In her essay, "Sex Between Women and Indianness: Vulnerable Casted Bodies," Antonia Navarro-Tejero examines the lesbian experience, using two heterosexual voices representing the lesbian abject: Shobha Dé’s popular bestseller novel Strange Obsession (1992) and Karan Razdan’s Bollywood film Girlfriend (2004), as they espouse the dominant ideology of heteronormativity, rendering homosexuality as a western illness that taints the Indian culture. First, the author provides an overview of the history of lesbian desire in India, and how it is rendered by Hindu nationalists. Then, following the postulates of Michel Foucault, she analyzes both cultural texts with respect to how same-sex desire is represented in relation to religious morality. Both works deploy, and manipulate for dramatic effect, a repertoire of visual/textual stereotypes that have long been associated in misogynist and patriarchal imagination with perceptions of lesbian (Christian) women as sexually abject and heterosexual (Hindu) partners as victims of their insanity. She concludes that, because women’s sexuality is deployed in the services of reproducing the nation, lesbianism symbolizes a threat to the Hindu family.
"Sex Between Women and Indianness: Vulnerable Casted Bodies."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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