26 September, 2020

Sex And Stereotypes

Tracing feminine sexuality and gender identity in an Indian context

Sex And Stereotypes
One could say that when a gathering of sociologists, historians, political scientists, psychologists, literary theorists, a medical doctor and activists discuss the theme of female embodiment, it makes for an exciting and stimulating read. One could also say that not only eclectic but wildly different focus, treatment, methodology, theoretical proclivities and, above all, differing disciplinary traditions and their source materials makes for a highly frustrating book to review. Frankly, this book is both.

First, the presentations I enjoyed: Patricia Uberoi's analysis of the podoerotics and podosemiotics of Guru Dutt's film, Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam as an entry into interpreting the film's message and the problematics that popular cinema addresses. Meenakshi Thapan's interviews with middle and upper class women in Delhi as the conduit for understanding the cultural underpinnings of femininity which flowed from women's perceptions of sexuality. S. Niranjana's working out of the notion of the female body as 'situated' in space, time and culture, i.e., the modes in which...



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