Women Of Sand And Myrrh Analysis

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Several Arab stories illustrate the oppression of women under patriarchal societies through controlling female sexuality that results in broken identities. In the Women of Sand and Myrrh, after Suzanne evidently enjoyed their lovemaking, Maaz reminds her of the traditional gender roles of women, “God created you to bear children, and to give pleasure to a man, and that 's all.” By saying this, he indicates that Suzanne should never delight in sex as it represents a purely functional purpose for women. The idea of sex as a process serving men alone perplexes Suzanne who asks what Maaz means, and he answers, “God created women to make children, like a factory. That 's the exact word, Suzanne. She 's a factory. She produces enjoyment for the man, not herself.” As Maaz places Suzanne in her “proper position,” one that underlines the reproductive utility of sex to women only, not men, Al-Shaykh demonstrates gender inequality.…show more content…
Unable to control their lives, the female “I” vanishes due to the imposed “we,” the kind that men designate and control according to their interests. Suzanne demonstrates identitylessness as she fills the void of her inner self through multiple sexual affairs. While sexual expression does not provide a strong foundation for one’s identity, it, at the very least, enables the articulation of a woman 's identity that challenges the pressures of patriarch and social customs, as Saddik Gohar argues in "Empowering the Subaltern in Woman at Point Zero." Gohar asserts that literature demonstrates the creative ways that the subaltern resists oppression. In the case of Suzanne, sex becomes a source of freedom, a means of empowerment to women in repressed social
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