One would think the advent of Addyi would mean a fillip for women’s sexual lib in India. A Viagra for women has been played up for the good news it can only be. Women in India are ready for it, right? Didn’t Deepika Padukone announce it in Piku, her character’s sexually liberated life, and her father, played by Amitabh Bachchan, tell a potential suitor that his daughter was not a virgin? And cinema is a slice of life, isn’t it?
But step into the real world, the one of India’s small towns or traditional families in big cities, and sexual liberation of women in India begins to get exposed for the myth it is in most cases. The Indian bedroom is still the stage where the man does all the strutting, and female desire is strictly second lead. Heck, even talking about female sexuality is sin. It’s what led Aarti Sood (name changed), a working woman in her mid-20s, to walk out of her marriage. “It was not as if he was a bad man,” she says about her husband, “but the fact that he saw me as some kind of toy to fulfil his needs alone caused me severe depression.” She tried talking to relatives, even a family counsellor, but nothing could convince her husband that she was a woman with needs of her own. “To my astonishment, most of my friends sniggered at me, calling me delusional.”