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Gender and Early Writings of Malayali Women, 1898–1938

Edited by:
  • J. Devika - Professor, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram

August 2021 | 232 pages | SAGE Stree
‘Texts that Dazzle.’
V. Geetha, Foreword

Translated for the first time into English, these 29 pieces of early writings of Malayali women (1898–1938)—Nambutiris, Nairs, Ezhavas, Syrian Christians and two Muslims—who had access to education, reveal the vigorous debate over modern gender relations that was taking place. Women reflected on what was ‘Womanly’ and on education, duties, vocation and civil roles—an ongoing discussion, first influenced by reformism and later by nationalist and communist ideas. In her new Preface for this reprint, author talks of how the collection offers many genealogies for Malayali feminism, making it both local and cosmopolitan. Indeed, this genealogy enables us to address many of the challenges that mainstream feminism in India now faces, for example, that of developing intersectional analyses of patriarchal oppression.

Taken together, these pieces are efforts to define, in their unique ways, ‘women’s perspectives’ as specifically oppositional standpoints. Many are replies, rejoinders and responses to male public figures who claimed to speak on behalf of a ‘general good’, especially of women.

Foreword by V. Geetha
Preface to the Second Edition
N. A. Amma
The Demerits of Female Education: A Refutation (1898)
K. Lakshmy Amma
Manly Duty (1906)
Manntaraveetil Lakshmy Amma
An Account of My Life and My Home-Making (1907)
K. P. M.
Are Women Weak? (1907)
K. Chinnamma
The Place of Women in Education’ (1912)
C. P. Kalyani Amma
The Craze for Imitation (1915)
Mrs. K. Kannan Menon
Modern Women and Their Husbands: A Rejoinder (1915-16)
K. M. Kunhulakshmy Kettilamma
Literature and Womankind (1915)
Womanliness (1915-16)
B. Pachi Amma
Women and Freedom – Part I (1921)
K. Padmavaty Amma
Malayalee Marriage Modified (1923)
V. K. Chinnammalu Amma
The Place of Women in Society (1924)
Vatakkecharuvil P. K. Kalyani
An Appeal to the Hindu Women of Keralam (1924)
Konniyoor K. Meenakshi Amma
Nair Women and the Home (1924)
Tottaikkattu Madhavi Amma
A Reply (1925)
Mrs. I. C. Chacko
Our Women (1927)
K. Mary Thomas
Women’s Independence (1927)
Will Not Women Awake? (1927-28)
Anna Chandy
On Women’s Liberation (1929)
E. Narayanikutty Amma
Women and Khadar (1930)
B. Bhageeraty Amma
Women and Literature (1931)
Parvaty Nenminimangalam
Womanliness (1933)
Devaki Narikkattiri
Women Should Not Abandon the Kitchen (1933)
Pennammabhayi, Chambakkulam
Our Economic Position and Women (1933)
Parvaty Ayyappan
On Womanly Duty (1935)
Womenfolk and Reform: Matters Necessary and Unnecessary’ (1936)
Ayesha Mayan
Our Duty (1938)
M. Haleema Beevi
Welcome Speech (1938)
Kochattil Kalyanikutty Amma
Some Obstacles in the Way of Equality between the Sexes (1938)
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ISBN: 9789381345672