Kamala Das’s An Introduction : a Feminist Reading Essay

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Kamala Das, the celebrated Indo-English poetess is a feminist to the core; An Introduction is her masterpiece in the sense, here she celebrates the needs of woman: biological and psychological in a style that is disarmingly frank and candid. ONV Kurup, a Malayalam poet of renown, holds that it is ‘an autobiography epitomised in a few words’. Here he perceives the naked beauty of truth. The poetess is a feminist in the sense Rosaline Delmar views:

At the least a feminist is someone who holds that women suffer discrimination of their sex, that they have specific needs which remain negated and unsatisfied, and that the satisfaction of these needs would require a radical change in the social, economic and political order.

An Introduction voices the longing and complaint of a woman who represents all women and she complains against Man who represents every man.
Some feminists insist upopn the primacy of biological sex, that is the distinction between female and male, as the explanation for the oppression of women - that the fundamentally different experiences of women and men in reproducing the species has been used as the motive for perpetuating inequalities between the sexes; on this view, unless these experiences are transformed, women will continue to be subordinate to men... Other feminists focus not upon biological sex but rather upon the ways in which societies construct gendered, i.e. feminine and masculine, roles to explain differences in the life-changes of women and men. Here the focus is on the cultural meanings attached tothe rules learned by children of either sex and which society considers appropriate for women and men. This distinction between the political significance of sex and gender informs much of the debate among feminists.

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