotionally. Of course, women are free to leave children with maids and babysitters, who molest children, beat them at the slightest offence, and rent them to beggars . This takes place when mothers are work, whose priorities are paychecks, for whom job satisfaction ranks higher than their children, all the while they deprive their children of motherly love. Like your feminist counterparts, you are too busy ‘liberating’ women by sending them into the workforce, and will not admit that countless women choose to be homemakers, who prefer the peace of their homes over the gruelling hours in the office, and enjoy the comfort and security that only a home can provide, love playing with their children and do not have to leave them in day care centres. That is true liberation.

    1. ZGeorgeM

      Your comment is long. I have responded to several points from this long comment :
      1. “…through marriage, they fulfill each other emotionally and sexually”
      This statement is null and void in this discussion because you assume marriage is important for this. So this goes beyond homosexuality. You have an issue with pre-marital couples also.

      2. “…please explain how homosexual ‘couples’ are supposed to have children”
      Adoption. Just like childless couples have children. (If you are planning of answering that adopting a child is a result of heterosexual relationship, then you are shooting yourself in the foot!)

      3. “It is scientifically proven that a mother-child bond is stronger … ”
      So? Then a lesbian couple would be best suited for this task! Are you saying children of single dads are a failure? Are you saying all killers and cheaters on the planet are from motherless childhood? Using the word ‘scientific’ in your sentence does not make the sentence true!

      4. ” Of course, women are free to leave children with maids and babysitters…”
      This is a shocking statement and I hope you made an error with words here. I have no comments.

      5. “… too busy ‘liberating’ women by sending them into the workforce…”
      Gay male couples will have no problem here! Perfect! BTW, heard of stay at home dads? This is a choice couples make themselves. Not you! Even gay couples can decide amongst themselves on who is to stay back and look after their child.

      In short, none of the statements you have made here validate the need to ban homosexuality. You really need to come up with a better logic next time; please.

    2. Babar

      Homosexuals cannot procreate, so they can never have their own children – That is unnatural. And if they adopt, their children will either have two daddies or two mommies – That is unnatural. Gays can only satisfy their sexual desire through anal sex – That is unnatural. (I am sure you don’t need me to tell you that the anus is not designed for penile penetration). I have nothing against homosexuals, but it is natural to question the unnatural. In movies, blogs, and the media, homosexuality is being ‘normalised’ so that we get used to abnormality.

      Of course, nothing abnormal comes without a hidden feminist agenda:

      “Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.” – Andrea Dworkin

      “Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice.” – Ti-Grace Atkinson

      I became a lesbian because of women, because women are beautiful, strong, and compassionate – Rita Mae Brown

      “When a woman reaches orgasm with a man she is only collaborating with the patriarchal system, eroticizing her own oppression.” – Sheila Jeffrys

      “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman.” – Catherine MacKinnon

    3. krishna

      This computer that you are using right now is not natural and is man-made by years of research and knowledge. Why are you using it if it is unnatural ?

    4. Srijan

      “God has designed men and women to complete each other.”
      You better not decide what god intended us to do. Why is it ever your business?
      Homosexuality has existed in our nation for a long time. Not acknowledging doesn’t mean it never existed.
      Thank heavens, people like you aren’t appointed for major positions. Oh wait, they are!
      YouthKiAawaz community, please give this child a rupee and he will leave. He’s just a vagabond whose mother probably didn’t give him proper attention.

    5. TheSeeker

      I pity your mindset of this world. Homosexuality, for your information, is natural and hereditary. There is a specific genetic sequence which decides it (it is not mutated). Hundreds of species of animals are homosexual. And homosexual couples usually have children through a surrogate parent. Don’t put ‘god’ into this, please. I’m wondering if this comment was just a way to blame feminists and women again.

  4. Jigsaw

    While you feverishly try to bridge gender roles, your writing lacks benevolence and reeks of ingenuousness. Your desperate attempts at political correctitude have laid the foundation for contempt and ridicule.

    Will you now learn and assimilate the veracity brought at your cognizance, or continue to lack candour about irrefutable facts.

    The choice is yours.

  5. Green Lantern

    Heterosexuality gives children, further love, thousands of new generations and preserves and prolongs culture and humans. What is homosexuality but two guys doinking each other in the ass and spreading disease? 

  6. Ra’s al Ghul

    Last time I checked it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

  7. Srijan

    This guy also dissed Salman Rushdie. Whoever said that ‘We only hate those who we envy’ was right.
    “modern” phenomenon and must be ‘cured’ to give way to reproductive heterosexuality.
    Well, we have our shares of extremists too. Muslim folks need not be proud of their monopoly.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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