Migrating through Cultures, Deconstructing Masculinities and Gender Identities in Modern Islamic Literature
Keywords:feminism; gender; masculinities; deconstruction; Muslim literature
Matters arising around feminism, sexualities and masculinities, male dominance and hierarchies, gender identities and the configuration of patriarchy in religion and literature have constituted some major trends in modern women’s writings, particularly women’s writings in the Islamic enclave. This work probes the motifs of women’s marginalisation, cultural masculinities, and gender constructions as they affect some selected modern Islamic fictions around the world. The work utilises Judith Butler’s theory of performativity and Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction to delineate and redefine women’s subjugation and freedom by foregrounding the political, cultural, social, and moral elements redefining the pragmatic Islamic societies arising from technology. Constant division and the discriminatory roles assigned to women in the Islamic enclave have had some negative influences in literature, which can be found in some analyses of Frantz Fanon’s works and Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. These discriminatory and divisible roles for women can sometimes have negative cultural and social implications for an economic and political understanding of Islamic literature. This work reconfigures and redefines gender performance, masculinities, and Islamic metaphysics in the selected Islamic fictional works of Saudi Rajaa Alsanea’s Girls of Riyadh, Sudanese Leila Aboulela’s Minaret and Kuwaiti Randa Jarrar’s Map of Home.