Overview for Loving Women: Being Lesbian in Unprivileged India
Overwhelming challenges and the impenetrable silence that surrounds them give way to small yet profoundly significant victories in this rare new volume which documents and simultaneously celebrated the life-stories of ten working-class lesbian women. Though detailed interviews and one-on-one interactions with the women in their own contexts, Maya Sharma challenges the notion of women as sexual beings without agency and traces the lives, negotiations, celebrations, and tragedies of women loving women in an India that few of use see and that is rarely, if ever, written about. She has puts together a formidable case for the inclusion of lesbian women in the womenâ€™s movement, effectively asserting that women in same-sex relationships are also valid political subjects entitled to rights, freedoms, protections and benefits, and challenging the movement to recognize and take ownership of the issues of same-sex desiring women. Rendering the view that same-sex relationships in India occur only as an urban phenomenon completely redundant, this compelling new book locates desire and identity in spaces where lesbian sexuality was till now an unuttered impossibility.
Maya Sharma (Author)
Maya Sharma, a feminist, is an activist in the Indian Women's Movement. Born in Rajasthan, where girls rarely get the opportunity to go to universities, Sharma completed her post-graduation. Her life changed radically when she came in contact with the women's movement. From being the staid housewife in an urban middle-class home, she chose to be an activist-within that identity she found the space to grow and nurture her skill of listening, observing and writing. Most of what she has written stems from her work as an activist. She has co-written a book on single women's lives, Women's Labour Rights, and several articles and reports. Her essay in Because I Have a Voice was part of the research she undertook in response to developments in the women's movement and the ongoing and growing gay movement. Currently she is working with a grassroots women's organisation, Vikalp in Baroda, Gujarat.