The Stereotypes Of The Hostels For Women In Afghanistan

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From 1979 until 1989, Soviet troops fought a brutal war in the mountains of Afghanistan, but at home the war was virtually nonexistent. The Soviet government attempted to hide the war by censoring letters, prohibiting photographs, and suppressing information regarding dead soldiers. It claimed that troops were fulfilling their ‘international duty’ and promoting a socialist state, helping to build schools, hospitals, etc.; in reality, young men, mostly ages 18-20 were facing fierce resistance by the mujahideen who violently objected to Soviet presence (Heinemann x). Although the war is strongly associated with young men, women also participated and faced countless challenges both abroad during war and once they returned home. Svetlana Alexievich’s …show more content…
A civil servant, offered a different perspective on women’s motivations upon entering the war, claiming that women who went to war were either lonely or frustrated. It was a common suspicion that women went to Afghanistan only to find husbands or to be promiscuous. The construction of the women’s hostels displays how prominent this stereotype was: there were two hostels for women, one was the Cathouse (referring to a whorehouse) for women who had been in Afghanistan for two or more years and the other, Daisy, was for new arrivals who were still considered “innocent” (114). Women were subject to catcalling and scathing remarks by men who believed women were only there for sex, to entertain the officers. Some women did sell themselves to high-ranking individuals for perks, but others resisted this and advances from officers. This civil servant concluded that everyone in Afghanistan was corrupt in some way, yet after the war she missed the relationships she had formed. It seems that no matter what treatment they endured or what gruesome sights they saw, the friendships they developed and the experiences they shared were connections deeply valued and even missed by the women who were on the front

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