This essay deals with the treatment of wifely agency as delineated by three South Asian women writers: Ismat Chughtai, Tehmina Durrani and Selina Hossain. It tries to prove that the Muslim wives as projected in the fiction of these writers from the patriarchal societies of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are not uniformly oppressed victims of socio-religious discourses. Though often their bodies are subjected to rigorous discipline, docility and even battery, these wives still demonstrate sufficient agential powers to resist the status quo and chalk out a fresh trope of identity for themselves. Their domestic agency, sexual agency and decision-making powers, are some of the agential strengths that are analyzed in this paper, along with their bargaining and networking skills. Under their “Micro Mechanisms of Power,” gossip and indifference are also depicted as powerful tools for wives to retaliate against oppressive conditions in marriage.
Khan, Hafiza Nilofar
South Asian Fiction and Marital Agency of Muslim Wives.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 14(3), 174-193.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol14/iss3/13