Woman At Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

1089 Words5 Pages
Firdaus sheds her last grain of virtue. In doing so, she realizes the truth of her society. Seeing what a woman is and does in Egypt, her home, she sees the only way out of the situation. Firdaus, through her desire to be become a human being who was not looked upon with discontent; she finds that a successful prostitute was better than a misled saint. Throughout her life, Firdaus had incurred the abuse that her society inflicted on women. Firstly, her father treating her not wrongly, but the way that daughters had always been treated. At a young age, Firdaus was forced to accept that her status in society should never surpass or equal a man, and that she was there to help the man live more effectively. The way in which she lost the ability to take pleasure from sexual activity shows her intended purpose. It would have been wrong for her to feel the pleasure she was giving a man. But her uncle allowed her to see otherwise: Firdaus came into possession of an education, and saw the immorality of the ways that women were treated. Her life had taught her that whether in marriage, as a daughter, a girlfriend, or a niece, all women were in a sense prostitutes. Firdaus's father perceived her as a pimp would, knowing how to exchange her virgin daughter for a dowry when there was still time. Her uncle had taken her away to give her an education, only to abuse her, not letting her see how he would be shunned in a different society. Gradually, Firdaus' experiences with men became similar. The failed attempts to find love, and feel pleasure merged into a mass of hurt, and feelings of pain for all... ... middle of paper ... ...ing to either man, her society would label her the criminal. She would defend herself by saying that the man's actions were justification for her actions. Among the other criminals that Firdaus encounters throughout her life, include her husband, Mahmoud. His role is not so much of a criminal one as some of the others. He is simply fulfilling his role as the rightful husband of Firdaus. He exercises his rights under his home society to do what a husband is expected to do, and Firdaus is expected to comply. What makes him a criminal in Firdaus's eyes is that he was blind, as most men were, to the world past the borders of their closed society. Firdaus was given the opportunity to see over the walls erected by those of higher authority, those who are male.
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