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Towards reparative readings: reflections on feminist solidarities in a troubling present

Towards reparative readings: reflections on feminist solidarities in a troubling present The present is a peculiar time for feminists in India. On the one hand, debates of over two decades now make us sharply aware of vital importance of the intersecting multiple axes of power in shaping patriarchy and hence of the need to acknowledge mutual differences and inequalities. On the other, the high-tide of Hindutva nationalistic jingoism sweeps us all together as ‘anti-nationalist’, as equally dangerous to the Hindutvavaadi nation. Not surprisingly then, in no other time has the need to rethink and rebuild feminist solidarities felt so urgent. The question would perhaps be to ask how we could deploy the insights about the end of ‘romantic sisterhood’ to produce a thorough critique of feminist practice. I contend that for this to happen, intersectional analysis needs to be applied as a tool of feminist self-transformation, acknowledged as integral to lived feminist ethics, and not merely something that figures in the knowledge that we produce. This essay is an attempt to think aloud this challenge and what it entails, from Kerala, a society where feminism is irrevocably pluralized at present, but where feminists do face the Hindutvavaadi threat of exclusion as ‘immoral’ and ‘anti-national’. I propose a new mode of engagement, feminist maitri which may give rise to what Eve Sedgewick has called ‘non-paranoid’ readings alongside the necessary readings of the ills that hamper trust-building in the field of feminist politics – bringing hopefully a delicate balance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png South Asian History and Culture Taylor & Francis

Towards reparative readings: reflections on feminist solidarities in a troubling present

South Asian History and Culture , Volume 9 (4): 13 – Oct 2, 2018

Towards reparative readings: reflections on feminist solidarities in a troubling present

South Asian History and Culture , Volume 9 (4): 13 – Oct 2, 2018

Abstract

The present is a peculiar time for feminists in India. On the one hand, debates of over two decades now make us sharply aware of vital importance of the intersecting multiple axes of power in shaping patriarchy and hence of the need to acknowledge mutual differences and inequalities. On the other, the high-tide of Hindutva nationalistic jingoism sweeps us all together as ‘anti-nationalist’, as equally dangerous to the Hindutvavaadi nation. Not surprisingly then, in no other time has the need to rethink and rebuild feminist solidarities felt so urgent. The question would perhaps be to ask how we could deploy the insights about the end of ‘romantic sisterhood’ to produce a thorough critique of feminist practice. I contend that for this to happen, intersectional analysis needs to be applied as a tool of feminist self-transformation, acknowledged as integral to lived feminist ethics, and not merely something that figures in the knowledge that we produce. This essay is an attempt to think aloud this challenge and what it entails, from Kerala, a society where feminism is irrevocably pluralized at present, but where feminists do face the Hindutvavaadi threat of exclusion as ‘immoral’ and ‘anti-national’. I propose a new mode of engagement, feminist maitri which may give rise to what Eve Sedgewick has called ‘non-paranoid’ readings alongside the necessary readings of the ills that hamper trust-building in the field of feminist politics – bringing hopefully a delicate balance.

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References (64)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1947-2501
eISSN
1947-2498
DOI
10.1080/19472498.2018.1535545
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The present is a peculiar time for feminists in India. On the one hand, debates of over two decades now make us sharply aware of vital importance of the intersecting multiple axes of power in shaping patriarchy and hence of the need to acknowledge mutual differences and inequalities. On the other, the high-tide of Hindutva nationalistic jingoism sweeps us all together as ‘anti-nationalist’, as equally dangerous to the Hindutvavaadi nation. Not surprisingly then, in no other time has the need to rethink and rebuild feminist solidarities felt so urgent. The question would perhaps be to ask how we could deploy the insights about the end of ‘romantic sisterhood’ to produce a thorough critique of feminist practice. I contend that for this to happen, intersectional analysis needs to be applied as a tool of feminist self-transformation, acknowledged as integral to lived feminist ethics, and not merely something that figures in the knowledge that we produce. This essay is an attempt to think aloud this challenge and what it entails, from Kerala, a society where feminism is irrevocably pluralized at present, but where feminists do face the Hindutvavaadi threat of exclusion as ‘immoral’ and ‘anti-national’. I propose a new mode of engagement, feminist maitri which may give rise to what Eve Sedgewick has called ‘non-paranoid’ readings alongside the necessary readings of the ills that hamper trust-building in the field of feminist politics – bringing hopefully a delicate balance.

Journal

South Asian History and CultureTaylor & Francis

Published: Oct 2, 2018

Keywords: Feminist solidarities; alliance-building; intersectionality; maitri; differences

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