Seeing like a feminist: Nivedita Menon


This is a must-read-book for everyone, irrespective of whether they are feminists or not. Nivedita Menon is a well known feminist thinker and teaches political thought  at the International Studies School of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. ‘Seeing like a feminist’, released in the year 2012, is a collection of essays on topics like family, body, desire, sexual violence, feminists and  women and victimisation of women. The extensive research that the author has done for this book is commendable. Nivedita Menon is easily able to articulate her thoughts and arguments which allows a reader to proceed without any hinderance or difficulty. Nivedita Menon is able to maintain a balance in her arguments even while taking a strong position. She has analysed the prevailing situations in our country, particularly in sex selection, abortion and assisted reproductive techniques, in an unbiased and unprejudiced way. The question whether the fetus inside  a mother’s womb or the mother herself has a right to decide about the fate of the fetus, has always haunted me, especially after coming to Genetics. This book has put an end to that debate in my mind. The writer, with her powerful arguments, has convinced me finally that “Children are seen in the abstract as national resources but concretely, under the present sexual division of labour, must be taken care of on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute basis by their mothers. Under such circumstances, I think the host body of the mother acquires the right to decide its fate.”


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