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Contradictory LivesBaul Women in India and Bangladesh$
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Lisa I. Knight

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199773541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773541.001.0001

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“I’ve Done Nothing Wrong”

“I’ve Done Nothing Wrong”

Feminine Respectability and Baul Expectations

(p.55) 3 “I’ve Done Nothing Wrong”
Contradictory Lives

Lisa I. Knight

Oxford University Press

Baul women are caught between having to meet the expectations of potential sponsors, who seek Bauls who act unencumbered (as described in Chapter 2), and the expectations of neighboring non-Baul community members, who view such Baul behavior as antithetical to the good Bengali wife and mother (the focus of this chapter). Chapter 3 looks specifically at how Baul women describe patriarchal discourses of feminine respectability, paying particular attention to the ways in which Baul women compare their own lives and behaviors with those of their neighbors. It also compares gendered norms and expectations with Baul discourses about the value and respect due women.

Keywords:   Baul women, gender, feminine respectability, reputation, shame, honor, purdah

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