Gender Stereotypes In Rabia

855 Words 4 Pages
The novel portrays a shame society and the mothers and the other female characters repeatedly reinforce it. For instance, when Fatima elopes with a man from a different community, not only is she ostracized for it beyond her death but her mother too is blamed and isolated from the community. All the girls are repeatedly informed to behave and dress in a certain way so as to not bring shame upon the family name. Misogyny is palpable in various instances of the novel and seems to have been internalized by certain female characters as well especially in the way they behave with other women in the novel. On numerous accounts, Zohra calls her daughter “a bitch” and “a slut” (Salma 35). Also, on being caught for unknowingly watching a pornographic …show more content…
Rabia encounters it on two separate occasions. First, when she grows uncomfortable by the repeated “thigh pinching” (Salma 13) by a junior priest and then another by her cousin’s husband who used to hold her in an uncomfortable embrace against her will. The gender divide in the society can be seen clearly through the different seating of females and males in a cinema theatre. Even the ticket counters were different for men and women. If a movie had sexual content in it, women would refrain from watching it and there would be no ticket counter for women for that particular movie. The author has shown how society has been conditioned about the gender divide where “men mustn’t cry. They never cry. They are not like women”. (Salma 7) Salma has also written about the role of a woman in the household. While most husbands were working abroad, women were supposed to look after their house and raise their children and especially daughters in a strict religious manner. Any misstep on the part of a girl led to her mother being blamed for it. For instance, when Rabia eats without saying her prayers and in a manner which is against their religious doctrines, Zohra gets an earful for not teaching her right values. Another instance is when an all-male committee meet up in the mosque to take a collective decision regarding a step taken by Fatima and how they put the entire blame on her mother for raising her wrong and in turn

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