Queer feminism and India’s #MeToo
in Intimacy and injury
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This chapter focuses on concerns about the nature of the online discourse related to #MeToo in India. It draws upon interviews with ten feminists based in New Delhi, the majority of whom identified as queer. The concerns shared include the limits of the digital space with respect to enabling healing, the focus on retributive and not restitutive justice, aggression among feminists targeting those not ‘with us’ as being ‘against us’, and the lack of space for views outside of the binary. Concern was also expressed about how the discourse on consent did not recognise that desires can be messy, changeful and interact with power in very specific ways. The overarching concern was the perceived contradictions with feminism, including with queer feminism, which draw upon the experience with (in)justice experienced by queer people. The analysis of responses undertaken in the chapter draws upon Lacanian psychoanalysis. The possibilities explored include how the binary nature of the digital space might serve the (collective) psyche’s need for certainty, particularly given the messy nature of our desires. There is also an exploration of whether narcissism might help understand the online aggression among feminists, helped by the possibility offered by the digital to create private/public conclaves of those who think exactly like us. Might it also be that the ideology of feminism gives us permission to break prohibitions against online aggression and that at the intersection of permission and prohibition lies the erotic charge of jouissance?

Intimacy and injury

In the wake of #MeToo in India and South Africa

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