is macbeth a hero or villain

Topics: LGBT, Lesbian, Homosexuality Pages: 8 (2808 words) Published: October 2, 2013
Living in the shadows: lesbians in India
By Sweta Madhuri Kannan on August 18, 2011 

Introduction: lesbians in Indian society
Lesbians in India are conspicuous by their lack of visibility in mainstream society. If one were to accept the Indian government’s stance concerning sexual minorities, lesbians would not exist[1]. Sadly, this is an attitude that resonates with large parts of Indian society even today. Lesbian invisibility has become a deep-seated feature of society and has had a deterring effect on the formation of a lesbian community: as opposed to the visible male homosexual community, lesbian networking has largely taken shape on the peripheries of society’s consciousness.  This is partly due to the strong patriarchic undercurrents, the male supremacy and the homophobia that have shaped women’s lives in India, lesbians have remained largely invisible, waiting in the shadows and hoping for change. This report proposes explore the issue of’lesbianism’ in contemporary India. Situating them within the socio-cultural and historical context, the report will discuss two main issues that challenge lesbian lives in India today and will then focus on responses that have emerged from local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) support communities in an attempt to address these challenges.  Although the work has come a long way in improving certain aspects of lesbian women’s lives in India, it has not led to substantial structural change yet; this is particularly the case in India’s more rural regions. However, if lesbians are to become an integral and accepted part of Indian society, a deep restructuring of mentalities is necessary. Struggling with the shadows: key issues

This section will first present a short assessment of women’s lives in India in an attempt to set the context for understanding lesbian lives and the main issues that pose distinct challenges. Intricately bound together, these issues arise mainly out of the rigidity of the partriarchal system of social order in India. The first point in question is the denial of a lesbian identity. Extremely pertinent to lesbians in India, this question seeks to understand the manner in which they perceive themselves and their roles in society, and to regard how these perceptions are shaped by society. Intimately linked with the notion of public perceptions and their impact on lesbian women’s decisions is the issue of marriage. According to numerous LGBT support groups, marriage poses by far the largest problem that lesbians face – second only to matters of identity. While marriage may affect the lives of many women in India, the lesbian case demands special attention, as it includes a dimension of fear of being ’found out’ that impacts heavily on the quality of their lives. Situating lesbians in the Indian context 

Indian society could be regarded as one of the most diverse societies on earth. Created by centuries of internal faultlines along the lines of caste, (class)[2], religion and gender, the thus created divisions tend to affect particularly lesbian women adversely[3]. The confluence of these internal divisions with a highly patriarchal form of state and social order results in the creation of complex webs of dependencies and oppression, within which women are caught, bound and silenced. These complex webs are most discernible in India’s rural regions. Women in rural India tend to be more vulnerable to longstanding patriarchal and quasi-feudal systems of repression than in anonymous, urban settings such as in New Delhi or in Mumbai[4]. In accordance to these patriarchal values, a woman’s social standing tends to be evaluated in terms of her affiliation with male members of her family, i.e. as being the wife of, the mother of or the daughter of somebody[5]. Constituting further layers of oppression, religion plays an important role in shaping women’s lives, particularly those of Muslim faith; this will be touched upon later in this section. Another...

Bibliography: Books
Bhan, G. ’Challenging the Limits of Law: Queer Politics and legal reform in India’ in Queer Politics in India: Because I have a Voice, edited by Aravind Narrain and Gautam Bhan, New Delhi: Yoda Press, 2005, pp. 40-49
Bhandopadhyay, S. ’Approaching the present, The Pretext : The Fire Controversy’ in
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