chapter  3
16 Pages

Critical sexual theory and postcolonial studies

ByTulasi Acharya

This chapter explores two different frameworks – critical sexual theory and postcolonial studies – as being complementary for studying disability policies and narratives of women with disabilities. Critical sexual theory is presented as a critical theory substantiated by Michael Foucault’s “biopower” that means power over bodies. The chapter studies the techniques of “biopower,” including gender, sex, and disability, and how they are used to suppress and achieve the subjugation of human bodies. The understanding of critical sexual theory in this chapter helps inform the discourse on sex and gender in a South Asian context. This discourse ties into Foucault’s (1990) work on the history of sexuality in the West, transforming the understanding of sexual, erotic, and aesthetic pleasure and gender relations. Further, the importance of critical sexual theory to understanding the sexual lives of people with disabilities for their sexual freedom, emancipation, and quality of life is discussed. Similarly, postcolonial studies in this book comprise the academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism that focuses on the human consequences of the control and exploitation of colonized people and their lands (Said, 1979). It elaborates on Spivak’s (1988) concept of subaltern and marginalized people to understand the lives of women with disabilities from their own perspectives in their contexts. Thus, this chapter helps better understand and analyze literary works by women with disabilities in Nepal.