Sharmila Lodhia

Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies

Phone: (408) 554-5568

Current Work

Sharmila Lodhia is an Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Santa Clara University. She earned her J.D. from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco and her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research examines legal responses to violence against Indian women through a transnational lens highlighting the impact of migrating spouses, traveling cultures and shifting bodies of law in the diaspora.

Lodhia’s current project explores the proliferation of anti-feminist rhetoric and activities on the internet which has given rise to an increasingly globalized backlash against women’s legal advocacy efforts.


The growth of electronic communication networks presents both promise and peril for anti-violence activism. The ubiquity of the Internet has enabled women’s activists across local and national borders to engage in innovative forms of advocacy. At the same time, the ease of access to this uncensored sphere of communication has enabled new forms of violence and harassment of women. Most critically, with respect this project, cyberspace provides a unique platform for the growth and proliferation of men’s rights movements and activism.

In an increasingly digital age, cyberspace provides a deterritorialized landscape through which pro-men’s groups can organize hostile and coordinated attacks on women’s advocacy work. Analysis of these discourses and activities provides insights into what Jacqui Alexander refers to as the “ideological traffic” that circulates within conversations about the alleged import and export of purportedly radical feminist ideologies. Studying these movements and activities highlights diverse manifestations of heteropatriarchy and the types of “hegemonic borrowings” that are occurring across regional and jurisdictional borders. Within men’s rights organizing, ideas of cultural and familial superiority are circulated and elevated in a manner that reveals a perceived threat to the domestic sphere. These groups allege that the erosion of patriarchy engendered by radical feminism not only threatens men’s role in the familial structure but also leads to chaos and destruction of society as a whole. I ultimately argue that the increasingly globalized dimensions of the backlash constitute a form of trafficking in antifeminism.

Representative Publications

“New Directions in Feminism and Human Rights: An Introduction,” (co-authored with Dana Collins, Sylvanna Falcon, and Molly Talcott) International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 12, Num. 3-4, (December 2010).

“Brides without Borders: New Topographies of Violence and the Future of Law in an Era of Transnational Citizen-Subjects,” Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 19 Num. 3 (September 2010).

“Constructing an Imperfect Citizen-Subject: Globalization, National ‘Security’ and Violence Against South Asian Women,” Women’s Studies Quarterly, Vol. 38 Numbers 1 & 2, (Spring/Summer 2010).

“Legal Frankensteins and Monstrous Women: Judicial Narratives of the ‘Family in Crisis,’” Meridians: Feminism, Race Transnationalism, Vol. 9, Num. 2 (Summer 2009).