RKP's blog

Porn and Violence: Navigating the Grey Areas

Some were uncomfortable with certain types and scales of violence being represented, such as rape porn or gang-rape porn. Others felt that was just fantasy. This is the first in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Tangled, Like Wool” meeting held in New Delhi in January 2014. Through talks, presentations and discussions, the meeting explored the links between pornography, gender, sexuality and the freedom of speech.

Some were uncomfortable with certain types and scales of violence being represented, such as rape porn or gang-rape porn. Others felt that was just fantasy.

This is the first in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Tangled, Like Wool” meeting held in New Delhi in January 2014. Through talks, presentations and discussions, the meeting explored the links between pornography, gender, sexuality and the freedom of speech.

Pornographic Love

Richa Kaul Padte explores Pornographic Love, one of the three websites that received a Feminist Porn Award in 2013, and asks the question: What makes this website different from mainstream porn portals?

Richa Kaul Padte explores Pornographic Love, one of the three websites that received a Feminist Porn Award in 2013, and asks the question: What makes this website different from mainstream porn portals?

A busty shaved blonde is photographed lying on her back, legs spread and raised in the air, as she stares into the camera. The text above her reads, “NO FEES or CHARGES: just hot babes and hardcore free porn action”. Flashing red “Enter Here” buttons are strategically placed above and below her, inviting visitors into My Free Pay Site, a popular porn website.

Feminist Porn: Re-imagining Parameters of Sex and Sexuality

If you’re looking for porn where a scream of pleasure is actually pleasurable, you’ve come to the right place.

In the early 20th century tucked away inside the waiting rooms of French brothels, the first pornographic films ever made began to be screened. Shot in black and white, these films were designed to excite clients before meeting with women, presumably making the sex workers’ jobs go quicker.

Of Porn, Morality and Censorship: A Perspective from India

Filed in April 2013, a legal petition that calls for a ban on pornography on account of its linkage to sexual violence in India has raised several eyebrows and debates within the country. This piece written by Richa Kaul Padte explores the context for this proposed legislation, the social and legal cultures in which it sits, and its implications for internet censorship within India.

‘[Pornography] is worse than Hitler, worse than AIDS, cancer or any other epidemic. It is more catastrophic than nuclear holocaust, and it must be stopped’ – Petition filed by Kamlesh Vaswani to the Supreme Court of India

In early April 2013, lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani filed a Public Interest Litigation petition to the Supreme Court of India calling for a ban against the consumption of pornography.

Sexuality and the internet: a five country perspective

This blog post is the final one in a series of ten blog posts to report on the EROTICS India workshop, recently concluded in Delhi. All the blog posts in this series are written by Richa Kaul Padte, the official rapporteur at the meeting.

‘The internet is an unregulated space where you can connect to other people… It is a new frontier, it is a new imagination that makes things possible… It is this space that is so central to our existence and being.’ – Jac sm Kee, APC Women´s Rights Programme

How does the relationship between sexuality and the internet play out in different countries? What does this mean for sexual rights? The EROTICS research looks at different aspects of Internet use in five countries through the lens of sexuality.

‘Choli ke peeche kya hai?’: censorship and pornography

The discourse of censorship is well-known to most people, as India’s right-wing moral brigades routinely flock to the streets to prevent everything from item numbers in Bollywood films to sex education posters in trains to the greeting-card shop Archies (for its ‘promotion’ of Valentine’s Day) from going ahead. But what does this mean for freedom of speech and expression in the country? And more specifically, given that the bans most frequently pertain to sex, and more specifically, female sexuality, what does this mean for women?

Banned: advertisements promoting sex-selection on Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo.

Banned: searches from India with the words ‘sex’ or ‘sexual’ on Microsoft Bing.

Banned: porn cartoon Savita Bhabhi, depicting the sexual exploits of a married Indian woman.

The discourse of censorship is well-known to most people, as India’s right-wing moral brigades routinely flock to the streets to prevent everything from item numbers in Bollywood films to sex education posters in trains to the greeting-card shop Archies (for its ‘promotion’ of Valentine’s Day) from going ahead.

Gendered abuse online

So you’ve got "proper online security":http://pointofview.org/blog/general/wearing-a-digital-condom-staying-safe-online, "strong passwords":http://pointofview.org/blog/general/passwords-your-first-line-of-defence, and great software all good to go. But are there other kinds of threats you may face online? What about abuse, verbal violence and harassment that no firewall or plug-in can prevent?

So you’ve got proper online security, strong passwords, and great software all good to go. But are there other kinds of threats you may face online? What about abuse, verbal violence and harassment that no firewall or plug-in can prevent?

‘I faced sexual harassment and it was published in [a prominent newspaper], and then it was put up on the internet.

Wearing a digital condom: Staying safe online

Do you know how to use your web browser in a secure manner? What is the benefit of adding that "s" after http? Are you aware of the security features on the email you use? What sensitive data do you keep about you or your community, and what would people have access to if your computer, laptop or mobile phone was stolen? This article provides a list of resources and solutions to help you and your community to stay safe online.

Web browsers. One of the fastest ways to spread viruses is through a web browser, and to prevent this from happening, make sure your browser is as secure as possible. Mozilla Firefox is recommended by many people because it has the most security options, but Google Chrome lovers, fear not – Chrome and Opera both have similar options in their Settings page (And if you’re still on Internet Explorer, well, it’s really time to move on).

Security risks online: How much information do you give away?

Imagine the life of an Indian gender or sexuality rights activist. What work do they do? Who do they interact with? What threats do they face? Here are some snapshots (created by participants).

‘If you want to protect yourself then the devil really is in your details’ – Jac sm Kee, APC Women

Imagine the life of an Indian gender or sexuality rights activist. What work do they do? Who do they interact with? What threats do they face? Here are some snapshots (created by participants):

31-year old Savita lives in Agra and works on issues relating to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) and interacts with the government, the police, lawyers, Muslim women’s groups, and sexuality rights groups.

Mechanics and governance of the internet

The internet is an important part of many of our daily lives, work and activism - but how many of us actually understand what it is? Beyond mechanics, questions around who governs the internet are key to contextualising the struggle for rights - including sexuality rights - online.

‘It’s like a library’

‘But it’s not organised – it’s chaotic. That’s just the impression you get’

‘An electromagnetic web of information’

‘It’s the tech equivalent of a collective consciousness’

‘It’s basically you connecting to a larger network. Computers connected throughout the world’

The internet is an important part of many of our daily lives, work and activism – but how many of us actually understand what it is?

The internet works through networking, so imagine networking as a game. If you get two or more people to agree, you can play.

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