Journal article / Gender Politics in Women’s Magazines in Early 20th-Century Kerala

Vinayan, Sruthi, and Merin Simi Raj. ‘The Politics of Representation and the “Ideal Malayalee Woman”: Remembering Malayalam Women’s Magazines of the Early 20th-century Kerala, South India’. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Published ahead of print, 15 February 2019.

Abstract: This article analyses the early-20th-century Malayalam women’s magazines of Kerala in terms of their politics of representation. These magazines emerged at a time when Kerala was on the cusp of modernity and catered to Malayalee women with the aim of transforming them into ‘ideal gendered selves’.

However, the contributions of these magazines, managed and edited mostly by the early feminists of Kerala, are seldom acknowledged or remembered within the larger discourse of Kerala’s colonial modernity.

The magazines can be viewed as principal sites which recorded the responses of the emergent modern Malayalee community, particularly its women, to the notion of the ‘ideal Malayalee woman’.

This article explores the entrenched patriarchal ideology and caste–class nexus that informed the content of these publications, and reveals the politics inherent in their seemingly apolitical stance.

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Reposted from Kerala Studies eGroup

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