In Kerala, A College Magazine Is Getting Flak For Talking About Menstruation And Rape Culture. Apparently, It’s Taboo. Oh FFS!
There is always a spark in a country. Someone who is willing to raise their voice against the injustices. None of us want to remain in this patriarchal pit. But our society is divided in two categories – one that is ushering in reformation and the other that is aggressively trying to stop it. And that is reducing the pace of progress that we are making as a country. Of course, the concept of ‘live and let live’ is not in our genes so the orthodox wing will fight those who want to live without the chains of taboos and sexism.
All these taboos are exclusively reserved for things related to women. Men masturbate, they get a morning erection and have sexual desires – but all those things are considered regular. Women aren’t even supposed to talk about anything related to their bodies, be it menstruation or sexual desires. Nobody even raises an eyebrow at a man smoking or drinking but a woman doing the same things is considered bad.
Recently, a magazine called Ura Marachathu or Shrouded in Rubber from People’s Cooperative Arts and Science College, Munnad in Kerala is being scrutinised for its content. The magazine talks about all things considered taboo in India such as menstruation, female sexuality and same-sex relationships. Well, a lot of people don’t even believe in the existence of sexual desires in women, so whatever.
The progressive magazine is not shying away from bold essays and imagery and it’s not going down well with BJP and Congress’ student wings, ABVP and Kerala Students’ Union respectively. It was a simple picture of a banana with a condom on that managed to offend these people, to begin with. Of course, then they further looked into the magazine and found the content provocative. However, the college’s student union chairman and SFI leader Ashik Mustafa took a stand for the magazine and said, “The magazine is thought-provoking not provocative.”
The magazine is actually creating such amazing content and it’s run by students. The first literary piece is called Thoo, a poem about the Kathua gang-rape and murder that happened last year. Another poem in the magazine talks about rapists and their gross mindset. There is a powerful piece on menstruation being considered a taboo and another one on how same-sex relationships were found in some of our religious books.
Of course, you can’t expect such powerful content to pass through without the right wingers attacking it. ABVP made a statement in an attempt to disgrace the magazine and said, “The SFI is moving away from Marxism to embrace sex.” They also said that a college magazine isn’t the right platform for such content and that it’s only intention is to get media attention.
KSU, went one step ahead and filed a police complaint. “It is full of obscene words and inappropriate images. We cannot take the magazine home,” said Martin Abraham, district secretary of the KSU.
A college magazine is in fact, a great platform for such content. Youngsters are voicing their opinions and we need the coming generation to be strong, focussed and unorthodox. We don’t need to inherit these shameful patriarchal concepts.
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Meanwhile, the magazine committee is shocked with the reaction they received because they weren’t expecting to be pulled down for creating something so thought-provoking, something that’s actually the need of the hour.