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Renowned Goddess of DesireWomen, Sex, and Speech in Tantra$
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Loriliai Biernacki

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327823

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327823.001.0001

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 How the Blue Goddess of Speech Turns Blue

 How the Blue Goddess of Speech Turns Blue

(p.131) 5 How the Blue Goddess of Speech Turns Blue
Renowned Goddess of Desire

Loriliai Biernacki (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the problem of violence toward women and the silencing of women through violence. Through a myth in the Great Blue Tantra (Bṭhannīla Tantra) this chapter examines a metaphorical enactment of violence towards women where the Blue Goddess of Speech is abducted by two demons. In this myth a metaphorical rape occurs where the Goddess of Speech is silenced and metaphorically defiled, registered through her loss of fair white skin. That it is the Goddess of Speech who loses her voice in the face of violence records a psychological acuity on the part of this text's author. This myth narratively makes transparent the links between violence and the loss of speech. How do men and women respond to violence towards women? In this case the myth's calm compassionate response offers a refiguring of the ability and stategies for speech for women as victims of male violence.

Keywords:   Hindu Goddesses, male violence, women in Tantra, rape, women's speech, speech and violence

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