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. business 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. woman 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. strength, identification and impure areas. eight. Theorising girls in a postcolonial mode
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Extra resources for Against Purity: Rethinking Identity with Indian and Western Feminisms (Gender, Racism, Ethnicity)
The linking of nation to ‘mother’, ‘nature’ and ‘home’ reinforces its claims to authenticity (Chhachhi 1991:163–4). What Chhachhi adds to this framework is a feminist concern with women’s strategic location with respect to these symbolic constructs. Within these paradigms, ‘Woman’ marks the boundaries and contours of the national community and provides access to its truth about itself. However, those borders, and that so-called ‘truth’ then work to constrain and regulate the activities of the community’s women (1991: 165–7).
Indeed, she argues, in the postindependence period the symbolism of a united Muslim community identity has come to rest entirely on laws pertaining to the family and women (Hasan 1994b:61). The rights of Muslim women have served as the locus of debates about conservatism versus modernisation, pluralism versus national integrity, secularism and women’s equality, a uniform civil code and distinct religious laws (Hasan 1994a: xviii-xix). For Hasan, issues like the Shah Bano case indicate that it is largely through the regulation of women that attempts are made to homogenise and narrow a definition of Muslim community identity.
Indeed, one of the problems raised in this material is the way (mainly upper-caste and mainly Bengali) Hindu icons of mother-goddesses take over the space of the nation through their reincarnations as Mother India. This occurs most obviously in contemporary Hindu communalist projects; but it was also a problem historically within the nationalist movement that claimed to promote a secular inclusiveness of all India’s religious/racial communities. The women’s movement has also at times been complicit in using specifically Hindu cultural images to represent all Indian women (Agnes 1995).