Beyond Pakistani Harem: Women’s Spaces, Neo-colonial Patriarchy and Agency in My Feudal Lord by Tehmina Durrani
Inbisat Ali, Taimur Ali

This research explores the metaphorical representation of harem, a quintessential signifier for Orientalist women in Durrani’sMy Feudal Lord from the theoretical perspective of Mernissi (1994). The paper addresses the polemical question how Pakistani women in particular and Neo-colonial Muslim women in general, exercise agency when placed in the harem (literal and metaphorical). The analysis of the text brings out that in contrast to the Orientalist representation of harem by the colonizer, Neo-colonial women writers in general and Durrani in particular provide an authentic representation of harem, its purpose and how it is misused and misrepresented. While doing so, Durrani contributes to the project of postcolonial women writers who write back to the empire, rewrite the Orientalized spaces and challenge the essentialist depiction of Muslim women as oppressed, eroticized and exotic.

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