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The “power of silence”

Spirituality and women's agency beyond the Catholic Church in Poland

Agnieszka Kościańska

This article looks at various models of women's agency in Poland in the context of religion. Based on fieldwork among members of two feminized religious milieus—a new religious movement the Brahma Kumaris and an informal Catholic fundamentalist group—this article discusses the role of silence in ritual and everyday life as a form of agency. From the perspective of feminist discourse, particularly Western liberal feminism, silence is often interpreted as a lack of power. Drawing on informants' experiences, under Polish gender regimes, particularly as they relate to the organization of public and private spheres, silence is shown to be a fundamental component of agency. The analysis of silence displays the complexity of religious issues in Poland and serves as a critique of assumptions about religious homogeneity and the pervasiveness of religious authority in Poland.

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Defying Death

Women's Experience of the Holodomor, 1932–1933

Oksana Kis

Although the tragedy of the Holodomor (the Great Famine) of 1932 and 1933 figures prominently in public discourse and historical scholarship in Ukraine today, its gender dimension has not yet been examined. This article is based on an analysis of personal narratives of female survivors of the Holodomor, collected and published in Ukraine since the 1990s until now. It focuses on the peculiarities of women's experience of the Holodomor and explores women's strategies of resistance and survival in the harsh circumstances of genocide. It exposes a spectrum of women's agency at the grassroots and illuminates controversies around women's ways of coping with starvation. The article also discusses the methodological challenges and ethical issues faced by a Ukrainian female scholar studying women's experiences of famine.

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"Et Plus Si Affinités"

Malagasy Marriage, Shifting Post-Colonial Hierarchies, and Policing New Boundaries

Jennifer Cole

In 1999 and 2004, a debate exploded within the Malagasy expatriate community in France after Et Plus Si Affinités, a realist style documentary about arranged marriage between Malagasy women and French men, aired on local television. The series chronicled the adventures of three French bachelors who went to Madagascar to find brides. In this article, I use the reactions to Et Plus Si Affinités as a lens through which to examine changes in Malagasy sexual relations as they are inflected by relations between different ethnic groups in Madagascar, particularly how different groups have historically approached sexual and marital relationships between Malagasy women and French men. Drawing on this case study, I argue that studies of transnational arranged marriage need to attend more closely first to historical representations and the way they figure into transnational marriage, and second to how circulating representations mediate women's agency and their ability to achieve their goals.

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Jasmyn Galley

them into sweaty, sexualized spectacles that are both alluring and repulsive. Throughout Dry Lips , Highway depicts a male-dominated society that largely denies its women agency and power. When Creature Nataways finds out about the all-female hockey

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Trying on the Veil

Sexual Autonomy and the End of the French Republic in Michel Houellebecq’s Submission

Seth Armus

Submission this is simply gone, and the reduction of women to mere sexual utility takes on heartbreaking dimensions. Of course, Houellebecq has not necessarily changed his stripes. While the author restrains his misogyny, he never quite grants women agency

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Hollis Moore

viewed as ‘women's agency’ ( Wardlow 2006 ) or, more specifically, a feminized form of black agency. Evidence of insurgent safety challenges the idea that carceral security or mimetic safety-as-absence approaches are necessary preconditions of social

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Whitney Walton

paragraph often costs me weeks, months of research.” 16 As I have argued elsewhere, Barine deployed history to celebrate (mostly French) women's agency, influence, and femininity. 17 Although Barine rarely used the term “New Woman,” she frequently invoked