Shivajinagar, Bangalore, 2006.
The day is not over yet, and I have to give you something before I step out.So I give you Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s version of
f e m i n i s m.
“Here is a bare-bones description of my own feminist vision : this is a vision of the world that is pro-sex and pro- woman, a world where men and women are free to live freely and create lives, in security with bodily health and integrity, where they are free to choose whom they love and whom they set up house with, and whether they want or not to have children, a world where pleasure rather than just duty and drudgery determine our choices, where free and imaginative exploration of the mind is a fundamental right; a vision in which economic stability, ecological sustainability, racial equality, and the redistribution of wealth form the material basis of people’s well-being.Finally my vision is one in which democratic and socialist practices and institutions provide the conditions for public participation and decision making for people regardless of economic and social location.In strategic terms this vision entails putting in place anti racist feminist and democratic principles of participation and relationality, and it means working on many fronts, in many different kinds of collectives in order to organise against repressive systems of rule.It also means being attentive to small as well as large struggles and processes that lead to radical change-not just working (or waiting) for a revolution.Thus everyday feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist practices are as important as larger, organised political movements.
Finally the critique of essentialist identity politics and the hegemony of postmodernist skepticism about identity has led to a narrowing of feminist politics and theory whereby either exclusionary and self-serving understandings of identity rule the day or identity (racial , class, sexual, national etc) is seen as unstable and thus merely ‘strategic’. Thus identity is seen as either naive or irrelevant rather than as a source of knowledge and a basis for progressive mobilisation.”
The world over, contemporary discourses science, media, women and the arts have begun to think about the body. This development has been due to womens studies and the deconstruction of rationalist enlightenment discourses, leading thought and thinkers away from the tight dichotomies of mind and body, physicality and intellect, thought and action…towards a praxis oriented research and analysis of human affairs and enquiry. I think that the time has come for us to move away from a mode of thinking where we see women as disempowered and gear our expressions towards terser, tastier and less tired territories. We are at a point where we’re capable of talking about this.