Interview with Haleema, 20 - 21, mixed heritage (Pakistani/English), middle class, Muslim. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version (Ref: MIS09)

2020-03-04T10:54:43Z (GMT) by Rachel Thomson
This interview is part of the Women, Risk and AIDS Project (1989-90) archive which was created as part of the Reanimating Data Project (2018-20).

Anonymised transcript of interview with University student (Haleema). Mixed heritage background Pakistani father and white English mother Interview begins with extensive discussion of the tensions she experiences between the influence of her parents moving into a discussion of her exploration of her sexual orientation once she was in Manchester. She describes growing up in the home counties and attending grammar school which was conservative and where there was little awareness or expectation that young people may be sexually active. Tells a story about an uncle that illustrates her innocence and a predatory male sexuality. During this time she suffered from eating disorder. While still at home she engaged in ‘the usual fumblings’. However a ‘fling’ with an older man during her year out seems to have been a turning point in her understanding of sex. Since coming to University has explored her sexuality and non-penetrative sex and is able to talk in detail about power, control and confidence in sexual relationships. Currently in a relationship with a male partner who is less experienced than she and with whom she is able to negotiate a sexual practice that is comfortable. Involved in drama and seems that sexual politics is part of the culture she operates within – both in terms of the curriculum (involved in a play about AIDS) and friendships (people debating sexual politics). Well informed and politicised. Interested in becoming a therapist of some kind, though has anxieties about having the kind of job that her father will respect. Worried also about having children and them being divorced from the Pakistani side of their culture.