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My Women’s Studies Journey

Maithreyi Krishnaraj

Chapter 2 in A Journey into Women’s Studies, 2014, pp 28-40 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract My entry into women’s studies was in a way fortuitous but the result actually of an unseen hand propelling me towards it. This unseen hand was my self-reflective observation of women’s lives within my family and the way it fostered a latent feminism within me. It is the combination of personal experience, study of feminist literature much later and reading about the history of our foremothers like the women of the nineteenth-century struggle for liberation that pushed me formally into women’s studies. However, there were precedents which prepared the ground for this. I had occasion to live with my mother’s family off and on. In those days, children were often left with relatives if the parents were away. My mother had a difficult time in her in-law’s house. As a child, I was shuttled between my maternal and paternal grandparents. I witnessed my mother’s suffering. At my maternal grandmother’s house there were stories of child widows, visible signs of strict enforcement of Brahmin customs in the way my grandaunts lived, and the austerities that widows had to bear. My great grandmother was always in white, had her head tonsured, ate frugally and could not participate in any ceremonies. My grandmother’s young sister was a virgin widow. My maternal grandmother had ten children and so also did my paternal grandmother.

Keywords: United Nations; International Labour Orga; National Sample Survey; Sexual Division; Political Weekly (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1057/9781137395740_3

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