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A Thousand Splendid Suns
Transcript of A Thousand Splendid Suns
"The Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical or philosophical discourse. It aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. It examines women's social roles, experience, interests, and feminist politics in a variety of fields."
People don't know exactly when and where this theory came from but it first emerged as early as 1792 in books. These books focused on the inequality of women and the struggles they faced because they were women. We can argue how it emerged but ultimately feminism is broken down into three waves.
Remake of Wave One
"Women have always had it hard in this country, Laila, but they're probably more free now, under the communists, and have more rights than they're ever had before, Babi said, always lowering his voice, aware of how intolerant Mammy was of even remotely positive talk of the communists. But it's true, Babi said, it's a good time to be a new woman in Afghanistan. And you can take advantage of that, Laila. Of course, women's freedom-here, her shook his head ruefully-is also one of the reasons people out there took up arms in the first place." (135).
Remake of Wave Three
"I have customers, Mariam, men who bring their wives to my shop. The women come uncovered, they talk to me directly, look me in the eye without shame. They wear makeup and skirts that show their knees. Sometimes they even put their feet in front of me, the women do, for measurements, and their husbands stand there and watch. They allow it. They think nothing of a stranger touching their wives' bare feet!" (p. 70)
Remake of Wave Two
"That's a big word," Rasheed said. "I've always dislike that about you. Even when you were little, when you were running around with that cripple, you thought you were so clever, with your books and poems. What good are all your smarts to you now? What's keeping you off the streets, your smarts or me? I'm despicable? Hald the women in this city would kill to have a husband like me. They would kill for it." (p. 283)
A Thousand Splendid Suns
By: Khaled Hosseini
What does this mean?
Essentially, this theory embodies the inequality of women against men in society.
The first wave began in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The main reason why the first wave occurred was to open new opportunities for women. Of course men were proven to be superior but with this wave it acknowledged that women can be equal just like men.
The wave initial began at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 when 300 men and women rallied to the cause of equality for women.
This led to the discussion about women being involved in politics which soon led to the second wave.
The second wave of feminism began the 1960's and continued into the 90's.
This phase started with protests against the Miss America Pageant in 1968 and 1969 in Atlantic City.
Feminists argued that this objectified women into believing that they were just an object of beauty that sought to keep them home or in low paying jobs.
This wave focused on passing the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution for social equality despite sex.
In the third wave, feminist stepped onto the stage with a sense of strong empowerment defining feminine beauty for themselves.
They emphasized their beauty showing cleavage proudly to demonstrate that women could be smart and beautiful while wearing heels at the same time.
In Afghanistan, it's evident that they live by the feminist theory. To them women will never be superior to men and it has been that way for hundreds of years. Women have no say in what happens in their own lives because of this theory. They can't do anything without a mans approval and even then society will view them with shame. Yet when the communist come it's a life changing chance for women. It's the only opportunity they have to break from this feminist theory and make a better life that they want not what men want. Babi makes it clear to Lalia that she should take advantage of it because it's a good time for women in Afghanistan.
Rasheed is a pure example of the feminist theory. He lives by that moral. To him women are nothing and is disgusted how these "modern" women are. He believes the same principles that any true Afghanistan man believes. Throughout the whole book he belittles Miriam and soon but surely he does the same to Lalia. He reminds them everyday of how they shouldn't be and in a way that's the feminist theory within itself. The theory is to belittle women in every way possible and that's exactly what Rasheed does which soon enough rubs off on Zalmai.
Rasheed tries to degrade Lalia because she is smart. What is foreign to us as humans we tend to alienate it. A smart women in Afghanistan is foreign to Rasheed and he makes it evident that being a smart women isn't something to be proud of but ashamed. You get both perspectives from Babi, which believed education was the only way to save Lalia's life, and then from Rasheed that believed education made women powerful and that just couldn't be. In a way Rasheed dehumanizes women to believe the morals he was taught.