Spinsterization of Women or Spinster Women in the Arab Women’s Literature: An Imposed Reality or a Rejected Choice? Hayfā’ Bayṭār’s Novel, Nisā’ bi Aqfāl/Women in Locks1, as a Sample

Hanan Bishara


In my opinion, the art of the novel is an invented female art. It is a product of the hidden depths and interiors of the woman’s suffering. “Every woman is pregnant of her ‘novel’ as one critic argued and therefore, she does not see it necessary to write it on paper as long as she lives sit. The woman is a creator and an artist in her nature and it is sufficient for us to say the mistress of narrators is a woman called Scheherazade, who is the mistress of the tales the Arab nights, namely, Alf Laila wa Laila. What proves my view strongly is the historical error that literary historians and critics committed when they argued that the author of Alf Laila wa Laila is an ‘anonymous author’ instead of analyzing it stylistically in order to understand that its author is an ‘anonymous woman’ who could not put her name on the tales under a religious oppressive culture that is full of taboos. In my opinion, Hayfā’ Bayṭār is the mistress of female narration in her search of ‘lost freedom’. Nothing was left for the woman through which she could achieve her existence except talking and writing, after she had been raped physically and spiritually. In my opinion, the novel of this study, Nisā’ bi Aqfāl/Women in Locks is a novel of yearning for freedom for the women who live under norms and traditions that escalate with the escalation of extremism and fanatism, and suppression of the prohibited trilogy of religion, sex and politics. The man managed to imprison the woman and captivate her with his taboos behind invisible bars that made her live in an exile, and alienation within her homeland. Like Scheherazade, she can either talk or die, and ‘death’ here is in a memory that rapes one’s soul as the body is raped. By the written ‘word’, she exposes ‘rape’ and protests against injustice, and by self-revelation, the woman’s presence overcomes her absence. Writing is a medical instrumentality that grants the woman liberation, emancipation, and purification with which, she reveals the psychological accumulations and piled bitter memories, and denude a reality which resembles a play that is repeated on the ears of history and its thresholds.


Spinsterhood, Taboos, The Penis-man, Unconsciousness and Insensitivity, Sado-Masochism, Hellish Circle, Projectional Raping Manoeuvere

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.10n.4p.61


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