Video: Love, Sex and the Lives of Women in Nepal

the following is a student documentary film that interviews urban youth about their views and experiences regarding love and sex. It is clearly limited by focus on the more educated and more affluent, it opens the door to a discussion of patriarchal feudal conditions facing women -- which have been increasingly challenged as part of the revolutionary process.

There is a great interest among the youth of Nepal for a break with the arranged marriages -- and growing experimentation with "love marriages" (by mutual consent). This is true in the urban areas, but also in many areas touched by the Maoist revolution (including within the ranks of the peoples' liberation army).

There is also widespread outrage over the trafficking in women -- both the growth of domestic prostitution (connected to the tourist trade) and the "export" of young girls and women to the brothels of India (south of Nepal). Some of those conditions are touched on in this film.

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  • Guest (d)

    interesting. A friend recently pointed out that many anarchists are raising that the Maoists in Nepal are oppressing the transvestite and transgendered populations there. I'm not sure about this as individuals claiming to be harassed by (people claiming to be) maoists could be anyone, perhaps even attempting to sabotage support for Maoists from this section of the population, though obviously these could also be a genuine maoists.
    One article (http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=97745) explains that regarding homosexuality: "Maoist Central leader and Valley in-charge Hisila Yami also said the Maoist party doesn't have any specific policy regarding homosexuals. 'We neither punish homosexuals nor do we encourage them,' she said.
    She, however, said the party would not tolerate if homosexuals and transgenders promote 'another form' of prostitution."

    Another article from human rights watch published last year http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2007/04/16/nepal15694.htm
    claims Maoists detained and harassed two women "accused" of being lesbians. The article calls for Maoists "to end anti-gay violence". Most info on the issue apparently comes from the Blue Diamond Society, a male gay rights and AIDS awareness organization, who have also exposed harassment and violence by King Gyanendra's police and society in general.

    Here's an excellent article with some communist history on the matter by Gary Leupp:
    http://mostlywater.org/troublesome_reports_from_nepal_maoist_homophobia

  • Guest (keshav bhatt)

    your sex veri bhat

  • It's unfortunate that some (whether anarchists or others) feel the need to cut Nepal's feet to fit their own ideological shoes.

    In truth, there is one "third gender" representative to Nepal's parliament, who ran on the Maoist ticket. The third gender (what we call 'trans') has now been recognized as a sex, including on passports.

    Maoists, like pretty much every other person I met in Nepal, do not have extensive experience with the way we practice gender. Male-male "homosexuality" is not broadly understood (or experienced) as a category. This is changing with tourism, and with urbanization. The Maoists I spoke with said they understood LGBT as a "human rights issue" and wanted "all democratic rights" to be normalized.

    At the same time, it is very much true that ALL parties want to discourage the rise of the sex industry in Nepal, which is a serious problem. Currently, third gender people are not allowed into Thamel, the tourist ghetto of Kathmandu. There are also large groups of third gender sex workers who form clusters on the edge of this area. Curbing the sex industry, and demanding diversity of employment for third gender people largely consigned to the sex industry — that's not "oppression".

    The articles alleging particular anti-gay positions to the Maoists are falsehoods. But for some strange reason, I don't imagine the "anarchists" will be issuing corrections to their propaganda talking points. That's the point of being caught in your own ideology: wherever the world is surprising, you just want to make it the same. Then your ideas don't have to be challenged and the world requires no actual investigation. Hardly a unique sin of the anarchists, though sadly one they largely think they are exempt from.