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Home » Uncategorized » Feminist Theory pt 2 (Heba Zaidan)

Feminist Theory pt 2 (Heba Zaidan)

Although there are many things in part two that can be newly discussed, I want to continue applying the specific feminist theme of the three types of women in African literature.

These three women being:

  • “The foolish virgin in a rural setting,”
  • “The femme fatale in an urban setting,”
  • “The masculine matron”

Again, although I disagree with putting women into only three categories, they are still applicable to female characters.

The femme fatale is a new character; Karin. Askar is  introduced to Karin in Mogadishu, which is the capital of Somalia and it’s biggest city. This puts Karin in an urban setting and already sets her up for being the femme fatale. However, her fate is sealed once she tells Askar that Misra is in love with an Ethiopian soldier, and that she told the Ethiopians where the Somalian army was. Because of this, Misra is now responsible for the death of thousands of Somalians. Karin is the femme fatale because by disclosing, she lead to the downfall of Misra, and eventually her death. But in addition, it lead to the death of the deep connection between Askar and Misra, and it became mother who raised him versus his motherland

The masculine matron is still Salaado, however it is emphasized because her womanhood is physically removed. A quality that is exclusive to women and can never be applied to men is childbearing. However, by removing her ovaries removes her female-exclusive qualities. It is as though she removed being a female from her body entirely. The removal of her ovaries masculinizes her physically, and it is reflected through her actions of taking male roles in her relationship with Hilaal, who underwent a vasectomy, thus feminizing him.

The foolish virgin in this part was hard to find, as there were no important scenes in the rural country side. However, upon further inspection, I realized that in this part, Hilaal is the foolish virgin.

Hilaal’s car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and his wife Salaado had to go and help him. This makes him the foolish virgin because:

  • Hilaal is figuratively a female; he has a vasectomy, which made him feminine symbolically, as he cannot do a man’s biological job of fertilization
  • He is foolish because he does not know how to handle the situation, and the car broke down because of Hilaal
  • He is a virgin to handling things without his wife’s support
  • He is in a rural setting because he broke down in an unknown place, which was in the middle of nowhere

^^ that might be a stretch but hey, if it fits, it ships.


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