Sexuality and the Politics of the Body in Zainab Hifni’s Features

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Abstract

The increasing interest in Saudi women’s literature written in recent years is mainly ignited by its audacity to address forbidden themes, and ability to shatter pre-existing stereotypes about them as oppressed and silent women. The fact that Saudi women novelists write about sex in a society that is typically perceived as pious, hermetically closed, and ultra-conservative, severely disrupts this notion. In effect, through these types of writings Saudi women novelists are leading a textual-sexual revolution. This article aims to investigate this emerging trend by analysing Zainab Hifni’s novel Features. Through the medium of this novel, Hifni dislocates traditional sexual and textual boundaries, and challenges social patriarchy in its core by demonstrating that the very men who are ‘in charge of women’ have in effect breached the patriarchal injunctions that restrict women’s existence.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Jul 2020