Much before the arrival of Western feminism in Nepal with its vocabulary of protest and polemics, the discourse of right and fight, Nepali women have had a long complex and ambivalent genealogy of protest in the genre of Tīj songs. However, such discourses have been rendered invisible by the dominant epistemology that derives its ideological sustenance from the Eurocentric and Enlightenment paradigm of knowledge production. The collusion of native patriarchy with the dominant epistemological system can be located in the absence of any systematic engagement with the Tīj songs in the indigenous academia. Through Nepali women’s complex and highly nuanced conceptualization of the māita (the parental home) and the ghar (the house where women get married into), the paper seeks to show how Nepali women problematize not only the Western construction of the silenced native subaltern, but also the erasure of Nepali women’s voice in the construction of ‘knowledge’ by the native patriarchy.
Presenting the Absence: A Contrapuntal Reading of the Māita in Nepali Tīj Songs.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 17(1), 39-61.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol17/iss1/4