Hysteric Sexuality, Prostitution and Womanhood in Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin

Shikha Thakur1 & Dr. Meenakshi F.Paul2

1Assistant Professor, Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, Pb. Email:

 2Professor of English, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, H.P.

Volume 2, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

Article DOI:  10.21659/bp.v2n1.02


The paper aims at questioning the conventionally established sexuality of woman in Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin (2000). Plausibly, it lays bare female protagonist’s (Mary) subversion of gender roles, her transgression of boundaries for the reclamation of her dreams and dignity, and the demand for reparation from her for disallowing them. Mary subverts the othered identity imposed upon her by patriarchy, which is conflated with capitalism that identifies her as sacrificial, feeble, and acquiescent. She redefines prostitution as a weapon for acquiring a subject from a treaty of object. To reclaim her autonomous identity, Mary uses her innate intelligence and quick-wittedness, with parody, hysteria, and sexuality to assert her uniqueness and to subvert patriarchy. This in turn, aids Mary to affirm herself as an individual and also to redefine her personhood, vis-a-vis her gender role, social space, and relationships. Reparation is posited with Mary’s trial and hanging, which uncover the embedded biases and injustices in English society of the Enlightenment. The end enforces upon society the need to restructure itself and make reparations for the unjustness that subjected Mary, as vulnerable women were and still are, to homelessness, sexual assault, poverty, desperation, and murder; all merely for her wish to have a better life.

Keywords: gender roles, transgression, object, prostitution, othered, subject, hysteria, sexuality, reclaim, patriarchy, Reparation, personhood, vulnerable women.

Interconnectivity of Marriage, Sexuality and Streedharma: Reflections through the Minor Female Characters of the Mahabharata

Praggnaparamita Biswas

Asiatic Society, Kolkata. Email:

    Volume 1, Number 3, 2016 I Full Text PDF

Article DOI:  10.21659/bp.v1n3.s207


Mahabharata, the outstanding sacred text of India, is a preamble to the Indian social philosophy. This prehensile text encompasses all sorts of contemporary feminist agendas like gender discrimination, sexuality, female body politics, women disposition, marriage, kinship and so on. Dharma, being the focal point of Mahabharata, acts as a catalyst in outlining the epical structure of this sacred text. Anthropological elements like marriage, sexuality, lineage, motherhood etc. somehow maintain interlink with dharma, particularly with the streedharma. Thus, the symbiotic relationship of sexuality, marriage and streedharma helps in formulating the code of conduct for women of that era. The present paper intends to analyze the aforementioned anthropological issues through the lives of minor female characters who by dint of their courage and dedication change the track of the epic. Though the epical minor females are somehow nugatory or unrecognized due to politics of gender politics, but they are the most viable for situational decision of royal as well as epical design. Therefore this paper tries to justify their strong epical presence and hidden epical politics bestow upon them.

 Key words: Sexuality, Streedharma, Gender politics, Polyandry, Niyoga pratha, Reproductivity.

In the Name of Religion: Sexuality and Taboo in Salman Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown

Marcel Ebliylu Nyanchi

St. Peter Chanel Marist Major Seminary, Cameroon

Vol. 1, No. 1, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/bp.v1n1.08


This paper examines socio-cultural and political interpretations of rape, love and sex in Shalimar the Clown to assess whether taboos on these practices in Kashmir are based on cultural and religious laws or are attempts by fundamentalists to re-colonize existing cultural and religious jurisprudences. I interrogate the orchestration of sexual violence through extremist Islamic doctrines like ‘Sharia,’ ‘Hudood’ and ‘Zina’ Ordinances, and ‘Honour Killing’ arguing that religious criminality transcends geopolitical and philosophical spaces. Through taboos on rape, love and sex, Rushdie satirizes the byzantine passion governing the quest for ecstasy in men, and its resultant effects of frigidity in women. Furthermore, the novel valorizes female sexual virility, because fundamentalist superstructures ironically groom sexually weak men, thereby impeding social conviviality. By satirizing taboos on domestic and social metamorphoses, Rushdie interrogates the place of fundamentalist ideology within contemporary world geopolitics. His valorisation of love and sex, suggest that they constitute immutable foundations on which societies should be founded.

Keywords: Religion, sexuality, violence, virility, taboos, geopolitics, fundamentalism.