The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971
“My Own Imagination in My Own Body”: Embodied Transgressions in the Everyday
2015. "“My Own Imagination in My Own Body”: Embodied Transgressions in the Everyday", The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971, Nayanika Mookherjee
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This chapter ethnographically explores trauma, which—following medical and psychiatric formulations—is comprehended as a returning and repetitive wound. Instead, the chapter examines the varied embodied connotations of trauma embedded in everyday sociality: the body, the economy, and the home. This shows that trauma is relational and socially conditioned. Fragmented talk, imagery, and bodily sensations are the women’s ways of showing the inexpressibility of violence. The chapter also explores the interrelationship of the women with their husbands, and the conceptualization of the latter’s masculinity. Debates on masculinity help us explore the concrete constraints that reveal and define the blueprint of “patriarchal bargaining” in any given society, which may exhibit variations according to class, caste, and ethnicity, here undertaken by the birangonas and their families. While the women comb/hide the events of 1971 and the intricacies of demasculinization, they also comb/search for their experiences by means of fragments.