Woman's Voice of Emancipation in Works of Miral Al Tahawi
The notion of women being shackled is not new. Since the origin of time women have always had to succumb to the power and authority of men. The Bedouin community seems to have upheld this ideology. About Tahawis’ fictional narratives the study paper investigated the oppressive structure in the Bedouin community. The research paper studied female narrators from the four novels and critically analyzed the issue of gender and women oppression in society. All her stories revolved around her own experience of life, depicting the existential problems of a young woman in a patriarchy structure. Background of the study The notion of women being shackled is not new. Since the origin of time women have always had to succumb to the power and authority of men (Asaqli p.
Throughout the history, most communities if not all held women in an inferior status compared to that of men. In his study, Rashid declared that there was no community which female have publicly acknowledged power and authority beyond that of men (p 160). Male possess great power and authorities. They make a decision that governs the society whereas, women don’t have a voice. They are forced to follow and accept what men device and formulate. In his study Lander, observed that in most cases women were excluded from specific vital economic and political activities, and their roles restricted to only being wives and mothers (p. In many pieces of literature, female narrators have always been projected to possess fewer privileges as compared to male.
My paper examines the four novels to establish the extent to which Tahawi is engaged in centering women issues in a patriarchy society. The central questions in my research paper are: how do female characters in Tahawis’ novel strive to subvert patriarchy? How does she empower female narrators within the existing power hierarchy? Tahawi created fictional narratives with intend of subverting oppressive structure in the Bedouin community. This research paper studies female narrators from the four novels and critically analyze the issue of gender and women oppression in society. We explore how the author projects women’s voice in her stories, the oppressive gender structure which pushes women to brim as well as how women traverse back to the center. Also, the paper will investigate the position and role of women within the Bedouin society, societal attitude towards women, duties, and activities assigned to specific gender.
The study is restricted within the framework of the womanist theory. In all novels, we will investigate different forms of oppression the author depicts and how he subverts patriarchy. The most challenging aspect of the study was retrieving secondary materials. The literature and humanities journal subscribed to the university were not sufficient. Literature review In her article Asaqli (2017), analyzed the position of female and cultural beliefs that subjugated them. The patriarchy ideology that undervalues women experience and knowledge. Male dominant over female in the Bedouin community. Women don’t have a voice; they were forced to follow and accept what men device and formulate. There are several societal structures in the Tahawi’s novels where the women narrators were frightened, beleaguered and driven to psychological disintegration by a dominant tyrannical male(s) who upholds male-controlled oppression.
She identifies domestic violence, tradition, family life and religion as being responsible for unequal gender relations founding the root of exploitation of female. It is the name taken from her family. “Gutter Manners joined the other names she will be given. Starting from Blue Aubergine, then Monkey, then Clown, then Gutter Manner. ” Nada was insulted even by her mother (the Queen) who was shamed because of her daughter’s ugly look “sometimes the Queen hides her face with her hand and laughs when Aubergine danced with complete abandon, or she nibbles her lip and raises her eyebrow as she looks at her with a half-cautioning eye. Such a hint is enough to make her stop whatever she is doing” (Al Tahawi,2002, p:16).
Female was prevented from reading novels or give suggestions. Muhra illustrates the patriarchal mentality of her father when he stops her to go to boarding school “they had ruined the mind of your mother and aunts” (2008, p:8). Muhra tells us how her mother married her cousin (Muhra’s father) without even to say her opinion. “Even if she’s in the howdah on her way to wed a stranger, she’ll jump down and marry her cousin if only he says the word” (13). Finally, in The Brooklyn Heights (2011), the story of Bedouin girl Hind who was born in patriarchal Bedouin society that considers “bringing girls into the world is a calamity that blackens the face and ruins the pocket” (126). Similarly, in Brooklen Heights (2011), Hind runs from her family after being beaten by her father.
She is painted with the blood-red mark as a reminder of the warning: “A daughter never runs away from her father’s house (126). ” Hind feel like the only way to free women in her society is by escaping. Hind never abides by patriarchy customs; she breaks the rule by divorcing her husband and runs away to the USA. She searches new life where no patriarchal society will reinforce its burdensome laws on her. Reference Anishchenkova, Valerie. "Feminist Voices of The 1990S Generation". Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, vol 13, no. 1, 2017, pp. Duke University Press, doi:10. " Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 2018, pp. Informal UK Limited, doi:10. Miral Al Tahawi. The Tent, 1998. Miral Al Tahawi. Richard, Ratcliffe. "Bedouin Rights, Bedouin Representations: Dynamics of Representation in The Naqab Bedouin Advocacy Industry.
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