Feminist Review

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 36–53

gendered embodiments: mapping the body-politic of the raped woman and the nation in Bangladesh

  • Nayanika Mookherjee

DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.fr.9400388

Cite this article as:
Mookherjee, N. Fem Rev (2008) 88: 36. doi:10.1057/palgrave.fr.9400388


There has been much academic work outlining the complex links between women and the nation. Women provide legitimacy to the political projects of the nation in particular social and historical contexts. This article focuses on the gendered symbolization of the nation through the rhetoric of the ‘motherland’ and the manipulation of this rhetoric in the context of national struggle in Bangladesh. I show the ways in which the visual representation of this ‘motherland’ as fertile countryside, and its idealization primarily through rural landscapes has enabled a crystallization of essentialist gender roles for women. This article is particularly interested in how these images had to be reconciled with the subjectivities of women raped during the Bangladesh Liberation War (Muktijuddho) and the role of the aestheticizing sensibilities of Bangladesh's middle class in that process.


sexual violenceBangladesh waraestheticsmotherhoodlandscape

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© Feminist Review Ltd 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nayanika Mookherjee

There are no affiliations available