ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Images of the Body and Sexuality in Women s Narratives on Oppression in the Home

Narratives on Oppression in the Home Meenakshi Thapan Based on in-depth interviews with middle and upper class women in New Delhi, this paper examines the relationship between women's experiences of physical violence and psychological oppression in the home and their perceptions of their bodies and sexuality. The female body is viewed as no more than a 'body-far-others ', culturally constructed through media images and through women's internalisation of the gaze of the other. Thus what these women often experience as oppression is related to the denigration of a body-image and sexual identity. In conclusion, the author poses some questions regarding the possibilities of an autonomous femininity that would in fact enable these women to be free of the oppressive gaze.

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