Frankenstein: Gender and Chapter Presents Mernissi Essay

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discourses, problematizing a project like ‘female liberation’ by unveiling its mythical structure. I also point to a theorization of gender in a Muslim country that is, above all, historical and anti-essentialist in the sense that it does not identify one single factor or discourse as the origin of gender inequality. Th is chapter, which highlights Mernissi’s simultaneous critique of both colonialism and ethnocentrism, presents
Mernissi as a postcolonial feminist critic.
Th e second chapter addresses the other aspect of her secular approach (worldly critique) through a discussion of her pioneering fi eldwork devoted to foregrounding the agency and consciousness of the female subaltern in Morocco. It is also demystifying, anti-essentialist, and, therefore, secular, since this work places at the forefront multiple Moroccan female subjectivities, bringing to crisis the mythical, unifi ed female identity or ‘Muslim woman,’ as normalized or
“invented” (to borrow Lamia Ben Youssef Zayzafoon’s words) in the
1957 Moudawana, that of the dependent woman. Th e chapter indicates that Mernissi’s interviews with subaltern women target the postindependent state’s myths of modernization and development.
Mernissi’s opposition to a local “dogmatic Marxist discourse,” which rejects the feminist orientation of her work, or rather her hybrid methodology combining a Marxist and feminist approach.5 To examine gendered subalternity in Morocco in which both gender and class