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Menstruation

by Ammar Abdulhamid

Despite its unique format this book is surprisingly easy to read. Its shock factor for me, a western, used to democractic freedoms , female, is its portrayal of such claustrophobic repression apparently customary in conservative Muslim culture.I would assume that the shock factor for anyone belonging to the latter would be the book's open discussion of repressed sexuality and how the characters all find their own form of liberation.

Extract

And last time his mama had something to tell her, which had been little less than a month ago, well, two days into Ramadan to be specific, it concerned sex. Her wonderful husband had, it seems, been complaining to his mother about her lack of enthusiasm, her coldness, her delayed responses to his, hmm, suggestions, during their intercourse. So her mother-in-law had given her an hour full of advice, after they had broken their fast and before the beginning of the evening TV serials. Afterwards she began refining the art of faking orgasms, and of acting the part of the woman who was getting far more than she ever expected or deserved to get.

Parallels

Palace Walk by Naquib Mahfouz
Nine Parts of Desire : The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks
 

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