The internet frenzy over the Civic Chandran case has reached a new zenith over the two highly problematic — deeply elitist, sexist, logically and empirically flawed — anticipatory bail orders issued to the accused by the Sessions Court. There was a strange silence about the first one which was stuffed with elitist statements, and an even stranger pause over the blatantly sexist and conservative order before the active condemnation of the latter began to be voiced over the internet. Even stranger, because there is far more tolerance of elitism among the internet woke-folk than of conservative sexist understandings of the appropriate clothing for women’s bodies in Kerala. The three-day break from expressions of outrage did not, and still does not make sense.Continue reading When ‘With the Survivor ‘ Rings Hollow: Observations on the Rage over the Civic Chandran Case
Tag Archives: feminism in Kerala
Carceral Feminism and the Punitive State: Why I am Not With the Mob — 2
In the 1980s, when the first feminist articulations began to be heard in Kerala, left-leaning feminists often sought to maintain a critical distance from the state, emphasizing its inherently patriarchal nature. This was not surprising as feminists of that generation had radical-Marxist roots or strong connections with it. Radical Marxism in that generation was clearly suspicious of the state – quite unlike the mainstream left.Continue reading Carceral Feminism and the Punitive State: Why I am Not With the Mob — 2
How to see in the dark? An open letter to the women in cinema collective
Dear friends in the WCC
I am writing to you at a time so dark that unless we hold hands and feel the warmth of each others’ palms, we may even lose our sense of reality. This is my way of holding your hand and gaining strength from your presence.
Continue reading How to see in the dark? An open letter to the women in cinema collective
And Now, Pathetic patriarchy
Finally. Decades have passed in which we slumbered on eased by the magic mantra that women’s empowerment will emerge like a butterfly from the cocoon of women’s self-help groups, whispered in our ears by the state in Kerala. In the meantime, what we saw was often the opposite. Indeed, the more women became central to family sustenance and public care-giving in society, the deeper the misogyny penetrated, the wider it spread.Continue reading And Now, Pathetic patriarchy
Farewell, Sister in Pain: A Tribute to Ashita
The thinking mind knows, but the heart keeps seeking the lingering traces of presence. Continue reading Farewell, Sister in Pain: A Tribute to Ashita
From Nangeli to Rima Kallingal: Who are fit to claim Nangeli’s Legacy?
The recent reference to how the distribution of food in Malayali homes is often skewed against women by the actor Rima Kallingal in a recent talk has sparked off yet another round of attacks against feminists in Kerala. It is interesting to see how this seems to have brought together men of all political stripes and colours (may I say, from pro- and anti-Hadiya camps!). The attacks range from mild smirking to outright abuse, but are equally revealing of the fear of women’s feminist self-assertion. So even those men who supported Hadiya’s decision to choose her faith and community find it hard to swallow when women start laying bare the injustices of the ubiquitous patriarchal family, fearing that there may be an implicit choice in this criticism, to move away from the patriarchal family, and indeed, craft other non-patriarchal forms of intimate connection and commitment. After all, whatever be the community, the patriarchal family is acknowledged by patriarchal authorities everywhere as the foundation Continue reading From Nangeli to Rima Kallingal: Who are fit to claim Nangeli’s Legacy?
Longing for the Future – Two Days with Penkoottu and AMTU at Kozhikode, Kerala
Kozhikode, Hotel Alakapuri, 4-5 March, 2017.
Kozhikode has always upturned my feelings about the male gaze. It is of course a cheerful, bustling, place, full of fabulously good-looking people of all genders. The cheeriness has a certain effortlessly defiant quality – already evident when you look out of the window as the train from the south pulls into the railway station, and see bright, healthy, merrily-swaying wild flowers raise their heads undefeated by the ferocious summer sun– wild sunflowers in hundreds, magnificent vines of kulamariyan flowers ( literally, ‘over-the-top’ flowers, but known here also, interestingly enough, as Antigone vines), creepers happily, constantly, and untiringly winding over little piles of rubbish and covering them with short-lived if emphatic trumpets of mauve, lavender, red, yellow, and white. You pass this eternal artwork-in-progress of the flowers and vines and city trash and enter Kozhikode, but realise that it actually tells you a bit about the men there only when you meet them. Continue reading Longing for the Future – Two Days with Penkoottu and AMTU at Kozhikode, Kerala
Class Feminism vs. Classy Feminism … Or, Everybody Loves the Governable Woman!
A few weeks ago, I mentioned on Kafila a certain gentleman who delivered a memorable address in Government Women’s College, Thiruvananthapuram, which contained sage advice on how to bring under control the unruly bodies of ungovernable women. After that I have been receiving unsigned letters from his admirers who feel that their innocent hero has been most unfairly criticized. Like the grumpy ground-lubber types who are either incapable of ascending or simply unable to climb coconut trees and do not appreciate the free services rendered by the chivalrous heroes high above, I have erred in judgment, they claim. Continue reading Class Feminism vs. Classy Feminism … Or, Everybody Loves the Governable Woman!