Subverting Patriarchy through Celibacy, Renunciation, and Ritual Performance: The Kanyas of Sakori Ashram in India
Drawing from fieldwork with a Hindu women renunciants’ group based in Sakori, a small village in western India, the author shows how their practices of celibacy, renunciation, and ritual performance represent a distinct kind of feminism. Pandya describes their way of life as a challenge to dominant patriarchal norms, specifically, cultural timetables set for women and male hegemony in religion. Moreover, Sakori kanyas’ practices are feminist performances insofar as they reflect individual or communal goals and inculcate an enabling discipline that has social ramifications for the distribution of power and effects on the worldviews of those with whom they come into contact.
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