ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Subliminal Violence on Women’s Sexuality in India


Saha Aritra - GITAM, Department of English, Bengaluru, India


21- Panel Title: Violence against women in South Asian countries


 I analyze the fictional narratives of Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, Ira Trivedi, and Madhuri Banerjee. They are contemporary feminist writers from India. I choose narratives that explicitly talk about the sexuality of urban women in India. In this paper, I aim to analyze the subliminal violence that women in India go through via their cultural upbringing. Violence should be theorized beyond physical or mental harm. Perpetuating a lack of knowledge about one’s body should be considered violence. Lack of control over one’s body is violent as it leaves one with a fractured idea of the self. Then the self becomes a vulnerable entity that seems to be a threat to itself. Such an idea of the self is negative and a product of subliminal violence. Indian women are forced to maintain a lack of knowledge of their bodies and sexuality. This is a form of violence. Cultural agencies force them to remain powerless when it comes to their bodies. Women of “good characters” are not supposed to know about their sexual desires; they are not likely to experience orgasms or feel sexual pleasure. Indian women from all sections of society are entering the workforce; they are financially independent and becoming vocal about their choices. However, they are still subjected to subliminal violence. I aim to analyze subliminal violence on sexuality from narratives by Kundu, Trivedi, and Banerjee.