Thursday, 1 December 2011

Spivak's permanently menstruating subaltern.

Spivak, in her chatty style, tells us her great aunty hanged herself while menstruating. Spivak provides a seemingly culture specific, ‘emic’ explanation (Bengali 'revolutionaries were randy little buggers, so Aunty hanged herself while on the rag so as to show she wasn't preggers). However, in reality, Spivak is giving an ‘etic’ meta-explanation because the mention of menstruation alerts the emic that something etic is going on- territory is being marked- though in fact something monstrous is being conceived by what with dark blood was washed away.
Recall,  Spivak started as a Yeats scholar and is subaltern to Kali worshipping Saktas.

This is Spivak quoted on Wikipedia (she should sue)- 
'subaltern is not just a classy word for oppressed, for Other, for somebody who's not getting a piece of the pie....In postcolonial terms, everything that has limited or no access to the cultural imperialism is subaltern-—a space of difference. Now who would say that's just the oppressed? The working class is oppressed. It's not subaltern....Many people want to claim subalternity. They are the least interesting and the most dangerous. I mean, just by being a discriminated-against minority on the university campus, they don't need the word 'subaltern'...They should see what the mechanics of the discrimination are. They're within the hegemonic discourse wanting a piece of the pie and not being allowed, so let them speak, use the hegemonic discourse. They should not call themselves subaltern.[3]'

Trotsky spoke of Permanent Revolution. What we need today is Permanent Menstruation. The very word proletariat means those who serve the state only by making babies, not husbanding land or earning profits.
Occupy Wall Street and make its gutters overflow with your menstrual blood.

As Lal Salaam, wrote-
 kya ro'en hum mahbas-e-matlab-e-gurez-e-kalam
ki kiya woh haiz ke lattay ko inquilabi alam
Since used tampons as red banners have risen
May this lyric elude lucidity's prison

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