Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kamasutra # 5

I recall in high school, i had just started dating this black guy who asked me "so you must be great in bed coz you know that Kamasutra huh?"...i was shocked...firstly coz he came off like such a perv..secondly coz he had "consumed orientalism" (Kim & Chung) and bought into Indian women being exoticized. All he probably knew about the Kamasutra was what the orientalists had turned it into; a highly sexualized text that is focused solely on sexual positions. It was once a book of love and discipline for the hindus..not just about sex. The orientalists from the west however took it, appropriated it (lecture-video)and commodified it. It was now up for sale on the shelves of western bookstores when it was initially just owned by Indian women of higher class.

Ok so I admit, i do know alot about the Kamasutra actually but only coz i did a research paper on it a while back...younger Indian women of a noble class were given the book of love when they were getting groomed for marriage. In it, the book had lessons about how to treat your husband good, to respect him, and had everything for a well-rounded wife. it even required that the lady who was given the book learned the arts: dancing, singing and playing instruments. It was a book that bettered the Indian woman. then when the woman got married, she was able to give the book to her husband, who then read the men's share of the book. in it, he was taught to do for his wife everything she does for respect her, love her and please her. So given the fact behind the kamasutra, doesn't it seem so pure and uncorrupted? it wasn't just about sex.

Then came the westerners (dun dun dun). A man named "Sir" Richard Burton got his hands on the book and translated it. Obviously, during translation, things are left out or misinterpreted..especially if the interpreter is culturally unaware. And of course he only took what he wanted to take from the book; the GREAT sexual positions.

So yea, the next time a guy asks me if know the kamasutra, imma kick him in his man business (so feminist)

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