In Nujood’s culture, women are married quite young and the marriages never result in a divorce. Nujood’s judge stated that it was because no little girl had the courage to show up at a courthouse in order for them not to disgrace their family honor (Ali & Minoui, 2010, p. 44). This shows how women in Yemen were afraid to speak up for themselves which results in gender discrimination. Nujood was a central figure in Yemen’s forced marriage and child marriage, and her story brought awareness to others that didn’t know about the issues.
Nujood began experiencing sexism in her own home very early in her life. She explained “my brothers would study the alphabet out in the fresh air. We girls would take naps on a mattress of straw” (Ali & Minoui, 2010, p.31). Her “family-values” as we discussed in chapter 31 of our textbook, Race, Gender, Sexuality, & Social Class, are reinforcing the hierarchy assumed in families and naturalizing the traditional “male headship” by only allowing the men in the family to study and enhance their intelligence. The women in the family are being taught at an early age to cook, clean, and not worry about much else. In addition to reinforcing the
hierarchy, Nujood’s family is naturalizing and creating a privilege out of masculinity, they are being taught that masculinity is parallel to a source of authority (Collins, 1998, p.353).
When Nujood’s father first announced that she would be married off to another family, Nujood pleaded with her mother to stop the ceremony. She did not feel ready for marriage, but she eventually abandoned all hope as she realized that her father was not going to change his mind and there was nothing her mother could do. “...
... middle of paper ...
... that it was the way it was supposed to be.
On the day of the wedding, Nujood noticed that it was nothing like the wedding she had fantasized about. There was no white dress, henna flowers, or coconut candies she had always wished for on a day that was supposed to be special. Nujood knew at this point that it wasn’t fair for his father to marry her off to a thirty year old man because of his money. She was truly unhappy, but little did she know what the future had in store for her. Any young girl would be terrified to be in such situation, especially because girls at that age are innocent. Nujood was a brave young girl who took the courage to speak up, and stand up for what she believed was right for her. For a girl that young to think and act the way she did was very mature. Her story still inspires many of us about the issues of sexism and gender discrimination.
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