By Tanya Manglik
Hidden Pockets, the digital mapping startup which aims to help the women in Delhi locate the services available for reproductive and sexual health, have a new map. The latest map covers ‘pleasure points’ in the city – places where women can feel safe and free. It pins locations and provides information on shops, markets, parks, open spaces, forests, crowded places, and even quiet ones.
“The idea was that we wanted to provide women with information on places that they would like to visit and enjoy without any apprehensions. With all the recent hoopla around it being an unsafe city, and so many laws being passed and policies framed, we wanted to reclaim these spaces and let people know that Delhi is not as dangerous as it is made out to be,” says Jasmine Lovely George, feminist lawyer and founder of Hidden Pockets. She adds, “We would also want more single women to start using these maps, because often the only women that are thought to need protection are mothers, wives, and partners, and so we focus on the needs of even single women to have spots that they can enjoy without worrying.”
Why are they called pleasure points? George says she found that when women are asked what they would like to do for fun, they would find it difficult to come up with an answer. “We also tend to associate ‘pleasure’ as something necessarily sexual, but Hidden Pockets aims to redefine the city’s framework and term the enjoyable and safe spaces as pleasurable. It is associated with an element of risk, and we want to remove that fear so that people can explore these pleasure points freely,” she adds.
The creation for these maps was mostly crowd-sourced. Women were asked how they felt in particular spaces, and what about it made them feel good, and the responses ranged from ‘safe’, ‘comfortable’, ‘it’s beautiful,’ to even ‘it’s crowded,’ and ‘it’s peaceful’. They were also encouraged to take ‘positive photos’ of the places they felt good in, and associate these places with positive emotions. “In this way, one becomes both a consumer and producer of the information on the map, you exchange and collect information on spots you’d be likely to enjoy,” says George.
Hidden Pockets plans to launch a campaign in two weeks, which will survey women on what spots they would like and why they like it. They also have an upcoming project with the University of Heidelberg where they aim to create a positive narrative of Delhi’s “hidden pleasures”.
If you like this, you should also check out Brown Paper Bag’s really fun The Fetishist’s Guide to Mumbai.
Photo courtesy: Kate Ter Harr via Flickr, CC by 2.0