WOMEN, MEN, AND IMPURITY
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WOMEN, MEN, AND IMPURITY book
FEMALE SEXUALITY AND POLLUTION To be in a state of impurity means that one has been exposed to pollu tion or has been involved in sexual activity. Culturally and religiously, South Asian women are represented as excelling at both, which al lows men to claim purity for themselves. The very nature of this dis course endows men with purity in that it focuses on women, not men, or if men are the subject it is as victims of women’s sexuality or pollu tion. In contrast to the exploration of women’s auspiciousness in pre vious chapters, what follows are these two very different but equally important themes in the lives of South Asian women. As we shall see, fantasies about women’s voracious sexual appetites and perceptions of female pollution are the reverse side of the female coin.