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Culture And Gender: Sexuality, Femininity, And Identity In Fawziyya S. Al-Sālim'S Muzūn

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Chapter Summary

Fawziyya Shuwaysh al-Salim's novel Muzūn can be regarded as a feminist tract which is intended to raise Arabian women’s consciousness. This novel represents the women’s perspective vis-a-vis the ‘hegemonic’ Western feminist discourse through its exploration of several themes of feminist concern which range from femininity and gender socialisation to female sexuality, abortion, mothering, and &t;clitoridectomy&t;. This chapter posits that Muzūn portrays Zayana-the first and principal of the novel's three heroines, representing the pre-oil generations of Arabian women-as not only defiant and disruptive, but also as a revolutionary female figure. Despite her lack of education and the pervasiveness of patriarchal culture in her time, Zayana is the one who pioneers 'sexual revolution' in the novel. This is in spite of the fact that Zuwayna and Muzūn, Zayana's daughter and granddaughter, represent later generations of women who actually belong to the oil-engendered era of modern civilisation in the region.

Keywords: Fawziyya Shuwaysh al-Salim; female sexuality; Islamic feminist; Kuwaiti women; Muzūn; pre-oil Arabian society



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