News Roundup: Menstrual Solutions, Sex Surveys, and the Long Arm of the Law

Here’s a roundup of what Indian women have been talking about this past few weeks.

LADY JUSTICE

Recent court verdicts have been a mixed bag for women’s rights. First, the good news: We’re optimistic that the Supreme Court  struck down ‘instant talaq’, one of the formats of triple talaq, as unconstitutional. We’re also pleased that the CBI court in Panchkula found a major religious leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, to be guilty of the rape of two female followers. We salute the survivors’ spirit in fighting it out for 15 years.

Now the bad news: In Kerala, a 24-year-old Hindu woman who married a Muslim and converted to Islam had her marriage annulled when the Kerala High Court suspected a case of ‘love jihad’, though she has iterated that she married the man of her own free will. We’re also miffed after the Supreme Court decided that forced sex with one’s wife above 15 years cannot be termed rape since doing so would ‘threaten the institution of marriage’.

We win some, we lose some.

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INDIA UNCOVERED

An annual survey conducted by leading sexual wellness website ThatsPersonal.com came up with interesting results after studying over 6 million visitors, and over 80,000 orders. Baroda, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram boasted more female buyers than male, though on the whole, men constitute 62% of buyers. People aged 25-34 were the maximum repeat users with the highest transactions, while those in the age group 18-24 opted for the most self-pickup of orders and accounted for the highest social-media engagement. Now you know why #AfterSexSelfies are such a rage nowadays. (Read the complete report on their website.)

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SANITARY ALTERNATIVES

With sanitary napkins in the news for being taxed 12% under GST (they’re a luxury, apparently), it’s time to try sustainable alternatives. Tampons – though super-convenient – are equally expensive, not easily available, and not always advised. Menstrual cups can be used for up to two years and are affordable, but you need to try out several brands before you find the right fit for your vagina. Recyclable pads last up to a year, the only problem in the Indian context being hanging them out to dry. Any other ideas, ladies? Share your wisdom in the comments!

First published in the September issue of eShe magazine