By Manisha Chachra

“Privacy? You want privacy from me?! I will slap you if you talk to me like that,” Revathy tells her daughter Laila when she discovers her daughter watching pornography in the film Margarita with a Straw. The 23-year-old woman, Laila, suffers from cerebral palsy and is not supposed to have sexual desires. This remains the narrative of many disabled people in India.

Ranging from a moral ban on watching pornography, masturbating to wearing make-up, physically disabled people are either considered to be sexually hyperactive or asexual beings.

“In India, sexuality is often equated with a right to have sex or being available,” says Anjlee Agarwal, co-founder of Samarthyam, an NGO that works on disability. “As physically challenged women, we were always taught to avoid wearing make-up or keeping our hair loose because it reflects that women have desires.”

While sexuality is knowingly considered to be grey or rainbow tinted, for disabled people sexuality remains the black spot. Nidhi Goyal, a disability rights activist working with Point of View, says, “Sexuality is a wide spectrum, not normative in definition, comprising of enjoying your body, being comfortable with your relationships and interactions. However, as a visually impaired person you have to negotiate with many aspects of your sexual self.”

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This excerpt is from an article published at The News Minute. You can read the full article here

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