By Jyoti Puri
This ethnographic examine according to fifty four middle-and upper-class Indian girls connects problems with classification and nationhood to the rising feel of woman id in India. It covers subject matters comparable to menstruation, homosexual and instantly sexual event, sexual harassment and attack, marriage and motherhood. Jyoti Puri discovers that attitudes approximately sexuality and gender are strangely related in India and Western nations.
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Extra info for Woman, Body, Desire in Post-Colonial India: Narratives of Gender and Sexuality
There is little ambiguity in the text’s emphasis on motherhood and marriage as voluntary choices made by individuals. But by emphasizing the role of the individual and her choices in matters of marriage and motherhood, the individual also assumes the attendant responsibilities. Within this individualized and psychologized framework, marriage and motherhood are not mandated for women; however, avoidance of marriage and motherhood are not presented as options. More disputably, if marriage and motherhood are reinforced as normal aspects of our lives, then the only uncertainty is to what extent individual women (and men) can ensure their personal happiness by making all the right choices—in the selection of partners, the intimacy of the relationship, correctly timing the birth of children, and so on.
I am equally interested in the strategies through which these sexed bodies are regulated but made to appear normal. Chapter Five focuses on matters of erotic sexuality to decipher women’s narratives on nonmarital chastity and its circumvention, marital sexuality and meaning of sexual satisfaction, initial marital sexual experiences, the role of pornography, and the association between sex and marital intimacy. Throughout Chapters Four and Five, I place special focus on the tensions of gender- and class-based norms of “sexual respectability” to identify the hegemonic codes of sexuality that are reflected in women’s narratives on sexual aggression and erotic sexuality.
What was perhaps most intriguing was how broad social themes and patterns intersected the more personal and individual aspects in each of the interviews. Aside from the introductions, brief questions, and requests for clarification, I was mostly quiet through the interviews. The stories were easy to listen to, and for the most part, the women seemed to enjoy speaking about their lives, about growing up as girls. But, for some women, speaking about particular aspects of their experiences—such as sexual aggression or the problems encountered in conjugal families after marriage—was upsetting.