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Professor Nitya Rao's new blog post for Gender and Society

DEV's Professor Nitya Rao has written an blog post for Gender and Society based on her article 'Marriage, Violence and Choice: Understanding Dalit Women’s Agency in Rural Tamil Nadu'. The blog post can be found here and the original article can be found here


The literature on Dalit women largely deals with issues of violence and oppression based on intersections of class, caste, and gender. Women’s bodies, sexuality, and reproductive choices are linked to the ideological hegemony of the caste–gender nexus in India, with marriage and sexual relations playing crucial roles in maintaining caste boundaries. Often, the ways in which women manipulate their multiple, interlinked identities as women, Dalits, workers, and homemakers to resist control over their bodies (labor and sexuality), negotiate conjugal loyalty and love, and construct a sense of selfhood is missed in the analyses. Based on research in rural Tamil Nadu, I analyze Dalit women’s narratives that reflect multiple concerns and dilemmas about marital choice and violence, generating in the process a deeper understanding of agency, voice, and gender relations, as fluid, dynamic, and intersecting in response to changing experiences, positionalities, and subjectivities.