Writing Womens World: Bedouin Stories
Writing Women's Worlds is some stories on the Bedouin Egyptian people. In this book, thwe writer Lia Adu-Lughod's stories differ from the conventional ones. While reading, we discover the customs and values of the Bedouin people.
We see Migdim, a dominator of the people. Even though her real age is never given, one can assume that she is at the end of her life, maybe in her mid to late eighties. Migdim's life seems to include all the changes inside the Boudin community. Throughout the narrative of her life, we are able to realize the life way and changes within this exclusive society.
One of the more in depth stories that Migdim told was how she refused the marriage to the man her father chose for her. It is customary for a woman to get married to her paternal first cousin. Her female relatives made her the tent she was going to live in and brought her some bridal gifts. Migdim refused to eat as well as covering herself in color in order to holdup the wedding. After much objection, Migdim did not marry the man that her father chose. Actuality, her father failed twice trying to arrange a marriage for her.
All the way through Migdim's incident with arranged marriages, we can understand the old customs that has to do with marriage. It is obvious that, although women were believed to be obedient, they were capable to effectively convince men. Yet, today there seems to be a sign toward polygamous marriages that are eventually making women more minor.
Girls are referred to in an offensive sense. The requirement for having a male child is eventually causing women's' subordination to perpetuate. The Bedouin society values women. Migdim is extremely valued because of her age and knowledge. However, her sons have power over her property and her income. Her sons regularly disregard her guidance and ignore her understanding. In the end, men are the principals.
In my opinion, the lives of these women and their relationship with their husbands present a more precise image of many polygamous relationships. While a lot of people, Muslim mostly, may disagree; Muslim men are likely to treat their wives in a different way although such issues are in no way discussed. A Muslim man would by no means admit to doing so for the plain truth that he would be confirming that his marriage is not in a correct usage. A Muslim woman would never tell too, because it would mean self-embarrassment among her other peers.
A man will probably take a new wife, if his recent wife doesnt get pregnant. Furthermore, he may or may not divorce her. On the other hand, the family of the woman may choose to repossess her, especially if it looks like it was the husbands fault. For example, he has been married before but is still have no children. A woman can take part in more active position in divorcing her husband as well. In one story that Abu-Lughod recounts, a woman sworn by a neighborhood saint that her husband was not a man and that he would never have children. She required a divorce and got it. Pg 138.
There is a favorite for male children among the Bedouin, but it is not of necessity a strong one. While two women tried to clarify how they felt regarding sons, one woman said, "Arabs prefer boys," but the other woman said that, "They are equal with God. And He even prefers girls. It is only the ignorant that prefer boys. Some daughters are worth a thousand boys," Pg 129. The couple that Abu-Lughod lived with when she was doing her study, Sagr and Gateefa, seemed to have reasonable and balanced opinions on sons and daughters. Sagr described daughters as being, "dearer to him than sons." He thought that daughters had less, "strength of will than sons," and that they depended on their fathers to protect them from hurting. "As long as her father is alive, a girl does not feel any pain. But when he dies, it is hard on him." Pg 160. Gateefa also said, " . . . daughters are caring. If I were alone, without