Disillusionment Arises On Multiple Occasions

1416 WordsMay 15, 20176 Pages
Disillusionment arises on multiple occasions – first when Di’aa tells Firdaus “‘You are not respectable’” (95), then when she concludes that Di’aa “had not really been in love with [her], but came to [her] every night only because he did not have to pay” (120), and finally when she understands that her profession “had been invented by men” (124) and that she “was not nearly as free as [she] had hitherto imagined…[She] was nothing but a body machine working day and night so that a number of men belonging to different professions could become immensely rich at [her] expense” (128). Firdaus’s empowerment and consequent disillusionment demonstrates that even though she may have been felt in control of her career, she is ultimately a commodity…show more content…
I’m your husband and you’re my wife” (51). This scene repeats later with her aunt and uncle, then with Fawzy and Sharifa – “I heard Sharifa’s voice like a series of gasps followed by the same protesting tone. ‘No, Fawzy. For the Prophet’s sake. You must not, you must not!!’ Through the wall came his painting angry hiss again. ‘What the hell, woman! Must not what, and Prophet what?’” (81). Physical domination and expectation of sex is one aspect of ownership, as is lack of agency and self-determination. One example of this is when Firdaus’s mother chooses to perform a clitoridectomy on her, which permanently limits Firdaus’s ability to feel sexual pleasure and leads her to constantly reflect on the first time she felt pleasure with Mohammadain and how after the clitoridectomy, “part of [her], of [her] being, was gone and would never return” (138). Another example is when her aunt and uncle sell her and marry her off to a man without her consent or input. These situations, although different, contribute to a greater cultural practice of erasing female agency and encouraging male ownership of women’s bodies. To survive the brutality and psychological damage of prostitution, as well as rape, Firdaus frequently dissociates her mind from her body – a tactic mentioned in Jeffreys’s article: “[radical feminists] have understood that women’s experience of the world starts from the body, the only territory that women have, but not often
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