The Role Of Women In Firdaus's Women At Point Zero

Decent Essays
The novel Women at Point Zero is a story set in Egypt during the mid to late 1900’s. In this book we learn about the life of a woman named Firdaus. Firdaus had a hard life since she was little to the time she died. She was oppressed by her family, always having to obey orders and serve her father. She lost her whole family when she was young, never getting to experience real love in a family sense, eventually not being able to find real love with anyone throughout her adult life. Firdaus also lost the ability to feel physical pleasure due to her mom getting her circumcised at a young age. Firdaus had been sexually abused for the duration of her life, she eventually ended up becoming a prostitute. Throughout her life all the men around her …show more content…
Firdaus met and observed some of the women at her work and she explained how she was the only woman who was highly respected by the men of high power at her work, because she was the only woman who would not accept offers to go to go anywhere or do anything with any of the higher officials. “I felt sorry for the other girls who were guileless enough to offer their bodies and their physical efforts every night in return for a meal, or a good yearly report, or just to ensure that they would not be treated unfairly, or discriminated against, or transferred.”(75-76). This quote shows that even the women employees at the office had the lifestyle of a prostitute, but instead of money they mainly did it for job security or in some cases a good …show more content…
When Firdaus was only eighteen, her uncle and his wife sent her to be married to a man named Sheikh Mahmoud. Sheikh Mahmoud was a wealthy man aged over sixty. Firdaus did not enjoy being married to him, sleeping with him, kissing him, or serving him, but those were the things she did to be able to have food on the table, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on her back. An aspect of married life related to the life of a prostitute was physical abuse from men. When Firdaus did something that Sheikh Mahmoud did not like he would scream at her and then proceed to beat her. This surprised Firdaus, causing her to go back to her uncle’s where she discovered that a husband beating his wife was not uncommon in her culture. “But my uncle told me that all husbands beat their wives, and my uncle’s wife added that her husband often beat her.”(44). That quote brings me to another woman who represents the wives, which is the uncle’s wife. Not only was she represented with the attribute of being beat like a prostitute would, there was also a incident in the book where the uncle forced his wife to have sex with him. “‘No, your holiness, for the sake of the Prophet. No, this is sinful.’ Then his stifled tones hissing back: ‘you woman, you....What sin, and what Prophet? I’m your husband and you’re my wife.’” (38). This again shows how women unwillingly gave away their bodies in return for things. In

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    She would also accuse her husbands of cheating in order to make herself feel better about her own unfaithful actions. “[She] would accuse them about wenches when they were so sick they could hardly stand. Yet it tickled a husband’s heart, since he thought [she] showed such great fondness for him. [She] swore that all [her] walking out by night was to spy out the wenches he lay with; under this pretense [she] had many a merry time” (Chaucer 393-399). The Wife of Bath, through trickery and deceit, later took this lying even…

    • 1143 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It really is not fair when the husbands disrespected their wives and cheated on them. In fact, cheating on your wife was considered normal and wives had to accept the scandalous behavior. It feels like a slap on the face for being loyal. The worst part was when the female cheated; she had consequences to deal with. They were never really considered equal, as mentioned as a source by Valerius Maximus “Egnatius Mecenius beat his wife to death with a club because she had drunk some wine.…

    • 406 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He describe her as a “pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman”, but “slavery soon proved it ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities” (341). Douglas, even informs his readers that because of slavery his mistress became even crueler than his master. Master’s broken bondage of Family: Slavery has indirectly and directly turned his married master to break his covenant with God and his wife because greed for power, wealth, or lust. Slavery caused the master to break the bonds in his nucleus family. In most cases, the masters would rapes their female slave, who in results give birth to their master’s child.…

    • 1517 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “Throughout the period of slavery in America… masters often felt it their right to engage in sexual activity with black women…they did on occasion rape married women…the black woman sometimes provoked the resentment of mistresses” While Northup was a slave, he had a friend named Patsey. She was being abused by the master and the master’s wife. The master would rape her, especially when he was drunk. The wife knew about the relationship and she became jealous and she wouldn’t treat Patsey like the other slaves. Instead, the wife treated Patsey with hatred because of her husband's actions.…

    • 479 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It was her belief that “nothing would enrage Dr. Flint so much than to know that I favored another man” which would make him sell her (Jacobs 59). This incidence of Harriet having an affair with Sands shows the extent to which females were pushed by circumstances to indulge in sexual encounters in order to ward off harassment by their masters, something which was a characteristic suffering of females alone. When Brent gives birth to her second child, a girl with Sawyer, she becomes even more saddened than before. Her words are a testimony that female slaves underwent many tribulations compared to male slaves. This is because “slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women” (Jacobs…

    • 1562 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Any affair that took take was the woman’s fault because the women seduced the man, which caused the affair. Most women believed and society as a whole believed it. Maria says to Nadezhda, “wouldn’t believe it, if you told me that our sins are the faults of men. Women are always at fault” (78-79). Maria believes it was a woman’s job to keep herself from having affairs.…

    • 1362 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Curly’s Wife is often called a “tramp” and the workers think she tries to flirt with them. Cecilia, in “The Purple Rose of Cairo”, is controlled by her abusive husband, Monk, and has to work for her to take care of him like she was his mother. In “Adam’s Rib”, Adam thinks Doris is guilty for being upset about her husband’s affair, even though she shot him in the shoulder, her husband treating her poorly in general. These women get treated poorly just because the men think they’re all high and mighty and are “in charge”. The men in each story expect a lot from the women but then put them down with telling them they can’t do something.…

    • 455 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    When Firdaus argues that her uncle was a religious man, his wife says that “it was precisely men… in religion who beat their wives. The percepts of religion permitted such punishment”. This not only portray a woman’s perspective on the issue, it also shows that religion was used to justify the abuse of women. The author uses diction, such as precisely to specify that religious men were higher than the others and had the right to beat their wives. This quote described cultural values and the roles of women and men in the society.…

    • 1498 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I wished my mother warned me about this night, about the powerlessness a woman feels when another man strikes through her skin, about the shame that fills her when she is forced to give herself up, forced to be still.” This type of patriarchal philosophy and belief about male-domination of sexual relationships is appallingly common in cultures that are misogynistic. In Quiverfull: Inside the Patriarchal Christian Movement, Kathryn Joyce sheds light on this horrifying phenomenon. “A submissive wife understands that, as the Bible commands that husbands and wives have authority over each other’s bodies, she owes her husband enough sex to satiate his appetite so that he is not tempted by another woman. In this way, a woman withholding sex from her husband is not only defrauding him of that which is rightfully his but is inducing him to sin” (54). Although Joyce is specifically referring to fundamentalist Christian patriarchy, the patriarchal attitude regarding sex is applicable to different religious and cultural beliefs.…

    • 1493 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Firdaus Gender Motif

    • 1459 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The mother is forced to reject her children, especially female children like Firdaus, in order to fulfill the father’s needs. Additionally, the religion of the community justifies the exploitation of women at the hands of men. When Firdaus lived with the Sheikh, “he hit [her] all over with his shoe” and returns to her uncle’s home for comfort (58). While there, Firdaus is told by the uncle’s wife “that it was precisely men well versed in their religion who beat their wives” (59). When Firdaus seeks comfort from her uncle after the Sheikh hits her, she is informed that all holy and good men beat their wives.…

    • 1459 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays