Defending Frivolous Fun: Feminist Acts of Claiming Public Spaces in South Asia

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Abstract

Can fun be a serious politics in feminist struggles? That is the question that animates this paper. While claims for the economic and political participation of women have gained increasing legitimacy, the demand for fun may often be seen not just as frivolous, but also as undermining the seriousness of the feminist project itself. The paper engages with three feminist campaigns, two in India and one in Pakistan, that assert women’s rights to occupy the public for fun. The paper refutes critiques that suggest that feminist campaigns to claim public space in the city are illustrative of neo-liberal subjecthood and reflect the birth of new entrepreneurial selves. It also reflects on contemporary feminist debates in India around what counts as feminist, arguing that claims for fun might in fact be central to a feminist politics in the twenty-first century.

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Phadke, S. (2020). Defending Frivolous Fun: Feminist Acts of Claiming Public Spaces in South Asia. South Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies, 43(2), 281–293. https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2020.1703245

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