Sunday, November 20, 2011

Woman Objectification and copmarison confusion

I am aware female did not gain respect and rights at the same time in all locations, I still found myself shocked while reading some of the sections in Season of Migration to the North.  The author does a fantastic job showing the reader what it’s like for the European woman vs. the Sudanese woman of the 1960’s.   This gives even more sympathy to the woman of the novel like Hosna.  She is forced to be married away, begs to be saved from this fate, and announces what will happen if the marriage occurs.  “If it wasn’t for the sake of decency she wouldn’t have been worth burying- wed have thrown her into the river or left her body out for the hawks (p110).”  After viewing the bloody bitten state, close to no one felt sadness or pain for Hosna.  She was an object that did not work correctly for her master.  Yet we see characters like Jean Morris who have full participation in their life.  These women live in the same time period but have completely opposite control.  Yet both die in the end by their own hand.  I know this is done by the author purposely but is not sure what is being played at.       


  1. Totally agree the portrayal of women in this book is heart-wrenching in its accuracy. The passage you used is one I've thought a lot about too because it's ridiculous to think Hosna could be considered the bad one in the situation. She's the one who gets brutally raped and may have even killed Wad Reyhes in self-defense, and yet she's the one seen as indecent. Even before she married Wad, Hosna was seen almost as a slut for even inquiring into the idea of marrying the narrator. I really like the connection you made to English women because it is fascinating how Tayeb portrays the East and West as complete opposites. Let’s be honest, the women Mustafa was seducing really were sluts, and yet no one in England considered them as such. At the hearing for one of the women who committed suicide, her husband even spoke on her behalf saying neither she nor Mustafa were deserving of blame. This is absolutely ludicrous in comparison to Hosna who would’ve been completely happy staying single and ended up getting blamed in her own horrific rape. The inequality between sexes obviously differs drastically globally, and it’s interesting that Tayeb portrays neither of them without fault.

  2. First of all, I would encourage you to think through all the connotations of the word "slut." We tend to apply it almost exclusively to women, and it implies that their sexual activity is shameful. However, men are rarely held to such a standard. Consequently, the linguistic power of "slut" is control women's sexuality.

    When reading Nikki's post, I was actually struck by the way the author portrays women in both countries as being objects. Though England might seem to have better gender equality, its women are important to Mustafa only in terms of their ability to be owned and corrupted sexually. Even his English's wife's father suggests that she doesn't really matter once she's owned by Mustafa.