Category Sexualities

Harlot or Heroine?

Abstract: This article from Malayalam, July 2005 seeks to vindicate/exonerate Thathri of all the accusations labeling her as a whore and a seducer. It makes an attempt to locate and validate the true motives that may have driven Thathri to execute her elaborate scheme. V. T. Bhattathirippad assumes that it is not lust or the greed for wealth that instigated her, but her strong desire to protest against the grossly unfair patriarchal system of her days when woman was reduced to insignificance, into a mere Sadhanam. In fact, V.T. suggests that, in truth, Thathri is the torch-bearer of the various reform movements that were soon to follow within the Namboothiri community. Many a murderer and a bandit have turned heroes with the passage of time. The writer argues in favour of Thathri being recognised as a Renaissance heroine instead of a harlot. Many a person accused of crimes has later turned great heroes, but Thathri has no redemption in sight.

Memoir and the Erotic: A Reading of Atmakathaikku oru Aamugham (Preface to an Autobiography)and Antharjanam: Memoirs of a Namboodiri Woman

Abstract: The articulation of sexuality within the malayala brahmana community is interspersed with the narrative representation of it in memoirs. Memories of everyday inconspicuousness of the Antherjanam considered “asuryampashyakal”, their semantics of appearance, elaborate ritualistic seclusion (ghosha) within the confines…

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