Contents - New Woman: Then and Now (Issue 47)
Posts tagged ‘Women in India’
By Priyanka Chatterjee and Sanchayita Paul Chakraborty
‘New woman’ is to be moved out of the pages of the literary, out of the cold storage of academic ambitions and is to be experienced, while opening up its possibilities of extension beyond knowable grounds. As the concept moves through a continuous process of evolution, we are extremely thankful to all our contributors for being a part of this journey of conferring meanings and perspectives to understand the malleable frames of ‘new woman’.
By Pritha Kundu
The ‘new woman’ in Anglo-American literature is a character-type corresponding to the topical cause of women’s emancipation in society, whereas Vasantasenā is sui generis as an individual character, who is both traditional and unconventionally dynamic at the same time.
By Bikash Chandra Mandal
The “New Women” distinct from the dominant construct of the “New Woman” in their new roles, who were conscious about their individuality deconstructing the patriarchy to reconstruct and affirm their individual female subjectivity. They tried to project their womanhood in their own individual way. They sought to construct their own female subjectivity beyond the space of patriarchal hegemony and resisted the patriarchal formulations to create their own version of self-freedom.
By Anuparna Mukherjee
This essay explores the discursive category, “new women”, in a more restricted and localized context to speak about those whose contribution does not lie in revolutionizing the public world, but in the silent assertion to stand their ground within the inner domain of their homes as a way of resisting the debacle of Partition. It delves into the journey of the unnamed protagonist within the textual space of Hasan Ajijul Huq’s novel, Agun Pakhi (The Bird of Fire), to talk about a rural housewife whose life, like several others, was suddenly catapulted by the Partition.
By Ismat Chughtai
From her rebellious insistence to attend school at Aligarh and later earning her B.A. degree at the Isabella Thoburn College in Lucknow, to taking up the principalship of a girls’ school in Bareilly, choosing her own profession, and then falling in love and marrying the person of her choice and being banned and persecuted for some of her provocative writing, Chughtai courageously took on the Muslim prejudices and attitudes of her time towards female education, space and work, both at home and society at large, always carving out her own space, and being recognized for it.
By Nandita Dutta
In a poster of the popular 2012 film English Vinglish, the protagonist, Shashi, appears against the New York skyline with a resolute look on her face. She has been photographed and frozen amid a stride – a meaningful one, as opposed to loitering – with a Starbucks coffee in her hand, bestowing on her a modern and professional look.
By Madhubrata Bhattacharyya
Charulata (1964) and Mahangar (1963) are both films centering on striking female characters. They are both predicated upon instances of ruptured domesticity. Temporally disparate in their settings as they may be, they both represent a time when traditional ideals of femininity are undergoing transformation. However, unlike popular discourse that would place the brunt of this disrupted domesticity upon women – particularly, the modernized “New” Woman – Ray depicts the complex social processes that lead to such a change.
By Amarinder Gill
The slow rise of the new woman seems to be initiated by Mother India (1957), where Nargis is the poor mother raising two sons, while her husband is a helpless weakling who does a quick disappearing act. She is the sacrificing mother who ultimately kills her own son as he tries to abduct the daughter of the moneylender Sukhilala.
By Priyanka Chatterjee
Trying to claim the ‘new’, women are always confronted by the threatening silhouette of the ‘old’, which devises alternative modes of operation to become assimilated. Is discarding the old an only way to acclaim newness? Is it possible to leave the old behind, against which we define the new?