Women Empowerment in the Realms of Institutionalized Religion and Patriarchy: El Saadawi’s Firdaus and Yezierska’s Sara as Examples

Abdullah K. Shehabat

Abstract


This paper explains how the two protagonists, Firdaus and Sara, successfully paved their own ways in search of self-liberation despite the authoritarian patriarchy and institutionalized religions that plagued them. El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero and Yezierska’s Bread Givers represent the fruitful struggle these protagonists experienced as they come to forge an identity and be themselves. The paper argues that the protagonists manage to free themselves, establish their own spiritual homes at their own homes and assert the potentials of their femininity despite their endings. Empowered by the powers of reading, strong will and meticulous work, the protagonists were able to realize their own material independence and achieve their lifelong ambitions. However, through Firdaus' and Sara's journeys of breaking their silence, they were subject to different patterns of self-annihilation. While Firdaus was sentenced to death for killing a pimp, Sara embraced living under the hegemony of an authoritarian husband.     

 


Keywords


Women empowerment, authoritarian patriarchy, institutionalized and/or gendered religion, spiritual feminist homes

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.5p.1

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