Yes, you read it right. An ideal Indian woman, also known as a Sanskari woman, is supposed to be asexual i.e. they must not ever speak or hear or think or even feel anything which has to do with their sexuality. But yes, they can be the recipient of the sexual act so that men can be pleased and babies can be born.
That’s a load of bullshit, right? Yes, it is but not for the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). They seem to actually believe in this. The reason they gave for the refusal of certificate to a movie called “Lipstick Under My Burkha” suggests so. Their letter reads that “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of the society.” (sic).
For those who don’t know, the film in question deals with for women, from different age-groups and different section of society, and their sexuality and sexual fantasies. The censor board deems this subject not suitable to be told in a film. Yes, it’s the same censor board which has no problem with films and songs objectifying women, normalising molestation as an act of wooing a woman and vulgar comedies dealing with the similar subject about men. To many, this decision was a shocker despite of the known trend of absurdity that CBFC has shown, especially in the recent time. But if you think about it this decision is in sync with how our society is.
We are a sexually repressed society. The established norms expect us to not even talk about sex so forget about sexual fantasies. But as it happens in any patriarchal society, men do get to express their sexuality more freely and even imposing it over their partner. On the other hand, women get the worse of it. For them, even acknowledging their sexuality is considered next to a sin. The notion that women can want and enjoy sex is not digested well in our society. Thus we have derogatory terms for women who do so. And in order to protect themselves from such shaming, women bury one of their natural instincts deep within themselves. This gives rise to another big problem and that is consent.
In a society where sex is considered to be an one-way act in which women are merely a recipient, it’s hard for people to understand the very concept of consent. Even most of the women thinks of a sexual act as an duty and not something in which they need to play an equal part. This is the reason that marital rape is not even close to being an serious issue in this country yet.
The censor board, by its very structure, is a figure of authority which takes the society into account for their decision making. And even though I’m not vindicating them from their misogyny and absurdity, they will not change until the society does.