Eugenic Feminism: Reproductive Nationalism in the United by Asha Nadkarni

By Asha Nadkarni

Asha Nadkarni contends that each time feminists lay declare to citizenship in accordance with women’s organic skill to “reproduce the nation” they're engaging in a eugenic project—sanctioning replica by means of a few and prohibiting it via others. making use of quite a lot of assets from the us and India, Nadkarni indicates how the exclusionary impulse of eugenics is embedded in the phrases of nationalist feminism.

Nadkarni unearths connections among U.S. and Indian nationalist feminisms from the overdue 19th century during the Nineteen Seventies, demonstrating that either demand feminist citizenship founded at the reproductive physique because the beginning of the state. She juxtaposes U.S. and Indian feminists (and antifeminists) in provocative and effective methods: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s utopian novels

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Extra info for Eugenic Feminism: Reproductive Nationalism in the United States and India

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Although antifeminists of Gilman’s time argued that “the endeavor of women to perform . . 41 As her metaphor of the secreting gland implies, Gilman’s larger project in Women and Economics is not simply to argue that women should be fully participant in a male domain of production. 42 Gilman does not critique a sexist economy in favor of a gender-blind system that would allow women to become abstract and unsexed economic subjects as well as full-fledged producers; her point is to redefine production as reproduction.

S. readers and viewers consumed these works as paradigmatic articulations of the new Indian nation, suggesting that both works disarm the potentially destabilizing problem of “third world” development by offering India as a vision of the United States’ past. While chapter 4 looks at the post-independence consolidation of Indian identity both nationally and on the global stage, my fifth and final chapter examines eugenic feminism in a moment of national crisis: i n t roduc t ion 31 Indira Gandhi’s period of Emergency rule (1975–77).

4 Throughout Eugenic Feminism I will return to the interplay of utopia and eugenics, examining its mutation into the antidevelopmental, degenerative dystopia of Katherine Mayo’s Mother India in my third chapter, identifying it in Indian planning documents of the 1950s and 1960s in my fourth chapter, and investigating strains of utopian and dystopian thinking in representations of new reproductive technologies in my epilogue. I begin with utopia in its most classic form—the utopian novel—to argue that doing so helps illuminate the relationship between eugenics and utopia that is concealed by the generic limitations of the other kinds of utopian projects I consider.

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