Soraya Nulliah: The West’s View of India’s Female Gendercide is Sometimes Racist!
In regards to the western response… [to India’s female gendercide] I think there are a few factors at work.
Indians in the west, even the feminists and scholars, don’t speak out about the violence in their families and communities.There is such deep denial.
I also think that Western feminists don’t really grasp the issue, because the Indian female genocide is subversive, invisible and cloaked in the most insane form of denial. I think it’s almost impossible to grasp the numbers, the inhumanity and the insanity of it all.
Those from the west who know of it are perhaps hoping for some magical way to stop this because to accept the reality is too frightening.
I think there is also an element of racism and colonialism when it comes to viewing violence against women in other cultures. The western view of the female gendercide in India is that it is a “cultural’ issue and not a human rights one. For some reason we can all agree that Auschwitz and Rwanda are a human rights violation but when genocide is gender base, people seem to think otherwise. This points to the fact that, regardless of what we may say in the west, female lives simply aren’t as valuable as males’. And when those female lives are not white then they are perhaps of even less value – so misogyny gets compounded with racism.
Soraya Nulliah is an Indo-Canadian, feminist artist who uses her art as a medium to raise awareness about pervasive violence on women and girls within Indian communities in the west. In 2006, her solo-exhibition Shakti was held at the Nina Haggerty Centre in Edmonton, Canada. You can read our earlier interview with her here. Her website is www.sorayanulliah.com and she tweets @sorayanulliah