Love And Sex In The Time Of Section 377: Fantasising The ‘Other’, The ‘Natural’ And The ‘Normal’
Volume 6 Issue 4 (2013)
The recent protests against the Supreme Court verdict on the constitutionality of § 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 were based on the argument that matters of sexuality between consenting individuals is a matter of private orientation and choice and hence the state has no right to intervene and criminalize them. While I oppose the state’s right to intervene in consensual sexual relations, I want to argue against pushing matters of sexuality into the confines of private space and want to suggest instead that the normativity of sexual expressions should be debated more rigorously, not in the criminal proceedings of the court, but in the social, cultural and political spaces. Not only because the personal is political but because sexual experiences remain essentially a matter of phantasms, representations and imaginations and are hence necessarily collective and cultural. Critically discussing two ‘supposed to be’ taboo-breaking films on minority sexuality– Blue is the Warmest Color and The Sessions – I aim to show how heterosexual male fantasies, anxieties and biases resiliently and potently circulate in our culture and colour all forms of sexualities. The debates on the recent Supreme Court verdict should open up matters of sexuality for robust political and public deliberation, and in doing so, challenge the circulation of hetero-normative male fantasies intimately shaping ideas about (especially female) sexuality.