Magazine article New Internationalist

Loving Women: Being Lesbian and Unprivileged in India

Magazine article New Internationalist

Loving Women: Being Lesbian and Unprivileged in India

Article excerpt

Loving Women: Being Lesbian and Unprivileged in India by Maya Sharma (Yoda Press)

'You ask me if I have heard the word "lesbian". No, I have not heard it," says factory worker Vimlesh, one of the women interviewed by Maya Sharma in this extraordinary book. Vimlesh continues: ? am attracted to women. Why create these categories, such deep differences between male and female? We are all human beings, aren't we?'

'Groundbreaking' is an over-used epithet, but in the case of this journey through lesbian working-class India it is entirely warranted. The movement for lesbian rights that has emerged in the country during the past decade has been predominantly privileged. Only women who can afford to live independently of tight family networks and the enforcements of tradition can live as lesbians. As for the women-who-love-women in shanty towns and villages, who knows who they are or how they live or even whether they exist? …

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