Kalki Koechlin says we have to stop making sex holy or dirty.
Never the one to mince words, actor Kalki Koechlin says Indians need to normalise the conversation around sex to cut down abuse and make men and women sexually empowered.
In a year-end essay for Hindustan Times, Koechlin has addressed several pressing issues, including the impact of the #MeToo movement and ways that can help raise sex awareness.
Highlighting the toxicity of relentless pursuing, she writes, “‘No’ is not a conversation starter but a full statement in itself. We have this culture of wearing down a person... where a guy keeps at it even when the woman has said no, hoping that she will eventually get tired of resisting and will give in. So, you try and try again until the ‘no’ becomes a ‘yes’. We need to address this.
“We need to tell our girls to say no when they mean it and our boys to understand that a ‘no’ means just that and nothing else. But it is equally important to teach our girls to say yes when she so feels.”
Urging open conversations around sex, she adds, “We have to stop making sex holy or dirty. Virginity is not some treasure that a girl needs to protect and then give it as a gift to her husband. When you label something as dirty, you make it more enticing. When you label something as holy, you make it a power thing.”
Koechlin also says that it’s high time Indian parents discussed sex and sexual violence with their children. “We can’t talk about sexual violence without talking about sexual pleasure and desire. We have to teach our kids the difference,” she writes.
The 34-year-old says we have been so focused on educating our girl child in the last 20 years, that we have forgotten boys completely. “Now the girls are educated and self-dependent but the men have not been taught how to handle that or how to keep up with the modern, forward-thinking woman. We need to take into consideration how to educate our boys and teach them to behave and how to be,” she concludes.