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Truly Living as a Woman: Sexual Politics in Alifa Rifaat and Nawal El Saadawi's Short Stories



本篇論文探討女性情慾論述,以埃及兩位當代女性作家的短篇小說作為分析對象,阿莉發.莉法(Alifa Rifaat)的〈芭希雅的眼睛〉(“Bahiyya’s Eyes”)和〈我所未知的世界〉(“My World of the Unknown”)藉著短篇小說的現下的片段時間觀,以伊斯蘭信仰來鬆動民族主義的父權體系,納瓦勒.薩達維(NawalEl Saadawi)的〈前總理陛下之死〉(“The Death of His Excellency the Ex-Minister”)和〈眼睛〉(“Eyes”)則訴諸伊斯蘭文化來闡釋性別平權,並和西方女性主義締結若即若離的關係。透過莉法來自伊斯蘭教傳統生活形態,以及納瓦勒.薩達維主要來自民族主義論述的兩相參照,本論文檢視在七○年代逐漸開展的全球化伊斯蘭女性主義的多重位置。阿莉發.莉法的書寫破除了民族主義對傳統的迷思,說明傳統的認同並非永恆不變的,而是隨著政治、文化和經濟的深刻變動被創構和發掘出來的。相形之下,納瓦勒.薩達維則是透過民族主義與西方女性主的糾結來為埃及女性主義發聲。本文認為短篇小說特有的片段特性得以鬆動歷史大敘事,使全球化趨勢中社會邊緣的女性主體,得以在文化歸屬感的前提下發聲。以阿莉發.莉法為例,她並不是女性分離主義者,也並未自基督教汲取女性解放的途徑。阿莉發.莉法和納瓦勒.薩達維的短篇小說展演了一套不可預期的遷徙過程,回教女性不斷創構何謂回教女性的意義,並和全球女性主義場域締結碎散的連結點,特別是女性割陰議題非為回教女性所獨有,而是和西方的性/別有著壓迫、緊張、挑戰的複雜關係。


埃及 伊斯蘭 民族主義 父權 女性情慾 傳統

Parallel abstracts

This paper examines the discourse of female sexualities by comparing the short stories written by two Egyptian women writers, Alifa Rifaat (1930- 1996) and Nawal El Saadawi (1931-). This paper regards two short stories from Rifaat, namely "Bahiyya's Eyes" (1983) and "My World of the Unknown" (1983) and two short stories from El Saadawi, namely "The Death of His Excellency the Ex-Minister" (1974) and "Eye" (1988). The daily lives of Egyptian women in these short stories initiate a present temporality that, in Rifaat's case, disrupts the myth of tradition created by both fundamentalist and modernist male-led nationalism and that, in El Saadawi's instance, inevitably connects her writing with the globalizing God's communities and Western feminist discourses. The contrast between Rifaat's traditional Islamic lifestyle and El Saadawi's nationalist-feminist politics attests to the multiple formations of the emergent Islamic feminism starting from the 1980s. Rifaat’s writing demonstrates that cultural origins and identity politics are not static, but rather must be invented and discovered according to a variety of cultural, political, and economic factors. By comparison, El Saadawi's writing exploits her contradictory stand toward employing and distancing from Western feminist theory simultaneously to give Egyptian women voices and tell their stories. The merits of the vitality, brevity and immediacy make the short story a qualified vehicle to seek cultural belongings amidst the conflicts and interconnections at work between the local and global. Rifaat is neither anti-man nor in pursuit of women's empowerment from Christianity. Comparatively, drawing discursive power from the West, El Saadawi creates more spaces in the debate of the ideologically fraught feminine virtues in Islam. The short story develops unpredictable migratory processes for Egyptian women situated at the margins of society. The intimate lives of the Egyptian women form a meaning-making process in pursuit of their autonomous identities and build fragmented links with Western gender/sexuality studies in the multiplex border crossings at diverse sites.

Parallel keywords

Egypt Islam nationalism patriarchy female sexualities traditions


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