About the BookIs the language of rights enough to foster real social and political change? Nivedita Menon explores the relationship between law and feminist politics by examining the contemporary Indian women's movement with comparisons to France and the United States. She argues that the intersection of feminist politics, law, and the state often paradoxically and severely distorts important ethical and emancipatory impulses of feminism.
Menon reviews historical challenges to the liberal notion of rights from Marxist, feminist, postcolonial, and critical legal scholars, and analyzes current Indian debates on topics including abortion, sexual violence, and Parliamentary quotas for women. Far from being a call to withdraw from the arena of law, Recovering Subversion instead urges feminists everywhere to recognize the limits of "rights discourse" and pleads for a politics that goes beyond its boundaries.