The two phones are a curious metaphor to the dual life she lives. To hide her identity as a street-based sex worker, she has told her family she does odd jobs or works as domestic help. Most of them were unlettered, and spoke Marathi or Kannada or both.
They sat clutching their mobiles phones — rugged models of Nokia, inexpensive feature phones and touchscreen Android phones of Indian brands.
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Mobile phones, they said, have changed the nature of business. Street-based sex workers such as Renuka manage all business over the phone. Being constantly connected also helps build client relations, so to speak. The mobile phone is what sex workers turn to in times of trouble.
The mobile is shared with caution, for it is a tradeoff between convenience and exposing themselves to harassment. s are given only to regular customers and to those who pay well. We return the gaalis and threaten to report them to the police.
Like most women, they often seek the help of a trusted male — a regular customer, a family member or the maalak — to deal with the harasser. There is also the fear of surveillance.
Most of the sex workers had received their mobile phone as a gift from their maalaks or clients, so that they could stay in touch and avoid the hassles of using a payphone. Some, like Surekha, bought used phones, often on a loan.
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Their lovers and clients also teach them how to use the phone. Because they cannot read or write, contacts in their phonebooks are listed as emoticons, single letters and special characters. Holding up her phone, Surekha showed a mugshot of Katrina Kaif stored with a phone.
Images such as photos of Bollywood actors are appended to contacts, so that they can identify the caller. Often a separate ringtone is set to distinguish the of the maalak from that of others.
Through audio and visual cues, they manage to perform tasks such as sending and receiving files through Bluetooth and MMStaking photos, and playing music and games. Those leading parallel lives outside the sex trade harbour two phones or dual- SIM phones to segregate their clandestine identities as sex workers. Those who openly practice sex work said they did not feel the need to separate their personal and professional lives. On the contrary, they saw keeping two phones or two SIM cards as a hassle. Watch the video Sex work and mobile phones in YouTube.
Enacting pornographic content is reserved for those who are special. They also refuse to let clients shoot their photos, explicit or otherwise. I send it via MMS. Expenditures on phone calls are restricted to family, co-workers and occasionally the lover.
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Some clients and the maalak recharge [credit a sum to] our prepaid phones. Sometimes we ask clients to recharge the phone so that we can call the maalak. Accessing and later adopting the technology into their lives has been a long, eventful journey.
Using the mobile phone has involved a learning curve and overcoming fears that it might stop working or electrocute them. Meenakshi Kamble, a coordinator with VAMPlaughingly recalled how she once accidentally dropped her phone in mud, and dunked it in water to clean it.
More on the topic
That was the last time the phone worked. The mobile phone for them is now a coveted amenity, a status symbol, a cynosure. Unnoticed, in these marginalised pockets of Sangli, the mobile phone has narrowed the digital divide. Pasar al contenido principal. Hooked on: Sex work and mobile phones 3rd Abril Etiquetas erotics india sexual rights sexuality.
Crowdmapping Sexual Harassment in India. Connecting Our Rights at IGF Women and sexual rights defenders leading progress on equitable, inclusive internet policy.
India and South Africa: The hidden story of sex on the internet. Guardar Previsualizar.
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