The aesthetics of "everyday" violence: narratives of violence and Hindu right-wing women

Akanksha Mehta
2015 Critical Studies on Terrorism  
Right-wing' movements see significant participation by women, who espouse their exclusionary and violent politics while at the same time often, contest their patriarchal spaces. Women also serve as discursive and symbolic markers that regularly form the basis of the rhetoric, ideology, actions, and policies of the right wing. However, even as women's roles and politics within the right wing remain diverse and important, dominant feminist scholarship has had uneasy encounters with right wing
more » ... n, labeling them as monolithic pawns/victims/subjects of patriarchy with limited or no agency. This paper aims to question this notion by examining the aesthetics and visual and oral imagery appropriated, (re)constructed, transformed, and mediated by right-wing women. Based on ethnographic and visual research conducted in 2013-14 with women in the cultural nationalist Hindu rightwing project in India, I argue that right-wing women use a variety of visual and oral narratives (from images to story-telling) to negotiate with spatialities and carve out an independent 'feminine' discourses within the larger language of the right-wing. I also argue that these narratives are 'ritualized' and performed in various spaces and styles and remain crucial to the 'everyday' politics and violence of right-wing women. The 'everyday' politics of right-wing women often contest, subvert, and bargain with the patriarchal goals of the larger projects, rendering narratives as sites of examining agency. Using specific examples of visual and oral narratives from the aforementioned movement, this paper articulates how everyday violence is shaped by the aesthetics of the nation and the body and how these aesthetics shape everyday violence.
doi:10.1080/17539153.2015.1091656 fatcat:m37dkdd24vf3hfux35jujvpsxq