Gendered Rage A Postcolonial Reading of Commercial Gestational Surrogacy in India

Main Article Content

Lisa Lau
Ana Cristina Mendes


This article brings the concept of anger, particularly gendered anger, to bear on a postcolonial and intersectional reading of the apparent ragelessness of working-class Indian women who act as surrogates in the international commercial
gestational surrogacy (ICGS) industry in India. We explore how rage—the robust expression of the primary emotion of anger—can be silenced, how anger can be disallowed out of existence. Despite being given little information and say over the surrogacy process from start to end, taking high risks with their immediate and long-term mental and physical health (as well as risking social stigmatization and the welfare of their own families), and the lack of rights they are permitted during pregnancy over their own bodies and lives, Indian surrogates are not usually seen as either articulating or experiencing anger, resentment, or outrage over the situation. They seem to be singularly “rageless” at their victimization. This article frames the silencing and suppressing of rage within a postcolonial context where Indian surrogates are the thrice-colonized, and concludes that anger I) can be cowed, if not correctly cultivated, II) is not available to all, even when justified, III) requires a narrative and hermeneutic framework for expression, IV) requires (role) modelling and cultural and linguistic inclusion and fluency before it can be even experienced in some cases, let alone resorted to, and V) anger as a weapon can be blunted by hierarchies and vertical structures of power.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details