Sexual Violence and the Politics of Naming

Srila Roy

in Remembering Revolution

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780198081722
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082223 | DOI:
Sexual Violence and the Politics of Naming

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This chapter returns to the memory of the underground and the shelter to engage with women’s testimonies of sexual and domestic violence, and the politics of current remembrance, especially within a wider context of naming and silencing such forms of violence. Drawing on women’s oral and written testimonies, the first part details the kinds of threats that women encountered in normatively ‘safe’ spaces at the hands of their ‘own’ comrades. The chapter details the manner in which the Party responded—or not—to rape and other sexual offences. Women’s (and men’s) negotiations of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ violence, explored in the second part of the chapter, are revelatory of their conflicting identifications with forms of heroic identity, idealized masculinity, and class. This chapter brings out the full costs and consequences of composing masculine cultural imageries through a repudiation of the feminine.

Keywords: Sexual violence; Domestic violence; Adjudicating rape; Masculinity and violence; Identification; Memory and silence

Chapter.  11512 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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