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By Bryer, A., Herrin, J.

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Read Online or Download Iconoclasm: Papers given at the ninth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham, March 1975 PDF

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Additional resources for Iconoclasm: Papers given at the ninth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham, March 1975

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21 I have deliberately used the words 'possibility' and 'propensity' in the above discussion rather than ascribe to Indian women a widespread depressive pattern. In the first place, for the cultural devaluation of women to be translated into a pervasive psychological sense of worthlessness in individual women, parents' and other adults' behaviour and attitudes towards the infant girls in their midst-the actualities of family life-must be fully consistent with this female depreciation. Secondly, the internalization of low self-esteem also presupposes that girls and women have no sphere of their own, no independent livelihood and activity, no area of family and community responsibility and dominance, no living space apart from that of the men, within which to create and manifest those aspects of feminine identity that derive from intimacy and collaboration with other women.

Addressing as they do the unconscious wishes and fears of men, it is the parent-son rather than the parent-daughter relationship which becomes charged with symbolic significance. 9 These limitations are real enough, but they need not be forbidding. On the contrary, they challenge the psycho-analytic researcher to mine the existing material thoroughly and to construct an interpretive bridge for future work. There are, for example, in anthropological accounts, both a consistent indication of the marked preference for sons all over India, and at the same time, somewhat paradoxically, abundant allusion to the warmth, intimacy and relaxed affection of the mother-daughter bond.

L0 And in Maharashtra the girl, comparing herself to a white sweetscented jasmine (Jai) and the boy to a big,strong-smelling thorny leaf (kevada), plaintively asks: 'Did anyone notice the sweet fragrance of a jai? '16 Of course there are 'valid' ritual and economic reasons-we will come to the psychological ones later-for 'sexism' in Indian society. The presence of a son is absolutely necessary for the proper performance of many sacraments, especially those carried out upon the death of parents and imperative to the well-being of their souls.

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