By Asha Nadkarni
Asha Nadkarni contends that each time feminists lay declare to citizenship in accordance with women’s organic skill to “reproduce the nation” they're engaging in a eugenic project—sanctioning replica by means of a few and prohibiting it by way of others. utilizing quite a lot of resources from the U.S. and India, Nadkarni indicates how the exclusionary impulse of eugenics is embedded in the phrases of nationalist feminism.
Nadkarni finds connections among U.S. and Indian nationalist feminisms from the overdue 19th century in the course of the Seventies, demonstrating that either demand feminist citizenship headquartered at the reproductive physique because the starting place of the country. She juxtaposes U.S. and Indian feminists (and antifeminists) in provocative and effective methods: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s utopian novels
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Additional resources for Eugenic Feminism: Reproductive Nationalism in the United States and India
Planning documents may project imagined futures, but they are nonetheless constrained by practicalities that are absent in imaginative works. Gilman’s foray into utopian ﬁction, to the contrary, allows her to present a graphic illustration of the consequences of eugenic feminism; worlds in which raced, classed, and even gendered differences are utterly excised. S. feminism’s advance. S. S. feminism that measure their own freedom in contradistinction from various oppressed “other” women. 36 p e r f e c t i ng f e m i n i sm Primal Rapists and “Infuriated Virgins” Gilman’s 1900 work, Concerning Children, opens with a characteristic statement of her worldview: “According to our religious belief, the last, best work of God is the human race.
31 Gilman likens the marriage of “any man of a highly developed nation . . ” Cast 42 p e r f e c t i ng f e m i n i sm in Darwinian terms, the key to advancing the race is to allow women to assume their rightful places as sex selectors and resume their evolutionary advance. Furthermore, even if men have become more civilized than women over time, the fact remains that this process was spurred by an originary act of violence that must be read within the racial climate of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
At the same time, the WRPE contains a eugenic feminist impulse in the way it splits the “Women” of the title into subjects to be developed and those to do the developing. I trace the persistence of this split in the ﬁve-year plans. Focusing on how women appear (or do not appear) in the plans, I argue that women enter into development only in their roles as mothers or as victims in need of welfare measures. Against this backdrop, I take up Kamala Markandaya’s Nectar in a Sieve and Mehboob Khan’s Mother India to examine how both works refashion the icon “Mother India” into the ﬁgure of the self-sacriﬁcing peasant mother.
Eugenic Feminism: Reproductive Nationalism in the United States and India by Asha Nadkarni