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Assignment on: The Review on Motijans

Daughters and Womens Position in the Society

Submitted to:
Aditi Sabur
De!artment o" Women and #ender Studies
$niversity o" Dha%a
Submitted by:
Mahmuda &o'ue
Ro((: )*
,ear- .
/SS 0.)+)1.)++2
Date o" Submission: 3ctober +- .)++
#ender Ana(ysis
Domestic 4io(ence
Son !re"erence
iterature is the mirror o" the socia( order6 Motijans Daughters is a story o" our society
which re"(ects the womens !osition in our cu(ture7 written by Se(ina &ossain6 Men are
judge as inte((ectua( when "ema(e are emotiona(- Ma(e are treated as rationa( on the other
hand- "ema(e are irrationa( and !rivate in the socia( structure6 Women are !racticed to
consider themse(ves as de!endent and they have no o!!ortunity to thin% about right and
wrong6 5ven sometimes women de!rived "rom their basic rights and they do not
conscious about their rights6 As a resu(t- they are o!!ressed6
Motijans Daughters is a story which is main(y !aying attention on domestic vio(ence and
womens rights in a ma(e biased civi(i8ation6
Gender Analysis on Motijans Daughters:
#ender ana(ysis o""ers a "ramewor% "or i((uminating the o!!ortunities and constraints in
deve(o!ment activities that are based on the re(ations between women and men6
Pa!ane% 0+9:92 stated: ;#ender di""erences- based on the socia( construction o"
bio(ogica( se< distinction- are one o" the great "au(t (ines o" societies1- those mar%s o"
di""erence among categories o" !ersons that govern the a((ocation o" !ower- authority- and
Man and women have di""erent ro(e in the socia(i8ing !rocess and their ro(e that is
gender- is determine on the basis o" their bio(ogica( construction6
Here, I try to focus the gender ased analysis of the characters of Motijans
Motijan :
Motijan is the symbo(ic character o" the !atriarcha( socia( construction where women are
subordinate in every stair o" (i"e6 A"ter her marriage she started to be o!!ressed be"ore
understood the state o" a""airs around her6 She was treated just (i%e a servant6 &er
husbands "ami(y was contro((ed by a muscu(ar hand o" her mother in (aw6 Abu( used to
go to another women in mar%et but no one "ind any b(under to this %ind o" manner
because he is a man> &er husband as we(( as mother in (aw !ressured her "or dowry but
she new the "inancia( !osition o" her "ather6 Women are o!!ressed "or dowry is very
wides!read in our sub1continent6 Physica( abuse- death- suicide etc6 are common
!henomenons that are occurred "or the cause ca((ed dowry6
Motijan wor%ed the who(e day in the house but sometime she did not get "ood to eat6 &er
mother in (aw did not give her "ood and she cou(d not !rotest her because society taught
her not to dishonor the e(der(y !erson6 She wanted to be tough (i%e her mother in (aw6
Subse'uent to !assing a year o" her marriage- she was demanded "or a chi(d by #u(noor6
?o one was ta%ing into account that Abu( rare(y stayed at home and was not
conscientious "or anything in the "ami(y6 Society does not !ay any attention "or a
womans se<ua( needs6 The circumstances around Motijan "orced her to go into an in(ega(
re(ationshi! with o%man6 /ecause o" giving birth to a chi(d- she went into this !hysica(
re(ationshi!6 /ut "ortune was not in Motijans su!!ort6 She bore a "ema(e chi(d and cou(d
not !ut away the so ca((ed "ami(y (ine6 A"ter the birth o" another "ema(e chi(d- #u(noor
cou(d not to(erate that but Motijan to(d the truth "ear(ess(y that- Abu( was not the "ather o"
her daughters so- there shou(d not have any 'uestion o" "ami(y (ine6 Thus- Motijan went
to an un%nown "uture o" herse(" as we(( as her daughters6
Women have to !er"orm their duties but it is not im!ortant i" man !er"orm his duties and
res!onsibi(ities6 We have to ta%e into account that- women are not on(y the beauty- not
on(y the source o" (ove and motherhood- they are a(so human being and (i%e other basic
needs they have se<ua( need6 These are com!(ete(y ignored to the society over and above
in the "ictions6
#u(noor is very ordinary character in our society6 As a mother- she is very %ind hearted
but as a mother in (aw- she was not so6 &er (i"e is "u(( o" strugg(e6 @or this e<!(anation-
she was %nown as a hard woman6 We judge #u(noor as a des!erado because we are not
become accustomed to see a woman as an iron character as her6 She (earnt the attitude
that she did- "rom the socia( order and circumstances around her6 She has !ower over the
"ami(y and did not show any %ind o" so"tness to her daughter in (aw6 She had been a
widow "or twenty two years6 So- her (i"e was not much straight"orward and she must
strugg(e "or (ive in the ma(e biased society6 Dominating character is !resent in her "or
this reason6 5ven her son is subordinate to her6 She "e(t so !roud "or her own sti""ness6
This rigidity made her the idea( women to her daughter in (aw6
/ut #u(noor was not out o" the society6 She tormented her daughter in (aw !hysica((y
and menta((y6 She "orced Motijan "or dowry and ma(e chi(d which she (earned "rom the
!atriarcha( civi(i8ation6 Sometimes she a""(icted on her daughter in (aw is go beyond
(imitation6 She !ressured Motijan "or chi(d because o" save the "ami(y (ine but she did not
see her sons "au(t that he was not stay with Motijan6
#u(noor wanted to marry her son again because she guessed Motijan was barren6 Again
when her "irst chi(d bored- #u(noor cou(d not to(erate that because- according to her
thought a "ema(e chi(d cannot save the "ami(y (ine6 She did not mar% any mista%e o" her
son6 She (earnt this %ind o" attitude "rom the son !re"erence societys circumstances6
Abu( (eads a very universa( ma(e character in our civi(i8ation- which had no
accountabi(ity to his mother- wi"e or "ami(y6 &e "orced his wi"e "or dowry "or a (u<urious
(i"e and did not "e(t any hesitation to beat her6 &e was not !aying any attention to his
"ami(y unit6 &e just eat- s(ee! and enjoy his (i"e6 &e got ahead o" most o" the days with
another woman in the mar%et !(ace6 So- his wi"e was de!rived "rom her se<ua( rights6
Abu( was an addicted man (i%e other addicted !eo!(e in our society6 &e !hysica((y and
menta((y tormented to his wi"e6 &e tortured his wi"e "or a chi(d who cou(d save the "ami(y
(ine but did not give any time to his wi"e6
3urs is a !atriarcha( and ma(e biased society6 The discrimination between men and
women is not based sim!(y on c(ass but a(so on gender6 At this !oint- #ender is the sign
o" !ower6 There"ore- it is ca((ed the !ha((ocentric society6 An this society- the inaccuracy o"
a man is out o" consideration6 Bonse'uent(y- here Abu(s are dominating women and no
one ta%e it into account6 At becomes the socia( system6
At is said that-1;An in"ant is born with the "irst and deve(o!s the second6= #ender
di""erences are not bio(ogica((y determined- they are cu(tura((y !roduced6
Motijan- #u(noor- Abu( are human being- e<isted in the society and they (earnt their
out(oo% "rom here6 As a resu(t- individua( o" them is not abso(ute(y right or wrong6 They
got their attitude "rom their socia( (earning6
Do!estic "iolence Against Motijan:
Domestic vio(ence is very "re'uent !henomenon in our country and Motijan is a case in
!oint- created by Se(ina &ossain6 At is a !rob(em o" women in marita( re(ationshi!s being
assau(ted6 The rea( !rob(em is the im!(icit societa( acce!tance o" vio(ence against women6
At has many causes6 This can ta%e the "orm o" those re(ated to dowry demands- the
!hysica( and menta( tortured and as a co wi"e !ressure- which we can see in Motijans
(i"e6 The !ressure and danger women "ace when their rights to re!roductive choice are
inter"ered with and the danger e<!ectant mothers "ace due to neg(igence and ignorance6
Motijans husband as we(( as her mother in (aw !ersecuted her !hysica((y and menta((y6
She tortured "or dowry- househo(d wor%- and ma(e chi(d or sometimes "or no reason6
Dowry- battering- !sycho(ogica( !ressure and a(( these domestic vio(ence were in
attendance in Motijans (i"e6 When she cou(d not stay behind si(ent and !rotest herse("
adjacent to her husband and mother in (aw- she became a victim o" battering6 5very so
o"ten #u(noor tied Motijans (eg and do not gave any "ood to eat6 #u(noor and Abu(
treated Motijan as she was not a human being6 Motijan have to do a(( %inds o" househo(d
wor%s but she did not have the right to identi"y about the househo(d6 @or e<am!(e- she did
not a((owed to o!en the sho!!ing bag and she never wanted that because she is used to
%now her as a day (abourer6 Though- Motijans brother came to %now about his sisters
su""erings- he suggested her to be ha!!y because it is a societa( system> These %inds o"
system shou(d be changed otherwise- a(( Motijans in our society (ost their rights and even
they cou(d not ab(e to be ac'uainted with that6
The story is !aying attention on the most im!ortant socia( wic%edness in Andian
subcontinent that is dowry6 At ma%es Motijans (i"e e<cruciating6 Dowry demands a""ect
the (ives o" women socia((y and cu(tura((y in a much dee!er manner6 /asica((y- they
undermine the e'ua(ity o" women and construct cu(tura((y acce!ted "orms o"
discrimination against them6 They can a""ect the (i"e o" a gir( "rom the very start6
Pre"erence "or boys o"ten begins with the !arenta( rea(isation that the troub(e o" "inding
dowries "a((s on them as soon as the chi(d is born6 Thus- the deva(uation o" a chi(d ta%es
!(ace in cu(tura((y subt(e "orms "rom the very beginning6 An Motijans Daughter- we can
distinguish how a women is treated "or dowry by her in (aws6 #u(nur b(amed motijans
"ather as a (iar- because he cou(d not carry out their demand o" a cyc(e and wristwatch6
Abu(- Motijans husband a(so su!!orted his mother6 This continues throughout her ear(y
years and u! to the time o" marriage6 the !ractice o" dowry or joutuk- demands made by
the husbands side to the brides side- have in the (ast "ew decades become a e<tensive
!ractice su!!orted neither by state (aw nor !ersona( (aws- but a!!arent(y designed to
strengthen6 The most common motives behind the dowry system are the grooms and
their "ami(ies greed- growing consumerism- e<treme materia(ism- the need "or status
see%ing- and rising e<!ectations o" a better and we((1a!!ointed (i"e6 A traditiona(
!atriarcha( assum!tion as we see in Motijans in (aws "ami(y6 This must be ac%now(edged
as rea(ity and the Dowry Prohibition Act amended6 6 According to the Curan- receiving
dowry "rom the brides "ami(y is haram- "orbidden by the As(amic (aw7 it is the husbands
"ami(y that shou(d !rovide mohorana- money "or the brides "ami(y6 Though Abu(s were
Mus(im- they "orced Motijan "or dowry6
A"ter the year "(eeting o" Motijans marriage- she was as%ed "or baby- but Abu(s (iabi(ity
was not "ocused6 Then a neighbour suggested #u(nur "or Abu(s another marriage with a
(arge amount o" money6 So- it is uncom!(icated to understand that- dowry made womens
!osition (ow in the society6 At ma%es a woman no more but commodities on(y6 At is a very
terrib(e situation "or the society6 Women D their "ami(y su""er a (ot "or this dowry system6
A thin% !overty- i((iteracy- narrow menta(ity- negative attitude to the women- de!endence
on husband and (iving on their income- socia( corru!tion etc are the main cause o" dowry6
$nder enormous !ressure "rom human rights grou!s and the internationa( community- the
/ang(adeshi government !assed the Dowry Prohibition Act in +9:)- which (ega((y
banned dowries and im!osed sanctions- as we(( as the Brue(ty to Women 3rdinance in
+9:E6 ,et- incidents o" domestic vio(ence due to dowry issues have not decreased as we
see in Abu(s "ami(y6
Wi"e battering is very wides!read in our country and it is a (eading cause o" damage "or
women6 Motijan is a su""erer o" this6 Abu( used to go an e<tra woman ca((ed Rosoi- and
when Motijan tried to !rotest him to went there- she was rewarded by beating6 #u(noor
do not give any concentration i" her son came to the home or not6 She became very
%on &reference:
/ang(adesh is a country with a !ervasive !re"erence "or sons6 An her married (i"e- Motijan
e<!erienced a (ot6 3ne o" the most essentia( causes was that- she did not give birth o" a
ma(e chi(d6 &er mother in (aw cou(d not acce!t her when her second daughter was born6
This is a common !ros!ect in our country6
An this ma(e biased !atriarcha( society a "ema(e chi(d is discriminated "rom her birth6 She
can not save the so ca((ed "ami(y (ine6 At is be(ieve that- a woman do not have economic
re!roductive !ower6 So- she is considered as a burden6 Thats why the socia( structure
bui(ds on son !re"erence6
/ang(adesh is a country o" !atriarcha( communa( im!ression- but domestic vio(ence is
"aced by a woman not on(y "rom her husband but a(so "rom her in (aws6 The main causes
o" such acts o" vio(ence are the inabi(ity to bear chi(dren or sons- dowry demands and
!hysica( a!!earance6 An these cases- the aggression ta%es the "orm o" menta( abuse-
!o(ygamous marriage etc6
We can notice Motijan in "iction6 At the same time- we obtain Rumana Mon8ur in the rea(
"iction o" (i"e6 3ne o" them is educated and em!owered and other is not6 /ut crue(ty gives
them the same !(ace- both o" they are the victim o" vio(ence6 /esides the vio(ence itse("-
the shame surrounding the victims is the most destructive !art o" it6
Dowry !a!er Mohamed, 0.)++2
A wee%(y !ub(ication o" The Dai(y Star- The Star, Fu(y ..- .)++
Mahtab- ?60.))G2 Women In Bangladesh
#iddens- A6 Sociology, *
A8im- @6 D Haman- ?6 Short Stories by Women from Bangladesh