Through Ramatoulaye’s reflections, Bâ highlights the institution of marriage as a structural symbol of the patriarchal system, in which asymmetrical gender relations are maintained and projected as part of the Islamic doctrine.
“When we choose to love we choose to move against fear-against alienation and separation. The choice to love is a choice to connect-to find ourselves in the other.”
Alifa Rifaat’s stories are situated within an Islamic framework that allows her to create a feminism of her own. Since Islam and empowerment are often misguidedly placed in contradiction to one another, it’s easy to see why Rifaat is not a household name.