By Irene Gedalof
This pioneering quantity opinions the paintings of 4 eminent western feminists - Rosi Bradiotti, Judith Butler, Donna Haraway and Luce Irigaray - and explores the connection among Indian and white western feminism. Pt. I. Indian issues. 1. girls and neighborhood identities in Indian feminisms. 2. enterprise, the self and the collective in Indian feminisms -- Pt. II. White Western feminisms and identification. three. Luce/loose connections: Luce Irigaray, sexual distinction, race and country. four. girl hassle: Judith Butler and the destabilisation of sex/gender. five. 'All that counts is the going': Rosi Braidotti's nomadic topic. 6. Donna Haraway's promising monsters -- Pt. III. opposed to purity. 7. energy, identification and impure areas. eight. Theorising girls in a postcolonial mode
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Additional info for Against Purity: Rethinking Identity with Indian and Western Feminisms (Gender, Racism, Ethnicity)
Or is there a more complicated ‘managing’ of the maternal at work, that acknowledges a certain female WOMEN AND COMMUNITY IDENTITIES 37 or feminine power, in order to have something powerful to serve particular identity-building processes? One site for these debates is scholarship on the place of the mothergoddess and concepts of birth in the metaphysical and mythological groundings of Hindu culture. It should be noted that almost all Indian feminist discussions of cultural images of birth and the mother-figure take place in a Hindu context; these are mainly feminists from the Hindu community reading both Hindu culture and its appropriations within nationalist and communalist movements.
She notes that this is only achieved, ironically, by ‘westernizing’ the Indian male consumer, whose project of ‘modernization-without-westernization’ is saved by the presence of ‘the Indian woman, perenially and transcendentally wife, mother and homemaker’ whose specific role is to balance (deep) tradition and (surface) modernity (1993:133). In these representations, according to Sunder Rajan, ‘Woman’ and religion occupy the same conceptual space; in both cases, the traditional is defined as timeless, and hence able to embrace, and make space for, modernity as a transitional phase disguising the permanent essence of tradition.
Is a body that menstruates earlier than the Western norm ‘unnatural’? Who has the right to name the mature body? Is the female body naturally passionless or libidinous? This problematisation of the female body ties the ‘naturalness’ or propriety of practices involving groups of women to evaluations of norms of both masculinity and nationhood. In the colonial context, contestations over the ‘truth’ about the female body become the discursive ground for debating whether a male child born of an ‘unnaturally’ immature mother is effeminate, and whether a nation which carries out such unnatural practices is degenerate, barbaric, and incapable of self-rule (Sinha 1987:217–31).
Against Purity: Rethinking Identity with Indian and Western Feminisms (Gender, Racism, Ethnicity) by Irene Gedalof