This weekend saw National Coming Out Day celebrated in the US and the UK. There’s so many posts on this floating around, it’d be impossible to link everything – but Sinclair’s at Sugarbutch Chronicles is a must read:
Like Jesse James quotes from Audre Lorde: “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
Don’t get eaten alive. Define yourself, create yourself, re-create yourself, play. Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Meanwhile, Shilpa Phadke delivers a lesson in Indian Feminism 101, in response to this book review in the International Herald Tribune:
The granting of universal adult franchise and constitutional equality to women and men simultaneously in India in 1951 was not only a ripple effect of suffragette movements in the West but also reflected the social reform movement in the country and the presence of articulate women in the struggle for independence from colonial rule.
It was in the 1970s that a nationwide women’s movement came together to reform the laws on rape. This followed numerous, disparate feminist battles in various parts of the country. In the 1980s, the women’s movement addressed issues of dowry, sati, female foeticide and domestic violence, targeting not just the law but attacking the patriarchal ideologies that underpinned institutions. In the 1990s and 21st century, the movement grapples with questions of sexual harassment and sexual desire, globalisation and beauty contests, nuclearisation and Hindu right-wing pogroms, as well as the questions of post feminism that the writer assumes are the only relevant ones.
Indian feminism- yes, there is such a thing-is a complex, multifaceted animal that is not a replica of the west but one born of a unique context. It encompasses many women and a reasonably large number of men who often disagree vociferously with each other in person and in print. This Indian feminism defies definition. It struggles not just with concerns of gender but also with those of class, caste and religion.
The writer appears completely in the dark about the various demonstrations that women have been part of on issues of gender. He also seems to have completely missed the times that the women’s movement has marched with environmentalists, workers, and most recently, queer rights activists.
And Feministing has something to say about complaints that Sarah Palin’s face was not airbrushed on the cover of a magazine.
And, finally, Kate Belgrave posted a photo-essay on the push to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland.