Members of the Nepali underground women's group Charitraheen Cheli ('Women of Ill Repute') met last weekend at an undisclosed bar in Patan Durbar Square. Downing mugs of steaming hot drinks and juicy steak sizzlers, they sought answers to questions bothering women since Manu wrote his big fat book.
A relatively young group, CHC members came together some two months ago. In that time they have managed to receive wide media coverage in the Nepali and English Language papers published from Kathmandu. (See 'Media hunks', Nepali Times, #171).
This CHC meeting, however, was different from the earlier ones, where the members had raunchily rated the sex quotient of journalists and politicians. It focused, instead, on the concerns of the Chelis themselves. Draupadi, Sita, Kali, Tara, Maya, all must have asked all these questions at one point in their lives. Now, it is the Chelis who are doing the asking:
One: What percent of Nepali women have orgasm during sex?
Few Chelis reported having heard a Nepali woman describe the excitement of this most intense of sexual pleasures. Consequent questions raised included: Is it because so few actually experience it? Isn't this a violation of a basic human right? Should this be reported to the Human Rights Commission somewhere?
Two: Given that women peak sexually when they are in their thirties and men in their twenties, why are women pairing with older men?
The Chelis were amazed that it takes a normal/full bodied Nepali woman so long to figure out how good sex can really get. Nepali women should be pairing with younger men, one piped up. A chorus of approval ensued from members.
Three: Why can't we have contraceptives that can be injected into men's arms for five years?
Although most Chelis liked the idea, they couldn't decide on the name for the contraceptive. Injectables? Preventibles? Defensibles? It was suggested that those marketing the Pulsar motobike "Definitely Male" should be recruited to manage the advertising campaign.
Four: Wouldn't it be cool if women bragged about all their sexual conquests?
The Chelis thought this was a great idea. Should the bragging be based on quantity or quality, one asked. Parameters could not be decided.
Five: Why aren't our women writers writing erotic stories for women?
The Chelis could not agree on whether it was women writers not writing erotica or male publishers too chicken to publish them. The Chelis unanimously agreed that they should contact the media hunks from their last survey and ask them to keep some space for erotic writing.
Sex: What, really, is the point of Charitraheen Chelis?
The Chelis ask this question each time they meet. They will be asking this question again.
Seven: Why don't women ogle, hiss, whistle and click at passing men? What the hell are we doing with our time?
A crash course on the basics of these activities were suggested so they could be managed in the course of the day-to-day activities which suck up our time. Time management and multi-tasking ? la Chelis.
Eight: Why don't women invite each other to bhattis for jaand and raksi every day, the way men do?
Become Charitraheen. Begin your journey.
Nine: Why can't men finish zipping their flies while they're still inside public toilets?
This was seen as an enduring mystery. Women in all their complicated sari and kurta gear (complete with safety pins to hold up their kurtha shawls and sari pallus) manage to assemble themselves before exiting. Men can't stay there the extra 1.5 seconds it takes to zip?
Ten: Are there any single (or divorce-minded) heterosexual men out there who can cook, clean, look after children and earn a little 'lipstick money' on the side?
Apply with a 6X6 digital photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org. Physical attributes most important and will be considered during the selection process. Age bar has been lifted.
Rosy Chettri is a feminist with unrestricted access to the Charitraheen Chelis, and will be filing minutes of their underground meetings once a month.