Filmmaker and founder, Agents of Ishq, Paromita Vohra had the audience in splits at an event on Love, Agency and Freedom organised by SheThePeople.TV in collaboration with Tinder. But apart from her swipe stories, what resonated with me was her observation of what constitutes violent behaviour online. “Unmatching or ghosting someone just because we don’t like them, click or connect, can be compared to violent behaviour,” Vohra said.

A hook up doesn’t have to be derogatory. It is what it is. There are multiple meanings of multiple experiences.

In an atmosphere where digital spaces allow us to sometimes suspend social norms, she is a firm believer in adhering to them even online. “I always tell people I’m going to unmatch them before I do” she says. When it comes to sex online, Vohra said that she is not a big  fan of the tradition to modernity linear narrative. The idea of sex is constructed as a matter of shame and it demonstrates differently for men and women. For women, it is their bodies they hold on to, for men it is their emotions. Another kind of shame some women feel is that they’re made to believe they aren’t sexual enough. She says that we need to de-link love and sex from marriage, instead of de-linking love from sex. We need to question the idea of having only one love and the premium placed on longevity.

In an atmosphere where digital spaces allow us to sometimes suspend social norms, she is a firm believer in adhering to them even online

Every moment has its own meaning. A relationship could have lasted very long, but meant very little. A person you met a few weeks ago could mean more to you than someone you’ve known all your life. Flirtation doesn’t have to be a means to an end, but can be mutually beneficial for both parties. A hook up doesn’t have to be derogatory. It is what it is. There are multiple meanings of multiple experiences. This is why sharing our stories is so important, she says. This is what Agents of Ishq, her platform does.

Sharing stories around love and creating a community gives women room to talk about their lives and what hurts them.

Paromita Vohra
We can lessen feelings of loneliness by listening to stories. We can speak honestly. For example, there is the perception that a woman is waiting to get married if she is single. But what if being single is a philosophical choice. We need to relook at the narrative surrounding being single. Sharing stories around love and creating a community gives women room to talk about their lives and what hurts them. Sharing stories gives people a sense of human community and eases out self-consciousness.

So what would make her swipe left?

Snobbery, she says, puts her off. People who are negative and talk down. And people who put up pictures of sunsets!

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